SEATTLE KRAKEN

Generational hockey talent picked by WHL’s Everett Silvertips

May 9, 2024, 4:59 PM | Updated: 5:19 pm

Hockey...

Everett Silvertips players during a Western Hockey League game. (Ben Nelms/Getty Images)

(Ben Nelms/Getty Images)

One of the most anticipated hockey prospects in Western Hockey League history is coming to the Pacific Northwest. The Everett Silvertips selected defenseman Landon DuPont with the No. 1 overall pick in the Western Hockey League Prospects Draft on Thursday.

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DuPont, who turns 15 on May 28, is just the second-ever player to be granted Exceptional Player Status by the WHL, joining 2023 NHL No. 1 overall pick Connor Bedard of the Chicago Blackhawks. DuPont – a Calgary, Alberta, native – is also just the ninth player to be granted Exceptional Status by the Canadian Hockey League, which oversees the WHL, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League. Other CHL players to be granted Exceptional Status include Seattle Kraken center Shane Wright.

“I’m super excited and honored to be picked,” DuPont said in a release from the Silvertips “I can’t wait to get things going… It’s an amazing organization that’s ran really well.”

Exceptional Player Status allows skilled, underage players to compete in the WHL at 15 years old. Players typically aren’t eligible to play in the WHL until the season of their 16th birthday.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound DuPont led Edge School U18 Prep of the Canadian Sports School Hockey League with 62 points (19 goals, 43 assists) in 30 games during the 2023-24 season. He’s joining an Everett franchise that’s reached the WHL playoffs in each season since joining the league in 2003-04, including making the second round after finishing with the WHL’s fourth-best record this season.

DuPont’s selection by the Silvertips is the result of one of the biggest trades in WHL history. Everett dealt standout defenseman Olen Zellweger and forward Ryan Hofer to the Kamloops Blazers last season for four players and 10 draft picks. The Blazers, who were going all out in pursuit of a WHL championship and run at the CHL’s Memorial Cup – an event they were hosting – sent four first-rounders to Everett in the deal, including 2024’s. Kamloops then finished with the worst record in the league this season, and Everett was awarded the first pick at the WHL Draft Lottery as a result. The Silvertips play their home games at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett.

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