Vancouver, B.C. – The Western Hockey League is proud to announce seven WHL players have been selected during the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. on Friday night.
Saskatoon Blades forward Kirby Dach was the top player selected from the WHL, chosen third overall by the Chicago Blackhawks. Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram was the top defenceman selected, chosen fourth overall by the Colorado Avalanche. Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Dylan Cozens was selected seventh overall by the Buffalo Sabres to round out the strong WHL representation in the top 10.
Winnipeg ICE captain Peyton Krebs was selected 17th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights. A pair of Kelowna Rockets were selected, as defenceman Lassi Thomson went at 19th overall to the Ottawa Senators while forward Nolan Foote was chosen 27th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Moose Jaw Warriors forward Brayden Tracey went at 29th overall to the Anaheim Ducks.
The seven first-round selections brings the WHL’s number of all-time first-round NHL Draft selections to 315 since the 1967 NHL Amateur Draft. The NHL Draft resumes Saturday morning with the second round beginning at 11 a.m. MT on Sportsnet.
2019 NHL Draft – WHL Players
Overall – Player (Pos.) – NHL Team; WHL Team; Hometown
#3 – Kirby Dach (F) – Chicago Blackhawks; Saskatoon Blades; Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.
#4 – Bowen Byram (D) – Colorado Avalanche; Vancouver Giants; Cranbrook, B.C.
#7 – Dylan Cozens (F) – Buffalo Sabres; Lethbridge Hurricanes; Whitehorse, Yukon
#17 – Peyton Krebs (F) – Vegas Golden Knights; Winnipeg ICE; Okotoks, Alta.
#19 – Lassi Thomson (D) – Ottawa Senators; Kelowna Rockets; Tampere, Finland
#27 – Nolan Foote (F) – Tampa Bay Lightning; Kelowna Rockets; Kelowna, B.C.
#29 – Brayden Tracey (F) – Anaheim Ducks; Moose Jaw Warriors; Calgary, Alta.
Kirby Dach – Saskatoon Blades (Third overall, Chicago Blackhawks)
A product of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., forward Kirby Dach posted 73 points (25G-48A) in 62 games during the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season, ranking third in team scoring. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound forward was a driving force as the Blades made their triumphant return to the WHL Playoffs, with Dach recording eight points (5G-3A) in 10 games. In 133 WHL regular season games, Dach has accrued 129 points (38G-91A). Internationally, Dach has won gold with Hockey Canada at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and played with Canada Black at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Bowen Byram – Vancouver Giants (Fourth overall, Colorado Avalanche)
A product of Cranbrook, B.C., defenceman Bowen Byram enjoyed an extremely successful 2018-19 campaign with the Giants, tallying 71 points (26G-45A) in 67 games. The 6-foot-1, 192-pound rear guard led all CHL defencemen in goals during the regular season, also making WHL history twice. His six overtime goals are now the most by any player ever in a single regular season. He also led all WHL players in scoring during the 2019 WHL Playoffs with 26 points (8G-18A) in 22 games, the first defenceman to ever accomplish the feat. For his WHL career, Byram has recorded 98 points (32G-66A) in 138 regular season games, along with 33 points (11G-22A) in 29 WHL playoff games. Internationally, Byram won gold with Canada at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and captured silver with Canada Red at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Dylan Cozens – Lethbridge Hurricanes (Seventh overall, Buffalo Sabres)
A product of Whitehorse, Yukon, forward Dylan Cozens has thrived in the WHL since making his debut as a 15-year-old. A dynamic forward, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound forward posted 84 points (34G-50A) in 68 games with Lethbridge during the regular season. The 2018 recipient of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as WHL Rookie of the Year has recorded 138 points (57G-81A) in 128 WHL regular season games, adding 29 points (14G-15A) in 35 WHL playoff games. Internationally, Cozens has won gold with Canada at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and won silver with Canada Red at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. He also served as an alternate captain with Canada at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
Peyton Krebs– Winnipeg ICE (17th overall, Vegas Golden Knights)
A product of Okotoks, Alta., ICE captain Peyton Krebs has been an offensive standout for his organization. The first-overall selection from the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft led the ICE in the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season with 68 points (19G-49A) in 64 games. Making his WHL debut as a 15-year-old, Krebs recorded four points eight days before he turned 16-years-old. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound forward has recorded 128 points (37G-91A) in 137 WHL regular season games. On the international stage, Krebs won gold with Canada at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. He also captained Canada Red to a silver medal at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and recently led Canada’s entry at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
Lassi Thomson – Kelowna Rockets (19th overall, Ottawa Senators)
A product of Tampere, Finland, defenceman Lassi Thomson led all WHL rookies on the blue line with 41 points (17G-24A) and was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Year with the Rockets. Thomson’s 17 goals ranked him in a tie for third among all WHL defencemen while he was fourth in team scoring. The 6-foot-0, 187-pound Thomson was selected by the Rockets in the first round, 53rd overall, of the 2018 CHL Import Draft. With Finland, Thomson won a gold medal at the 2018 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
Nolan Foote – Kelowna Rockets (27th overall, Tampa Bay Lightning)
A product of Kelowna, B.C., forward Nolan Foote recorded a career-high 63 points (36G-27A) this season. Those totals led the Rockets in goals while ranking in a tie for second in team scoring. With Tampa Bay, Foote joins his older brother Cal, who was selected 14th overall by the Lightning in the 2017 NHL Draft and formerly captained the Rockets. The 6-foot-3, 188-pound Foote has appeared in 168 WHL regular season games, recording 138 points (68G-70A). He’s also compiled 10 points (3G-7A) in 22 WHL playoff games. On the international stage, Foote won a silver medal with Canada Black at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Brayden Tracey – Moose Jaw Warriors (29th overall, Anaheim Ducks)
A product of Calgary, Alta., forward Brayden Tracey had a breakout rookie season with the Warriors, recording 81 points (36G-45A) in 66 games during the regular season. The 6-foot-0, 174-pound forward was named the recipient of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the 2019 WHL Rookie of the Year. Overall, Tracey finished in a tie for 13th in league scoring and was third among all Warriors in team scoring. At the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Tracey won a silver medal with Canada Red. He also represented his country at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
Recent NHL Draft Results (WHL):
2018 NHL Draft: 20 WHL players selected, including two in the first round
2017 NHL Draft: 33 WHL players selected, including seven in the first round
2016 NHL Draft: 34 WHL players selected, including four in the first round
2015 NHL Draft: 35 WHL players selected, including five in the first round
2014 NHL Draft: 37 WHL players selected, including nine in the first round
2013 NHL Draft: 33 WHL players selected, including eight in the first round
2012 NHL Draft: 32 WHL players selected, including six in the first round
2011 NHL Draft: 33 WHL players selected, including five in the first round
2010 NHL Draft: 43 WHL players selected, including seven in the first round
2009 NHL Draft: 31 WHL players selected, including five in the first round
2008 NHL Draft: 37 WHL players selected, including nine in the first round
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.