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Americans Select Dragicevic Fourth Overall, Take 10 Skaters in 2020 WHL Bantam Draft

KENNEWICK, WA – The Tri-City Americans selected defenseman Lukas Dragicevic with the fourth overall pick today in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft held online. The Americans made ten total selections in the draft including seven forwards and three defensemen.

“Today is another exciting day for our organization, and more specifically, our scout staff,” stated Americans Assistant General Manager and Head Scout Roy Stasiuk.

“Countless hours of viewings, evaluation reports and discussion culminate in one day. I am thankful for our staff and their diligence and I’m thankful as an organization we can celebrate the addition of some elite young athletes who also align with the core values of the Tri-City Americans’ program.

Successful organizations become successful when a clear vision and expectation is presented from the leadership group, in our case Bob Tory, Stu Barnes and Olaf Kolzig. I believe as a scout staff we have met our mandate and to build off of last year’s draft with the addition of so many good 2005-born athletes is exciting for fans, stakeholders and our entire staff.

Going into a WHL Bantam Draft process I like to envision what a nucleus of elite players would look like.  All WHL teams had a successful draft day, but we are excited with the group we have assembled and the promise our new athletes have shown.  Lukas Dragicevic and Deagan McMillan are a great starting point for our 2005-born nucleus but the next eight players chosen are going to be the key for our overall success. Our staff can be delighted and proud of today’s outcome.”

At fourth overall, Dragicevic is Tri-City’s highest draft pick in 17 years. The 6-foot and 170-pound forward recorded 52 points (8 goals, 44 assists) in 30 games with Delta Hockey Academy Bantam Prep this past season.

“Lukas is a highly skilled offensive defenseman who possess tremendous hockey IQ and leadership skills,” said Americans General Manager Bob Tory. “He’s an effortless skater with an outstanding shot. He has the ability to quarterback a power play and play in all situations.”

“I was surprised and really excited to be selected by Tri-City. I have always wanted to be around my home city and Tri-City isn’t too far way. Playing there will be perfect for me,” said Dragicevic, a native of Richmond, BC.

Dragicevic’s father Milan Dragicevic played with the Americans in 1988-89 and was an assistant coach for the team in 1996-97 and 1997-98.

“It’s really special to me that my dad coached and played in Tri-City,” said Dragicevic. “That makes me want to play for the Americans even more. He knows a lot about the organization and has told me all great things about Tri-City.”

With their second-round pick (25th overall) the Americans selected Dragicevic’s teammate, Deagan McMillan. The 6-foot-one and 178-pound forward posted 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) through 27 games this season.

“It felt great seeing that my name selected,” said McMillan. “When I was younger I looked up to the WHL like it was the NHL. Playing in this league has always been a dream of mine.”

The Americans added high scoring forward Tanner Gould with their third-round pick at 47th overall. Gould, a 5-foot-10 and 164-pound native of Calgary, AB, played this past season with the Calgary Bisons of the ABMHL. He recorded 65 points (31 goals, 34 assists) in 31 games played as the second leading scoring the league.

Tri-City used their remaining picks to select forward Benjamin Stokes (round 5, pick 101), defenseman Carter Savage (round 6, pick 113), forward Drew Freer (round 6, pick 120), defenseman Max Lightwood (round 8, pick 157), forward Slava Tugolukov (round 9, pick 179), forward Payton Nelson (round 10, pick 201), and forward Luke Anderson (round 11, pick 223).

Players eligible for the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft were 2004-born players residing 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 2020 WHL Bantam Draft Selections:

 

Lukas Dragicevic – D

1st Round, 4th Overall

2019-20 TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
Delta Bantam Prep 30 8 44 52 32

 

Deagan McMillan – F

2nd Round, 25th Overall

2019-20 TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
Delta Bantam Prep 27 20 31 51 63

 

Tanner Gould – F

3rd Round, 47th Overall

2019-20 TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
Calgary Bisons Bantam AAA 31 31 34 65 42

 

Benjamin Stokes – F

5th Round, 101st Overall

2019-20 TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
Calgary Bisons Bantam AAA 32 34 11 45 28

 

Carter Savage – D

6th Round, 113th Overall

2019-20 TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
Delta Bantam Prep 30 3 12 15 48

 

Drew Freer – F

6h Round, 120th Overall

2019-20 TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
Calgary Flames Bantam AAA 33 30 18 48 40

 

Max Lightwood – D

8th Round, 157th Overall

2019-20 TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
Team Alaska 14U 53 15 12 27

 

Slava Tugolukov – F

9th Round, 179th Overall

2019-20 TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
Dallas Penguins 14UAA

 

Payton Nelson – F

10th Round, 201st Overall

2019-20 TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
Chicago Mission 14U 36 12 11 23 4

 

Luke Anderson – F

11th Round, 223rd Overall

2019-20 TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
Team Alaska 14U 36 12 11 23 4

 

 

 

 

 

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