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Bantam Picks Part 2

Ok... Part 2.

The thesis of this whole project is... A lot of things are wrong with the Seattle Thunderbirds right now but the drafting and overall talent level appear to be the biggest issue.

Bantam Draft 2008

1st - Connor Sanvido - Much tougher to make a call on these kids that are 17 and younger because they still have time to improve. However, at this point you would have to call Sanvido a bust. Sanvido couldn't crack the roster as a 16 year old and now has 35 career games and just 3 points. A player who possesses the ability to score but currently doesn't have the skating ability to get himself open to use that scoring touch. I think we have to be patient and give him more time before calling him a bust.. but the clock is ticking. Players they could have picked... Myles Bell, Mitch Holmberg, Zach Yuen, Tyler Wotherspoon, Daulton Siwak, Zach Franko.

2nd - Tanner Muth - Muth came to camp as a 16 and looked like he was going to be a solid player. But he struggled throuh his 16 year old season and had only 5 assists with a -38 rating before being traded in the offseason to Swift Current for one year of Travis Bobbee. Bobbee has been a nice player but you wound up with only 2 seasons out of this pick... one bad and one good from Bobbee. Muth is a little better in Swift where he has 2 assists and is -6 in 22 games. Players missed... not very much here. Lukas Sutter, Brady Brassart, Liam Liston.

3rd - Ryan Armbruster - Armbruster was a bruising, fighter type defender who was close to making the team as a 16 year old and now likely won't play in the WHL. Not a lot really missed here. The 2008 draft doesn't have a lot of breakout players yet.

4th - Colin Jacobs - Obviously a very good pick for Seattle. They took a gamble on Jacobs coming to Seattle and they hit a homerun getting him to sign and report. An A+ pick here by any measure. You got a 1st round talent in the 4th round and got a US born player to come play for you. It was a gamble that paid off big.

4th - Robbie Newton - Hasn't played a game for Seattle. Not much obviously missed at this point.

5th - Mitch Elliot - Elliot is an interesting project. He has only produced 13 points in 104 games but he has great size, crushes people in fights and definitely has some potential. For a 5th round selection you could do a lot worse.

5th - Zach Walker - Walker looked like he might have a WHL future and actually played 2 games for Seattle on their Eastern road trip last season. I believe he suffered an injury during his 2nd game and hasn't been back with the team.

6th - Tyler Alos - Pretty decent selection for the 6th round here. Alos has 30 points in 108 career games while playing with Colin Jacobs a lot. Alos still has areas in need of improvement but his WHL career is off to a solid start and I see no reason why he won't have a solid 4 or 5 year career with the Thunderbirds.

7th - Seth Ambroz - This could wind up being a pretty good selection. 7th round selections don't turn out very often and with their 7th round selection the Tbirds took a flyer on Minnesota product Seth Ambroz. Ambroz is supposed to go to the University of Minnesota but decided that college could wait another year and went back to the USHL. Should Ambroz be a 1st round NHL pick this summer... his NHL team might prefer him to head to Seattle instead of Minnesota. This pick is a gamble... but for a 7th round pick it isn't a bad gamble.

Bantam Draft 2009

1st - Branden Troock - In training camp Troock had the look of being the next big time Thunderbird when he was suddenly sidelined with an injury and we haven't seen him on the ice since. I doubt that we will see him this season and hopefully with a full year's worth of rest he will be good to go in 2011-12. At this point it would be very unfair to say that Seattle made a mistake on this selection but here are the players they could have taken that are doing things as 16 year olds... Hunter Shinkaruk (31 points... wow), Dalton Sward.

2nd - Justin Hickman - Hickman isn't quite ready to be a top 6 forward but I think as long as he can add just a little bit of scoring ability he will develop into one. He has shown no fear on the ice, flying around making big hits in his limited playing time.

3rd - Jetlan Houcher - Could wind up being a player but didn't make the team as a 16 year old.

5th - Jayson Ness - I honestly can't find much on Ness. I kind of doubt we see him in a Tbirds uniform... but what do I know.

6th - Evan Wardley - Wardley has actually played 1 game for Seattle this year. Kind of tough to say whether he sticks long term. Not a bad pick for the 6th round.

7th-14th - Seattle took a boat load of players in these rounds and probably the only one worth noting is Alex Kerfoot. Kerfoot didn't exactly blow me away in training camp but his numbers in the BCMML are definitely worth taking note. Kerfoot now has 28 goals and 83 points in just 30 games playing for the Vancouver NW Giants. Kerfoot stands only 5'8" and 150 lbs. but I don't care what size you are if you are putting up nearly 3 points per game in the BCMML. I would love to see Seattle bring this kid in for a look and I have to think there is another reason why he hasn't come in yet (perhaps he hasn't signed?).

So there you have it.

It isn't fair or appropriate to judge the 2010 draft... heck it's hardly fair to judge the 2009 draft.

This "study" just confirms for me what I have previously thought. The coaching staff needs to do a better job getting more out of the players that they have... But... it's pretty clear that Seattle hasn't done a very good job drafting in the 4 classes leading up to this year and that is probably the biggest reason for the struggles of the team.


Anonymous said...

The bottom line is there needs to be changes with this organization. People can argue the point this teams performance isn't the coaches fault, it's bad drafting,it's this or it's that but when the team sends out b.s.letter to season ticket holders about last season and they make zero changes. They don't care about winning or their fans thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Newton was traded to Swift Current in the deal that brought Scott Ramsay to Seattle at the start of last season. If I remember, we got a conditional 5th rd (?) pick in the Ramsay to Med Hat trade. Kerfoot is supposedly going the NCAA route and that is why he was available so late in the draft. Another gamble pick that didn't cost much and may pay off if he changes his mind. Muth has missed most of this season in Swift with an injury. Interesting that two players we passed over in our draft 3 yrs ago were selected by Spokane and both are doing well there. Maybe we could get there scouts.

Thunnex said...

You are totally correct on Newton. My bad. Not sure why but I always seem to forget that we gave him up in that trade.

Anonymous said...

That'd be sweet if we got Ambroz next year. Hopefully he falls 2nd round to Ottawa (they will be picking very early 2nd round most likely and thats where Ambroz is projected at the moment) because we know that they're arent really fans of The University of Minnesota

Anonymous said...

Can we trade the complacent GM? Could us the stockholders send him packing? Did he get lucky w/ Troock or is this an indication they've done something to correct their problems evaluating talent. Aside from the injury from what we have seen Troock appeared to be a home run. I'm still a huge skeptic, I've watched the Birds muddle along under Farwell for too many years. We drafted very high last year and Farwell selected a giant D man. He seems to have a love of giant players. As far as I'm concerned if this last pick turns out to be a bust I'll officially give up on Farwell. He is in my doghouse currently with very little confidence.

Anonymous said...

Armbruster was unable to crack the lineup of any midget AAA team in Sask. Obviously 12 head coaches had a different assessment of him than the Seattle scouts...

Anonymous said...

I heard Armbruster decided to give up hockey and that is why he wasn't at camp last September.

Anonymous said...

7 losses in a row, soon to be 8 tonight. The wheels are off the bus and this team will miss the playoffs for the second straight year.

Anonymous said...

Tyler, excellent recap on our recent sucessful, er, mostly failed bantam picks...our T-Birds are now officially in last place in the Western Conference and I predict by season's end will be the worst team in the entire league except for Calgary. My 25 year run of buying season tickets may be coming to end unless this organization shows me or tells us what the heck the future holds. Coach Sumner again sitting on his thumbs behind the bench last night not sticking up for his players when called for (sent to the box on a bad call, cross-checked in the crease resulting in no call). Geez, some some emotion that you care. Sumner needs to go, but won't as long as Russ Farwell is in charge...and Russ won't be fired because he owns a piece of the team. Until someone comes in and buys the team and cleans house, except more of the same...

Anonymous said...

Remember the conversation about building for Pickard's 19 year-old season...making a run for the Cup? Ha, with this group? I hate to say this, but the only way this team gets better next year is to trade Picks...he is over-worked and got to be frustrated with this team...the kid stands on his head every night, and I mean every night (when is the last time Salmon got a start)...he puts up a 90+% save percentage, rountinely faces 50+ shots and allows allow 3-4 goals...our offense is so inept we lose most of those games 3-1, 4-2, etc. The team gets better for next year by trading Picks to an Eastern Conference team making a legitimate run for a championship that will give up an experienced 20 year old goalie (remember our success with Yeomans), a 18-19 year old scorer and a bruising defenseman. You can get those 3 players for Pickard and a future bantam pick or two. Picks deserves better than he is getting and you are kidding yourself if you think our team will contend for anything but 4th place in the West next year.

Anonymous said...

4th inthe West or 4th inthe U.S. Division...'cause I'd take 4th in the West in a heartbeat! But I agree, trade Picks in the offseason (they won't because they market the team around him). Two good teams losing 20 yr old goalies at the end of this season; Red Deer and Moose Jaw. Tell em the bidding starts now!

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