Ramblers enter MHL draft with 12 picks

Club set to acquire ‘significant asset’ on draft day


Published on June 8, 2017

The Amherst Ramblers have 12 picks going into Saturday's Maritime Junior Hockey League draft in Miramichi, N.B. This is head coach Jeff LeBlanc's third draft at the helm of the Ramblers.

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AMHERST – The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers will restock the roster on Saturday at the Maritime Junior Hockey League draft in Miramichi.

“We’re in good shape going in, we have 12 picks, which is the second most of any team,” said Ramblers coach and general manager Jeff LeBlanc, who has just agreed to a new three-year deal to coach the team. “We’re sitting in a good position and we’re fielding a lot of calls. There are a lot of teams without a lot of picks who are looking to pick up some.”
Amherst picked up a first-round pick in a trade with the Summerside Western Capitals last week that will see them acquire Yarmouth’s pick, ninth overall. The Ramblers also made a separate deal with Summerside to pick up goalie Kirkland Allen.
LeBlanc said the coaching staff has been meeting frequently with the team’s scouts to put together their draft day strategy. He said the group has spent a lot of time talking to midget-aged players about coming to Amherst.
He said there’s really no particular area the Ramblers are looking to improve through the draft at this time.
“We’re looking for the best Junior A type player we can find,” LeBlanc said. “We have the ninth overall pick following the trade with Summerside last week. We’re not sure if we’re going to keep the pick or make another trade. We do have a player in mind at that position, so we’ll see where it goes.”
Amherst has two picks in the second round (15th and 20th), three picks in the third round (39th, 42nd and 44th) and single picks in Round 4 (66th), Round 6 (92nd), Round 7 (98th) and Round 8 (116th).
Since the Ramblers did not make any territorial selections they get two additional picks – one at the end of the second round (29th) and one at the end of the third (56th).
The Ramblers will have a strong nucleus returning in the fall for the 2017-18 season, especially on defence while Jordan King will be back up front and Julian Galloway in goal.
In most cases, he said, the players drafted Saturday will be for a year or two down the road, although he isn’t ruling out someone coming into camp and earning a spot on the roster.
LeBlanc said he will likely be active on the trade front looking to improve his team. He hopes to be able to announce at least one trade that could bring in a significant asset from outside the league.
He will also be sending a player to the Valley Wildcats to complete the trade for Grant Janes that was made at the deadline back in January.
Going into the draft, Edmundston has the most picks at 15, followed by Amherst at 12 and Woodstock and Campbellton at 11. Valley has 10, Yarmouth nine and Summerside, St. Stephen and Miramichi each have eight. Truro has seven picks, South Shore five and Pictou County four.
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