Nate Danielson of Red Deer represented Team Alberta at the 2019 WHL Cup at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Nate Danielson of Red Deer represented Team Alberta at the 2019 WHL Cup at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Red Deer to host WHL Cup

Tournament features some of the top players eligible for the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft

Some of the top hockey players from across Western Canada will arrive in Red Deer next month for the WHL Cup.

The best-on-best tournament will take place from Oct. 20-24 at the Peavey Mart Centrium, as well as the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

The tournament will feature a team from each province, B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and they will play in a round robin format, followed by playoffs.

The 2021 WHL Cup will feature the top 2006-born players from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, each of whom is eligible for the 2021 WHL Prospects Draft.

The 2021 WHL Prospects Draft is scheduled to be conducted online on Dec. 9.

This year will mark the ninth year of the event after it was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first-ever WHL Cup was held in Blackfalds in 2009 and featured four of the top eight players selected in the 2012 NHL Draft.

From 2015 through 2019, the WHL Cup was hosted in Calgary at the Markin MacPhail Centre.

In 2010, 2014, and 2018, the WHL Cup was not contested due to the Canada Winter Games.

Team Alberta is a five-time champion of the WHL Cup, hoisting the trophy in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016, while Team British Columbia won the event in 2012 and 2017.

Team Saskatchewan is the defending champion of the WHL Cup, having won the tournament in 2019, beating Team Manitoba 4-2 in the gold medal game.

The tournament opens on Oct. 20, when B.C. takes on Saskatchewan at 4 p.m., followed by Manitoba squaring off with Alberta at 7 p.m. The gold medal game will be played at 1 p.m. on Oct. 24.

Rosters and ticket information will be announced at a later date.