With exactly three weeks to go until the 2019 MJHL Draft, Wolverines Director of Scouting, Troy Hickman is hard at work determining which 2004-born players from the province will fit within the organization.
The 2018-19 season saw the club take their previous win total of 8 to 28 in one calendar year, while team defense improved dramatically and helped push the club to their first playoff appearance in years.
According to Hickman, continuing to move the needle in the right direction starts on draft day which takes place on Sunday, June 9 in Winnipeg.
“We took major steps this year on and off the ice, and in order to continue making major steps, we believe you have to develop your own players,” Hickman explained.
“We want to build through the draft, it’s a major part of the organization. If you don’t draft well then you’re spending a lot of time trying to fill holes that were not covered. These picks are our backbone, we need to have good drafts in order to continue to grow, develop and be a great hockey team.”
Over the course of the year, Hickman works closely with Wolverines Head Coach and General Manager, Taylor Harnett. The duo spends their time discussing different scenarios including trades and players who could be selected in the upcoming draft.
“The draft weekend is a great opportunity for all the general managers to be together in one setting and discuss different options if they choose to,” Harnett said. “Some teams may choose to add or subtract draft picks if the right deal comes up that will help their organization.”
“We’re not quite sure where we’re at, but we are always open to improving our hockey club.”
The organization is now starting to see past draft picks come to fruition, and this coming season could feature some of those players in the line up according to Hickman.
“The last couple of years, the team has had good success at the draft. There are kids who were drafted two years ago that could be in our lineup this coming season, so it’s exciting,” he concluded.
Be sure to follow the Wolverines on twitter @mjhlWolverines during the draft to get live coverage of who the organization has selected.