The BC Cup is underway with practices for the eight teams made up of the top U-16 players from all corners of the province.
I went for a quick trip down to Interior Savings Center today to I ran into Hurricanes Head Coach/GM Rich Preston, and Marc Habscheid with Victoria . Vancouver GM Scott Bonner was also in the Blazers office visiting with his brother.
Who are the Blazers going to take with their 4th overall pick in next week's WHL bantam draft? I have a feeling they know...but they aren't about to show their hand heading into the event.
There's a couple ways to look at it. After getting stud F Matt Needham last year they could be looking at a blue-chip defenseman with the pick. Or maybe they find a winger to play for Needham for the years to come.
One thing for certain, the Blazers HAVE to make the pick count. Pending a trade, they won't pick again until 50th overall in the third round. Their 2nd round pick belongs to Vancouver in the JT Barnett deal.
Whoever the Blazers select, the player will carry the weight of being the highest ever bantam pick in franchise history.
Who has a big draft ahead? I like the position of Swift Current, Lethbridge, and Vancouver on draft day.
Swift Current holds the 2nd, 13th, 24th, 39th and 46th picks overall. Lethbridge has the 3rd, 5th, 26th, 29th and 48th picks. Vancouver picks 20th, 28th, 30th, 35th, 38th and 65th. Moose Jaw.
The teams not in the best draft day spot? Portland, Tri-City and Saskatoon.
Portland doesn't pick until 42nd overall. Saskatoon doesn't have a pick until the 66th spot while Tri-City won't call out a name until the 75th overall selection.
Just announced today, the WHL will be webcasting both the WHL Awards Luncheon and the WHL bantam draft next Wednesday/Thursday. They are available at whl.ca and are free of charge.
Tim Kehler (Swift Current Assistant Coach for three seasons) recently took over a team of BCHL'ers for an International tournament in Moscow. The experience was no doubt a memorable one for all involved. Especially after this incident in one of the first games against the Russian U-20 team. The video has been all over the internet.
You can see the video here of what exactly happened....