Draft Week

With the WHL U.S. Priority and Prospects Drafts happening on Wednesday and Thursday, Pats GM Alan Millar will have his first chance to run the Drafts in Regina.

U.S. Priority Draft

The club was awarded the first selection of the U.S. Draft so the Pats have the pick of the American crop. A big question here is, will the player eventually come north of the border to suit up for the Pats? Time will tell.

The U.S. Draft is turning five years old this year and the Pats, like many other teams, seem to have trouble getting the kids signed to play for them. Matteo Michels has been the only successful recruit from the Draft and he was moved early last season for Anthony Wilson.

The Pats also have the 25th overall selection in the draft, so the Pats have the potential to get a couple of really good players. Again, the question is, will they ever play here?

The draft is still in its infancy and now that it's been around for a few years and getting established, it could be a good sign for the league. With the turmoil in the Junior A leagues out west and the NCAA, we may see more United States-born players in a Pats uniform before we know it.

Prospects Draft

There has been no secret that Millar seems to be open for business and from the sounds of things would potentially like to move up in the draft, but as of this being written, the Pats will pick at #25 in the Prospects Draft. The team did not pick until the third round last year and from all accounts, Cohen Klassen and Cameron Kuzma will be pretty good as long as they continue to work on their games.

The last time the Pats picked at 25, they ended up with a young guy named Adam Brooks back in 2011. He turned out okay.

The last time the Pats picked at 48 they selected goaltender Chris Reed back in 1996. He never played for the Pats.

Two defencemen were picked at the 92nd spot. Sam McGinley in 2017 and current Pat Aaron Krestanowich in 2021.

In 2012 the Pats selected defenceman Robbie Fulton at 114, he would not dress for the Pats.

The 136th pick has landed with the Pats on three other occasions. In 2000 the Pats nabbed defenceman Kyle Fecho, in 2018 they grabbed Colby Wotton, and in 2022 they selected signed goalie prospect Cruz Chase.

This will be the first time that the Pats will select 52nd, 82nd, 158th, 202nd, 224th, or 246th (will they pick in the 11th or 12th round?) overall in the Bantam/Prospects Draft.

Final Thoughts

The Pats do have a good complement of young players in their core. The Vaughan's, Cole Temple, Corban Almen, Dru Mushumanski, and Kolten Bridgeman. Add in 2023-24 acquisitions Logan Peskett, Zach Moore, and Tyson Buczkowski the Pats have a solid group of 17 and 18-year-olds. There are a multitude of young signed players who may be ready to make the jump to the WHL: Brayden Smith, Dayton Deschamps, Fenton Mann, Samuel Laplante, Zach Lansard, Jett Deschamps, Cruz ChaseKlassen, and Kuzma, amongst others who could/should be battling for a spot. As of right now, the Pats really don't have many openings on their opening-night roster, it is going to be an interesting off-season.

An official rebuild was needed in the Queen City and I may be drinking the Kool-Aid but I am buying into it and things seem to be heading in the right direction. 

Short-term pain for long-term gain and I am here for the long haul.

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