Prince Albert, SK – While the Prince Albert Raiders haven’t played a game since March 18, it is still an extremely busy and important time for the organization.
Since the end of the regular season, the Raider scouts – including General Manager Curtis Hunt and Director of Player Personnel Ron Gunville – have been travelling across Western Canada to make a final push in evaluating talent ahead of next Thursday’s WHL Bantam Draft.
Gunville said he and his scouts have been visiting all of the provincial camps in the during the last month, beginning in Manitoba, then hitting Saskatchewan and British Columbia. After each provincial weekend, his teams get together and rank those players.
He is currently in Alberta for Hockey Alberta’s provincial camps, which he called the most heavily scouted of all the weekends. By the end of this weekend, Gunville said they should have their final draft list in place.
“We’ll fine tune it a little bit more and make phone calls and talk to agents and get everything in place,” Gunville said. “(Then) we will come up with a strategy and just see where it goes from there.”
At that point, Hunt, Gunville, and the scouts will try to piece together the draft as they see it.
“We’ll have a map for draft day and all the different scenarios that could play out,” Gunville said.
While there is some planning to do, the way the draft plays out will be determined by the Raiders. They hold the first overall selection after winning the WHL Bantam Draft Lottery on March 22. The last time the Raiders picked first overall was the 2001 WHL Bantam Draft when they selected Kyle Chipchura.
In total, the Raiders hold 15 picks in Thursday’s draft. The 2017 WHL Bantam Draft takes place on Thursday, May 4 in Calgary, AB.
Season ticket packages for the 2017-18 campaign are now available. Early bird pricing is in effect until Monday, June 15. Stop the Raider Office for more information or click here.
2017 WHL Bantam Draft Picks
- First round, first overall
- First round, 17th overall (via Kelowna)
- Second round, 25th overall
- Second round, 40th overall (via Prince George)
- Third round, 47th overall
- Third round, 64th overall (via Everett/Spokane/Red Deer)
- Fifth round, 100th overall (via Tri-City)
- Fifth round, 105th overall (via Kelowna)
- Sixth round, 120th overall (via Victoria)
- Seventh round, 150th overall (via Prince George)
- Eighth round, 157th overall
- 10th round, 201st overall
- 10th round, 215th overall (via Kelowna)
- 11th round, 223rd overall
- 12th round, 245th overall