Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League is proud to announce seven WHL players have been selected in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft, conducted online Tuesday night.
Portland Winterhawks forward Seth Jarvis was the top player selected from the WHL, chosen 13th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes. Prince Albert Raiders defenceman Kaiden Guhle was the top WHL defenceman selected, chosen 16th overall by the Montreal Canadiens. Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Braden Schneider was selected 19th overall by the New York Rangers to round out strong WHL representation in the top 20.
Kamloops Blazers forward Connor Zary was selected 24th overall by the Calgary Flames, while Edmonton Oil Kings forward Jake Neighbours was selected 26th overall by the St. Louis Blues. The Brandon Wheat Kings saw a second player chosen in the first round after the Ottawa Senators selected forward Ridly Greig with the 28th overall pick. Wrapping up the first round, Prince Albert Raiders forward Ozzy Wiesblatt was selected 31st overall by the San Jose Sharks.
This marks the second consecutive season the WHL has seen seven players selected in the first round of the NHL Draft. With seven more WHL players chosen in the first round of the NHL Draft, the WHL’s all-time total number of first-round NHL Draft selections sits at 322 since the 1967 NHL Amateur Draft.
For the 25th straight year, the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game showcased top NHL Draft-eligible talent, featuring players from across the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League competing before hundreds of NHL scouts in attendance. The 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game was hosted in Hamilton, Ont., on Thursday, January 16. All seven WHL players selected in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft appeared at the event.
The 2020 NHL Draft resumes Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. MT, with coverage provided by Sportsnet. For more information on the NHL Draft, please visit NHL.com.
2020 NHL Draft – WHL Players
Overall – Player (Pos.) – NHL Team; WHL Team; Hometown
#13 – Seth Jarvis (F) – Carolina Hurricanes; Portland Winterhawks; Winnipeg, Man.
#16 – Kaiden Guhle (D) – Montreal Canadiens; Prince Albert Raiders; Sherwood Park, Alta.
#19 – Braden Schneider (D) – New York Rangers; Brandon Wheat Kings; Prince Albert, Sask.
#24 – Connor Zary (F) – Calgary Flames; Kamloops Blazers; Saskatoon, Sask.
#26 – Jake Neighbours (F) – St. Louis Blues; Edmonton Oil Kings; Airdrie, Alta.
#28 – Ridly Greig (F) – Ottawa Senators; Brandon Wheat Kings; Lethbridge, Alta.
#31 – Ozzy Wiesblatt (F) – San Jose Sharks; Prince Albert Raiders; Calgary, Alta.
All seven WHL players selected in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft appeared in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Hamilton, Ont.
Seth Jarvis – Portland Winterhawks (13th overall, Carolina Hurricanes)
A product of Winnipeg, Man., forward Seth Jarvis finished second in WHL scoring with 98 points (42G-58A) in 58 games during the 2019-20 WHL Regular Season. The 5-foot-10, 172-pound forward was a key contributor to a Winterhawks squad that finished atop the WHL Regular Season standings, earning the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as WHL Regular Season Champions. Jarvis was named to the WHL Western Conference First All-Star Team for his outstanding performance and was recognized with the Brad Hornung Trohpy, presented annually to the WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player. In 130 career WHL regular season games, Jarvis has registered 139 points (58G-81A).
Kaiden Guhle – Prince Albert Raiders (16th overall, Montreal Canadiens)
A product of Sherwood Park, Alta., defenceman Kaiden Guhle set career highs in all major offensive categories, including goals (11), assists (29), and points (40) during the 2019-20 season. The 6-foot-2, 186-pound defenceman stepped into a feature role with the Raiders in his sophomore season. Guhle played a prominent role for the Raiders as a rookie, helping his team claim the 2019 WHL Championship.
Braden Schneider – Brandon Wheat Kings (19th overall, New York Rangers)
A product of Prince Albert, Sask., defenceman Braden Schneider nearly doubled his offensive output in 2019-20, collecting 42 points (7G-35A) on the heels of a 24-point campaign in 2018-19. A 6-foot-2, 202-pound blueliner has been an anchor for the Wheat Kings since stepping into the league on a full-time basis in 2017-18. Schneider’s stellar performance in 2019-20 earned him a place on the WHL Eastern Conference First All-Star Team.
Connor Zary – Kamloops Blazers (24th overall, Calgary Flames)
A product of Saskatoon, Sask., forward Connor Zary electrified with his offensive performance in 2019-20, recording 86 points (38G-48A) in 57 appearances with the Kamloops Blazers. The 6-foot, 178-pound sparkplug was a driving force for the Kamloops Blazers, helping his Club to a B.C. Division title in 2019-20. The outstanding campaign saw Zary named to the WHL Western Conference First All-Star Team. Over the course of 188 career WHL regular season games, Zary has registered 182 points (73G-109A).
Jake Neighbours – Edmonton Oil Kings (26th overall, St. Louis Blues)
A native of Airdrie, Alta., forward Jake Neighbours brings a power-forward presence to the ice surface. In 64 games this past season, he notched 70 points (23G-47A) for the Edmonton Oil Kings, who claimed the WHL’s Central Division crown. Over the course of 122 career WHL regular season games, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound forward has secured 98 points (34G-64A).
Ridly Greig – Brandon Wheat Kings (28th overall, Ottawa Senators)
A native of Lethbridge, Alta., forward Ridly Greig brings grit and talent to the Ottawa Senators. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound forward enjoyed career highs in goals (26), assists (34), and points (60) through 56 games in 2019-20. Through 123 career WHL regular season appearances, Greig has collected 96 points (40G-56A).
Ozzy Wiesblatt – Prince Albert Raiders (31st overall, San Jose Sharks)
A native of Calgary, Alta., forward Ozzy Wiesblatt is known for his high-energy game and elite talent. The 5-foot-10, 183-pound forward emerged as a leader for the Prince Albert Raiders in 2019-20, registering 70 points (25G-45A) to finish second on the team in scoring. A member of the Raiders’ 2019 WHL Championship team, Wiesblatt has appeared in 129 career WHL regular season games, amassing 110 points (41G-69A).