Nashville Predators rookie defenseman Seth Jones was one of four Portland Winterhawks players selected at the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
The Winterhawks and Kelowna Rockets actually shared the Western Hockey League lead for having the most players drafted last June with four. Since 1969, Portland is the WHL's all-time draft leader with 126 players selected at the draft.
At the 2013 draft, the WHL saw 33 players selected, eight of whom were taken in the first round. This year, eight of the top 30 North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings are from the WHL, and 13 of the 40 players invited to the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Calgary on Jan. 15 were also from the league.
It is traditionally considered the league of defensemen, but this year two forwards were listed among the top four on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list: No. 2 Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders and No. 4 Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice. Each was named a First Team All-Star of the WHL's Eastern Conference.