Eric Johansson, a strong, creative center from Edmonton, could be the first pick of next week’s Western Hockey League bantam draft, the head scout of the Spokane Chiefs said Tuesday.
The Chiefs have the ninth pick in the draft of 1982-born players.
First choice goes to the Edmonton Ice, who are likely to opt for a potential impact player with local ties, Chiefs scout Ray Dudra said.
The Chiefs have no second-round pick. Spokane sent that selection to the Brandon Wheat Kings two years ago for defenseman Adam Magarrell.
Spokane has three third-round picks.
“You just hope by then that some teams have made what you consider to be mistakes,” Dudra said.
Last year, the player the Chiefs projected as the fifth overall choice - center Brandin Cote - was still available when Spokane made him the 19th pick of the first round, Dudra said.
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