Lamb Talks Draft & Pro Contracts, Hurricanes Thoughts

The Swift Current Broncos will draft 5th in the WHL Bantam Draft. Seattle won the lottery and broke the hearts of a couple of princes in the process as Prince Albert drops from 1rst to 2nd and Prince George goes from 2nd to 3rd. Birds are always a Prince’s downfall aren’t they?

I had a quick chat with Coach Lamb about the draft and the pro contracts for Vause and Groenheyde before he got on a plane to BC for a scouting trip.

Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb (Download)

The biggest news from that chat? The Broncos will be actively targeting a forward with that top pick. That’s not a big surprise. They’ve drafted three defencemen with their three first round picks over the past two drafts. Dillon Heatherington, Brycen Martin and Zack Gonek should make for an excellent core of d-men for years to come. The major need in the organization is a top line offensive talent. Who couldn’t use one of those?

Jamie Porter told me a couple of weeks ago that “right now we’re projecting 7 or 8 very solid forwards are going to be where we’re picking.” He said they’ve all put up serious numbers, they all have good size and they can all skate. Porter mentioned 4-5 guys are from BC and that’s the same thing I heard from Tyler at Western Elite Hockey Prospects. In fact his latest rankings had 6 of the top 8 players coming from BC. I know some fans might be anxious about players from BC after Evan Richardson chose not to come here, but Evan was always very clear that not coming here was not related to the team being in Swift Current.

Mark Lamb got each one of his top 5 picks signed last draft. I would imagine he’s not going to draft anyone he hasn’t met extensively with. A guy being from BC doesn’t mean they won’t enthusiastically join the Broncos. Guys you can predict they probably won’t get? Matt Barzal is considered the likely top pick and has been called the next Nugent-Hopkins. Adam Music is considered a top prospect in the draft and we all saw what happened when his brother David was available. One would have to think he’s likely to end up in one of only a few places… but who knows for sure.

Who might they pick? Tyler threw out the name Giorgio Estephan of SSAC because the Broncos have had a lot of success drafting out of Alberta. He and the other top end forwards in the draft all have ridiculous offensive numbers. Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Jay Merkley’s brother Nick is another Alberta kid on the radar with great stats. If you’re going by stats any of the top guys have them. Stats are just a part of the large package though. The Broncos will watch these guys and meet with these guys to make sure the one they pick has the makeup they are looking for to be part of the new identity in Swift Current.

I’m looking forward to finding out on May 3rd.


Congrats to Coach Tim Tisdale and the K-Motel Midget AA Hurricanes for advancing to the league final with a 4-3 win over Lumsden/Bethune in the third and deciding game of their second round series. The Hurricanes should be the entire focus of this playoff run because they have had an excellent team all season. The staff and players have done a great job. The final starts Monday in Swift Current.

The crowds at the Fairview West Arena have been almost a bigger story. I have mixed emotions here. On one hand it is great to see a full barn of very enthusiastic fans. I love passion and emotion from crowds. It can really make the in game experience special.

On the other hand… police have been called to the rink in each of the last two Hurricane games. They’ve had to break up fights each time. They’ve had to take someone away in cuffs each time.

That stinks.

This is a game. It’s a game I’ve chosen to make a huge part of my living covering and a game I obviously love… but it’s a game. If you’re getting in a fight over hockey you had better have a long look in the mirror. I don’t care who started the fight and I don’t care that it’s just a few bad apples spoiling the bunch. If you can’t get through a midget playoff game without at least five RCMP officers standing guard there is a serious problem with the maturity of some people in the audience.

To further illustrate that I have to question some of the vulgar language from that crowd. Again I love enthusiasm… and call me old before my years or a stick in the mud… but you don’t need to be vulgar to be effective. I’m no prude. In private conversation I don’t sound like Ned Flanders. That doesn’t mean I want to hear a large group of people chanting that kind of stuff. It’s embarrassing, immature and can spoil the experience for some fans. That’s especially true if anyone wanted to bring their kids to the game.

I really do love the enthusiasm… but please grow up and carry yourself with some class. That great team deserves it.


About shawnmullin

Play by Play Broadcaster for the WHL's Swift Current Broncos on 94.1 FM The Eagle.
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13 Responses to Lamb Talks Draft & Pro Contracts, Hurricanes Thoughts

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am a huge fan of hockey and support the Broncos, Legionnaires and Wildcats. I am also proud of living and being involved in the city of Swift Current. The kids at the Hurricanes games are an embarrassment to Swift Current Minor Hockey and the S.C. Comp. High School. The gong show created at the games is overshadowing the accomplishments of the hockey team. I would encorage parents whose high school aged kids are going to the next Hurricanes game to tag along and see what your kids are doing. I hope the police have a strong prescence at they next game as they did an excellent job controlling the crowd once they arrived. The Lumsden kids should also be embarrassed of their behaviour. Mixing a bus ride without supervision and drinking whiskey the whole way is a recipe for trouble.

  2. Pingback: Vause Retrospective, Humanitarian Award Nominee | Shawn Mullin's Swift Current Broncos Blog

  3. Hockey Fan says:

    The kids at those games are blitzed out of their minds. This is a simple exsmple of what is going on in town on a nightly basis. Consider it a 3 hour house party in a city owned facility. It’s the way it is in Swift right now. coke and drugs are rampant. Have a look at the school issues. It all starts at home. Lots of those kids got away with murder a kids and now they are unabe to cope at an older age. Too much mney and not enough parenting, policing or principalling.

  4. Pride says:

    why is coach Lamb heading to BC. the toughest and grittiest players in western Canada played in SC 20 times this year against the hometown bantam team. Get some Sask boys in town. Not some rich warm weather kids who won’t know what to do when their mom nd dad don’t drive them to the rink for a game and they have to get on a bus. The rebuild starts with sask boys.

    • shawnmullin says:

      From what I understand this is a pretty weak crop of Sask kids. Being from BC doesn’t make you soft! I was out there 4 years and saw a lot of tough people on and off the ice.

      Gotta turn over every rock if you’re going to draft well IMO.

  5. Pride says:

    i didnt say they were soft. i said that sask kids know more about road game culture at 10 then BC kids do at 17. When almost every game is a home game that mom and dad drove you to, or a tourney where you sleep beside your mom and dad in a hotel, you don’t learn a lot about the rigors of whl life. Sask kids are playing road games at 5,6.7 years of age, and pee wee teams, bantam teams and midget aaa teams are managing weeknight road trips, bad weather, boxed lunches and getting home at 3 in the morning from the time they are 10-11 years old. BC kids don’t have any exposure to that at all. the leagues in Sask are designed to prep players for life in major junior and feed into to. BC’s top league create skill and super talents. But when a Sask kid is in the middle of a 3 day road trip he is used to it. A BC kid takes major time to get used to it. I know you will argue, but there is absolutely nothing to argue. The WHL game on the prairies is best suited for prairie boys with some exceptions.

    • shawnmullin says:

      Well the first thought that comes to mind is that the WHL travel in the prairies is actually not harder than it is in BC. Roads are worse and more dangerous there. Travel is actually much easier from my perspective in Swift Current than it was in Trail.

      I do think for some players from BC a harsh prairie winter and some of the lifestyle differences would be tougher to get used to than the WHL travel. In that way I can understand why prairie kids fit in better. They’re used to one way of living. We see prairie kids who go to Vancouver and have a hard time adjusting too.

  6. Pride says:

    I am not talking about BCHL teams. We are talking about bantams here. The bantams you are talking about as top end guys in BC are playing in prgrams that travel with their parents to games or play weekend games. Every league game is a home game as they are played in cities where you have to get to the rink but it is still, on most days, a home game. The bantams in Saskatchewan are travelling mid week, getting home late from games, having to juggle sleep, school and long road trips. They are acclimatized to the rigors of travel. It starts in atom, pee wee in Sask. As for weather, are you trying to tell me that the coastal players in BC have exposure to the smae weather as Sask players? Like seriously I am up for a good debate, but we are just being nonsensical here. It’s okay to just hear a fact and say ‘good point’. If you are trying to say that the top rated BC kids have the same travel experience as top rated Sask kids, you are 100 percent wrong. I am not talking about 19 year olds in Trail. I am talking about the players in BC who come from the coast and interior Okanagan. They drive to games with mom and dad, and for the most part, there is almost no travel beyond the walls of their city or region. Once again, the sask kids start mini WHL type road schedules at 9-10 years of age, Even earlier. what are you arguing here?

    • shawnmullin says:

      What? No I said that the weather and lifestyle might be a difficult adjustment… because it’s very different. I was also saying travel for a Sask based team is probably as good or better than travel for any other WHL team. Our road schedule is pretty easy.

      Regardless, you pick the best player as long as you are confident the guy is committed to coming here. I don’t care where he’s from. Especially in a draft like this one which is weak for Sask kids.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Really? 9 and 10 year old kids in Saskatchewan start mini WHL type road schedules…they travel to Gull Lake, Maple Creek, Shaunavon, Ponteix, Elrose, and maybe have a weekend tournament in Regina, well within our region…and wouldn’t you know it, their parents are with them. You talk about top end bantam players…I’m pretty sure Joe Sakic was a top end bantam player in BC, I think he did ok…I don’t think White Rock ever saw any snow that lasted for more than a day. Although Scott Niedermayer was born in Edmonton, he and his brother Rob grew up in Cranbrook BC…I’m pretty sure they were both top end bantam players…I think they did ok. A more recent example…Brett Connolly, born in Campbell River, BC. The list of top end players that have come from BC is fairley long…someone with your apparent knowledge of the game should know this…top end is top end, no matter what rink you put them in. The bus ride and the weather are things they experience before they step on the ice to play hockey.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Pride, I forgot about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, born in Burnaby BC….drafted first overall in the 2008 WHL BANTAM draft…did I mention he’s from BC! I don’t think the short travel time for his minor hockey games and his parents taking him to the rink hurt him, nor did it hurt his chances of performing at a high level of play in Red Deer…he is one of the leading scorers for the Edmonton Oilers, just so you didn’t miss it…A TOP END BANTAM PLAYER FROM BC! Why wouldn’t Mark Lamb go to BC and watch for potentail draft picks…that’s his job…to pick the best player that fits his team…even if he’s from BC.

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