Canes Ready for 2011 WHL Draft

Lethbridge, AB – The 2011 WHL Bantam Draft will kick off Thursday morning (May 5th, 2011) at 8:30 AM MT from the Palomino Room at the BMO Centre in Calgary, AB. The Bantam Draft is the first step in the identification of the top rated 96-born prospects in Western Canada and the U.S. as WHL Clubs select players from this age group to add to their WHL Player Protected List. The order of selection for the first round of the draft is determined through a weighted lottery consisting of the six non-playoff teams.  The rest of the draft order is based on the inverse overall standings from the regular season.

The 2011 WHL Bantam Draft Lottery was held in Calgary last month as the Kamloops Blazers defied the odds and won the lottery with their single chance out of 21 to move up two selections in the draft. The resulting draft order for the first six picks is:
1.    Calgary
2.    Swift Current
3.    Lethbridge (From Regina)
4.    Kamloops (Winners of the Lottery)
5.    Lethbridge
6.    Seattle

The Calgary Hitmen retained the first overall selection – this marks the first time since their inaugural Bantam Draft that the Hitmen hold the first overall pick. This is a moment of historical significance for Lethbridge as for the first time in club history – the Canes hold two of the top five picks in the draft. The Hurricanes acquired Regina’s first round pick last season as a result of the Carter Ashton trade which also saw the Canes acquire Graham Hood, 94-born Tayler Balog and a 2nd round pick in 2010 – A pick the club would use to select blue chip prospect Macoy Erkamps with the 27th overall pick in 2010. The Hurricanes history of top five selections is a short one made up of only Jay Merkley (3rd overall – 2010); Dwight King (4th overall – 2004) and Paul Elliot (4th overall – 1995).

Entering this draft – Merkley is Lethbridge’s highest ever selection in the WHL Draft as they selected the Calgary native with the third overall pick in 2010. This was the Canes first lottery pick since selecting Alex Theriau in 2007 with the 6th pick overall selection and it marked the Canes first ever selection in the top 3 of the WHL Draft. Other notable Hurricanes first selections in their draft year include: Phil Tot (18th overall in 2008); Carter Ashton (7th overall in 2006); the aforementioned Dwight King (4th overall in 2004); Ben Wright (25th overall in 2003) and Brent Seabrook (8th overall in 2000).

The order of the second round and all other rounds will be the inverse order of final 2010-11 regular season standings. Lethbridge currently holds a pair of picks in the second round of the 2011 Draft – their own pick (26th overall) as well as the 29th overall pick acquired from the Everett Silvertips in exchange for defenseman Brennan Yadlowski. This means the Canes are poised to make four selections in the top 29 players of this season’s draft. This comes just a season after the 2010 draft which saw the team select several highly touted prospects with four of the top 41 picks – their own selections, 3rd in the first and second round, as well as Regina’s second round selection (5th in the second round – 27th overall and Tri City’s second round selection (19th in the second round – 41st overall – Acquired in the trade of Eric Mestery). Some of the more notable of the Hurricanes second round selections prior to last season include: Reid Jackson (28th overall- 2008); Austin Fyten (27th overall – 2006) and former Hurricanes Captains Ben Wright (25th overall – 2004) and Jason Hegberg (23rd overall – 1994)

The 22nd Annual WHL Bantam Draft results will be posted live on also fans should note that this event will be webcast live – Check for details. Click on the WHL Bantam Draft icon on the WHL homepage. The Hurricanes will be tweeting picks, news and notes from the draft table – be sure to follow the Canes official twitter feed at Following the first round, midway point and conclusion of the draft – summaries will be available at

Players eligible for the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft will be 1996-born players who reside in: Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Hurricanes 2011 WHL Bantam Draft Summary of picks:
1st round (3rd overall from Regina) –
1st round (5th overall) –
2nd round (26th overall) –
2nd round (29th overall from Everett) –
3rd round (48th overall) –
4th round (70th overall) – Traded to Kootenay (Machacek)
5th round (92nd overall) – Traded to Portland (Johnston)
5th round (99th overall from Vancouver) –
6th round (114th overall) –
7th round (146th overall) – Traded to Everett (MacDermott)
8th round (168th overall) –
8th round (183rd overall) –
9th round (190th overall) –
10th round (212th overall) –
11th round (234th overall) –

Hurricanes 2010 WHL Bantam Draft Summary of picks:
1st round (3rd overall) – Jay (Johnathon) Merkley    5’10”, 160 lbs. – Calgary, AB
Bantam Club: Calgary Bisons – AMBHL    Pos: C        B/D: May 27/95
2nd round (25th overall) – Craig Leverton  5’10”, 170 lbs. – Warman, SK
Bantam Club: Warman Wildcats – CFHL    Pos: C        B/D: Jan.2/95
2nd round (27th overall fr. Regina) – Macoy Erkamps 5’10”, 175 lbs. – Richmond, BC
Bantam Club: South Delta Bantam AAA      Pos: D        B/D: Feb.2/95
2nd round (41st overall fr. Tri City) – Joel Topping 6’1, 175 lbs. – Red Deer, AB
Bantam Club: Red Deer Rebels (Black) – AMBHL Pos: D     B/D: Apr.10/95
3rd round (47th overall) – Traded to Regina
4th round (69th overall) – Ryan Ferguson 6’0, 165 lbs. – Calgary, AB
Bantam Club: Calgary Royals (Gold) – AMBHL  Pos: G    B/D: Feb.23/95
5th round (91st overall) – Traded to Regina
5th round (103rd overall from Kootenay) – Jamal Watson 5’10, 145 lbs. – Calgary, AB
Bantam Club: Calgary Bronks – AMBHL  Pos: RW        B/D: Jan.14/95
6th round (113th overall) – Traded to Kelowna
7th round (135th overall) – Traded to Kootenay
8th round (157th overall) – Remi Laurencelle 5’8, 140 lbs. – Winnipeg, MB
Bantam Club: Winnipeg Warriors Bantam AAA  Pos: C    B/D: Oct.5/95
9th round (179th overall) – Lenny Hackman 5’9, 150 lbs. – Calgary, AB
Bantam Club: Airdrie X-treme – AMBHL    Pos: D        B/D: Jan.30/95
10th round (201st overall) – Chris Thorimbert 5’8, 145 lbs. – Saskatoon, SK
Bantam Club: Saskatoon Generals – SCWB    Pos: LW    B/D: Aug.8/95
11th round (223rd overall) – Daniel Sosa 5’10, 170 lbs. – Seattle, WA
Bantam Club: Seattle Jr. Bantam – PCBHL    Pos: D        B/D: Dec.7/95

Players selected by the Hurricanes via the WHL Bantam Draft in the 10-11 lineup:
Brandon Anderson        Bantam Draft Pick 2007 (3rd round – 50th overall)
Derek Ryckman           Bantam Draft Pick 2007 (6th round – 119th overall)
Russell Maxwell        Bantam Draft Pick 2009 (6th round – 121st overall)
Brandyn Hulit            Bantam Draft Pick 2008 (4th round – 84th overall)
Cam Braes            Bantam Draft Pick 2006 (3rd round – 48th overall)
Austin Fyten            Bantam Draft Pick 2006 (2nd round – 27th overall)
Philip Tot            Bantam Draft Pick 2008 (1st round – 18th overall)
Ryon Moser            Bantam Draft Pick 2007 (10th round – 207th overall)
Neil Tarnasky            Bantam Draft Pick 2007 (8th round – 163rd overall)
Reid Jackson            Bantam Draft Pick 2008 (2nd round – 28th overall)

Following is the order of selection for the 1st round of the WHL Bantam Draft:
1. Calgary Hitmen
2. Swift Current Broncos
3. Lethbridge Hurricanes (From Regina)
4. Kamloops Blazers
5. Lethbridge Hurricanes
6. Seattle Thunderbirds
7. Everett Silvertips
8. Prince Albert Raiders
9. Edmonton Oil Kings
10. Prince George Cougars
11. Brandon Wheat Kings
12. Victoria
13. Swift Current Broncos (From Kootenay/Vancouver)
14. Moose Jaw Warriors
15. Kelowna Rockets
16. Regina Pats (From Tri-City)
17. Kootenay Ice
18. Medicine Hat Tigers
19. Spokane Chiefs
20. Vancouver Giants (From Portland)
21. Red Deer Rebels
22. Brandon Wheat Kings (From Saskatoon)

Following is the order of selection for the 2nd and all subsequent rounds of the WHL Bantam Draft:
(Please note that traded picks are not indicated)
1)  Calgary Hitmen
2)  Swift Current Broncos 
3)  Regina Pats 
4)  Lethbridge Hurricanes
5)  Seattle Thunderbirds
6)  Kamloops Blazers
7)  Everett Silvertips
8)  Prince Albert Raiders
9)  Edmonton Oil Kings
10)  Prince George Cougars
11)  Brandon Wheat Kings
12)  Victoria
13)  Vancouver Giants
14)  Moose Jaw Warriors
15)  Kelowna Rockets
16)  Tri-City Americans
17)  Kootenay Ice
18)  Medicine Hat Tigers
19)  Spokane Chiefs
20)  Portland Winterhawks
21)  Red Deer Rebels
22)  Saskatoon Blades

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