Former Jr. Sharks’ standout Celebrini leads way as California, Nevada youth players selected in 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft
The Western Hockey League completed the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft Wednesday day with clubs selecting 44 players throughout the two-round draft.
With the first-overall pick, the Seattle Thunderbirds selected former San Jose Jr. Sharks forward Macklin Celebrini, a North Vancouver, B.C., native who has tallied 42 points (20 goals, 22 assists) in 23 games with Shattuck-St. Mary’s so far this season.
During the 2019-20 season with the Jr. Sharks’ 14U AAA team, Celebrini compiled 54 goals and 101 points in 61 games.
Of the 44 players selected Wednesday, three California connections competed as underagers in the inaugural WHL U.S. Challenge Cup in Kent, Wash., in February 2020 – Celebrini, Trevor Connelly (Tustin), and Aidan Park (Playa Vista).
In total, 11 different states had players selected in the 2021 WHL U.S. Priority Draft, led by 15 players from California. Of the 44 players selected, WHL teams chose two goaltenders, 18 defensemen and 24 forwards.
CALIFORNIA PLAYERS SELECTED
1st round, 1st overall, Seattle Thunderbirds – Macklin Celebrini, F, Shattuck-St. Mary’s Prep (San Jose Jr. Sharks)
1st round, 3rd overall, Winnipeg Ice – Nicholas Christianson, F, Windy City Storm 15U (Upland)
1st round, 4th overall, Prince George Cougars – Yoonho (Roy) Chung, D, Los Angeles Jr. Kings 15U (Rolling Hills)
1st round, 5th overall, Saskatoon Blades – Ethan Weber, D, Los Angeles Jr. Kings 15U (Manhattan Beach)
1st round, 7th overall, Tri-City Americans – Camerin Cardona, F, Anaheim Ice Dogs 15U (Anaheim)
1st round, 8th overall, Red Deer Rebels – Quentin Bourne, D, Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 15U (Torrance)
1st round, 13th overall, Brandon Wheat Kings – Colin Frank, F, Bishop Kearney Selects 15U (Ladera Ranch)
1st round, 14th overall, Everett Silvertips – Aidan Yi, F, Culver Academy 16U (Lake Forest)
1st round, 16th overall, Spokane Chiefs – Trevor Connelly, F, Long Island Gulls 16U (Tustin)
1st round, 17th overall, Edmonton Oil Kings – Tory Pitner, D, South Kent Selects Academy 15U (El Cerrito)
1st round, 19th overall, Calgary Hitmen – Aidan Park, F, Shattuck-St. Mary’s 16U (Playa Vista)
2nd round, 23rd overall, Moose Jaw Warriors – Tyler Chiovetti, F, Los Angeles Jr. Kings 15U (El Segundo)
2nd round, 27th overall, Vancouver Giants – Drake Murray, D, Shattuck-St. Mary’s 16U (Manhattan Beach)
2nd round, 33rd overall, Regina Pats – Justin Bayers, G, Mount St. Charles Academy 15U (Westlake Village)
2nd round, 36th overall, Victoria Royals – Tyler McGowan, D, Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U (Irvine)
2nd round, 40th overall, Saskatoon Blades – Sam Houston, F, Los Angeles Jr. Kings 15U (Los Angeles)
NEVADA PLAYERS SELECTED
1st round, 2nd overall, Lethbridge Hurricanes – Jack Lackas, F, Jr. Coyotes 15U (Las Vegas)
2nd round, 28th overall, Edmonton Oil Kings – Tyler Atchison, F, Windy City Storm 15U (Las Vegas)
(December 9, 2021)