The strategy the Spokane Chiefs used in the Bantam Draft to help build a strong team hasn’t changed now that they are a recent Memorial Cup champion and strong Western Hockey League contender.
“We want the best player available, regardless of position,” Chris Moulton, director of scouting and player personnel, said. “We have standards in what we expect in players. We like kids that can skate, kids that have character. Those are two very important things.”
The draft, for prospects born in 1994, is today in Edmonton, Alberta. The Chiefs have the 16th pick in the first round.
“It’s not the strongest draft I’ve seen, but it’s decent for sure,” Moulton said. “It’s a good draft for upper-end kids, but there’s not one kid that is head and shoulders above the others. That’s how (Chiefs defenseman) Jared Cowen (the first overall pick in 2006) was. There’s no one in the draft like that, period. Three years from now, you never know, but as of now, that kid doesn’t exist.”
Moulton said Spokane would add eight to 10 players, with the first three or four rounds reserved exclusively for the “best athlete available.”
“We try to stick with what we look for but by the end of the day, if we feel the need for a particular position or size, we’ve been known to look for them,” he said. “(Players) at the end of the draft are definitely projections.”
Last year four Spokane-area players were picked, three by the Chiefs. Moulton said this year there are potential local players but no standouts.