|Voice of the Pats Phil Andrews|
Forwards Sam Steel and Adam Brooks both heard their names called in Buffalo, New York at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Steel in the 1st round, 30th overall to the Anaheim Ducks and Brooks in the 4th round, 92nd overall to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Steel says it's hard to describe how awesome Friday night was. "I don't many words for it right now. Just truly honoured and happy to be a part of such a great organization."
Steel was at the draft with his parents and girlfriend and says they were instrumental in getting him there. "Family for sure, friends, everybody that has supported me along the way. It takes more than just myself to get to this moment so it's Pretty special for sure."
On waiting to the end of the first round to get picked. "I was trying to stay pretty even keeled. At the end of the day it's just a number, first round, second round, it's just the start of the work that needs to be done. But it's definitely a long time sitting there and I'm glad I ended the night this way."
Steel really credits the Pats organization. "I'm definitely extremely lucky to be a part of that organization with the coaching staff and the owners. It's a great place to play and like I said I am very lucky."
Adam Brooks meanwhile had to wait until round 4 to get selected and to say he is over the moon would be an understatement. "Unbelievable. I mean to go to an organization like the Toronto Maple Leafs a team that I grew up when I was younger they were my favorite team. My room was painted Toronto maple Leafs. Just all the history that comes with the organization for me its just a very surreal feeling and I am absolutely honoured to be apart of the team and thankful for the opportunity and thankful for all the people that supported me along the way."
Brooks says the wait was a little tough. "I didn't have too high of expectations so I was just kind of sitting there and taking it all in and seeing names from across the league. It was exciting to see guys go, especially the first night when Brett Howden from Winnipeg and then Sammy obviously went it was very exciting. But waiting there and finally seeing my name called you know two years later I guess than when it was supposed to be but it was super exciting and I'm super thrilled about it."
Brooks, like Steel is very appreciative to Regina. "You obviously just have to look at the organization and the changes that they made that ultimately helped me get to this point. What our coaching staff and owners have done for me has been unbelievable and yeah I think just a lot of hard work. things got a little tough for me there but I was able to fight through it and continued to work hard and found my game. it definitely makes me feel good and it's just kind of a little bit of work that I started doing and now I need to put in a lot more to get where I want to go."
Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock chatted with Pats VP of Communications Mark Rathwel after the draft and had this to say about Brooks. "Well I think the big thing obviously is he is a player who when he first arrived in the Western Hockey league things didn't go the way he wanted but he's really taken off. Really an improved player. He plays the game fast, high hockey sense, great drive train, trains hard, competes hard, we think he's a guy going in the right direction. He might need another year of junior I'm not sure of that yet. But we will have an opportunity to see him this summer at development camp and then we will make decisions on that moving ahead. But obviously a guy we were very impressed with his compete level and his hockey IQ and he's going in the right direction."
Babock on whether or not we will see Brooks in Regina for his 20-year-old season. "Only time will tell but the biggest thing I think is there is no sense getting in a hurry. It's not a race to get anywhere, it's maximize and build your foundation so you are confident when you arrive. The National Hockey League is a real hard league, it's hard to play in. The more confidence you have when you arrive the better the player you are when you arrive and the better chance you have to stay."
CHL IMPORT DRAFT - The Regina Pats selected Swedish left winger and Ottawa Senators prospect Filip Ahl in the first round, 31st overall in the CHL Import Draft on Tuesday.
Pats Head Coach and GM John Paddock "I just know about him what you could probably read about him. He's a fourth round pick of Ottawa, he's a big guy. According to people he has the ability to score some goals so that's basically the bottom line." Paddock says he is hopeful Ahl will make Regina his home this season. "I talked with some people fro Ottawa and his representative group and hopefully things will work out."
Ahl was taken 109th overall in the 4th round of the 2015 NHL Draft by the Senators. He stands 6'3 and weighs 212 lbs. The import draft can always be a crap shoot but Paddock says they pegged Ahl as a guy they wanted at 31. "Well from the time we heard about him we were going to focus in on him but there are never any guarantees. but he was there and that was good... we wanted to get a forward but we were prepared otherwise too."
In 2015-16 with HV71 of the Swedish SuperElit league he had 18 goals and 31 points in 18 games played. He is entering his 19-year-old season and Paddock says they knew they would look at drafting an older player. If you translate and read this article, it seems Ahl is committed to coming to Canada for the season.
SEASON SCHEDULE - The Regina Pats Hockey Club, in conjunction with the Western Hockey League, announced its 2016-17 Regular Season schedule Monday. The Pats open the new campaign on home ice Friday, September 23 against the Prince Albert Raiders. The season wraps up in Brandon against the Wheat Kings Saturday, March 18, 2017.
The Pats’ annual western road swing runs November 16-26 and sees the team stay north of the border in the B.C. Division. The trip also includes the Blue and White’s first visit to the new Rogers Place in Edmonton. Regina breaks for Christmas from December 18-26 with their final game before the break coming against the Moose Jaw Warriors Saturday, December 17. All Sunday home games continue to take place at 4 p.m. including a New Year’s Day matchup with Prince Albert.
A pair of fan-favourites return to Brandt Centre Concessions for the new season. Taco Tuesday (two taco-in-a-bag for $10) and Wiener Wednesday (two-for-one hot dogs) will be available a combined total of nine times throughout the season. Further off-ice promotions and special events will be revealed at a later date.
Click the links below for the 2016-17 schedule.
BLADES SHAKE UP - Bob Woods has left his post as Head Coach and GM of the Saskatoon Blades to join the Buffalo Sabres coaching staff. Woods has been hired to work as an assistant coach alongside Dan Bylsma with the Sabres. The Blades in turn have promoted Dean Brockman from assistant coach to head coach, he is the 21st head coach in Blades history. The General Manager position has been filled by Colin Priestner whose dad owns the team. In a news release the Blades say Priestner is currently enrolled in the Business of Hockey MBA program at Athabasca University. At 32 he is the youngest GM in the WHL.
HURRICANES ADD TO HOCKEY STAFF - The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club announced Wednesday the hiring of Darcy Wakaluk as the team’s new Goaltending Coach and Bob Bartlett as the new Director of Player Development and Senior Scout. The team also announced that Assistant Coaches Mike Craig and Josh MacNevin will return for the 2016-2017 season.
TWO THUNDER GET CFL CALL - The Riders announced Sunday they have added two territorial juniors to the practice roster. Defensive back Menedum Menegbo and wide receiver Kristopher Calcutt of the Regina Thunder began practicing with the team this week.
That's all I have for today, have a great week!