Winnipeg Ice win WHL draft lottery

Winnipeg Ice win WHL draft lottery

March 20, 2019

The recently relocated Winnipeg Ice will have the first overall selection in the upcoming Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

The Ice had its ball drop first on Wednesday to win the WHL’s annual draft lottery. The Ice had the second-best odds of winning the lottery at 23.8 per cent after finishing second last in the WHL’s overall standings.

The lottery involved the six non-playoff teams including Winnipeg, Swift Current, Regina, Prince George, Kelowna, and Brandon.

The Swift Current Broncos had the best odds at winning the lottery at 28.6 per cent, but they had previously dealt away their first round selection to the Prince George Cougars. The Saskatoon Blades will select third after already acquiring the first-round pick of the Regina Pats. The Cougars have their own pick in the No. 4 slot, while the Kelowna Rockets will pick fifth.

The Brandon Wheat Kings had only a 4.8 per cent of winning the lottery. They will pick in the sixth slot, but the Wheat Kings have a total of three first-round picks in the draft.

Through the lottery, a team can only move up a maximum of two positions in the draft. The order of selection in the second and all subsequent rounds are determined by the inverse order of the final standings.

It’s the second straight year the Ice won the draft lottery. The Kootenay Ice had their ball drop first in the WHL’s 2018 Draft Lottery to move up the maximum two positions. They used the second overall pick in the 2018 Bantam Draft to select Winnipeg’s Carson Lambos.

The Ice also have their ninth overall pick after it was acquired in a trade with the Red Deer Rebels back in November.

The 2019 WHL Bantam draft will be held on Thursday, May 2 in Red Deer, Alberta.

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