Ramblers finalize draft strategy

Dave
Dave Mathieson
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AMHERST?- Evolution, not revolution is the wave of the future for the Amherst Ramblers heading into Saturday's draft at Amherst Stadium.
"Last year we had a good draft. We were rebuilding and we drafted a lot of young hockey players," Ramblers coach and general manager Corey Crocker said. "This year, with most players coming back, we have to look at things differently and pick the best players possible. Basically, we want what everybody else wants - the best players."
Crocker is confident the Ramblers are more than ready for this year's draft.
"A lot of time and effort and research is put in for this day by the coaching staff," Crocker said. "It's been a year-long process for us and on Saturday it all comes down to three and a half hours."
The Ramblers have nine picks in the 10 round draft.
They traded their first round draft last year to acquire Eric Boureau.
"Eric is our first round pick," Crocker said. "I wouldn't give Eric up for anything right now. He had a great rookie season and I think he's going to be an all-star in this league."
Boudreau was picked up to address deficiencies in the Rambler defensive corps.
"Eric addressed that issue and we are moving in the right direction," Crocker added.
Crocker said they are as prepared as they've ever been going into the draft.
"We take our scouting and research very seriously," Crocker said. "We start scouting when the midget leagues start and we track the kids all season and the kids are ranked."
Crocker adds that despite all the hard work teams don't necessarily get what they bargained for.
"Just like in the NHL, there are a lot of intangibles that come into play," Crocker said. "A first round pick might not pan out, while a tenth rounder could turn out to be a superstar."
One of Crockers' bottom-line philosophies is to have a team made up of Maritime hockey players.
"When I took over two years ago we wanted to build a team of players from throughout the Maritimes," Crocker said. "We are not going to stop now. It's a Maritime Junior Hockey League and we want to have a lot of Maritimers in out lineup.
He also hopes to see a lot of people come out for the draft.
"I'd love to see all the fans get out to the draft," Crocker said. "It's something special because it's the first time the had ever been in Amherst. We are definitely going to put on a first-class event."

dmathieson@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: NHL, Maritime Junior Hockey League

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium

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