Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Final Bantam Draft Rankings & Things I heard during WHL Awards today.

(photo courtesy WHL.CA)
The Western Hockey League honoured it's current stars today and tomorrow will draft it's future ones. For a full rundown of who won what click here. I'll get to our final bantam draft rankings in just a bit but first some tidbits I picked up in conversations today.

After the World Junior Championship TPS was ripped by anonymous posters because we insisted that Travis Hamonic was only dealt to Brandon because he was injured. According to a G.M. with intimate knowledge of the deal today, Brandon tried like crazy to get Hamonic before the WJC but the Warriors didn't want to deal him, especially after a blow out loss to the Wheat Kings, they told the Wheat Kings they needed Hamonic in order to make the playoffs. After the injury the talks resumed and a deal was done. But if the injury didn't happen, Hamonic would have remained a Warrior and when you consider how close they came to upsetting Calgary in the first round it makes you wonder what would have happened with the talented Dman in the line up.

Speaking of Brandon according to another G.M. they were one of several teams in the running for Jordan Eberle. Apparentley Pats G.M. Brent Parker was looking for 2 picks and 2 players and while the Wheat Kings made a good run at Eberle, word is Saskatoon came the closest.

As for the bantam draft I don't expect Prince George to trade their first overall pick but I'm not really sure what the Oil Kings will do. I thought for a while they would take one of defenceman Josh Morrissey or forward Morgan Klimchuk out of Calgary but I heard from a few people that they aren't high on taking another defenceman and Klimchuk likely won't be a forward they will be taking. Could they trade down? One G.M. who will draft in the top 5 told me he's willing to do that as you might be able to get a similar player at 10 or 11 as you can at 4 or 5.

While the Cougars aren't likely trading the first overall bantam pick, their first overall European pick could be on the block. Edmonton has the 4th overall pick and getting 2 Euro picks in the top 4 I'm told is something that the Kings are investigating.

One more before the bantam draft pick. If the Cougars select Alex Forsberg, as most expect they will, are they looking at asking the WHL to let him play as a 15 year old? He tore up the Saskatchewan AAA Midget League this year and some scouts have told me they think he could play right now. That would immediately unite the Forsberg brothers in PG.

Now onto our top 22 rankings. A list we've compiled after talking to several scouts throughtout the year.

Pipeline Show Top 22

1. Alex Forsberg-F
2. Josh Morrissey-D
3. Morgan Klimchuk-F
4. Curtis Lazar-F
5. Nic Petan-F
6. Johnathan Merkley-F
7. Madison Bowey-D
8. Jesse Lees-D
9. Carter Hansen-D
10. Anothony Ast-F
11. Matthew Needham-F
12. Brian Williams-F
13. Eric Comrie-G
14. Dillion Heatherington-D
15. Tyson Baillie-F
16. Jared Hauf-D
17. Brandon Potomak-F
18. Spenser Jensen-D
19. Torrin White-F
20. Ryan Chynoweth-F
21. Keegan Kanzig-D
22. Luke Philp

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