Monday, May 24, 2010

Jets gearing up for CSHL Draft Saturday

Lately, the annual Central States Hockey League Draft has been hit or miss for the Metro Jets.

In the 2007 draft, the team had nine draft picks make the team the following year, but then in 2008, just three were on the opening night roster.

Last year, 10 players made the cut, including starting goaltender Ian Mercer and forward Jon Wickersham, with the latter being named one of the team’s captains early last season.

When the 2010 draft takes place this Saturday in suburban Chicago, Jets officials are banking on finding players that can step right in next fall and make an impact at Lakeland Arena.

“Like last year, we are out to find guys that are primed and ready for the junior level,” stated Jets GM Butch Wolfe. “We saw several of these types of players at our pre-draft camp two weeks ago and I hope some of those players are still available when we pick. We think if we can get the right pieces in place that we should have a successful season.”

This will also be the first Metro draft for new coach Jeff Bond, who was hired earlier this spring.

The draft goes 20 total rounds with the first eight rounds being devoted to each team picking from their local region (75 miles from home rink). The Jets share regional space with the Flint Jr. Generals and Michigan Mountain Cats (new to the CSHL next season after acquiring the Motor City Chiefs franchise) and even a little with the Toledo Cherokee.

“It all comes down to us doing our homework and knowing what players are out there and willing to come play for us,” added Wolfe. “I believe our head scout, Tim Ross, has done a tremendous job for us and after this weekend, we’ll have more work to do in filling out our roster.

“It’s a challenge, for sure, but it’s one we can definitely handle. We’re optimistic we’ll get some solid hockey players in the draft.”

Mercer photo by Andy Grossman

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