Wednesday, March 20, 2013

End of regular season talk

'Round these parts there has been talk all year about how the loss of draft picks is going to affect the 'Hawks moving forward, and every fanbase spends the end of the regular season to look at what they have for next year.

Here's how the Winterhawks were built:

Top line:
Brendan Leipsic    2009 R6. (112th)
Nic Petan               2010 R1.  (16th) 
Ty Rattie                2008 R1.  (2nd)

2nd line:
Oliver Bjorkstrand    2012 Import Draft #26 overall
Chase DeLeo            2010 R9. (192ond)
Taylor Leier              2009 R2. (24th)

Checking line:
Adam de Champlain  2009 R10. (200th)
Taylor Peters              2007 R4. (68th)
Preston Kopeck          2010 R3. (60th)

4th line / rotation players:
Paul Bittner             List player
Dominic Turgeon   2011 R3.  (64th)
Joe Mahon              List player
Keegan Iverson       List player
Joey Baker              List player
Alex Schoenborn    List player

Defense corps:
Troy Rutkowski
       List player
Seth Jones                Trade (2009 R1. 11th EVT)
Josh Hanson             2009 R8. (156th)
Shaun MacPherson   List Player
Tyler Wotherspoon   2008 R2. (23rd)
Kirill Vorobev           2012 Import Draft #57th overall
Derick Pouliot           2009 R1. (1st)

Mac Carruth              List player
Brendan Burke          2010 R3. (49th)

Seth Jones currently is the only player aquired via trade.
Here are the players traded for Seth Jones:
2011 2. (42) C  –Tyler Sandhu
2011 4. (86) LW - Mitch Skapski
2009 3. (59) D Reece Wilcox
List player    D Ben Betker

The 'Hawks are banned from the 1st 5 rounds this spring, and don't have a 1st round pick until 2017.  When they were picking guys like Sasha Golin ('03), Colton Sceviour ('04), and Thomas Frazee ('05) - its not like they were exactly using their 1st round picks effectively anyway.  When they took Frazer McLaren ('02) or Riley Boychuk ('06) - you could argue that it would have hurt not having the opportunity to select those players.  Brad Ross ('07) is an entirely different animal.

Now, the last 3 times the 'Hawks have picked in the 1st round they came up with Rattie, Pouliot, and Petan - which are 3 of the main reasons they are where they are this year (and last).  Any one of those players not coming to Portland, and we are looking at a radically different team.  Of course the first thought is to credit (free) Mike Johnston - although the Petan draft was his first - I suppose drafting #1 & #2 overall isn't as tricky.  Yahoo! gave some love to MJ earlier this year on this subject.

All  you gotta do is find a Ryan Johansen (7th round) once in a while (easy, right?).  If you can deliver 2nd rounders like Taylor Leier ('09), Tyler Wotherspoon ('08), Joe Morrow ('08), Brett Ponich ('06), Kurtis Mucha ('04), or even Keith Hamilton ('08) - then who needs 1st round picks?  Tyler Sandhu was also a 2nd ('11) - an asset which could pay huge dividends in Saskatoon this spring.

Looking forward a year - the 'Hawks bring back 5 of their top 6 forwards.  Think about that for a second.  We may have seen the future during tournament time, when Rattie was away they plugged Paul Bittner on the line with Petan & Leipsic.  All Bittner did was score the game winner in 4 straight games - as the youngest player in the league.  When inserted on the top line for the last 2 games of the regular season, Bittner scored goals in both.

They're loosing 3 defensmen & a goalie, but there should be help on the way.  Might have to go back to winning 6-5 games, which is always fun..

Most 'Hawks fans are high on Kopeck, Turegon, Iverson, Bittner & Schoenborn for the next few years.  Two 3rd rounders is all they have invested in a group that could be a huge part of a great forward group.  The 'Hawks have done a great job of picking up American kids who are overlooked by WHL clubs.  You don't need many of those coups to overcome the loss of some draft picks.


  1. The TPS side of that, on the other hand, was that they got these players by way of illegal benefits, and now that the league has cracked down on that, they won't be able to get these coups anymore. It hasn't escaped notice that they haven't had any of those big signings this season, while last year they were averaging about one a month. I guess we'll see.

  2. as a glass half full guy, I would argue that when recruiting to these players - especially the list players - you can present the sanctions as a "badge of honor".

    "We try to be as good to our players & families as we possibly can. In fact, we've been found to cross the line on such. I think you can be assured that we will continue to treat you as good as we possibly can moving forward......"

    Those dudes weren't signing over a couple plane tickets, and everyone knows that.

    1. You're arguing the Winterhawks' side. Which I mostly agree with. But the other side is saying (in a manner of speaking) that they weren't slapped for plane tickets, they were slapped for under-the-table payments and/or overpaying for education. And if you take that away, the prospects are going to dry up.