Archive for April 2012

Feeling a draft

GM's ready to add new kids to their blocks

While Taylor Hall got a lot of accolades for junior achievements, it's what players will do at the WCHL level that will dictate where they are selected in the 2012 WCHL Entry Draft.
With the regular season winding down, it's almost time to start deciding who will be the stars of the future in the WCHL.

A new entry draft format will see player selection begin via e-mail this year, and it is anticipated round one and two will be completed in this manner.

"Every year draft day can stretch into a long drawn out affair," explained Trent Allen, WCHL Commissioner and Nashville Predators General Manager. We average around one hour per round, which means a seven round draft takes seven hours. Add onto that the trades which go down and the assigning of players to teams and it can mean a really long day. This will allow us to spread those efforts out over the first three weeks of the playoffs and mean a shorter draft day itself."

The draft will be done via e-mail until the end of the third round of the playoffs. At that point the draft will freeze, and all remaining rounds will be concluded at the 2012 WCHL Entry Draft convention. A date for the convention has not been set, however it is expected to take place in early June.

"Just like in past drafts, players and draft picks can be traded. The only difference this time is teams won't be able to get players they trade for until after the playoffs are completed due to the trade freeze."

This years' draft will feature players selected in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. For players such as Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin and Jeff Skinner, they are expected to take an immediate jump to the professional ranks.

"I'm hoping to go first once again," said Hall, the top pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. "To go first in the WCHL as well would be an honor."

The full draft list, in the order selected during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, can be viewed here:

Due to the fact draft order is based off the combined point totals from Season 13 and Season 14 the official draft order won't be confirmed until the end of the regular season on May 12. Currently, the Winnipeg Jets franchise is set to select first overall, with the San Jose Sharks owning their draft selection. The Nashville Predators would select 2nd overall if the season ended today, but their pick was dealt to the New York Islanders. In total, the Islanders hold seven selections in the first round.

The Toronto Maple Leafs would select third overall, thanks to acquiring the Minnesota Wild's first round selection via trade.

There is plenty of speculation who will go first at this draft. While Hall has played well at the NHL level since being drafted, Skinner rocketed out of nowhere as a rookie to score 31 goals before adding another 20 in an injury shortened sophomore season. Seguin meanwhile netted 67 points this season, including 29 goals, in his second NHL season.

Beyond those three, there are dark horse candidates to capture the honor of being a top selection. Cam Fowler, who dramatically fell in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has been a solid performer since then, including a 40 point rookie season in the NHL, while Alexander Burmistrov continues to tantalize with skill as a Winnipeg Jet, even if the results haven't been there. Eric Gudbrandson, the third overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, had a solid, though unspectacular, rookie season in the NHL this year with the Florida Panthers.

In total, 16 players selected in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft have already played at least one game in the NHL.

Teams will be given 24 hours to make their selection. Failure to do so would result in the highest draft player still available on the NHL 2010 Entry Draft order would be assigned to their team by default. Teams also have the option of submitting a draft list or drafting instructions to the commissioner if they are unavailable to pick for themselves, allowing the draft to move along at a quicker pace.

"Even if three picks per day get done, we should be done two rounds by the time we freeze the draft after the third round of the playoffs," said Allen.

For teams wanting to submit a draft list or drafting instructions, they can be e-mailed to the commissioner at

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