Tri-City Americans get lucky in draft lotto, have highest WHL Draft pick in franchise history

Tri City Americans
Image credit: Tri City Americans

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Tri-City Americans were a big winner in yesterday’s WHL draft lottery at the league offices in Calgary, Alberta; securing the second overall pick in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft in December.

An announcement made by the team on Wednesday morning confirmed that this is the highest draft pick in Tri-City Americans franchise history. The team has 11 draft picks in this year’s draft after securing defenseman Lukas Dragicevic with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 WHL Prospects Draft.

The draft is used only to determine who will pick at the top of the first round. Every other pick in the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft will pick based on inverse standings from the 2020-21 WHL season.

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This season, the Tri-City Americans won seven of their 19 games played after a bout of COVID-19 sidelined the team for several weeks. Their 19 games played is the second-fewest in the WHL behind the Kelowna Rockets, who played just 16 games.

Americans fans will have to wait until Thursday, December 9, 2021 to find out who the team adds with the No. 2 pick in the draft.

A unique draft lottery was held including all 22 WHL teams.  Separated into four phases, the Americans leaped into the No. 2 pick despite having the fourth-best odds at the No. 1 pick. An Eastern Washington rival, the Spokane Indians, earned the No. 1 pick after posting a better winning percentage than the Tri-City Americans in the same division.

According to the team’s release, players born in 2006 are eligible so long as they live in one of the following places: Alberta, B.C., 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.

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