It won't be a banner year for Kootenay names at the draft. They may have no players selected, or they could have a name or two sneak in there.
Kevin King: At one point early this season, he was getting early round consideration. But in general, he had a disappointing season in the eyes of NHL scouts. Could still get picked late on potential.
Thomas Heemskerk: It's the year of the hard-to-see but still intriguing backup goaltender in the WHL this draft year, and this is another one of them. Only got to see him once and liked what I saw. He could go late.
Steele Boomer: Has an interesting story: big Bantam scorer had a big late growth spurt and is just now getting that hand-eye coordination back. Has a fair bit of offensive ability. Now that I think him through, I kind of wish I had added him to end of my list. You just gotta love that name, too. Won't be surprised if he gets taken somewhere, but odds are he won't go.
Jiri Ryzuk: Baseball scouts would call a guy like this 'toolsy'. Looks like he should be a player, but he sure didn't do much all season. Doubt he will be on any team's list.
Others: Matt Fraser is the other first year eligible, but I don't think he did enough to get on any lists. It's not impossible that that one of the '88 or '89s goes late: Andrew Bailey and Michael Stickland are good junior players with some skill.
Looking Ahead to 2009: Nathan Lieuwen is very talented, has a huge frame, and may force the Ice's hand to move Lazaruk or Heemskerk in a trade. Lieuwen is in my 2nd round as of now. Brayden McNabb was early favorite of mine, but I didn't see as much improvement from September to March as I would have liked to see. Nevertheless, he's still a 3rd rounder on my list and has the size and mobility to be a riser. Joe Antilla has a decent frame and competes, but we'll have to see if the Ice bring him back after sending him home in March for disciplinary reasons.