AMARILLO, TX – The Amarillo Bulls originally didn’t have a first round pick heading into tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon’s North American Hockey League Draft. That all changed over the weekend.
The Bulls announced that they have acquired the 7th overall pick and a 4th round selection from the Minnesota Magicians in exchange for forward Zack Sarnowski, and two second round picks. Sarnowski who was selected in the 3rd round, 51st overall in last year’s Draft, had three goals and three assists for six points in 55 games for the Bulls.
It will mark the 3rd time in franchise history that the Bulls will have a top seven first round selection. The most noticeable high draft pick in Bulls history was in the 2011 when they selected forward Mike Davis who would help the team win a National Championship and later serve as Captain.
Head Coach Matt Nicholson said the process is new for him and Assistant Coach Tony Attanucci.
“There are a lot of different ways to look at the draft, but the end result is that you want to make sure you are picking quality people to add to your roster,” said Nicholson. “Some teams may focus on younger players and highly skilled forwards like Wichita Falls did last year in picking Ben Lown. Other clubs make take a flyer on a player that may be on the bubble or that has USHL experience in hopes of building their roster that way. I’m not sure that there is not a right way or a wrong way of doing things and it depends on the needs of the particular team.”
The 2016 NAHL Entry Draft will take place tomorrow (Tuesday), at 1pm (central). The draft will be live on nahldraft.com and will be broadcast live on fasthockey.com. Amarillo Bulls’ fans will be able to keep track of the selections through social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A full story will be available later on the team’s website (www.amarillobulls.com).
Amateur players less than 21 years of age on December 31, 2016 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 2015-16 season and did not accept a tender from an NAHL team prior to the 2016 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. The Bulls could have approximately eight selections.
Nicholson said the Draft can be a long process where coaches and scouts are constantly researching, making lists of players of interest, talking to other coaches and watching tape.
“It really all starts in the fall with the tendering process and those players who have not been tendered are draft eligible,” he said. “There are phone calls with the players, parents and even advisors. A draft scenario is much different that the tendering process or in College because in theory everyone is a free agent now. You may do a lot of homework on a player and they may get picked before you get a chance to get them.”
The Amarillo Bulls are preparing for their 7th season in the North American Hockey League and invite fans to purchase or renew Full Or Half Season Tickets as well as 10 Game Flex Packs. Those who do get involved in Full or Half Season Tickets will be automatically entered into the 30 Days Of Hockey Draw to win great prizes including a Dallas Stars Getaway.
For further information on ticket prices, seat options and payment plans, please call the Bulls Office at 806-242-1122 or drop by 301 South Polk in the Amarillo Building.