2024 Draft Recap & Thoughts

I was planning on doing a recap, but the Pats' Dante De Caria did a good job covering that here. So I'll leave that alone.
With this being Alan Millar's first draft running things for the club, I had no idea what to expect in the draft. As I have no idea who any of the kids are, I cannot speak to any aspect of their games, I'll take Millar and his crew's word on the players they selected.

"I thought it was deep," Pats Millar said on the 2024 Prospects Draft, "and I think we benefitted from that with the two picks in the second round and the two picks in the third. Not having a first is always difficult. I think it was top-end in terms of some d[efence], [and] good depth. A strong group, I like the group."

The Pats made one move on the day as they picked up the 38th overall pick from the Kelowna Rockets. with that pick, the Pats picked Sam Failler.

The full trade details:
One thing that was noticeable about the picks that were made is that seven of the nine picks were listed as 5'9" or taller. Their two third-round picks are both already well over six feet tall.
After seeing the Pats draft seven players from Manitoba in the 2023 Prospects Draft, the way the pieces fell, the Pats did not pick any players from our neighbours to the east. Instead, they went and picked three players each from Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.
"We don't draft by region," said Millar, "we draft by how we build our list. You build your list with the best-player mentality, you build your list with the next guy up on your list should be the person that you draft and it's just how it falls."

They went forward heavy once again, nabbing five from up front, three defencemen, and a lone goalie.
The club also went "hockey school" heavy, with six of the nine selections coming from prep teams.
I did a quick look at the 2024 picks:
Aiden Wagner (D) - a right-handed shooting defender who played on the U15 Prep team at NAX, put up 23 points (4G-19A) in 22 games.
Sam Failler (RW) - a right-handed shooting winger who played the 2023-24 season with Martensville of the SAAHL U15, where he had 48 points (19G-29A) in 19 games.
Mathis Paull (LW) - the 6'2" winger had 34 points (16G-18A) in 27 games for RINK Kelowna.
Cohen Handby (C) - the biggest player selected by the Pats in the draft, stands at nearly 6'4" and had 32 points (9G-23A) in 27 games for OHA Prep.
Drake Mooney (G) - the lone goalie selected by the Pats in the draft, has already topped the 6' mark. He went 13-5 for the Red Deer Rebels U15, where he had a 2.40 GAA and 0918 SV%.
Thayne Wasyluk (RW) - Wagner's teammate at NAX, had 28 points (13G-15A) in 24 games.
Hunter Wilm (C) - The smallest player picked by the Pats (5'7") played the 2023-24 season for Swift Current in the SAAHL where he notched 41 points (19G-22A) in just 26 games. 
Ryder Dunn (D) - the 6'1" defender scored 13 times in 26 games (30 points) for Delta Hockey Academy. 
Jack Bissoon (D) - put up 19 points (9G-10A) in 27 games for Edge School U 15 Prep.

After hearing what Alan Millar said in the post-draft media, it sounds like they were happy with their picks which makes this Pats fan happy… They clearly didn’t make regional selections as they evenly distributed their picks in Western Canada… They clearly stayed away from the mini-players (at least according to the WHL draft site) with the smallest listed player standing at 5’7” as mentioned before.
I look forward to Pats Spring Camp which will most likely take place sooner than later.

Any long-time WHL watchers may have noticed a couple of the players with familiar last names. Thayne Wasyluk and Hunter Wilm have last names tied into former WHL players (Trevor Wasyluk and Clarke Wilm), I have asked the Pats and once they find out they will eventually let me know.

I found the last two picks interesting (Dunn and Bissoon), as both were defencemen from British Columbia. In the research I did, I was able to find a couple of different sources (how accurate they are, I have no idea) that had both of them in the top two rounds. One even had them both in the top 10 defencemen, If that's the case, the Pats may have gotten a couple of steals.

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