Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hamilton & Tory Faced Same Predicament

  • I've heard a ton of negativity towards the Rockets management following the news on this blog that Luke Moffatt isn't going to attend training camp next week. Many have blasted GM Bruce Hamilton and Director of Player Personnel Lorne Frey for making the pick at the 2007 draft table. But as my good friend, and radio partner David Michaud has pointed out, Moffatt couldn't play here this season anyway. He is still a player that is a year away from suiting up in the Western Hockey League, and if he indeed commits to the U.S Under 17 program after playing midget hockey this winter in Michigan, he can still wear a Rockets uniform when it really counts - his draft year. Was it a gamble to select him in the draft? Of course it was. But he was what the Rockets believed was the best player at that position in the draft. In 2003 should the Tri City Americans have avoided picking Jonathon Toews with the first pick overall? Should Americans GM Bob Tory have gone with another top five player like Ben Maxwell or Zach Hamill? It's pretty easy to pick apart the Americans now, but had they landed Toews, how dominate of a player would he have been for the Americans in their quest for a WHL title? He was a player the Americans just couldn't pass up in 2003, the same holds true for the Rockets and Luke Moffatt in 2007. Until the door is completely shut on Luke Moffatt, I am giving the organization the benefit of the doubt. Luke Moffatt and his dad are smart hockey people, and when the time is right, will choose the right path towards his dream of playing in the National Hockey League. Moffatt has several options, Kelowna being one of them. Let's just hope that when Moffatt finds that fork in the road, the path he takes goes directly through the Okanagan. If he indeed makes that choice, those that are saying bad things about Hamilton and Frey now, will be singing their praises.
  • Kelowna Rockets defenseman Tysen Dowzak is off to an NHL camp next month. The 19 year-old d-man has received a tryout with the Philadelphia Flyers. Dowzak has played 98 games with the Rockets since breaking into the WHL in the fall of 2005. The Rockets 6th round bantam pick from 2003 will be in a pressure cooker at training camp, as he attempts to solidify himself as a top 4 defenseman. Right now the spots open, with the other three likely taken by Luke Schenn, Tyler Myers and 16 year-old Tyson Barrie. Veteran Colin Joe and Riley McIntish along with rookies Collin Bowman and Mandeep Nijjar will challenge for that spot.
  • Lorne Frey tells me close to 120 players will participate in rookie camp, which opens Wednesday with registration. The players take to the ice for real Thursday morning at 8 o'clock. Frey has some advice for the 14 and 15 year-olds, that are looking at catching the eye of the scouts. "I will tell them, and we always tell them before camp begins to show us what they can do. Play to your strengths and don't do anything that you wouldn't normally do."
  • With all of this talk about Luke Moffatt, the Rockets second round pick is being lost in the dust. Spencer Main from North Vancouver should be interesting to watch at rookie camp. Main is a right winger. The Rockets didn't have a pick in the 3rd round because of a deal they made with the Tri City Americans to get Lucas Bloodoff.


Russell Wood said...

To bad hope he comes down the road. Your spot on Tory taking Toews he had to take the best available player same as spelz in spoke when he said he would take the best available player in the draft amidst all the talk about Cowan not coming to spoke if picked yet he is signed and playing there. Hopefully the rockets will convince him to come and play there in time.

Regan Bartel said...

Speltz stood his ground, and it paid off. I am sure many at the time said 'are you crazy to draft him'. Now look at the player they have. Same holds true for Kelly McCrimmon in Brandon with Brayden Schenn. Trust me, players selected in the draft, 1st round or otherwise is a crap shoot. It's like rolling the dice. A certain amount of luck is needed when you are projecting how good a player will be down the road, especially when they are drafted as young as they are.