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Westoba Credit Union Draft Preview: Wheat Kings Set for Deep, Unpredictable Draft

May 9, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Brandon Wheat Kings News Release

One of the biggest days of the hockey calendar has arrived. Today is all about optimism for the WHL clubs that will add to their prospect pools, and the Wheat Kings have some reason for optimism going into the big day.

For starters, they own the 14th pick in the draft in this year's first round, a pick that has historically turned out excellent players both recently and in the past. It's also a pick in a range that, for the Wheat Kings, has netted some special talent in the past few years.

"There are a lot of players in that window that we have targeted," said head coach and GM Marty Murray . "There's a group of players that we feel we can get a pretty good player out of. We'll have to monitor who is off the board before our pick, then decide on what we're looking for. There are some different combinations of players that bring different things to the table that are what we need."

Already owning their own first, second, and third-round selections, the Wheat Kings also own extra picks in rounds four, and five. Maybe those picks don't have the immediate appeal of a higher selection, but scouts are excited about them nonetheless.

"You spend a lot of time going through rosters, every teams group, and seeing where they're drafted," said Murray. "There are a lot of guys that get drafted in those fourth through eighth rounds that are elite players at our level. You look at the Firkuses of the world, the Pickerings, those type of guys. There are some gems there you hope you can find."

Of course, that's assuming the Wheat Kings keep all of their picks and don't add any others. The draft is not held in person, so GMs can't meet face to face to hash out deals, but their attention is all on the same thing, and any gathering like that has the potential to yield a swap or two.

"We've been talking quite a bit with other GMs," Murray said. "There's always talking. It'll depend on what's available, if we can move around in the draft a little bit either here or down the road. We're actively speaking with other teams to see if there's anything out there that makes sense for us."

Murray added the strength of the team's prospect pool at the moment, and the year some of their prospects have had, has made it easier to draft with a little more freedom rather than trying to fill holes.

The Wheat Kings own the 14th, 36th, 59th, 81st, 85th, 103rd, 107th, 128th, 169th, 191st, and 210th pick coming into the day's draft.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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