Sunday, 30 April 2017

Revisiting the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft

I know, I know. Hindsight's 20/20. But can you imagine an even better version of the Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club this season? Well, depending on how you look at things, had the cards of 2013 WHL Bantam Draft not fallen as they did, this team could have looked dramatically different. As we've seen, teams trade draft picks like the Vancouver Canucks breed hated hockey players. But in 2013, a bunch of wheeling and dealing was done with some really interesting ramifications. And it includes what would be considered a blockbuster if we had only known which players would be taken. So let's go through this round-by-round in descending order. The Hurricanes didn't use their 13th, 14th or 15th round picks. They did, however, trade picks in the 10th, 11th and 12th to Saskatoon Blades Hockey Club. The WHL's website doesn't list the return and I can't seem to find how that all played out. Either way, the Blades used those picks to select Brett Clayton, Ryan Pouliot and Marcus Mitchell. Clayton split this past season with Portland and the AJHL's Brooks Bandits, Pouliot's with Kootenay Ice, and Mitchell's in Salmon Arm. The WHL's site also claims the Hurricanes sent their 9th rounder to Saskatoon. But the 'Canes used their own pick, while the Blades had three of 'em. So that one's tough to track. As for the 'Canes 9th round pick, they chose defenseman Matthew O'Brien. In round 8, the Canes picked right winger Jake Ashton, while in round 7, they looked to defenseman Jesse Sheen. None have really worked out. Round 6 is where things get interesting. A year prior, the Hurricanes made a trade with Prince George Cougars Hockey Club. They wanted the 3rd rounder in 2012, so they gave up a 3rd and a 6th in 2013 and an 8th in 2014. So they gave up wingers Kolby Johnson and Dylan Strahan, as well as Logan Mazerolle of Grande Prairie Storm. What did they get? They didn't stick with that pick, as they had sent it to Brandon Wheat Kings Hockey Club (WHL) along with goaltender Brandon Anderson for fellow netminder Liam Liston and defenseman Spencer Galbraith. You'll notice a theme with goaltenders here. Who did Brandon take with that pick? Dakota Boutin.

LISTEN: Episode #37 of Canes This Week The Hurricanes, meantime, did make a selection in the 6th round though. At 132nd, they nabbed winger Jordan Porter. They acquired that pick from The Official Vancouver Giants Page, along with a 3rd in 2013 (which we'll get to later) for Liston. The Hurricanes made no picks in the 5th round, as they sent their own pick to Kootenay for Mike Simpson. The Ice went with Robert Johnson, who is in the NCAA. Had the Canes kept that pick, they could have chose Kailer Yamamoto, who has been a stud with Spokane. In the 4th round, the Hurricanes made two selections. The first was 72nd overall with Jaeger White, which was a pick they acquired from Regina Pats Hockey Club for Matt Marantz. The second was 74th overall, their own pick, to grab Connor Rokosh. Defensemen Cale Fleury and Brady Pouteau could have still been had. In the 3rd round, as mentioned, they traded their own pick to Prince George, who selected Kolby Johnson. They also acquired that 45th overall pick from Vancouver, which they used to get defenseman Cody Allen, who is in Osoyoos. Noah Gregor of Moose Jaw Warriors Hockey Club and current Canes defenseman Kyle Yewchuk were still available at that point. The 2nd round was an interesting one. The Hurricanes had their own pick, which they used on Tak Anholt. They also had another pick for a while, because they acquired Moose Jaw's in the Cam Braes deal. But they flipped that pick to Tri-City Americans in order to get Ty Rimmer. Again with the goalies. And that brings us to the 1st round. This was a big one. Because of the draft lottery, the Hurricanes actually started with the 6th overall pick. But they needed a goalie. So on draft day, the Hurricanes swung a deal with Brandon to get Corbin Boes. The Wheat Kings got the 6th overall selection. The Canes got Boes and the 17th overall selection. The Wheat Kings selected Kale Clague. The Hurricanes selected Stuart Skinner. In other words, the trade was Kale Clague for Corbin Boes and Stuart Skinner. Yeah, that happened. And it changed the face of the Hurricanes for years to come.

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