Path to the Draft | Burnett, Friesen, Cech speak with enthusiasm ahead of Draft

Now less than one week away from the 2020 Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Draft, team scouts, and general managers from across the league continue to make final preparations to their Draft lists leading into the weekend.

As Sunday quickly approaches, a number of coaches and general managers from across the league shared their input on the importance of the Draft and what it means to have a meaningful MJHL event during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Gord Burnett | Winnipeg Blues Head Coach

“The Winnipeg Blues program is focused on developing young players into better people and hockey players. We view the upcoming MJHL Draft as a big part of building the future of our team. We are excited to add some young players to our list and eventually to our roster.”

“Taras McEwen has been in the arenas all season long and has identified players that we feel will be successful future Winnipeg Blues. When talking to players about the upcoming draft and their interest in the Blues organization, there is definitely a level of excitement from the players in their voices that is infectious and energizing to us as we continue to plan and recruit for next season.”

Hudson Friesen | Selkirk Steelers Head Coach & Assistant Director of Player Personnel

“We see the Draft as a major building block for the future. It allows us the opportunity to continue to build our program by bringing in players that can add to the culture and players that we see as contributors down the road. To consistently have success in this league it is important to have a pipeline of prospects pushing for spots every year and this begins with the draft.”

“We are very excited to have the draft moved up this year and to have such a big event to prepare for. With everything being on pause during this time it is exciting to have something to focus on and work towards”

Kelvin Cech | Winkler Flyers Head Coach

“The Draft is an opportunity to add a new individual to our organization. Character is a crucial piece of the puzzle, we’re adding someone who’s probably a few years away from playing for the Flyers, so the chance to find a young man who can contribute to the Flyers is exciting. Our Head Scout, Mike McCaulay does such a great job building his list, and this year there are lots of excellent players, it’s a challenge for Mike and Jeff Jeanson, but tough decisions like the ones these young players are giving us is what you want.”

“It’s definitely a nice distraction, makes us feel normal again for a little bit. When the hockey world resumes, hopefully after the rest of the world finds some stable footing, we want to position ourselves to be a strong organization year in and year out. The Draft is one of the most important tools we have to do that. I’m counting down the days before we can call some names and I can meet the new additions to the club.”

The 2020 edition of the MJHL Draft takes place on Sunday, April 26 at 9:00 AM CST. The draft will be held online utilizing RinkNet Live Draft Centre technology provided by HockeyTech.