Pats to pick first overall in 2020 WHL Bantam Draft

There's not much hockey to watch these days, unless you're counting classic game replays or mini-stick championships in your basement. 

But the WHL held the lottery for its 2020 Bantam Draft on Wednesday and the Regina Pats learned they will get to make the first overall pick. They'll also make two selections in the second round and three in the fourth. 

The last time the Pats held the first overall pick was in 2005. This year, players born in 2005 are eligible for selection in the draft.

That includes north Vancouver prospect Connor Bedard. BC Hockey announced earlier this week the 14-year-old has been granted exceptional player status. That means it determined Bedard deserves the rare privilege of participating in the Canadian Hockey League at an early age.

Bedard is the first player to gain that status for the WHL. Five others have previously been granted exceptional status to play in the OHL, including Connor McDavid, and one in the QMJHL. Bedard is considered a top prospect in the upcoming draft. 

The WHL Bantam Draft is scheduled to be held online on April 22. 

Other Saskatchewan teams include the Moose Jaw Warriors choosing third, the Saskatoon Blades picking fifth, the Prince Albert Raiders drafting 15th and the Swift Current Broncos having the 21st choice.