The Western Hockey League, as a Major Juniors league, has been producing elite level hockey players in our backyard for years. Last year’s NHL entry draft had 28 players from the WHL, 7 of which were picked in the 1st round.
At the beginning of every WHL season, I like to glance at each team’s roster and figure out which NHL drafted prospects I should try to catch when those teams come through the Seattle area. I enjoy seeing these future prospects on their journey to the NHL. Seeing players like Ethan Bear, Mathew Barzal, Sam Steel, and Carter Hart “before they were famous” is fun since a lot of them stand out even more in Juniors.
In addition to the NHL drafted players, I love to check out the players listed by NHL Central Scouting to put them on my watch lists as well. These players are younger and are just starting to separate from the rest of the pack of players in their development. Last year these were players like Bowen Byram, Nolan Foote, Kirby Dach, and Dylan Cozens just to name a few.
Right now, there are 42 NHL drafted players playing in the NHL and 52 WHL players listed on the NHL Central Scouting Prospects list that was released last week.
If you are a fan of a specific NHL franchise and you want to check out some of your teams prospects, here is a guide of NHL drafted players currently playing in the WHL by NHL Franchise.
For a complete picture of who to keep an eye on by team, here is every player that has been drafted by an NHL team, listed on the NHL Central Scouting’s most recent list, and the four 2021 draft eligible prospects identified by Button or Pronman.