By Kyle Prystupa, MJHL Media:
Clubs officially submitted their Auto-Protect lists earlier in the week leading the way for a busy AGM and draft week. Given the importance of future success that relies on solid drafting, each club’s preparation is meticulous. Who goes when and where can be unpredictable at times, however the art of projecting player development and future team depth is the key that sets clubs apart each draft class.
In what is touted as a strong MJHL draft year with the 2004 age group providing a great depth of options at each position there are still challenges. “The draft is by no means an exact science as we are trying to project the growth and development of players that are 15 years old. Players develop both physically and mentally at varying rates, so the timelines look different for players as to when they are prepared to make the step to junior hockey. Another challenge we face is the possibility of players we select playing major junior at some point” comments Paul Dyck of the Steinbach Pistons.
In addition to their two respective Auto-Protect players each club will have six rounds to bolster their system for the future. Darren Webster of the Swan Valley Stampeders says “being a small market club we rely on our draft picks as it can be harder to recruit players when we compete against the larger centres.” This was reflected in the 2018-19 season for the Stamps as they had eleven draft picks rostered in their most successful season of their franchise. “We have ten players moving onto college next season and we will be counting on our 2001 – 2003 prospects to fill our roster next season.”
The 2019 MJHL Draft commences Sunday, June 9 at 9:00 AM. Powered by Hockey Tech the MJHL Draft utilizes RinkNet Live Draft Centre technology to operate the entire draft proceedings. RinkNet Live Draft Centre provides a complete solution for leagues and teams to efficiently manage their draft day preparation and execution. These confirmed draft picks are then made available online to the public in real-time for the benefit of all teams, players, and fans. Keep posted to @mjhlhockey and #MJHLDraft19 on social media for round-by-round draft summaries or follow live at www.mjhlhockey.ca/draft.