P.A. Raiders' Leon Draisaitl could score as NHL prospect

Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders is optimistic an NHL club will be interested in his hockey skills.

WHL star could be drafted number one

Leon Draisaitl, left, and teammate Ben Thomas, right, squeeze Michael Dal Colle, during a Top Prospects hockey game in Calgary last January. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Leon Draisaitl, a top player for the Prince Albert Raiders, is facing an exciting future as hockey watchers expect him to do well in the NHL draft.

Some suggest he has a shot at being selected first overall in the draft, a coveted honour.

"Honestly, who doesn't want to go first overall?" Draisaitl told CBC News in a recent interview. "It'd be a huge honour. But at the same time, I'm not too focused about that. I just want to get drafted."

He said he is not fussy about which team selects him.

"It doesn't matter who it is, my goal is to play in the NHL one day," he said.

His WHL club is also hoping for good things for one of their star players. Having a team member selected in the NHL draft adds to the cache of a club, which helps with recruitment.

There is also a financial reward, for the club, although details are confidential.

Bruno Campese, the Raiders' general manager notes, however, that there are a lot of expenses associated with grooming a potential NHL star.

Still, the higher a player is chosen in the draft, the better it is for his home club.

"It is a significant amount of money," Campese said. "But again, when you have players here for three, four years, and all the costs that you incur in having these players in your program, at the end of the day it's nice but it certainly doesn't cover all the costs that we incur."

In addition to the excitement of having a player tapped for the NHL, there is a regional rivalry at stake.

The Raiders are currently tied with the Regina Pats for having the most number one NHL draft picks among WHL teams. Both have had two. Draisaitl could be the tie breaker.

With files from CBC's Ryan Pilon