Four Cumberland County players taken at annual MJAHL?draft on Saturday
Ramblers stay close to home with picks
AMHERST - Things couldn't have gone any better for Corey Crocker and the Amherst Ramblers.
Hosting the draft, the Ramblers picked up four homegrown talents and added depth to their goaltending ranks during the MJAHL entry draft Saturday.
"I'm very pleased with how it went. We had a plan going in of what we wanted in every round and I felt we got what we wanted," Crocker said. "As a coaching staff, we're very happy with what we accomplished."
It was also one of the proudest moments Crocker's had since arriving in Amherst in that he was able to pick up Wes Herrett and Justin Matthews as his territorial picks and forwards Shane O'Byrne and Josh Coleman with later picks.
"We knew we had Wes and knew we had Justin, but we wanted Shane and Josh and we got them," he said. "It was a proud moment for everyone there to see those guys coming down the stairs and putting on the Rambler jersey."
All four local picks played with the Pictou County Major Midget AAA team last season while O'Byrne also spent time with the Cumberland County Cool Blues as did Herrett, who was a playoff pickup. Matthews and Coleman both saw action with the Ramblers.
Crocker is thrilled that Dartmouth Subways forward Kody Orr was around in the second round and quickly grabbed the player he compares to Travis Turner.
"I had the opportunity to coach Kody in the Under-16. He brings a lot of character and leadership. His work ethic is second to none and he'll become a popular player in Amherst," Crocker said.
While Andrew Flemming is returning for another season, and the club also has Patrick O'Brien and Tyler Ferdinand in the wings, Crocker took a pair of goalies in Jonathan Waye of the Frederiction Canadiens in the third round and Andrew Caines of St. John's in the sixth round.
"One of the areas we needed some work on was more goalies in our system," Crocker said. "We traded the rights to Kyle Downer to Summerside for a couple of picks and a possible one next year. We have Andrew, Pat and Tyler now and these guys will only make us stronger. It's a good situation to be in."
The club also added some long-term depth, drafting Travis Randell off the Halifax Mooseheads roster and Carmeron Critchlow of the Bathurst Titan, while Crocker also went to Newfoundland to pick three players including defenceman Pat Parfrey with their second pick in the fifth round and forward Blair Carter with their first pick in the ninth round.
"Pat is a defenceman that we wanted and it doesn't hurt that he's a good friend with Jordan Escott," Crocker said.
The Rambler coach said other teams were very complimentary of Amherst and the job done by organizers and Crocker wants to thank volunteers like Tyler and Andrew Skinner, Greg Curtis and Daren White for their help as well as Frank Downey at the Amherst Stadium and the Rambler executive.
(With files from Darrell Cole)