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 Spokane Chiefs

Chiefs Prepare for this Week's U.S. Priority and WHL Prospects Drafts

May 7, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Spokane Chiefs News Release

Spokane, Wash. - The Spokane Chiefs hockey staff will select the next class of future Chiefs this week as the WHL hosts two drafts. The WHL U.S. Priority Draft will take place on Wednesday, May 8 before the annual WHL Prospects Draft on Thursday, May 9. Ream-time results will be available at

U.S. Priority Draft - Wednesday, 9 a.m.

Draft week kicks off with the U.S. Priority Draft Wednesday morning, where the Chiefs hold the 7th-overall (first round) and 29th-overall (second round) picks. The U.S. Priority Draft will consist of two rounds and 44 selections, with each WHL Club presented with the opportunity to make two draft choices.

With the first overall pick last year, Spokane selected forward Brody Gillespie (Vancouver, WA), who signed with the team soon after and made his WHL debut on September 22, 2023 versus the Kamloops Blazers.

Players eligible for the 2023 WHL U.S. Priority Draft will be 2008-born players who reside in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Players not selected in the 2023 WHL U.S. Priority Draft will remain eligible to be selected in the 2023 WHL Prospects Draft on Thursday, May 11, 2023, or listed by a WHL Club at any time thereafter.

WHL Prospects Draft - Thursday, 9 a.m.

On Thursday, the 2024 WHL Prospects Draft will take place at 9:00 a.m. PT and will be live-streamed FREE via WHL Live on CHL TV.

In the 2023 WHL Draft, the Chiefs selected a total of 10 players - including four forwards, five defensemen and one goaltender. Spokane's first selected Mathis Preston third overall, who made his Western Hockey League debut on September 24, 2023 versus the Everett Silvertips and scored his first career goal that same night. After playing five games with the Chiefs throughout the 2023-24 season, Preston became one of four 15-year-olds in WHL history to score four goals in less than eight games. The Chiefs also held a second first-round pick, using it to select Carter Esler - the highest a goaltender has ever been taken by the organization at 22nd overall. Since the 2023 Draft, Spokane has signed seven prospects to WHL Scholarship and Development Agreements: F Gillespie, F Preston, G Esler, D Kaden Allan, F Cohen Harris, and D Rhett Sather.

Spokane holds four picks within the top 100 selections, starting with 7th-overall. The draft will continue indefinitely until all teams pass on their next pick.

Spokane's Selections

1st round: 7th overall

2nd round: 34th overall (acquired from Wenatchee Wild)

4th round: 74th overall

5th round: 96th overall

6th round: 118th overall

8th round: 160th overall (acquired from Edmonton Oil Kings) and 162nd overall

9th round:184th overall

10th round: 206th overall

11th round: 228th overall

The 2024 Draft marks just the second time the Chiefs have selected 7th overall, with Blake Evans being the only other one in 1995. Evans played 69 games for Spokane before being traded to the Tri-City Americans during the 1997-98 season. He was drafted in the ninth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals.

Other notable 7th-overall selections over the 34-year history of the WHL Prospects Draft include:

2022 (Vancouver Giants) - Cameron Schmidt

2020 (Seattle Thunderbirds) - Sam Oremba

2019 (Kamloops Blazers) - Mats Lindgren

2017 (Calgary Hitmen) - Luke Prokop

2016 (Edmonton Oil Kings) - Matthew Robertson

2014 (Tri-City Americans) - Michael Rasmussen

2006 (Lethbridge Hurricanes) - Carter Ashton

2002 (Tri-City Americans) - Carey Price

1998 (Red Deer Rebels) - Doug Lynch

1997 (Prince Albert Raiders) - Scott Hartnell

1995 (Spokane Chiefs) - Blake Evans

The 2024 WHL Prospects Draft includes players born in 2009. The WHL Draft includes players eligible from Western Canada and the United States who reside in Alberta, British Columbia, 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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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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