Americans Prepare for 2016 WHL Bantam Draft
The Tri-City Americans are preparing for the annual WHL Bantam Draft next Thursday, May 5th to be held in Calgary, AB beginning at 7:30 am PDT. The Americans will select 6th overall.
The last two seasons the Americans picked 7th overall. Last year, the club made center Carson Focht (pronounced: Folk-t) their first choice. The 6’0, 160 pounder from Regina, SK made his WHL debut during the 2015-16 season.
In 2014, the Americans selected 6’4 center Michael Rasmussen of Surrey, BC. Last season, Rasmussen led all WHL 16-year-old rookies with 18 goals and 25 assists for a total of 43 points in 63 games. “Razzy” made an immediate impact on the club finishing second in power play goals with 8.
The Americans 2015-16 roster featured four first round draft picks since 2012, including winger Parker AuCoin (15th overall in 2014) and defenseman Parker Wotherspoon (21st overall in 2012). Wotherspoon was also selected in the 4th round by the NHL’s New York Islanders in the June 2015 entry draft.
The WHL Bantam Draft is the WHL’s talent identification process and serves as the first opportunity for WHL teams to add players to their respective 50 player lists. Eligible players for the Bantam Draft are 2001-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.
Tri-City Americans 2015 Bantam Draft Results:
1st Round (7th overall)* 5th round (93rd overall)*
Carson Focht (F) SK Keltie Jeri-Leon (F) BC
2nd round (25th overall)* 5th round (104th overall)
Paycen Bjorklund (F) AB Jack Barnes (F) TX
3rd round (49th overall)* 5th round (109th overall)
Seth Bafaro (D) BC Ryan O’Reilly (F) TX
4th round (71st overall)* 7th round (137th overall)
Liam Belcourt (D) AB Jaxon Nelson (F) MN
4th round (73rd overall) 8th round (159th overall)
Brenden Saether (D) BC Keegan Rowland (F) AB
*has signed a standard WHL players education agreement with the Americans