The Prince Albert Raiders can only hope that this draft is as productive as their 2012 draft when they grabbed (from left to right) goaltender Nick McBride, defenceman Brendan Guhle and winger Matteo Gennaro with their first three picks. All three spent their entire first season of WHL eligibility with the Raiders. The trio are shown when they attended the Raiders rookie camp in May of 2013. Herald photo by Perry Bergson
s including the B.C. Cup, Alberta Cup and the Sask First camp.
While looking ahead to the Bantam Draft, Derkatch will also be keeping an eye on the Raiders current crop of prospects already in the team‚Äôs system.
As the Midget-AAA Prince Albert Mintos punched their ticket to the 2014 Telus Cup on Sunday, several roster-eligible Raiders prospects will compete for the national title including defencemen Rhys Kipling, Ben Verall and forward Lance Yaremchuk.
‚ÄúWe are looking for those guys to crack our lineup,‚ÄĚ Derkatch said of the pair of Mintos and Verall who plays for the host Moose Jaw Generals. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs up to them to come into camp and grab a spot.‚ÄĚ
Derkatch also gave The Herald a brief update on some of the Raiders other drafted prospects:
D Cody Paivarinta -- Round 3, 46th overall 2013 WHL Bantam Draft
Fraser Valley Thunderbirds
After a solid season with the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds of the British Columbia Major Midget League, the 6-foot-5, 185-pound d-man still has some bulking up to do, Derkatch said.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs a big tall lanky guy,‚ÄĚ Derkatch said of Paivarinta. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs got to put on some muscle this summer and he knows that.‚ÄĚ
LW Dylan Williamson -- Round 4, 88th overall, 2013 WHL Bantam Draft
With the Bantam-AAA Bisons, Williamson tallied 57 points in 46 games however went down with an injury this season in the Albert Midget Hockey League.
‚ÄúHe had shoulder surgery in January,‚ÄĚ Derkatch said. ‚ÄúHopefully we‚Äôll get word that he‚Äôs all good and he should be back.‚ÄĚ
C Sean Montgomery -- Round 6, 114th overall 2013 WHL Bantam Draft
Derkatch noted how Montgomery is developing well in the AMHL where as a 15-year-old, he finished 13th in league scoring this season with 37 points.
Gardiner‚Äôs NHL draft aspirations
Despite a struggle to find the back of the net near the end of the WHL season, Gardiner‚Äôs NHL Central Scouting ranking remained unscathed.
Heading into the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia, Gardiner ranks 29th amoung North American skaters by the NHL scouting body.
Derkatch agreed that NHL scouts were willing to look past the 18-year-old Humboldt native‚Äôs scoring struggles, right through to his character.
‚ÄúTo find players that give an honest effort day in and day out is not easy,‚ÄĚ Derkatch said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs him, that‚Äôs Reid Gardiner. That‚Äôs who he is, it‚Äôs not like one day he decided to work hard all the time, he was brought up in a certain way.‚ÄĚ
While noting that Gardiner‚Äôs Central Scouting ranking should be a good indication of which round he‚Äôll be selected, Derkatch gave his prediction of where the first round pick of the 2011 Bantam Draft will land.
‚ÄúI think he‚Äôll be a mid-round pick,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúLet‚Äôs hope he‚Äôs anywhere from third to fifth.‚ÄĚ