11 WHL players unsigned from 2018 NHL draft

With a little less than a year but a full season of hockey to play, it is time to look at the unsigned WHL players from the 2018 NHL Draft. The players listed here are at risk of re-entering the draft in 2020. The teams that hold their rights are able to do so until June 1st, 2020.

Riley Stotts

Riley Stotts (photo Candice Ward)

Drafted: Toronto Maple Leafs 3rd round 83rd overall, Swift Current Broncos 1st round 10th overall in 2015

Originally drafted by the Swift Current Broncos, the six-foot 179-pound forward was dealt to the Hitmen in the deal that sent Matteo Gennaro and Beck Malenstyn to the Broncos while on their run to the Ed Chynoweth Cup. The deal was a good one for the Hitmen as they also picked up a lot of other assets. Stotts has proven to be the crown jewel for the Hitmen in the deal and he supplied nearly a point per game during the 2018-19 season. He does have 25 games of playoff experience and barring an injury, will surpass 200 regular games played during the upcoming season.

Look for Stotts to continue his leadership role with the Hitmen, both on the ice and in the locker room. His draft profile can be found HERE

Milos Roman

Milos Roman, Jadon Joseph, and Dylan Plouffe  (photo – Rik Fedyck)

Drafted: Calgary Flames 4th round 122nd overall, Vancouver Giants 1st round 6th overall *Import Draft* in 2017

The product of Kysucke Nove Mesto, Slovakia is entering his third season in the WHL after being selected in the annual import draft in 2017. His 92 points in two seasons have him producing at nearly a point per game through his two seasons in North America. The six-foot, 192-pound centre is decent on the face-off dot, winning nearly 52% of his draws. He will be an overage player in the 2019-2020 season, and could make the leap to the pros should the Flames chose to sign him. If they do not, it is possible the Giants could look at moving him, as they are likely to select another younger import at the 2019 CHL Import Draft.

Wyatte Wylie

Wyatte Wylie (photo-Chris Mast)

Drafted: Philadelphia Flyers 5th round 127th overall, Everett Silvertips 6th round 128th overall in 2014

The 19-year-old defenseman heads into his fourth full season with the Silvertips and has shown steady growth, improving from 10 points to 31 then 47 in 2018-19. He certainly contributed to the Silvertips success in the regular season, claiming the US Division crown. The homegrown talent has been impressive as a defenseman and regularly sees time on the Everett power play. He is among the leaders of this group when it comes to playoff experience, playing in 43 games.

His draft profile can be found HERE.

Cole Fonstad

Cole Fonstad (photo-Dayna Fjord)

Drafted: Montreal Canadiens 5th round 128th overall, Prince Albert Raiders 1st round 5th overall in 2015

While the team did not go on to win the Memorial Cup, the Raiders did win the WHL Championship. That experience was invaluable for Fonstad following being drafted by the Canadiens. In his little more than three seasons with the Raiders, Fonstad has scored 61 goals and added 112 assists. The Estevan, SK product struggled in the Raiders playoff run, registering just six points in 21 games. He will be a key player in the Raiders attempted return run to the Ed Chenyoweth Cup in 2019-20.

His draft profile can be found HERE.

Filip Kral

Filip Kral (Photo by Christopher Mast/Everett Silvertips)

Drafted: Toronto Maple Leafs 5th round 149th overall, Spokane Chiefs 2nd round 78th overall *Import Draft* in 2017

Having twice represented the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championships, Kral has been on the radar of NHL scouts for some time. Unfortunately, the six-foot-one, 172-pound defenseman finds himself in the infirmary with regularity. Kral will be a two-spotter on a team with six overage players currently on their roster. He is a key player and would be well worth the two spots as he does produce points and has a lot of potential to be a premier defenseman in the WHL, should he decide to return for another year of junior hockey. There is the possibility he signs a contract overseas.

Vladislav Yeryomenko

Vladislav Yeryomenko (Photo-Tyler Lowey)

Drafted: Nashville Predators 5th round 151st overall, Calgary Hitmen 1st round 46th overall *Import Draft* in 2016.

The productive defenseman from Belarus was dealt at the WHL draft to the Moose Jaw Warriors as the Hitmen brought in Jett Woo. Having played at three World Junior Championships for the Belarusian team, Yeryomenko is another player that was scouted heavily by NHL teams before using a pick on him in 2018. Yeryomenko was the beneficiary of playing with Jake Bean for his first two WHL seasons, and he held his own with the Canadian. Last season saw his production dip slightly. He will be a two-spotter in the 2019-2020 season for the Warriors.

His draft profile can be found HERE.

David Tendeck

David Tendeck (photo-Rik Fedyck)

Drafted: Arizona Coyotes 6th round 158th overall, Vancouver Giants 6th round 130th overall in 2014

Tendeck platooned with draft-eligible netminder Trent Miner for the majority of the most recent season in Vancouver. He was handed the reigns in the playoffs and his efforts helped lead the Giants to a WHL Final appearance. It is somewhat surprising that the Coyotes have not signed Tendeck, despite a strong playoff. If he is not signed before the start of the season, Tendeck will join a pretty full cast of overage players and the Giants will be forced to make some decisions. If he is signed, he could play pro, or be sent back for one more season of seasoning with the Giants (or another WHL club).

His draft profile can be found HERE.

Alex Kannock-Liepert

Alex Kannok Leipert. (photo – Rik Fedyck)

Drafted: Washington Capitals 6th round 161st overall, Vancouver Giants 4th round 79th overall in 2015

Kannock-Liepert looked like a player who had taken a small step back from his draft season. There was no improvement in his point production and other players on the Giants roster stepped up. Then in the playoffs, the old Kannock-Liepert arrived and put up 12 points in 22 games from the blueline. From Regina, Saskatchewan, the defenseman will have a lot to prove in 2019-2020 if he wants to sign with the Capitals. Otherwise, he may find himself re-entered in the 2020 NHL draft.

Dawson Barteaux

Dawson Barteaux

Drafted: Dallas Stars 6th round 168th overall, Regina Pats 1st round 14th overall in 2015

A responsible puck-moving defenseman, Barteaux does not wow you with points. He does wow you with excellent first passes and playing well in his own end. Traded to the Rebels in the deal that sent Josh Mahura and Jeff de Wit to the Memorial Cup host Pats, Barteaux has continued to develop in the Sutter system with his hard work and determination. Barteaux has a chance to really step up his game, he is the leader on the Rebels blue line now that Alexander Alexeyev has departed for the pros.

His draft profile can be found HERE.

Jermaine Loewen

Jermaine Loewen (Photo-Allen Douglas)

Drafted: Dallas Stars 7th round 199th overall, Kamloops Blazers 3rd round 48th overall in 2013

Having spent his entire career with the Blazers, Jermaine Loewen was not granted a bonafide offer by the Stars and will be eligible to re-enter the 2019 NHL Draft. He played 295 games with the organization and had 142 points. After being named the captain of the team, Loewen struggled to find the offensive touch that had him drafted by the Stars as a 19-year-old. The Jamaican born skater now has options available to him, he could head to a USports team or hold out hope he is offered a pro-tryout.

Eric Florchuk

Eric Florchuk (photo-Andy Devlin)

Drafted: Washington Capitals 7th round 217th overall, Victoria Royals 1st round 15th overall in 2015

Heading into his fourth season, the native of Fort Saskatchewan, AB has taken the reigns of his career and ran with them. The very last pick in the 2018 NHL draft had an amazing career season with the Blades, posting 50 points in 68 games. He was dealt to the Blades from the Royals, as the Royals looked to recoup draft picks back on deadline day in January 2018. Since his stint in Victoria, Florchuk has 71 points in 96 games and was a key contributor to the Blades success last season. He will be looked upon to increase his point totals as the Blades lose a few of their skilled forwards to aging out.

You can read his draft profile HERE.

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