Big moment for franchise
AMHERST?- When recruiting players to do battle within the ranks of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League, nothing beats a good draft.
And with the Amherst Ramblers hosting the draft for 2008, it's bound to be a great draft all round.
"It's going to be a great weekend for Amherst and a great weekend for the Amherst Ramblers," said Ramblers' coach Corey Crocker.
The draft will take place on the weekend of June 12 - 14, with the draft itself taking place at Amherst Stadium.
"We have the draft on Saturday afternoon and it runs for about three or three and a half hours," said Crocker. "It's like an NHL draft. There's 12 teams and 10 round so there will be over 120 players drafted."
It's the first time the draft has been held in Amherst in the leagues 40-year history.
The league governors will hold their general meeting for the league over the draft weekend and, "there's a golf game amongst all the teams and we have a reception on one of the evenings also," said Crocker.
Major Midget AAA players from Amherst such as Justin Matthews are eligible for the draft in Amherst.
"It's a draft year for me and a couple of guys from Amherst, who play in Pictou, hope to get drafted." said Matthews.
How would Matthews like being drafted by the Ramblers in Amherst?
"It would be good being drafted by the Ramblers at home and playing in my home town in front of my friends and family," Matthews added.
Matthews, whose father Jamie starred for the Ramblers in the late 1990s before being drafted by the OHL's Sudbury Wolves, has played a game as an affiliate with the club.
Crocker said it's a great opportunity to showcase the team and the town.
There are seven county players with the Weeks Major Midget AAA team and several other midget-aged players with the Cumberland?County Cool Blues.
"The planning is already in full force and I'll be taking care of the details over the next couple of months" Crocker added. "We are very happy as an organization to hold the draft. It signifies how Amherst is committed to the fans and our players and, most importantly, to being a strong organization in the league."
Crocker finished by saying, "We are looking forward to holding a first class event. When people leave Amherst they're going to know what a great time it was and how well they were treated here."