Thursday, April 07, 2011

KIBIHT Thoughts

- KIBIHT tonight in Kamloops was the center of the scouting universe...teams from all over the WHL were represented as the Kamloops Jardine Blazers took on Warman in the feature game after the opening ceremonies. Both teams have some high-end bantam prospects. In the end, the Jardine Blazers were way too much for Warman to the tune of 10-1.

- The Kamloops Blazers had their full staff there...right down to the Account Executive. With the 4th overall pick, the Blazers feel they can get an impact player. While not saying on-record what type of player they're after, I think there are some quality d-men they're taking note of to try and add some balance moving forward. Winning the draft lottery means they will have the highest pick in franchise history.

- I got my first look at Warman D Ryan Pilon. He's a big kid who skates well. He had to conserve his energy and keep it simple with Warman only dressing four defenseman and playing earlier in the day. He's not the consensus #1, but he'd probably get the most votes heading into the WHL bantam draft in Calgary. Some are saying he may not be taken 1st, but he won't fall past #3.

- For those wondering, he's Rich Pilon's (New York Islanders) nephew. Pilon is from Duck Lake but plays with the "AA" Wildcats out of Warman. You don't have to tell him when the WHL bantam draft is... "May 5th...Thursday," Pilon rattled off without hesitation when I spoke to him afterwards.

"It's gonna be mind-boggling, a great experience. Sometimes I have to ask myself if it's even real."

Who's the best available forward? Some think it could Abbotsford's Jake Virtanen. Abbotfsord isn't at KIBIHT though. I'll see him here at the end of the month at the BC Cup.

-Who's going number one next month? As one head-scout told me... "the number one pick will be whoever the Calgary Hitmen decide it's going to be."

- Speaking of Calgary...they had a strong presence at the games tonight. They were the only team set-up at the other side of the rink. I guess when you have the #1 pick you get your own private viewing area....

- The Swift Current Broncos hold the #2 pick overall which ties their highest pick ever (2005 2nd overall pick - Geordie Wudrick) They also pick again at #13. To say this is a huge draft for the club is an understatement.

They're also still holding out hope that F Evan Richardson will join them at some point. The Broncos first pick in 2009, 15th overall. Apparently he was close at one point this season. I know the team is still talking to him on a regular basis. He had a decent year in Victoria of the BCHL posting 42 points in 55 games in his rookie season. He's off to Russia later this week along with several other BCHL'ers to represent Canada in an invitational tournament.

- We'll get a good look at all the teams tomorrow morning and afternoon. I'm emceeing both banquets up at TRU Grand Hall joined by Blazers Marketing Manager Dave Chyzowski and goaltending consultant Dan De Palma who will act as the guest speakers.

- Looking forward to seeing the Swift Current Bantam Kabos Raiders. I'm told they have a couple of top bantam draft prospects in Tim Vanstone and Jordan Wittman. With that said, their first game didn't go so well as they were 8-1 losers to Spruce Grove. This could be the Raiders best team since the 2003 edition that saw half the team drafted including F Andrew Bailey and F Zack Smith (Ottawa Senators) who were both taken in the third round.


1 comment:

Western Elite said...

Good article today Jon.

As you may or may not know, I put out an 18 page bantam newsletter every 2 weeks which ranks the top 96 and 97 born players and interviews them as well. If you are interesting in reading a bit about these players since you are at the KIBIHT, fire me an email and I'll send you a copy.