The last placed team in the WHL once again was able to snag the top offensive talent in the draft. They were also able to address every other need in the prospect pool, from a big right-handed defender to a long term project goalie to a well-rounded two-way center. Kootenay arguably had one of the best drafts in our opinion and we are excited to see how these players will play out for them in the future. They didn’t really take a whole lot of risk on American players but took goalie Gage Alexander who played at the AA level this past season and was the talk of the draft lead up, due to his outstanding performance at AB Cup. All in all, this was a successful draft for Kootenay and will help them continue to improve.
1st Round Selection
Connor McClennon (2nd Overall) – By far the top offensive talent in the draft, McClennon is a dynamic under-sized center who plays a one-dimensional offensive game. He works well off the rush and in the offensive zone, but also has the ability to score anywhere with his deadly release. Outstanding poise with the puck makes him a player we believe he will score 50 at the next level. He led the CSSHL in scoring with 99 points and has been compared by DraftGeek to Alex Debrincat.
Anson McMasters (23rd Overall) – One of the most improved defenders in this year’s class, McMasters is a big 6’3 right handed defender with a big shot and well-rounded defensive game. He can run a power play and move the puck well. Quite a raw prospect who possesses a tonne of upside and someone we will keep our eyes on for a long time coming.
James Form (45th Overall) – A real big bodied two-way player who gets shot off well in traffic. He has the offensive tools to produce at the next level but is someone we believe will anchor a third line as a defensive zone type of player. He works hard for every loose puck and is able to use his body well to win one on one battles. Form is someone we believe has the size and intelligence to step in as a 16-year-old in Kootenay.
Owen Pederson (89th Overall) – Pederson is coming off of a great season with OHA Edmonton and is someone who’s big frame and offensive abilities will help him transition to the WHL level. He has good tools and anticipation abilities, as well as vision from the perimeter. We think he will be a middle six player at the WHL level who compliments a scoring catalyst.
Brett Fogg (91st Overall) – An intelligent defender who is heavily mobile. Fogg had a great Sask First tournament and showcased his two-way game. Fogg has good versatility and is someone who can be used in all aspects of the game. Fogg will be middle pairing defender in our opinion at the WHL level.
In conclusion the Kootenay Ice 2017 draft is one that will vitally help out their team in the future. They were able to add a bunch of piece that will help them upfront and with the scoring depth. We are very infested to see how McClennon and Krebs will work either on a line or as a one two punch down the middle. Regardless Kootenay is looking solid offensively in the near future. There is certainly a New ICE age coming to Kootenay.