Two days away from the 2020 Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Draft, team scouts and general managers from across the league are excited and ready for the draft process to begin.
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.
Tyson Ramsey | Virden Oil Capitals Head Coach & General Manager
“Our organization looks at the Draft as a very important piece to building and maintaining a consistently successful hockey club year in and year out. We have a strong scouting staff led by our Head Scout, Brian Elder. They do such a good job of putting together a solid list of players to pick from each and every year. If you look at our club right now and all the players that are eligible to return next season, the majority of them are guys that we drafted or listed after the draft and we feel like we have a great group returning, We feel like building through the draft is vital to the success of our program and ultimately winning a championship.”
“We are extremely excited for the Draft on Sunday as it’s a day where we get to add not only great players on the ice but quality people and families off the ice. These players and their families are the future of our organization and we are very much looking forward to calling them and welcoming them to the Oil Capitals hockey club. With all that is happening right now with the pandemic and the frustration with our season being cut short, the draft provides some normalcy and certainly something to look forward to for our league and the players that are selected. I would like to wish the teams in our league and their scouting groups as well as the players eligible to be drafted, the best of luck on Sunday.”
Chris Perchaluk | OCN Blizzard Head Coach & General Manager
“The OCN Blizzard are very excited for the upcoming Draft. It’s an exciting time for both the organizations and the players within the province. As as organization we are looking for not only good players but good people we can bring into our community and work with them toward their future goals in the game. This past season we saw the impact that drafted players such as Sequoia Swan, Trent Crane and Levi Thiessen had in the league.”
“The Draft also provides Manitoba players who don’t play in the WHL a chance to pursue a NCAA scholarship and an excellent opportunity to develop close to home in the MJHL. There have been some challenges with the COVID-19 outbreak and preparing for this draft but our scouts and staff as a whole have kept everyone busy. It’s a nice distraction to get busy and forget about all the challenges everyone has faced the past few months. We are looking forward to Sunday morning.”
Barry Wolff | Swan Valley Stampeders Head Coach & General Manager
“The Draft is important to the Stampeders. In the last few years we were lucky enough to add some quality older veteran players which doesn’t always happen, but the core and our young guys have been drafted. Our scouting group has done a great job of identifying not only high end hockey players but quality people. We are excited about the young drafted players we have on our protected list and look forward to adding to that list.”
“With the virus going on and in talking with a lot of different aged players, they are all missing being with other people, going to the gym and skating. With the Draft, hopefully we can give some positive distraction to the virus and get some players excited for the future. Ones that get drafted to prove they deserved to have been drafted and ones that do not get drafted, to prove to the teams that they made a mistake in not drafting them. If you don’t get drafted it’s not the end of the world, every team has several walk on players that become big time players in the MJHL.”