2024 WHL Draft Ranking February Update

Posted on Joel Henderson
Mirco Dufour

If you’re a consistent reader and have been following the ranking for a number of months now, you’ll come to see that our rankings did not expand this month. Instead, the 80 names that were there previously have been restructured to better represent how they fit in and among themselves. Our rankings for the OHL and QMJHL have all expanded slowly and should all be at the Top-80 across the board for continuity. If you’re curious about how some of the top 2008-born prospects are showing for the OHL/QMJHL drafts, check out the submitted articles as well if you like.

For this past month, I was able to be in person for two days of the Top-80 event at the Hockey Sask gatherings. While there was a bit of shuffling of thought for some of the players there, the standouts as potential top-2 round players seemed pretty evident to my eyes. If anything, I thought it confirmed the top four players involved as first round caliber prospects. Outside of that, we finally had some more games between top CSSHL teams from Alberta and BC. Games between teams like Edge vs St. Georges, or RHA Winnipeg vs Yale have been certainly appreciated to see a few matchups of players who I consider close to one another. It was also nice to get crossover games of the Calgary Flames U15 team vs CSSHL competition.

For the readers in Manitoba, I got to watch quite a bit of league play this month to see which prospects I personally liked. I can see that there's a few players who should have been on the Top-80 update last time and will figure out exactly where they slot into things moving forward. I’ll be doing some “Clicklist” articles to highlight some of those individual players as well.


First Round

I think it is still quite established in my mind that nobody is touching Landon Dupont. I think that Eli McKamey has also solidified his spot at number 2 on the list as I’m not sure there is any particular player who will surpass him in my mind before the draft hits. I’ve spoken about this a few times in articles but the ranking of 3-12 has always been the tough range for me as I think it is very close between most or all of them as far as value to a WHL team.

For example, as it stands now, Mirco Dufour is holding down the number three spot on the list. He has the IQ, puck control, and finishing ability in tight spots to be able to consistently create offense at the WHL level. The way that Edge structure’s their offense, Mirco does not have to puck rush end to end or try to be a hero on the ice. Similar to the WHL, Mirco should be an offensive linemate who gets himself to that PPG or above spot throughout his career. That is my projection at this point at least.

On the flip side, Kayden Stroeder plays for Humboldt in Saskatchewan and is able to essentially do whatever he wants off the rush as a player who is undersized and not as physically mature as some of the others in this draft class. It means that his pivots, escapability, battle strength in the corners, etc are all behind many of the players above him. That being said, his passing timing, goal scoring touch, and the depth/length of stride he gets off the rush are incredibly rare as well. He has all of those elements in spades. I could also see him becoming a PPG player or much surpassing that at the WHL levels.

All of this to say, if you’re picking anywhere in the 3 to 12 spot of the draft, I can understand the healthy discussion and the debates getting very particular about them.


Strength of the Defense

There were a lot of defenders who slowly crept up our list this round for me as well. Whether it was the slight bump given to players like Harry Mattern of NAX, Liam Kilfoil on the Calgary Flames U15, or Dylan Hurran from Delta Green, this is still a draft that has the defenders as the most interesting X Factors for me. As far as potential solid WHL players through to the fifth round, I think there are most likely quite a few players who could project with a sense of certainty. There are some players as well who are a little bit of smaller defenders who have yet to hit out lists too who I think very highly of as potential players. I think we will look back at this draft and see that there were some really good WHL players found in the depth of the defense.



The month of March will be the playoff push. Many players last year sparked ample interest because of strong provincial gatherings as well as great performances from the league playoffs. In the past, we’ve seen players shine like no other in the final stretch like Spokane’s Chase Harrington who had 14 points in 5 CSSHL playoff games for 2021-22 and Red Deer’s Beckett Hamilton who was selected 18th overall after putting up 21 goals and 12 assists in 9 playoff games in Saskatchewan.

The regional scouts will be watching closely and it is once again a chance for the top teams to go head to head. Those are the matches I’m looking forward to the most. For the CSSHL players who are very close in rankings with others, a strong playoff showing can leave a lasting mark.

Check out the full rankings at our 2024 WHL Draft Center.

Joel Henderson