Bantam draft

Joined: March 28th, 2018, 2:18 pm

May 4th, 2018, 7:53 pm #1

This was one of the biggest bantam drafts in the Hitmen's history and no comments yet? Guess I will go first then.

I very much like the draft haul. I know - stop me if you've heard me say this before. Like, every year. And in hindsight some of those drafts were not good drafts. But there's a lot of reasons to be optimistic about this year, starting with just the sheer numbers. At the 71st pick of the draft (early in the 4th round) the Hitmen made their 8th pick of the draft. No other team had made more than 6 picks by then and Regina was still nine picks away from making their FIRST pick. Seven other teams had made two picks or less. So even if you just picked players randomly, the odds are that we got more good players than a heckuva lot of other teams did.

I really, really like Sean Tschigerl at #4 overall. Everything about this pick sounds good. He's 5'11" and 175 lb at 14 so probably we can expect him to fill out to 6'2", 200 lb or so. 200 foot player, great skater and playmaker, future captain. And look at his team's playoff scoring: in five games, he had 10 goals and 14 points. Nobody else on his team had more than 3 goals or 7 points in those games. This kid put that team on his back when it really mattered. He was rated #1 overall by at least one scouting service (ISS) so I like this pick a lot.

I also like all three 2nd round picks, a lot. D Tyson Galloway is big (6'3", 200 lb at 14) and physical. Good skater and puck mover, cannon of a shot from the point. Sounds like a future top pairing defenceman and potentially a good powerplay guy, with that shot. 

F Tristan Zandee. Local kid from Airdrie, said to be extremely fast, three-zone player. Defencemen who give him half a step get beat. He was also the 3rd youngest player drafted today so he is 10-11 months younger than a lot of the kids drafted. Could mean he has a little more growing to do than the Q1 kids who make up half the draft picks....at 5'11" already he could be well into the six foot-plus bracket in three years?

F Zack Funk. 6'0" and 180 lb already, said to be kind of a power forward type, a very good skater and a tenacious forechecker and a guy who battles in the tough areas. Sounds like a guy who could be a fan favourite with his skating and hustle. Was the 5th forward picked from B.C.....B.C. produces a lot of players so getting the #5 forward from that province late in the 2nd round can't be a bad thing.

G Marek Pocherewny. I was very excited to get this pick where we did, based on scouting reports he was a guy I had targeted before the draft as somebody who would look good in the Hitmen organization. I thought it might take a 2nd round pick to get him but they got him early in the third round. Pocherewny is one of a group of three or four goalies considered a cut above the rest of the goalie crop and the Hitmen made him the 3rd goalie picked. He's a Calgary kid too, played for the Buffaloes with ridiculous numbers (1.06 GAA, .953 sv% - the next best goalie in that entire league had a .928 sv% and a 1.28 GAA). He's 6'0", so room to add a couple more inches, and said to be a good positional goalie, agile with good instincts. Could be our #1 goaltender when he's 18 & 19.

D Rory Neill. Neill is the 3rd defenceman picked from Manitoba (and one of the other two went #2 overall) so getting the third best defenceman from a province that has given the Hitmen a lot of defencemen (they must have a Manitoba scout who knows his defencemen) is a good thing. And these numbers: 72 points in 34 games. For a defenceman. He was the highest scoring defenceman in that league by 30 frickin points. (And also the first defenceman drafted from the Manitoba AAA bantam league - the two MB defencemen who went ahead of him were picked from sport schools). Great value for a late 3rd rounder.

Anyways, this is all meaningless if these kids don't develop but hopefully next year at this time we've seen some of these kids play some games as 15 year olds and we're debating which underperforming veterans are going to lose their jobs to make room for these kids as 16 year olds in 2019-20....
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Joined: August 6th, 2010, 3:54 am

May 5th, 2018, 5:28 am #2

I think many of us were waiting for this post Alan so as always I appreciate the research. Hard to really add much when I haven't seen any of these kids in person but I'm far more hopeful about the team developing all these assets than I would have been 2 years ago. Would be awesome if some of them were ready sooner than later and we could really get a 4-5 year run of good teams starting next season or the one after next.
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Joined: March 28th, 2018, 2:18 pm

May 9th, 2018, 6:19 pm #3

More on Tschigerl: many of the top picks in this year's draft were at an international invitational tournament in Philadelphia last week during the time of the draft. Basically some all-star teams of 2003-born players.

They did fitness and on-ice testing of the players. Here are the results. Look at how many times Tschigerl appears on the lists, including the highest overall score: https://www.lgstours.com/2018wsi03

Oil Kings #1 overall pick Dylan Guenther was there too, as was #3 overall pick Nolan Allan, #5 overall pick Logan Stankoven, #7 Jayden Grubbe, #8 Zach Stringer, etc, etc. 

This kind of stuff doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot but it's still nice to see your team's prospects doing so well in direct comparison to their peers.
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