The 2024 WHL Prospect Draft day has arrived.

The vibe in the Wild War Room is upbeat. Landon Dupont, as expected goes #1 to Everett. The muted voice of WHL coverage on a laptop, behind me, is on low volume. 

At just after 9 am. The bright Wenatchee sunshine is beaming into our window-filled 2nd-story Town Toyota Center room. 

Town Toyota Center
Connor at Wild HQ

I’m a quiet observer, sitting in the coach's office -  just to the right of General Manager Bliss Littler. Bliss generously gives me his thoughts on how the draft is playing out.  In front of me, on the big screen is Clarky (Wild assistant GM and assistant head coach Chris Clark.) 

Leigh Mendelson, the Wild’s Director of Scouting is seated farthest away - close to the upstairs corner room window. He has a monitor of four trusted Canadian scouts. Leigh is the most talkative of the bunch - trading barbs with the scouts.

Wild Director of Scouting, Leigh Mendelson
Wild Director of Scouting, Leigh Mendelson CREDIT: Connor

Who are the scouts that watch hockey players all over Western Canada?

The Wild employs a trusted scout from each Canadian province of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. All of them are peppering in their thoughts of who the Wild should consider in each pick.

On the Mainboard 

We see the pecking order - and who was selected. 

Chris Clark, Wenatchee WIld
Coach Clarky in front of the WHL Prospects Draft board

Off the right - a top-secret ranking of players the scouts and coaches like.

Wild 1st Round pick

The staff liked their 1st round pick: Boston Tait.

The first round had all the pomp and circumstance. 

Leigh Mendelson represented the organization for the WHL draft coverage. I grabbed my phone - just as he finished his thoughts on Wenatchee’s first-round pick.

The Wild had two picks in the 3rd round

3rd Round, Pick #63...Devin Pelletier - a center from Sherwood Park, Alberta.

3rd Round, Pick #65, a defender from Cochrane, Alberta's Daniel Vaillant

5th Round Action

The Wild used pick #104 to get Grady Veary, a Right Winger from Cambell River, B.C.

Wenatchee’s Sixth-Round Selection

Defencemen, Kolton Denich was the #122 pick. He comes to Wenatchee from Naramata, B.C.

A Goalie goes in the 7th Round

Coach Clarky loved the Wild selection in the 7th round: Goalie Carsten Leyerzapf, who played for the stacked Edge School 15u team.

A 2nd pick in the 7th round landed Left Winger, Tyson Medernach from Saskatoon.

Two Picks in Round 8

Defenseman Dalton Forbes from Calgary was the Wild’s pick #166

Wenatchee traded with the Tri-City Americans to grab the 167th pick: a talented right winger from Fort McMurray, Alberta's Ethan Collins.

9th Round

A Manitoba scout had high marks for center Atticus Cruz from the Winnipeg Wild AAA.

10th Round Selection

Defender Matt Henkelman from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan will be coming to Wenatchee

11th Round Draft pick

While some organizations were done for the day and beginning to pass, the Wild decided on Kishan Saggu, a center from Surrey, B.C.

The Wild's final pick in the 12th Round

Wenatchee chose a player from Vancouver, WA - from the Wenatchee Wild Hockey Academy - Center Anderson Carter. He was the 3rd American drafted by the Wild. Yesterday, the Wild chose two players in the US Priority Draft. 

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