ABOUT THE BANTAM DRAFT The Bantam Draft allows for the orderly transfer of players to WHL Protected Player Lists (PPL) from the bantam ranks (14-15 year old players).
Previously, WHL teams were allowed to list first-year bantam players at the beginning of the season on a set date in September. However, first-year bantams had been playing at the peewee level the previous year and the early draft required WHL teams to scout the peewee ranks. This had many drawbacks including the need for extensive scouting systems along with the related expense, as well the added pressure on peewee-aged players (12 to 13-year-olds).
In order to get away from scouting peewees, the WHL instituted a bantam draft at the end of each season. WHL teams send scouts to watch first-year bantams from the start of the minor hockey season. The WHL holds a draft specifically to allow teams to add bantam players to their protected lists. While this draft is the first opportunity for teams to select bantam players, it is not the last chance for a player to be listed. After the draft is completed, all the remaining bantams become eligible to be listed by teams. Undrafted bantam players may also be added as spots become available on team’s PPL’s or as a players' talents improve.
The WHL drafts bantam players from Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the states of 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 from non-North American countries are allowed to be added to rosters via the CHL Import Draft held in June.
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