In 'Lorney' we trust
The Kelowna Rockets have experience on their side when they attend the WHL bantam draft Thursday in Red Deer.
This will be director of player personnel Lorne Frey's 29th time he has chosen a prospect, having held the prestigious post since the organization was granted an expansion franchise in 1991.
"A lot of the players are similar now, so it is very difficult to distinguish the good ones because the majority of them are very equal in their abilities," Frey told AM 1150 News.
The Rockets hold the 5th overall pick in the draft, but the team may trade it away in an effort to get veteran help when the team hosts the 2020 Kia Memorial Cup.
"Basically last year we had only one first round pick (Kaedan Korczak) on our hockey team. In saying that we traded away those picks to win, and we did on both occasions. That's the risk you take", Frey added.
The Rockets have to hit the bullseye considering they have only 5 picks in the opening 6 rounds, with a 1st, a 2nd, a 4th, a 5th and a 6th rounder. After that, its slim pickings.
"The way they (players) are being coached and the way they are being trained, there are a couple of dominant players obviously early, but later on as it gets past a couple of rounds it levels off quite a bit."
Luke Schenn, Tyson Barrie, Tyler Myers, Rourke Chartier, Nick Merkley, Dillon Dube and most recently Trevor Wong are just a few of the young prospects Lorne Frey has selected in the opening round.