Spokane Chiefs Graham Sward and Blake Swetlikoff will have their attention turned to their televisions this weekend as they hope to be selected in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. The annual event — being held remotely for the second-straight season — will take place on July 23-24, with the first round on Friday and rounds 2-7 on Saturday.
Graham Sward, D
Sward, a 6-foot-3 rearguard out of Abbotsford, B.C., heads into the draft ranked 117th among North American skaters after a solid but injury-plagued sophomore season with the Chiefs. He scored one goal in 11 games during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign, missing 10 games in the middle of the schedule with an upper body injury.
As a rookie during the 2019-20 season, Sward gained more and more responsibility on a star-studded team that included NHL prospects Ty Smith, Filip Kral and Noah King. By the end of the year he had jumped into a top-four role, scoring two goals and 15 assists for 17 points in 55 games.
Sward was the Chiefs’ first-round (17th overall) pick in the 2018 WHL Draft.
Blake Swetlikoff, F
Swetlikoff burst onto the scene during the recent 2020-21 season, earning the team’s Scholastic Player of the Year honor after totaling 11 points (6G-5A) in 21 games. He ranks 160th among North American skaters in the NHL CSS rankings.
After playing 11 games as a 16-year-old in 2019-20, Swetlikoff was reassigned to the Regina Pat Canadians of the SMHL, posting 31 points (12G-19A) in just 22 contests. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of fellow Saskatchewan native Adam Beckman, who returned home for his 16-year-old season before breaking out as a 17-year-old on the Chiefs, eventually getting drafted in the third round by the Minnesota Wild.
Swetlikoff was originally a third-round pick (61st overall) by the Chiefs in the 2018 WHL Draft.
The Spokane Chiefs are member of the U.S. Division of the Western Hockey League, the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players. Since 1985 the Chiefs have been a pillar in the Spokane community, offering family-friendly entertainment and a winning tradition which includes: two Memorial Cup Championships in 1991 & 2008, two WHL Championships in 1991 & 2008 and four Western Conference Championships in 1991, 1996, 2000 & 2008. Over 60 alumni have gone on to play in the National Hockey League.
The Chiefs’ 2021-22 regular season will begin on Saturday, October 2 as they host the Tri-City Americans at Spokane Arena. Ticket packages for the 2021-22 season are available now! With options starting at just $80, there’s an option to fit every budget and schedule. For more information, visit spokanechiefs.com.