Path to the Draft | Harnett, Dyck, Pearson share excitement as Draft approaches

The decision to move the annual Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Draft to April 26 was a welcomed decision by many across the league and the province.

Less than two weeks from now, the 11 member teams in the MJHL will select draft-eligible 2005-born prospects who fit their draft criteria.

Leading up to the draft, 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.

Paul Dyck | Steinbach Pistons Head Coach & General Manager

“The MJHL Draft is an integral part for us in constructing our team. Our draft picks have played key roles in our success in the past and this year was no different from players like Kyle Bettens, Rylan Bettens, Carter Loney, Tanner Mole, and Curtis Ireland all being former picks. They are players that come through the system, understand our culture and expectations and eventually drive the culture.”

“I think everyone is very excited about the upcoming draft in particular with the current climate we live in. Our staff is definitely looking forward to it as it is always a highly anticipated day. Most of the players eligible for the draft experienced the abrupt end to their season and some lost the opportunity to play for a championship. This will be a very exciting day for many players in our province and bring some welcome positive news.”

Taylor Harnett | Waywayseecappo Wolverines Head Coach & General Manager

“The draft is something that we take a lot of pride in. I think that we are very fortunate that we have this system in place. It’s important that we do our best to draft the right people in order to stay successful year in and year out. Our Director of Player Personnel, Troy Hickman puts in a lot of work during the season trying to find the best talent out there. It’s been our focus for the past few years to build within the draft and were starting to see that.”

“As far as the date change, it’s something I think all of us embrace with what’s going on right now. I think each and every one of us in this business kind of had to shift how we do our recruiting and scouting. I think that because of all canceled events related to showcases, spring camps, and Manitoba excellence programs, it only makes sense for us to prepare sooner than later.”

Ken Pearson | Neepawa Natives Head Coach & General Manager

“The draft is important to us as we build our base from it and add pieces to improve us via listing or trades. It allows us to start the recruiting process early with the player and family and sell our program in Neepawa.”

“We are looking forward to the draft being moved up. I think it will provide some much needed positivity to the hockey world in Manitoba and create some excitement.”

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.