The Moose Jaw Warriors had a tough time on the ice this season and that has continued into the offseason.
The Warriors saw the balls bounce the other way for their opponents, meaning they will drop a spot in the WHL Bantam Draft. Meanwhile, their rivals the Regina Pats are one step closer to drafting phenom Connor Bedard.
The Western Hockey League held its 2020 WHL Bantam Draft Lottery earlier today at the league office and the Regina Pats emerged with the first overall pick. The Pats previously acquired the first round selection from the Swift Current Broncos.
Bedard is the presumptive first overall pick in the draft. On March 24, BC Hockey announced that Bedard had been granted exceptional player status, which means he is eligible to play in the WHL as a 15-year-old. He is the first player to be granted exceptional status for eligibility in the WHL.
For comparison, some of the players who have previously been granted exceptional status in the Ontario Hockey League include Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers), John Tavares (Toronto Maple Leafs), and Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers). All three went on to be selected first overall in the NHL Entry Draft.
The Bantam Draft Lottery involved the six lowest-place Clubs (Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Tri-City, Prince George, Regina, and Red Deer) from the 2019-20 WHL Regular Season. Teams were only able to move up a maximum of two positions in the draft.
The Prince George Cougars moved up two places and will select second overall in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft. That means the Moose Jaw Warriors will drop to third.
The order of the second round and all other rounds will be the inverse order of final 2019-20 WHL Regular Season standings.
The Warriors will select second in each of the following rounds.
The WHL Bantam Draft will be held online on April 22.