Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Observations from the draft (part two)

By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

  • It’s sad to read personal attacks on players, and their families, who have admitted that they are not comfortable with a move to a location that would require them to be fully immersed in a language they do not speak or understand. Also, some of these young men do not want to continue their education remotely – especially if there are no schools available in the mother tongue. Unfortunately, every year there will be more kids vilified for their honesty and commitment to education.
  • It is interesting to read comments on social media, including message boards, in which so-called fans openly question the intelligence of team management and scouts after they select players that were rated relatively low– if at all – by Central Scouting or publications such as As Danny Flynn said prior to the start of the proceedings, draft day is the scouts’ version of Christmas – they have made their lists, checked them more than twice, and are ready for the gifts they are about to receive on behalf of their respective teams.
  • Let’s not forget that these scouts are passionate about the game and they receive very little – in terms of money – for the countless hours they spend in various cold arenas, often after driving through less than ideal conditions. 
  • Also, fans – especially of teams which place emphasis on size – often grumble about the height and/or weight of a player which was taken a few months prior to the draft. Teams do seriously consider genetics and growth rates, in addition to hockey sense, tenacity and other skills and factors. For example, Sea Dogs captain Spencer Smallman was roughly 5’6’’ during his draft year. Considering that Smallman was 6’1” and 197 lbs during the 2016 playoffs, the Sea Dogs’ fourth round selection (No. 70) in 2012 worked out extremely well.

  • The Sea Dogs are seriously considering an application to host the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft. A representative of the city attended the draft in order to gather information from the Charlottetown host committee – which did an outstanding job this year. 
  • Station Nation’s writers definitely appreciated the healthy lunch they were provided during the lunch break.
  • Sea Dogs first round selection Olivier Mathieu appears to have won the unofficial First Round Fashion Runway competition as he sported a stunning green blazer as he made his way to the podium to be greeted by the Commissioner and team representatives.
  • The Sea Dogs are hopeful that they have uncovered another ninth round gem – like they did in 2015 when they selected D Ian Smallwood. Jordan Ehrensperger – who was still available in round nine at No. 153 – was rated 31st on the Sea Dogs' list. But he has given indications of furthering his education in the USA, so time will tell.
  • With a player such as Ehrensperger potentially being added to a lineup that already includes a bevy of players named Matthew, Mathieu, Joseph, Oliver, Olivier, etc., Tim Roszell will need to continue to be sharp as a tack. But Roszell did handle calling "Povorozniouk" like a champ.
  • Six goalies who were invited to Hockey Canada’s U17 goaltending development camp were chosen in the 2016 draft – Olivier Rodrigue (DRU – 1(3)), Kevin Mandolese (CAP – 1(13)), Alexis Gravel (HAL – 2(20)), Lucas Fitzpatrick (QUE – 2(35)), Colten Ellis (CAP – 4(59)) and Alex MacDonald (CHI – 5(78)). Sea Dogs top goaltending prospect Alex D’Orio will be attending Hockey Canada’s U18/U20 camp as well.
  • One of the nice moments of the draft came in round 11 when Nicolas Sauve was selected at No. 193 by Cape Breton. His father was clearly emotional to see the smallest player (5.03.75, 128 lbs.) drafted. Former teammates and fans also sent out huge cheers for Sauve as well. 
  • In terms of largest players selected, two New Brunswick teams were at the forefront. Acadie-Bathurst selected Antonio DeLuca (6.03.75, 255 lbs.) at No. 77 of the fifth round. In round 14 (No. 249), Saint John chose Etienne Croteau (6.04.5, 191 lbs.).

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