2016 Sonics Entry Draft Reviewby Kent Clark | October 10, 2016, 3:34 PM ET
Unlike years past, the Supersonics entered the 2016 Entry Draft without much in the way of targeted players, owing to their fantastic regular season effort resulting in a 24th overall pick position.
“Picking 24th, you have to be pretty flexible with whom you hope you end up with,” said GM Mike Franceschini. “Things could’ve shaken out a number of ways for us, and at the end of the day, we are delighted with how things played out.”
- 1st Round (24th Overall) - Max Jones (LW): A power forward with a rare blend of size and speed, Jones was a force with the Memorial Cup Champion London Knights in a secondary scoring role. Whether that translates to the SICHL level remains to be seen, but the 'Sonics organization is hopeful that he will one day be a fixture on the top 6 in Edmonton.
- 2nd Round (52nd Overall) - Markus Niemelainen (D): The 6-5, 220 lb Finnish defender was easily the best defenseman on a struggling Saginaw team in the OHL. His strong play both with and without the puck impressed some scouts, but SICHL GMs were mixed on his assessment, allowing him to drop below his 38th overall ranking by USS.
- 3rd Round (69th Overall) - Connor Ingram (G): Unselected in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Ingram turned heads with a rebound 2016 season with the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL. Ranked 88th by USS, Ingram is an acrobatic goalie who makes big saves night in, night out, and led the Blazers to their first post-season appearance in two seasons in 2016.
- 3rd Round (80th Overall) - Jonathan Ang (C): An undersized winger from the Peterborough Petes in the OHL, Ang possesses a high hockey IQ and combines it with speed and a tenacity uncommon in a 5’11” package.
- 4th Round (108th Overall) - Rhett Gardner (F): A hard-working and fast forward for the University of North Dakota, Gardner plays all three forward positions and is considered a dark horse pick, having been passed over in two NHL drafts. Either he's a diamond in the rough, or he's another Supersonics selection that will never see the light of day.
- 6th Round (164th Overall) - Jake Ryczek (D): Another undersized player, Ryczek is a defenseman with good mobility who is also seen as a dark horse pick. He can move the puck out of his own end quickly and makes a good first pass, but won’t intimidate anyone with his lack of size.