Bantam draft wrap-up

First off, check out earlier blog posts for some details about Everett’s first-round pick Jantzen Leslie, about a banner day for local selections, and for a full list of Everett’s 15 picks.

Now here’s some more notes after speaking with a host of individuals following the draft:

– There should be no drama with regards to Leslie reporting to Everett. He told me he’s fully committed to the WHL and excited about coming to training camp in August.

– Everett took teammates with their first two picks, with Leslie and winger Bryce Kindopp both playing for a dominant Lloydminster Heat team. It turns out that not only are Leslie and Kindopp teammates, they grew up on the same street and regularly played road hockey together as kids.

– While there was no specific theme to Everett’s draft, the Tips pretty much loaded up on skilled forwards after taking Leslie. Everett’s next four picks following Leslie were all in that mold.

– The Tips were only planning on taking 10 players in the draft. However, they decided the players still on the board after they’d made 10 picks were too good to pass up. Therefore, the protected list required some shuffling to free up space for the last few picks.

– Those late picks were all Minnesotans. Blake Bergquist, Nate Knoepke, Matt Anderson and Reid Hill are all high-end talents, but will require recruitment to convince them to come play in the WHL.

– The Tips were particularly excited about getting another American, Colorado’s Brian King, in the fourth round. Tips head scout Bil La Forge speculated that King lasted that long because he was playing for a midget team and thus didn’t get many views. La Forge also said King has serious interest in the WHL.

– For the first time Everett went an entire draft without selecting a goaltender. That’s because the Tips are very happy with the depth of their goaltending prospects, particularly their 98s.

Lastly, a comment on bantam draft day. I don’t know how it happens, but it always seems it lands on the first great weather day of the early spring. Shining sun, 80 degrees, and I’m inside chained to my computer all day. Again. Sigh.

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