This season's recipe for success called for equal parts bantam draft, list players and a dash of European flair. With the cyclical nature of the WHL season starting over again; it is time for the Chiefs to restock the cupboards in the annual WHL Bantam Draft on Thursday in Calgary, Alberta. The first round will be made available, free of charge, via LIVE webcast available at http://www.whl.ca/. Spokane selects 19th overall in all rounds.
"You need to have a good bantam draft to have a good foundation," Spokane Chiefs Director of Player Personnel Chris Moulton said.
Spokane's 2010-11roster featured 11 players who were selected by the Chiefs in past WHL Bantam Drafts, 12 that were placed on their 50-player protected list and two who were selected in the CHL Import Draft.
"The proudest thing for me was that every player on our roster was a list player or drafted by us. That is a credit to our scouting staff in identifying talent," Moulton said.
"Of the last few teams left in the playoffs, they all made fairly significant trades and the amount of success that we have had makes me extremely proud of our scouts in the work that they've done. To think that we went that far without mortgaging our future makes me proud that they're our kids."
In the five draft span, 2005 through 2009, that would make up a WHL roster this past season, Spokane had at least one player picked in each round from one through seven and another, Tyler Johnson, in the 11th round. No matter how the Chiefs acquire a player, list, draft or trade, Moulton and his scouting staff put a high priority on two things; skating and compete.
"Its a lot easier to put out fires than start them," Moulton said. "Mike Aviani, Collin Valcourt, Darren Kramer, these kids are in the lineup because they compete like crazy. You can't make a kid play with bite and grit."
Players eligible for the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft will be 1996-born players who reside in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.