Tri-City Americans Will Pick 6th in WHL Entry Level (Bantam) Draft
The six teams who failed to make the post-season in the Western Hockey League get to have the first six selections, and because the Americans had the best record of the non-playoff teams, they will go 6th overall.
The WHL Bantam Draft, which will be held May 5th in Calgary, Alberta, is where the teams pick their rosters. According to the WHL:
Players eligible for the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft will be 2001-born players who reside in Alberta, British Columbia, 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.
These players will then report to their respective clubs, and being the process in August of trying to make the Americans roster.
In addition, the WHL teams also are allowed to draft two overseas or European players, which is where they got Defenseman Juuso Valimaki from Finland, and Vladislov Lukin from Russia.
It is interesting to note the Portland Winterhawks, who would have picked 9th overall, will be forfeiting their 1st round pick, due to sanctions dating back to around 2012. The team was disciplined that year by the WHL for illegal player benefits, including compensation beyond league rules, certain disallowed training programs, and some 'bennies' for players families, including travel compensation.
Next year, 2017, will be the first year the team will be allowed to have a First Round Pick.