In 1989 the smallest market in the CHL held the richest prize in the country only two years after one of the greatest tragedies in hockey history took the lives of four of their brothers. It’s a tremendous story and one the city of Swift Current should proudly celebrate for years to come. Earlier this week we hit the 25th anniversary of the day Tim Tisdale lifted his hometown team to victory in Saskatoon. That team was just an amazing assembly of talent and I wish I had a chance to watch them in person. We can only hope to see another team even close to that special. They stand up as one of the best in junior hockey’s vast history.
The other big Broncos news this week was that three players from this season`s team were invited to the NHL draft combine. Brett Lernout, Brycen Martin and Julius Honka all got he call to participate in the annual showcase for prospects. Their physical and mental sides will come under close examination from NHL teams preparing to make one of them a part of their future. Those invites are another very good sign that all three have a very good shot of being drafted in Philadelphia next month. Martin and Honka have been ranked as first or second round picks all season. Lernout is the rising star who went from being a big, physical, bottom pairing defenceman to someone with a far more well-rounded game that the Broncos could rely on in all situations.
How impressive is it that the Broncos have three members of their defensive core going to the combine? Especially when the whole group (including drafted Dillon Heatherington) are eligible to return to Swift Current next season.
That doesn`t mean those three players are the only ones who could be drafted. Colby Cave and Landon Bow are both examples of guys who had strong seasons and as older draft eligible players could attract the attention of NHL scouts.
DRAFT PICK INTERVIEWS
Defenceman Kyle Dronyk Interview (Download)
Forward Ben Kellogg Interview (Download)
I caught up with a couple more recent Swift Current Broncos draft picks. Ben Kellogg is a gritty forward known for his strong forecheck, while Kyle Dronyk is a puck moving defenceman who has put up good numbers since shifting from forward to the blue line in PeeWee. Both guys are later round picks the Broncos hope will emerge thanks to their long term potential. You look at a player like Dronyk who could be a good bet because he’s only recently changed position and maybe there’s even more room to grow for him in his new position. Kellogg received lots of praise from one of his former coaches in an interview I did a couple of weeks ago as a character guy who wins lots of battles. The Broncos see room to grow in his overall offensive game as well.
I’ll hopefully complete my draft interviews in the next few days.
Don’t forget about annual PBR coming up next weekend. It’s the highlight of the SCB Events Management schedule and always a good time.
I also want to throw out a quick plug for my girlfriend Erin’s band Lady and the Tramps who are playing their debut show on May 31rst at the Legion Hall. It’s a fundraiser for the renovations they are hoping to do at the hall. They’re a rock cover band and the show is $10 to get in. Tickets are available at Pharmasave. It’s a good cause so I hope you can help support it!