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Hamilton Tiger-Cats snag top pick in 2021 CFL Draft

The sun sets during early first-half CFL football game action between the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Edmonton Eskimos, in Hamilton, Ont., Friday, Oct. 4, 2019.
The sun sets during early first-half CFL football game action between the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Edmonton Eskimos, in Hamilton, Ont., Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have won the CFL‘s version of the draft lottery.

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie unveiled the 2021 draft order Saturday night after the league conducted a random draw that was equally weighted.

With the 2020 season wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore no overall standings to base the draft order on, the Tiger-Cats grabbed the first overall selection.

Read more: CFL players ‘will make the sacrifices needed’ to ensure 2021 season

2021 CFL Draft order

  1. Hamilton
  2. Saskatchewan
  3. Winnipeg
  4. B.C.
  5. Edmonton
  6. Ottawa
  7. Toronto
  8. Calgary
  9. Hamilton (via Montreal)

A date for the draft has not been announced.

The draft, which will be reduced from eight to six rounds, will use a so-called “snake” format in which teams will pick in reverse order in successive rounds.

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Read more: CFL releases 2021 schedule, EE football team hosting Riders for home opener

The league released its 2021 schedule on Nov. 20, four days after Ambrosie said that he was “optimistic” next season would proceed despite coronavirus cases continuing to surge across the country.

The regular season is scheduled to kick off June 10 in Winnipeg where the defending Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers host the Ticats in a rematch of the 2019 CFL final.

Read more: Rick Zamperin: Sunday was supposed to be a great Canadian celebration

Hamilton will host the CFL championship game on Nov. 21, 2021, marking the 11th time the city will host the Grey Cup.

Hamilton last played host to the league’s title game in 1996 at old Ivor Wynne Stadium.

The Ticats took the wraps off the 108th Grey Cup and 2021 Grey Cup Festival brands to cap off the CFL’s virtual Grey Cup Unite week on Saturday night.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Hamilton Tiger-Cats

“We’re very excited to reveal our Grey Cup game and festival brands for the 108th rendition of Canada’s largest sporting event that will take place right here in Hamilton,” said Matt Afinec, president and chief operating officer of the Tiger-Cats. “Our goal was to align Grey Cup, CFL and Tiger-Cats traditions with a brand that reflects Hamilton, Hamiltonians and our community’s amazing energy, growth, ongoing renaissance and unity through the CFL and Ticats football.”

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Fans are still waiting to hear who will be the 108th Grey Cup halftime performer.

Previous Grey Cup halftime performers include country music superstar Keith Urban (2019), Shania Twain (2017 and 2002), Justin Bieber and Gordon Lightfoot (2012), Lenny Kravitz (2007) and The Tragically Hip (2004).

Click to play video 'CFLers chase Grey Cups and gold medals as part of Canada’s national bobsleigh team' CFLers chase Grey Cups and gold medals as part of Canada’s national bobsleigh team
CFLers chase Grey Cups and gold medals as part of Canada’s national bobsleigh team – Nov 20, 2020