The inaugural SJHL Bantam draft is all set to go tomorrow in Nipawin.
The draft will be 6 rounds long with the North Stars holding 5 picks. They traded their 3rd round pick.
I spoke with GM and Head Coach Kevin Hasselberg earlier today about his strategy heading into the draft. Like most of the SJHL staff, Hasselberg does not have any previous experience with a Junior ‘A’ draft. He says the Stars have made a list of who they think are the best players and will work from that list to make their selections. He also said the Stars will try to focus on local players from the surrounding areas. Hasselberg says easy travel for families to come see their kids, potential relatives in the area, and other business factors means players from surrounding areas make a lot of sense. But that strategy could change if those player have been selected by other teams. The North Stars will be prepared to draft any player that they think can be helpful to their organization in the future.
The SJHL will still have an auto-protect system so young hockey players from the Battlefords will still be property of the North Stars when they turn 15.
Once a player has been selected by the Stars and placed on their list, the Stars will then begin the process of building a relationship with the player and his family.
With the GMs and coaches around the league all together you can expect some interesting discussions to take place and potentially some trades as well with draft picks recently being moved in a big deal between Estevan and Kindersley. More deals of that nature could be on the cards this week in Nipawin.
The SJHL will take care of their scheduling meeting this week as well. That will take place Friday, also in Nipawin.