For the second straight season, the Neepawa Natives will head into the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Draft with the first overall selection.
Just hours prior the start of the 2019 Draft, Natives Head Coach & General Manager, Ken Pearson swung a deal with Waywayseecappo, sending the first pick to the Wolverines in exchange for fourth overall and 2002-born forward, Graeme Patrick.
Now with one full season in the books under the guidance of Pearson, the long-time MJHL coach and his staff are more than ready when the time comes to make their selection on Sunday.
“There’s been a lot of work that’s gone in,” Pearson said of the Natives draft preparations. “Our scouts have put in a lot of time here and been in a lot of arenas. Moving the draft up has sped some things up with decision making but we’re really looking forward to getting going on Sunday morning.”
While trading away the first overall pick comes with much uncertainty for both parties involved, Pearson seems poised to pull the trigger on Sunday when their chance comes to select the newest member of the organization.
“I think we’re pretty set on who we want to select at this point. There’s still some teams that are making some pitches and I’m sure there will be a few more pitches last minute. I think we have it narrowed down to who we want to take and maybe just a few more discussions to make sure we’re all on board to make an easy decision on Sunday morning.”
“We speak to the players and their families about their desire to come to Neepawa and show them what were trying to do here. The player that we choose, we are hoping they will be able to play for us at sixteen and for sure at seventeen. You want to make sure the player you choose is willing to and is okay moving away from home, going to a different school and living with a different family,” Pearson concluded.
The 2020 MJHL Draft will commence on Sunday, April 26 at 9:00 AM CST. 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 on social media for round-by-round draft summaries or follow live at www.mjhlhockey.ca.