The Bulls could have as many as nine selections during the draft that includes their first pick of fourth overall. Head Coach Matt Nicholson said the Coaching and Scouting staff feels much more comfortable with this year’s selection process.
“Tony and I have been out a lot more recruiting and our scouting director Brian Burke does a good job keeping us in the loop on things including tips on players, etc,” he said. “We definitely, like a lot of teams, have a bunch of wants and needs but the draft scenario could change quickly as they get picked by other teams. I know we might not get all the players we want but I think we will get a nice compliment for the Bulls.”
Fans can follow the Bulls selections on this year’s draft through social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There will also be a “Special Edition of Facebook Live” that recaps the Bulls selections in the draft late in the afternoon. The draft can be viewed online at www.nahldraft.com and there will also be a free live broadcast on Hockey TV.
The Bulls improved by 24 points in the South Division standings this past season, but that still has not allowed them any further movement in the draft order. Nicholson said the Draft is not an exact science, but with the first few picks you need an idea what you are going to do.
“If you are picking that high in the draft than you better have someone who you envision being on your roster,” Nicholson said. “As evident last year we selected Nikita Babintsev 7th overall and I think our fans will agree that when they watched him on the ice or met him in person that he was a pretty good pick.”
Some of the familiar faces that were selected by the Bulls over the years include Brady Crabtree, Will Harrison, Riley Christensen, Roman Ammirato, Clint Carlisle, Brady Ferguson, Brendan McGuire, and Ben Jentsch just to name a few.
Nicholson said that one of the Bulls wants and needs is to find themselves another goaltender.
“I think the past couple of years what we have had is one very strong goalie and no compliment to that so no 1a and 1b,” he said. “This past season we thought we had it with (Nikita) Babintsev and (Ryan) Madore, but we really didn’t find that equilibrium until after Christmas when we added Brandon Bussi via a trade. Our Assistant Coach Tony Attanucci made a valid comment by stating in order to win the South you need two Division I goalies. I couldn’t have agreed with him more on that. I also think we need to find a veteran puck moving defenseman among our selections too.
Amateur players less than 21 years of age on December 31, 2017 who are not listed on an NAHL team roster or are listed on an NAHL team roster but played less than (10) NAHL regular season and/or playoff games during the 2016-17 season and did not accept a tender from an NAHL team prior to the 2017 NAHL Entry Draft are eligible for selection in the draft.
The number of players each team is able to draft varies on that team’s current roster (protected list) minus the number 30. Each team’s roster is comprised of veteran players and signed tenders only. For example, if a team has 15 veterans rostered and 8 tenders (23 total), that team is allowed seven (7) draft picks.
There are just a few days remaining in 30 Days of Hockey. Fans can enter by purchasing or renewing Full or Half Season Tickets or buying a 10 Game Flex Pack. Tickets can either be paid in full or purchased through payment plans. For further information on seat locations and pricing please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122.