Five years of first rounders for the Kamloops Blazers


The WHL Draft Lottery was held last Thursday.

The Kamloops Blazers will pick 21st in the 2021 WHL Entry Draft.

There will be a lot of speculation and discussion on who the Blazers will pick on Thursday, December 9, 2021. For now, here is a look at how the picks have fallen for Kamloops over the last five drafts.

Kaden Hammell- 19th overall – 2020

Hammell is a right-shot defenceman from the West Vancouver Bantam Prep in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. While Hammell did not register a point in his seven games with the club in 2020-21, the experience gained as a 15-year-old will undoubtedly prove to serve Kamloops in the years to come.

Mats Lindgren 7th overall – 2019

Mats Lindgren. Photo by Allen Douglas/Kamloops Blazers.

Lindgren’s career is just getting started. The North Vancouver, BC product was the first of two picks in the first round for Kamloops in 2019. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound defenseman had 10 points win 22 games in 2020-21. Lindgren was part of the WHL Next Generation series highlighting a handful of the future stars in the WHL.

Connor Levis 20th overall – 2019

Connor Levis. Photo by Allen Douglas/Kamloops Blazers.

Levis was the second of two first-round picks from the 2019 Draft. Levis’ Blazers career is off to a great start. The six-foot-two, 190-pound forward scored nine goals in last year’s shortened season. This included a hat trick as part of a five-point night against the Kelowna Rockets in a 10-2 route on May 10.

Logan Stankoven – 5th overall – 2018

Logan Stankoven celebrates his first goal of the game. Photo by Allen Douglas/Kamloops Blazers.

At pick five, Stankoven is the highest draft pick of the Blazers since 2006. From the moment he was drafted, Blazers fans were excited. Stankoven hasn’t disappointed. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound forward made his debut in 2019 and played in all six of the Blazers playoff games.

In the shortened, 2019-2020 season, Stankoven scored 29 goals and 48 points. This season, Stankoven took another step when he scored the game-winner in the Gold Medal game for Team Canada at the U-18 Championship tournament. He is expected to be drafted in this year’s NHL draft and should be starring in the World Junior Hockey Championships later this year.

Josh Pillar  14th overall – 2017

Josh Pillar-Alex Moar (Photo by Christopher Mast/Everett Silvertips)

Pillar debuted in 2018 playing one game. He has since played three full seasons for the team and his game has grown each season. In 2020-21 Pillar led the Blazers in scoring with 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points. Although he went undrafted in the 2020 NHL Draft, Pillar is still expected to be a big part of the Blazers next season. The 6-foot-0, 174-pound forward could still make a case to be selected in his draft plus one season.

Massimo Rizzo – 15th overall – 2016

Although there was always hope he would, Rizzo ultimately never played a game with the Kamloops Blazers. He captained the Penticton Vees for three seasons which allowed him to be eligible to play in the NCAA. In 90 games, he scored 24 goals, had 54 assists, for 78 points. On June 24, Rizzo was drafted in the seventh round by the Carolina Hurricanes. The following day, Rizzo was traded to the Coquitlam Express. In 42 games for the Express, Rizzo scored 19 goals, 25 assists, and 44 points. Rizzo has committed to Denver University next season.

DUBNetwork Forums Five years of first rounders for the Kamloops Blazers

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