2022 MHL Entry Draft this evening – July 15th
It is that time of year again when all 12 teams will take part in the 2022 MHL Entry Draft. For this year, the Valley Wildcats will have to wait a while to select their first player as they traded their 1st and 2nd round pick in previous transactions. Brandon Benedict, GM of the Valley Wildcats is confident they will select good character players even in the latest rounds. “We are looking for a better everything, there is no kind of specific needs. We have to focus and improve our team in all three positions. We will be looking at taking the next best available player when our pick comes”, Benedict said regarding the needs for the team this year. ” As far as trying to improve their rank, Benedict says: “There is always talks. Obviously we would like to move up in the draft but it will need to be a trade that make sense. Things can change pretty quickly in the few hours leading up to the draft. So we will be patient”.
The players drafted today are 2004, 2005 and 2006 birth year class. The Wildcats have a number of people in their scouting department. Travis Young is overseeing everything this year for the team with a couple more people from New Brunswick and Newfoundland helping out. When it comes to drafting local players, the Wildcats have already picked up Drew Lutz, a forward from the U18 Kohltech Valley Wildcats. They will also receive an additional pick between the 3rd and 4th round as they only picked one of the two territorial picks that they were allowed. “The way I look at it is that if everything is equal, we will pick a local player, however we need to make sure that we get the best available player”, is Benedict’s answer in regards to drafting a local player from the Valley.
This year’s draft, like any other draft, is a way for each team to build up for their future. “The draft is for a couple years down the road. I think that we can get a couple of players that can step in right away and play”, Benedict told me. “We have to make sure that we select good character players that want to be here and put the work in”.
In regards to a recap from last season, it is obvious that Brandon Benedict knows that his team was so close to their goal of making it to the finals. After a first round upset against the Yarmouth Mariners, the Wildcats were able to push it to game 7 against the Truro Bearcats. “It was tough to finish the way we did. Our ultimate goal was to make it to the finals, and we didn’t get there. We just need to move forward and build off from that momentum”. Having a sold out arena the last few games against Truro was definitely a plus for the team’s confidence. “We created a place where the players recognize the Valley Wildcats as a team and a place where players want to come and play. It is one of the biggest obstacles we had to overcome and I think we have done that”.
Eastlink Community TV will broadcast the first two rounds of the draft starting at 7pm ATL. It will also be streamed on the Eastlink YouTube page. Stay tuned on this website for coverage of the draft this evening and more information on the Valley Wildcats selections. Here are the Valley Wildcats picks as of now.
Territorial pick – 53rd
4th round – 65
5th round – 77, 78, 80
6th round – 89
7th round – 101
8th round – 113, 116