By Dave Leaderhouse
JUNE 2, 2017 AT 10:00AM
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s bantam draft is being held June 2 starting at 10:00 A.M.
“The draft is open to players who have finished their bantam eligibility – similar to the Western Hockey League,” explains SJHL president Bill Chow. “The draft is open to players with a residence in Saskatchewan.”
Presently, each club has a 50-player protected list in addition to what is known as an “Auto-Protect B List.” This latter list is for players who hail from within the boundaries of a SJHL team and they remain protected by their home team until their 17th birthday. After that time, if they have not made the club, they must be moved to the regular protected list or they become eligible to be listed by any of the other SJHL teams.
The bantam draft, therefore, encompasses all players who are not on an Auto-Protect B List when they completed playing at the bantam level.
These players are generally invited to a number of spring training camps by SJHL teams,
if players are not selected in the SJHL draft they will be able to continue attending any fall camp they are invited too.
If the player is drafted they become protected list player of that specific team.
“The draft allows teams to highlight a few players in the province they wish to recruit and retain,” says Chow. “It also allows players and their parents an opportunity to build a relationship with a team.”
Room must be made available on each team’s 50-player protected list to allow for the addition of players selected in the draft, which will feature six rounds. Chow says that not every team is required to select six players, but that is where the bar has been set and with each club having as many as eight overage players (20-year-olds) then having space for new additions should not be an issue.
The draft also becomes another tool in trades as was witnessed at the trade deadline when clubs swapped picks in addition to current players.
It is always a fierce competition attracting young talent and this should help the league continue to make advances in this area. Hopefully, it will also keep homegrown talent within the provincial boundaries.
For live updates of the draft, please click on the SJHL Bantam Draft banner at the top of the SJHL.ca homepage.