The Portland Winterhawks are busy preparing for the 2019 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft, in search of the next wave of stars. The Bantam Draft will take place on Thursday, May 2 in Red Deer, Alta. starting at 7:30 a.m. PT.
Link: Live Tracker – 2019 WHL Bantam Draft (7:30 a.m. PT)
Players eligible for the draft are 2004-born players who reside in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Northwest Territories, Yukon.
The Hawks currently own eight picks to help round out their 50-man protected list (minus any trades or roster updates that could be made in the next week). They will make their first selection in the third round, followed by a fourth round pick and two selections in the fifth round.
In the last three seasons, Portland used its first pick on forwards Reece Newkirk (2016), Seth Jarvis (2017) and Gabe Klassen (2018). Other notable Winterhawks draft picks include Memorial Cup Champion and Winterhawks Hall of Fame inductee Andrew Ference, WHL Champion and Stanley Cup Champion Derrick Pouliot, and NHL All-Star Ryan Johansen.
“The Bantam Draft is very important for us,” Head Coach and General Manager Mike Johnston said. “We will meet with our scouts, go to some of the camps, and be prepared for the Bantam Draft in May.”
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE WINTERHAWKS ALL-TIME DRAFT PICKS
Selecting players in the bantam draft is just the first part of the summer timeline.
“The second part is recruiting. There are payers on our list that we haven’t signed, so Kyle (Gustafson), Mike Coflin and myself will head out recruiting, meeting with the families, talking about our program, seeing if we can get one or two players in that may have been looking at difference options. Then we’ve got league meetings and the NHL draft and then finally the Euro draft. So once the Euro draft happens a week after the NHL draft at the end of June, you take a break and look at July as a down month and then August it starts to heat up.”
Be sure to stay up-to-date on the Bantam Draft results and all of the Hawks happenings throughout the off-season at winterhawks.com.
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