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Happy Wednesday everybody!
- It's a big week in the WHL starting with today's annual Awards Luncheon in Calgary and then the 2016 Bantam Draft tomorrow. Let's get right to it!
Regina Pats forward Adam Brooks will be in Calgary today to receive the Bob Clarke Trophy as the leagues leading scorer in 2015/16. Brooks says he is looking forward to the ceremony. "Very excited! It's an opportunity that might only come around once in a lifetime and you never know when you will be back at an awards ceremony or get an award for that matter so for me it's definitely cool. Especially never thinking I would get here so I am pretty excited to get the trophy and just enjoy the experience."
Brooks finished the regular season with 120 points and he says while it has started to sink in the year that he had, he wishes the team was still playing. "I think it's a quick turnaround for playoffs and you don't really get a time to think about it and then after playoffs you are kind of dwelling on the loss and thinking about the way you could have played differently or the things you could have done differently. Especially for us losing a game 7. So for me I guess it's kind of sunk in that I did lead the league but at the same time a little frustrated that we are still not playing hockey."
The WHL Awards Luncheon gets underway at 11:30 this morning in Calgary. Click here for the full list of winners and nominees. Good luck to former Pat and Warrior Dryden Hunt who is up for Player of the Year against the Royals Joe Hicketts!
- Tomorrow the Pats and the rest of the WHL will take part in the biggest day of the year in the WHL Bantam Draft. The Pats will not pick in the first round, their first selection will come in round 2, 33rd overall. The club does not have a 3rd round pick but does have two in the 4th round. Head Coach and GM John Paddock says the lack of picks early does not change how they go into the selection process. "Just as we approach it normally. We expect to get a good player with our second round pick and we expect to get players that will play with our fourth round picks, they are very important."
Paddock says they have put the work in to hopefully find good players in the later rounds but as always it's a bit of a shot in the dark. "I think it matters where you pick, that's what the scouts do all year but you are projecting and it's very difficult. We were just going through a draft, the 1996 draft and maybe listed off about 9 guys in the first round that didn't play and then some more in the 2nd. So you don't know, you have to do lots of work. Some guys grow, some guys don't, some guys have maybe family or girlfriend problems. There is all sorts of factors that come into it. That's what you are dealing with when yopu are dealing with 14-year-old kids."
The Pats went south for their third round selection last year taking Bryan Lockner out of the U.S. Paddock says they may take an American again on Thursday."We will look there, I don't know when it will be. There's lots of factors in that. We will have communicated with some of them down there and their desires and wishes and that can affect it and can not affect it. It's hard to say, it just depends whats gone around here that you feel can help you here in Western Canada. The guys might just go, there was a US kid we were going to take last year in the 8th round and he went like two picks before. He is a very high end player, I don't know what he's done and it's probably slim that he is going to play int he league so you just don't know."
Paddock says they are not looking at a specific position with their first pick. "We will look at everything, we will take the best player. I think that if it falls right you would sort of be alternating positions to keep yourself covered and guys coming through the system but that doesn't mean we will take a forward you know we will take the best player that is there because maybe the best forwards we have ranked 32 and better are gone so we won't have any choice. So it's hard to say, but I think that would be a plan if you could make good on your plan all the time but that doesn't happen."
Paddock on the prospect of a trade to acquire draft picks or a 20-year-old before or during the draft. "We definitely are going to add a 20 at some point. There wasn't much last year with trades involving draft picks this time. Draft picks are very valuable right now, starting last week and through Thursday they are more valuable than any time during the season. I don't foresee trades happening at all. We are looking to try and strengthen a fairly strong group whenever that is. We played last year with one 20 for a lot of times and we have the Adam (Brooks) question hanging over us for quite a few months but we will add a 20 at some point but I have no idea when that will be."
Here is the full breakdown of the Pats selections for the 2016 draft:
1st round -No pick, traded to Red Deer in the Jake Leschyshyn deal.
2nd round - The Pats will pick in the 2nd round with their own selection which was acquired back in the Kyle Burroughs and Dryden Hunt trade. The Pats originally traded the pick to Medicine Hat for Boston Leier three years ago.
3rd round - Regina will not pick in the 3rd round, their pick was traded to Medicine Hat as well when the team acquired Daniel Wapple and Logan McVeigh.
4th round - Two selections, their own pick as well as Prince George's which was acquired in the Lane Zablocki for Jesse Gabrielle trade.
5th round - Do not have their own pick but have Kelowna's from the Marc McCoy trade.
6th round - The Pats have their pick.
7th round - No pick, traded to Prince George for Aaron Maclin.
8th round and later - The Pats have all their picks for the rest of the draft.
The Bantam Draft will start at 8:30 tomorrow morning in Calgary and as always I will have full coverage here.
That's all I have for today, have a great week everybody!