Our season-long build up to the NHL Draft continues each week and as the big event gets closer we start escalating things even more. Each show we speak with another prospect eligible for the draft but now we've upped that to two or even three draft-specific guests each episode. Saturdays means a visit from our NHL Insider and this week we also went to Kingston to try and get a read on what that franchise has done lately plus hit on several hot topics as well.
With the WHL finals now in the books at the Kootenay Ice set to represent the league at the Memorial Cup, Dean and I took inventory of the series against Portland. What's in store for the powerful Winterhawks next year? How many of their big guns will be gone and will the team risk taking a European in the import draft on the off chance that Nino Niederreiter doesn't stick on the Islanders roster out of camp?
And just how did Kootenay pull off their amazing run? They've won 15 of their last 16 games so will be going to Mississauga as the hottest team for sure. Can the Ice catch anyone by surprise any more? Will teams out East look at them as some out West were guilty of doing - as a team without enough star power to upset the clubs with a plethora of big name players on them? (I'll admit to spending some time in that crowd).
In segment 2 we were joined by Tyler King from "Offsides" on CFAC Radio in Kingston. The three of us chatted about the recent goings on in Frontenacs country with the promotion of Doug Gilmour, the hiring of Todd Gill, the drafting of Max Domi and the trade rumors that almost immediately popped up as a result. We also wonder aloud if the Frontenacs will be a rebuilding team or a reloading one next year. Who will be back and who for sure will not be?
Matt McNeely was our guest in segment 3. The netminder with the US-NTDP may have been overshadowed by starter John Gibson but McNeely told us why he's accustomed to the back up role. He's still ranked as the 4th best North American netminder in the NHL Draft pool and we discussed why Minnesota-Duluth is the NCAA program of choice for him.
At the top of the second hour of the show we brought back Mark Seidel. The scout and contributor to CBC.ca (see the blogroll to the right) released his Top 100 today and immediately you'll notice Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at #4, Jonathan Huberdeau at #14 and Joe Morrow at #37. We got a lot of insight into what will be a ranking that certainly bucks the trend.
Daren Millard stopped by for his weekly visit and we talked about the new contract for Michael Grabner, the playoff debut of Boston rookie Tyler Seguin, the impending relocation of Atlanta to Winnipeg and the unfortunate and untimely passing of Derek Boogaard.
Finally, local product Reece Scarlett joined us to talk about the year that was with the Swift Current Broncos and what the future at the NHL Draft might hold for him. We also got a scouting report from him on his teammate Adam Lowry and heard about the experience at the World U18s Championship as well.
If you missed any of the interviews from this morning or just want to hear them again, you can check them out in our media archive... HERE.