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WHL Draft Recap

The WHL Draft went down today, and all in all, there doesn't appear to be a lot of bad news.

Los Angeles Selects goalie Eric Comrie went in the first round to Tri-City. Heading into the draft, it appeared he would be the LA player most likely to consider the NCAA since his two brothers went that way, but that first round selection means he likely has a deal with Tri-City in place.

Arizona goalie Brendan Burke was the first player listed as American to go off the board in the third round. Another American wasn't picked until Connor Hutchins went off board early in the sixth round.

Hudson Fasching was the only Minnesotan player picked, taken in flier territory of the 8th round. North Dakota high schooler Keaton Thompson was also taken later in that round.

Los Angeles' Brian Williams was projected to be the second best player in the draft by some people, but he wasn't selected until the eighth round of the draft, and once he got picked, that seemed to start a bit of a run on the LA prospects later in the draft. I've heard the door isn't 100% closed, but obviously seeing those kids get picked so late would seem to be a pretty good sign. Scott Savage, who USHR ranked as their second best D at last year's Select 14's got picked four spots ahead of PASS, to give you some indication.

Of course you also have to remember that even though there are 22 teams in the league, with a few exceptions, Vancouver, Kelowna, and the American teams are really the only teams that can put together the type of package that would entice an American player to sign in the WHL.

As far as Canadians, it's still way too early to tell much about NCAA futures. Paul Stoykewych, who had brothers commit to Colorado College and Michigan Tech this year, went in the second round of the draft, which is high, but some felt he dropped a lot, likely because of NCAA interest.

Eighth overall pick Matthew Needham said before the draft that he would wait until he was at least 16 before signing with any team, just to keep his options open, which might have caused him to drop out of the top five, but he ended up going to Kamloops, where his father played, so he'll likely play for them some day.

Remi Laurancelle was ranked as one of the top forwards coming out of the Winnipeg-area before the draft, but he slipped down to the 6th round. He's a smaller, quicker player, which means he might make a better fit for the NCAA.