SUMMERSIDE – Pat McIver is about to experience something for the first time in his four years as general manager of the Summerside Western Capitals.
“First time I’ve ever had to go up on stage,” said McIver, who will make his inaugural first-round selection during the MHL’s (Maritime Junior Hockey League) draft at Credit Union Place on Saturday afternoon.
All first-round picks are made from the stage while teams announce all other selections from the floor.
McIver says he does not regret making any of the trades involving first-round picks.
“Looking back on it, we landed (former captain) Scott Trask with one of the picks, and (80-point scorer) Marc Bourgeois was in another,” McIver went on to say. “Those are two pretty key players who came in and helped us win (Kent Cup) championships (in 2013 and 2011).”
The draft will conclude a busy two days in Summerside for the MHL, which also includes the annual general meeting at the Quality Inn in Summerside on Friday morning and a golf tournament at the Summerside Golf and Country Club that afternoon.
“It’s going to be pretty neat,” said McIver in reference to the draft. “It’s a miniature version of what you would watch on TV with the NHL.
“The stage is going to be there, and hopefully there will be some players in attendance to be introduced. It is actually quite entertaining, and there is room for people to come and attend. For the hockey fan, I think they will be quite interested.”
The Capitals have four picks in the first three rounds, including the fifth-overall selection.
“We have identified some kids that we would like to add,” said McIver, who adds the Caps will focus on the best player available when their turn comes up. “We have what we feel are four pretty good picks in the top three rounds that hopefully will allow us to get some quality players.”
Overall, the Caps go into this weekend with seven picks in the 10-round draft. However, the number of picks does not concern McIver.
“We have a good young team from last year, a lot of guys returning,” continued McIver. “We have good valuable picks that we have to make hay with.”
Does McIver expect to be active on the trade front?
“We expect to be very active,” he answered. “We are working on some things now that hopefully at the draft, or after the draft, we will be able to make some pretty significant announcements.”
A look at the MHL draft:
The draft will take place in a Conference Room at Credit Union Place in Summerside, beginning at 1 p.m.
The draft consists of 10 rounds.
The expansion St. Stephen County Aces have the first overall pick.
The Summerside Western Capitals have picks in the first, third and sixth rounds, two in the eighth round and with compensatory picks following the second and third rounds for not taking two territorial selections.
The draft is open to the public.