Portland Winterhawks And WHL Press Releases Highlight Start Of The Week

Image Credit - Keith Dwiggins / Winterhawks.com

The Portland Winterhawks, on the heels of a successful 24 game schedule ended up with a pair of hardware awards. Unlike previous years where the WHL divided into two groups with the East and Central as one and BC with US as the other, the WHL has grouped the divisions into 4 groups. The press releases highlight players’ hardware and two drafts that woiuld normally tyake place before training camp but have been pushed to December due to the pandemic.

Cicek, Mannek Take Home U.S. Division Award Honor

Portland, Ore. – The Western Hockey League announced its 2020-21 U.S. Division Award Winners Friday, naming Mason Mannek as the Scholastic Player of the Year and Nick Cicek as the Defenseman of the Year.

Mannek excelled in the classroom this season, earning a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) at Clackamas Community College while also appearing in all 24 of the team’s games this season.  Planning to major in Electrical Engineering as he continues his post-secondary studies, the veteran of 212 regular season games with the ‘Hawks has since joined the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies to begin his pro career.

Cicek takes home the honors of being the best blueliner in the division after setting career highs in goals, assists and points during the 2020-21 campaign.  The Winnipeg, MB native led all U.S. Division defensemen in scoring totaling 21 points in 24 games.  The franchise’s 45th captain has since signed with the San Jose Barracuda (AHL) and is set to begin his pro career in the fall.

Portland Holds 11th Overall Pick in 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Western Hockey League announced  the results of the 2021 U.S. Priority Draft Lottery and the Portland Winterhawks will hold the 11th and 34th overall selections in this winter’s draft.

The 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft is scheduled to be held Wednesday, December 8.  The draft will consists of 44 overall selections and the 22 WHL Member Clubs will each make two selections to add to their prospect pool.

Last year, the Winterhawks selected prestigious Americans Alex Weirmair and Jason Zaccari with their two picks in the inaugural draft.

Players eligible for the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft will be 2006-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, and Wyoming.

Players not selected in the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft will remain eligible to be selected in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, or listed by a WHL Club at any time thereafter.

Calgary, Alta. –  The Western Hockey League announced today the Seattle Thunderbirds will select first overall in the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft following the completion of the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft Lottery.

The second WHL U.S. Priority Draft is scheduled to be held Wednesday, December 8, 2021.

The 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft will consist of two rounds and 44 selections, with each WHL Club presented with the opportunity to have two draft selections.

WATCH: 2021 WHL U.S. PRIORITY DRAFT LOTTERY

2021 WHL U.S. PRIORITY DRAFT – ORDER OF SELECTION

First RoundSecond Round
1. Seattle Thunderbirds23. Moose Jaw Warriors
2. Lethbridge Hurricanes24. Prince Albert Raiders
3. Winnipeg ICE25. Medicine Hat Tigers
4. Prince George Cougars26. Calgary Hitmen
5. Saskatoon Blades27. Vancouver Giants
6. Swift Current Broncos28. Edmonton Oil Kings
7. Tri-City Americans29. Spokane Chiefs
8. Red Deer Rebels30. Kelowna Rockets
9. Victoria Royals31. Everett Silvertips
10. Kamloops Blazers32. Brandon Wheat Kings
11. Portland Winterhawks33. Regina Pats
12. Regina Pats34. Portland Winterhawks
13. Brandon Wheat Kings35. Kamloops Blazers
14. Everett Silvertips36. Victoria Royals
15. Kelowna Rockets37. Red Deer Rebels
16. Spokane Chiefs38. Tri-City Americans
17. Edmonton Oil Kings39. Swift Current Broncos
18. Vancouver Giants40. Saskatoon Blades
19. Calgary Hitmen41. Prince George Cougars
20. Medicine Hat Tigers42. Winnipeg ICE
21. Prince Albert Raiders43. Lethbridge Hurricanes
22. Moose Jaw Warriors44. Seattle Thunderbirds

All 22 WHL Clubs had equal opportunity to obtain the first-overall selection. The Club designated to select first overall in the first round will then select last in the second round (44th overall). The Club designated to select second overall in the first round will then select second last in the second round (43rd overall). This pattern of selection repeats until all 22 WHL Clubs have had the opportunity to have two selections in the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft.

Players eligible for the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft will be 2006-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, and Wyoming.

Players not selected in the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft will remain eligible to be selected in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft on Thursday, December 9, 2021, or listed by a WHL Club at any time thereafter.

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 375 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.

Spokane Chiefs to select first overall in 2021 WHL Prospects Draft

Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced the Spokane Chiefs will select first overall in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft following the completion of the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft Lottery.

The 2021 WHL Prospects Draft is scheduled for Thursday, December 9, 2021.

All 22 WHL Clubs participated in the four-phase lottery, unique for the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft. The lottery proceedings determined the order of selection for the first round of the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft, with inverse order of standing from the 2020-21 WHL Regular Season determining the order of selection for the second round and all subsequent rounds.

2021 WHL PROSPECTS DRAFT – FIRST ROUND ORDER OF SELECTION

  1. Spokane Chiefs
  2. Tri-City Americans
  3. Brandon Wheat Kings (from Victoria Royals)
  4. Brandon Wheat Kings (from Moose Jaw Warriors)
  5. Red Deer Rebels
  6. Swift Current Broncos
  7. Swift Current Broncos (from Portland Winterhawks)
  8. Medicine Hat Tigers
  9. Seattle Thunderbirds
  10. Regina Pats
  11. Vancouver Giants
  12. Calgary Hitmen
  13. Edmonton Oil Kings (from Kelowna Rockets)
  14. Prince Albert Raiders
  15. Prince George Cougars
  16. Moose Jaw Warriors (from Saskatoon Blades)
  17. Lethbridge Hurricanes
  18. Winnipeg ICE
  19. Edmonton Oil Kings
  20. Everett Silvertips
  21. Kamloops Blazers
  22. Brandon Wheat Kings

Teams from Pool B and Pool C had the opportunity to obtain the first-overall selection in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft, while WHL Division Champions from Pool A had the opportunity to move up and select sixth overall. The selection process for the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft Lottery was administered by Kevin Jenkin from KPMG.

Pool A teams included WHL Division Champions from 2020-21 – the Brandon Wheat Kings, Edmonton Oil Kings, Everett Silvertips, and Kamloops Blazers.

Pool C teams included the lowest place Club from each of the B.C., Central and U.S. Divisions, and the two lowest place Clubs from the East Division for a total of five teams – the Moose Jaw Warriors, Red Deer Rebels, Swift Current Broncos, Tri-City Americans, and Victoria Royals.

Pool B teams included the Calgary Hitmen, Kelowna Rockets, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Medicine Hat Tigers, Portland Winterhawks, Prince Albert Raiders, Prince George Cougars, Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, Vancouver Giants, and Winnipeg ICE.

The order of selection for the second round and all other rounds will be the inverse order of final 2020-21 WHL Regular Season standings.

2021 WHL PROSPECTS DRAFT – SECOND ROUND (AND SUBSEQUENT ROUNDS) ORDER OF SELECTION

*traded picks are not reflected

  1. Victoria Royals
  2. Red Deer Rebels
  3. Swift Current Broncos
  4. Tri-City Americans
  5. Moose Jaw Warriors
  6. Spokane Chiefs
  7. Lethbridge Hurricanes
  8. Regina Pats
  9. Seattle Thunderbirds
  10. Prince Albert Raiders
  11. Prince George Cougars
  12. Vancouver Giants
  13. Calgary Hitmen
  14. Portland Winterhawks
  15. Medicine Hat Tigers
  16. Kelowna Rockets
  17. Saskatoon Blades
  18. Winnipeg ICE
  19. Brandon Wheat Kings
  20. Kamloops Blazers
  21. Everett Silvertips
  22. Edmonton Oil Kings

Players eligible for the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft will be 2006-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.

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 375 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.

The Portland Winterhawks traded their first round selection as part of the goaltender Joel Hofer trade.

Thunderbirds announce departure of Assistant Coach

Kent, Wash. — Seattle Thunderbirds general manager Bil La Forge today announced assistant coach Castan Sommer has accepted an assistant coach position with a soon-to-be-announced team.

“We thank Castan for all the hard work with our group for the last four seasons,” said La Forge. “He is an up-and-coming coach who has moved on to a new challenge and we wish him all the best going forward. Our search for a new assistant coach will begin immediately.”

Sommer joined the T-Birds as an assistant coach on August 4, 2017.

About Stuart Kemp 230 Articles
Stuart Kemp is the President of the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club since 2008 and has been following hockey from his native Canada since he can remember, though he can't skate, but played road hockey for several years. Loving hockey and professional wrestling, he has traveled to most of the WHL cities and with wrestling, has seen four provinces and five states. It is true that every Canadian city with more than 500 residents has a hockey rink, well at least it looks that way. Stuart has had his hand in every facet of independent Professional wrestling as he debuted as an announcer in 1986 which started his career.

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