Preparing for a new season with draft picks

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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The Amherst Ramblers will begin to shape the future of their organization here today when they participate in the MJAHL draft in Charlottetown.

The club has 12 picks in 10 rounds including four selections in the first two rounds. While picking from a position of strength, coach and general manager Corey Crocker feels Ramblers fans should not expect instant results.

The Amherst Ramblers will begin to shape the future of their organization here today when they participate in the MJAHL draft in Charlottetown.

The club has 12 picks in 10 rounds including four selections in the first two rounds. While picking from a position of strength, coach and general manager Corey Crocker feels Ramblers fans should not expect instant results.

Were in tremendous shape heading into the draft. We have the fourth most picks in the draft and are well prepared, Crocker said.

Still, the draft is a bit of a crapshoot. We have a bit of a vision of where we want to go, but from the first pick on the draft usually changes. Will we stay with that vision throughout three hours, who knows.

The Ramblers have had solid drafts in the past with various players making an impact a couple of years after they were selected. Both Andrew Sweetland and Brent MacSween were drafted by the club several years ago, but only reported last season.

A lot of players often remain in Midget Major AAA or head off to the QMJHL before considering playing in the MJAHL. Once those avenues have been exhausted, many of those players come to the league.

Its one thing to draft someone, its another to get him here, Crocker said. Thats my job as the general manager. Its getting easier though because we have developed an excellent reputation of having a program that players want to be part of.

Crocker feels the coaching staff is well prepared for this years draft, much more so than last year when Crocker attended the draft within weeks of the release of GM Jack Finley. Crocker, assistants John Carter, Jeff Lewis and Tim Ripley and scout Jean Alexandre have travelled extensively throughout the Atlantic provinces scouting talent.

One area the Ramblers will likely be trying to address is the blueline where only Andrew Shears and Derek Smith remain from last years squad. While the club has a solid nucleus of forwards returning and both Andre-Rene LeClerc and Andrew Flemming eligible to return tbetween the pipes, that doesnt rule out picking up a few forwards or a goalie on draft day.

Were looking to pick the best players available. It doesnt matter the position, Crocker said.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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