Thursday, May 01, 2008

Draft Day Thoughts

I'll admit I wasn't that plugged in today to the proceedings of Draft Day in the WHL. Moving into a new house and the so-called fun that goes with that took up my day.

I followed the first round and then I was up to my armpits in paint and sandpaper... but after reviewing the picks I thought I would share a few quick shots....

- The Broncos went off the board for their 1st round selection Reece Scarlett from Sherwood Park, AB. The player summed up as a defensive-defenseman really showed the Broncos wanted to address a depth issue in that department for the future.

As Director of Player Personell Jamie Porter said after the draft... "we need someone to help protect those leads".

This was the player the Broncos were targeting with their first pick. I have to wonder, could he have been available in the 2nd round at 34th overall? Maybe, maybe not. It's a chance the Broncos weren't willing to take.

So in the midst of everyone drafting some flash and dash with their first pick, the Broncos go conservative.

- The Broncos then took a goaltender - Austin Smith out of Calgary. It's official, the Broncos must always have a player with the last name of Smith on their roster at all times. From Nathan to Tim to Zack to Austin.

The Broncos felt a need to address some depth at the goaltending position. Trading away 17 G Ian Curtis at the deadline left them with the American goaltender Eric Ferber and Chad Ketting. Both will be 17 next year to my recollection. The Broncos could more than likely have both Travis Yonkman (20) and Mark Guggenberger (19) back for next season.

- The Broncos kept it in the family in the 3rd round selecting Graeme Graig, a big defenseman out of Red Deer. He's the brother of Bronco bantam draft Rodger Craig (4th round in '06). Not sure if Rodger is committed to the Broncos for next season yet or not. I saw him practice with the Broncos this season in Red Deer.... he looked good.

- The Broncos may have beaten the Calgary Hitmen to the punch in round four when they selected Hitmen Associate Coach Dave Lowry's son Adam Lowry. Unlike his dad, he's a smaller centreman. Bloodlines are big on draft day.

- The Broncos kept it in Alberta for yet another pick in round five when they selected Joshua Derko of Sherwood Park. The Broncos first five picks are all from AB.

- In the 6th round the Broncos threw a dagger at their radio broadcaster with the selection of Nicco Digiovannantonio (dee-joe-vee-an-ann-tone-io). He out of Clavet and was the biggest name selected (literally) in the draft today. He captained his team and by a few accounts is a great skater.

- The Broncos followed more WHL bloodlines in the 8th round with the selection of Michael Lazo of Winnipeg. The smaller defenseman is the younger brother of Johnny Lazo of the Tri-City Americans.


Final numbers:
By province - AB: 6, SK:2, MB:1
By position - D: 4, F: 4, G: 1

All in all, it apears the Broncos went into the draft with a defense-first mentality to compliment their group of 1992 drafted players. Without seeing any of these players over the course of a year I can't tell you about their talent or upside. We'll get our first look at training camp in late August. As always, Bronco fans will be taking a key interest in scoping out the future of this hockey club.

Now, back to home renos.....


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