AMHERST – The MVP of the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League is the newest goaltender for the Maritime Hockey League Amherst Ramblers.
Chase Marchand was nabbed by the Ramblers in the first round of the 2012 MHL draft Saturday in Yarmouth.
“I thought we did very well to get the MVP out of the major midget league,” said Jim Bottomley, Ramblers coach and general manager. “Any time you can get the top goalie in the midget league there’s a possibility he could be there for three to four years at his age.”
Bottomley said teams don’t usually start looking at goaltenders until the third round, “but Truro took (Jacob) Fancy (eighth pick in the first round) and teams needed goaltenders so we thought we should take the pick.”
Marchand, who was picked ninth overall, will play backup to Richard Tingley.
“We got the top scorer of the Maritime Midget League in Josh Puglsey, and then we added the MVP, so I’m very pleased with that,” said Bottomley.
The Ramblers picked Marcus Cuomo in the second round.
“He’s the top player out of St. John’s Newfoundland,” said Bottomley.
Bottomley’s philosophy going into the draft was to acquire players who can step in and play right away.
“We feel we have three or four who could step right in this year,” he said. “We also have a couple kids who we expect will go back to midget and will join us the year after, so we’ve looked after our immediate needs and looked down the road as well.
“We’re very pleased with our draft. We have a good balance of skill, speed and some big guys,” added Bottomley.
The Ramblers also made a trade with the Dieppe Commandos at the draft.
“We used an eighth round pick in next years draft to acquire Ryan Caswell,” said Bottomley. “He was playing at a prep school in the States, but he’ll be going to Mount Allison University this year.”
The Ramblers also received the Executive of the Year award at the 2012 MHL draft.
“It’s a great honour to get the award from the league,” said Bottomley. “We came from last place last year to going to the top ten in the country at the start of the year and battling for first place right down to the final two weeks.”
Bottomley gives credit to Ramblers president Jim Henwood, his executive and the board of directors.
“They really worked hard off the ice fundraising,” said Bottomley “Every other club has major sponsors so the award says a lot for the organization and the work they did. They worked hard off the ice to put a good product on the ice.
“It was a major adjustment from the year before.”
He also thanks the fans.
“There was great support from the fans and that helped us get that award,” he added.
The Amherst Ramblers draft picks are as follows:
Last Year's Team: Cole Harbour Major Midgets
Last Year's Team: St. John's Pennecon Privateers
Last Year's Team: Cole Harbour AAA
Last Year's Team: Moncton Flyers Midget AAA
Last Year's Team: Cape Breton Tradesmen
Last Year's Team: Valley Wildcats
NO PICKS IN ROUND 6 AND 7
Last Year's Team: Dartmouth Taylor Flooring Major Midgets
Last Year's Team: Stanstead College
Last Year's Team: Oddessey
Last Year's Team: Ontario Hockey Academy
Last Year's Team: Saint John Vito's Midget AAA
Last Year's Team: Weeks Major Midgets
Last Year's Team: Cornwall Thunder Midget AAA