© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
One of the players seclected by the Crushers this weekend at the MHL draft could be have their name on this stall in the Crushers locker room as early as next season.
When Jason Malone and the Weeks Crushers get to the MHL draft this weekend in Yarmouth they won’t be taking the usual approach.
Most teams want to pick up some players that will develop as well as some players to make an immediate impact. After trading their first-round pick for Bruce Hornbrook in early May, they are looking to draft players that will develop for the future.
“We have some very good returning players so what we’re looking for from this draft is to send players back to major midget and have another year of development,” said Malone. “After that year of development we’d bring them up. Obviously if the right player came along we would fit him into our lineup for next season.”
He said that the main reason for approaching the draft this way is because of their past success at the drafts. They feel that with the run they had with a young team last season that they can continue to build on that and at the same time develop the young talent.
With this plan in place, Malone believes there is a two-year window to be a top contender in the league before there will be a turnover within the program.
“Our division is going to be strong this season, but we feel we’re going to be right there,” he said. “With Truro hosting the Fred Page Cup they’re going to want to ice a strong product. Yarmouth won the league title last year and they’re going to have a strong core returning, so they’ll also be tough again.”
“We feel with the group we have that we have a two-year window that will allow us to be at the top of the league. That is our plan and if the draft goes accordingly we will need some holes filled, but with that development in major midget they will be able to come in and fill those eventually.”
Malone said there are players they’re looking at specifically, but without a first-round pick they don’t want to draw attention to players. They will have two second-round and one third-round picks to kickoff the draft.