Sunday, June 24, 2007

Whirlwind Four Days Comes to a Close in Columbus

Well that was fun...
Sorry for the delay in posting, it's been a busy 24 hours of planes, trains and automobiles. I'm now back in Swifty after travelling most of the day.

Well, as most of you know, Broncos defenseman Paul Postma was a 7th round selection of the Atlanta Thrashers while fellow d-man Ryan Molle was taken two picks later by New Jersey. Congratulations guys! I had a chance to talk to Paul later in the day and he along with his family in Red Deer were quite excited after a pretty long wait.

Yes, I was surprised that Eric Doyle was not taken. The Broncos defenseman was my pick to be the first of our guys to go... I thought somewhere in rounds 4 to 6. However, it never happened. By no means is it the end of the world. Eric can now use that as motivation next season to prove everybody wrong. With his talents, I know he will.

Getting back to Postma, I asked Thrashers G.M. Don Waddell what they saw in Postma, he replied "His name was high on our list, much higher than that (7th round selection), the draft this year was interesting because everyone is going all over the place. Paul is a guy we had ranked in our top three rounds so obviously he was an easy choice when he was still available with our 7th pick. A big guy, that guys feel can skate, his upside is unknown at this time but they think he has good hockey sense, a young player we will be anxious to help his development along....good kid too.

So the Western Hockey League led the way in drafted players with 37 of the total 211 taken. Here's the breakdown:

WHL 37 (only 26 taken last year)
OHL 35
USHL: 21
Several other programs to numerous to mention
The Breakdown by Nationality:
Born in Canada:103
Born in U.S.: 62
Born in Sweden: 17
Born in Russia:9
Born in Czech: 5
Born in Finland: 4
Born in Germany: 4
Born in Slovakia: 3
Born in Switzerland: 2
Born in Denmark: 1
Born in Nigeria : 1 (Akim Aliu)

Here are some pics from the 2nd day of the draft:

Bryan Murray (left) and Brian Burke (right), talk it over. The Stanley Cup foes have always been very friendly with eachother. In the background, Gary Greene of the NHL Network interviews Calgary Flames Head Coach Mike Keenan.

Voice of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the famous Mike Lange. Mike was my broadcasting neighbour in the media area. He's better known for his catch phrases over the years that include, "Get in the fast lane grandma, bingo is about to begin." or "scratch my back with a hack-saw", or "he beat him like a rented mule".
What a nice guy he was. He told me some invaluable pieces of advice that I will try to incorporate from now on. Not about the business, just how to deal with people and conduct yourself. He's been doing NHL games an amazing 32 years!

Bryan Murray and Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff have a chat. Remember the battles theses two had in the regular season and playoffs? Some intense stuff...however this was far from it.

The Columbus Blue Jackets broadcast team including play-by-play host George Mathews (left). Thanks for all your help this week. Hope you guys eventually got on the air. Every year the Columbus draft broadcast has some technical difficulties - this year was no exception. George was laughing saying, how is it that Swift Current's equipment is broadcasting with a strong signal when our NHL set-up in failing miserably? George is a maritimer who still spends his summers in PEI.
The bustling draft floor...
What a final night in Columbus...Rod Pedersen, voice of the Pats and Roughriders made it in after the Riders broadcast Friday night.
Everyone had a good time I'm sure. The locals made everyone feel at home and welcome.
I was talking to Rod about the Columbus experience saying "you could blog about all the stories and things that happened down here but no one would believe you anyways." You'd have to see it to believe it.
It's a big week for the Broncos organization. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is Tuesday night when the team honours former greats Todd Holt and Danny Lambert. See you there.
Also, Wednesday night is the Annual General Meeting when the financial details of the season will be released. I'm hearing it's good news... we'll hear all about it Wednesday. The meeting is open to all Bronco shareholders.
More tomorrow,


ernie said...

Thanks for keeping us updated from down there Jon. Hope you had lots of fun doing this, and meeting up with all these play-by-play legends. I dream of doing it someday...almost every night. LOL Anyway IMO you did a great job bringing us the reports.

I was watching the computer and TV all morning on Saturday, waiting for a Bronco to be called. Finally with only ten picks to go, I thought, "This is it...there are ten picks left. We will not draft anyone this time." And then all of a sudden, BANG...BANG! Two in a row! I let go a big sigh of relief when Paul Postma's name finally got called. I phoned the Postma house right after, and couldn't hear anything. HAHA. I can imagine what it must have been like. Congrats to Ryan Molle as well. The Broncos are rapidly ascending the mountain. It won't take long before our team is at the top of the world once more. I feel great about the team's situation.

From the text messages Rod Pedersen fired at me from Columbus on Sunday, I gathered you two must have had a ball down there. Hilarious stuff. HAHAHA!!!

See you at the banquet on Tuesday. LET'S GO SWIFTY!!!

Big Ern

Anonymous said...

Good on Posty and Molle to get picked. But really, what's up with Doyle not going. If I were him I would just step up next year and show everyone what they missed out on. !

Anonymous said...

Doyle is a great example of a player that went from a great team (Everett) to a bad team (Swift) and as a result he did not look nearly as good. My opinion, put some of these so called best W players in Swift and see how they would do or better yet, put some of the Swifty guys in other, better, teams and see how they would do. The scouts look at the top teams and guys on the lesser teams don't get the same look. Doyle is a classic case...we was no where as good as he looked in Everett...wonder why? DOesn't speak much about Dean's ability to develop players, or even his connections in the NHL or respect by the NHL...interesting food for thought...

Jon Keen said...


I can't agree with you there. To a point I agree with the players in larger centers seem to get more attention, but that can go both ways. Sometimes it's over-exposure and scouts see every flaw, every mistake and end up with nothing good to say about the player.

If you look at the Broncos track record, they've faired pretty well at the NHL Draft. They've had at least one player drafted going all the way back to 1986. A lot of teams cannot say that. Every year someone is taken. Last year, 26 players from the WHL were drafted, two were from the Broncos. this year 37 were selected, again two Broncos in the mix. We have above average numbers being drafted.

What about Ryan Molle? Vancouver traded him away for a bantam pick and in his limited time he impressed New Jersey enough for him to be selected.

Dean has respect at the NHL level, this I have no doubt. He knows a lot of the teams staff on a personal level. I believe Dean played a big role in Levi Nelson going to Boston - Dean's former club.

Often it's easy to just pick out the negative aspect of the draft situation but overall, the numbers tell a different story.

Jon Keen

Anonymous said...

Did you talk to Grace when you down there?

Jon Keen said...

Well, I didn't want to post about it because I felt nobody was talking about this guy and the article anymore so why give him more publicity. But I've been asked a few times about it.

Yes, I tracked him down at the end of the first round of the draft while everyone was leaving.

I said "Gare Joyce" with sarcastic excitement and then he turned around.

We traded some words. He sees things one way, I see them another.

Security came in and told us to cool it. He was getting pretty steamed up.

To close I said "nobody even talks about him or that article anymore" He said "good" and that's where we left it.

Ask me about it if you see me, I'll tell you more about the whole weekend.