Edmonton Supersonics 2017 Draft Reviewby Kent Clark | September 5, 2017, 1:42 PM ET
A disappointing 2016-2017 season saw the mighty Edmonton Supersonics tumble out of the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history. The consolation prize for a such dismal finish was the Sonics' highest-ever position in the annual entry draft, at number seven overall.
It should have been a proud moment for the franchise, as the Supersonics used the selection on Cale Makar, a dynamic defenseman playing for the Brooks bandits in the AJHL. But in his post-selection interview upon drafting the gifted blueliner, GM Franceschini made some bizarre comments about missing out on other players.
"I think I got a bit nervous in front of the crowd," said a more composed Franceschini later on in the day. "For reasons I won't get into, we didn't have access to our scouting list during the first round, so were going from memory and had it in our heads that Gabriel (Vilardi, 4th to the Montréal Millionaires) or Cody (Glass, 5th to the Hamburg Gladiators) would still be avialable to us at 7th overall. As it turned out, when the first round ended and we re-visited our complete list, we actually had Mr. Makar rated as our third-best prospect. So really, what happened was we didn't think he'd even be available to us where we were picking and had internally simply gotten used to the idea of calling another player."
You don't say? A team drafting a player that they had much higher on their list that they didn't think would be available? Cool story, bro!
Back-stepping his earlier comments aside, it does appear that the Supersonics are getting a dynamic player in Makar. He's a puck-moving defenseman who changes the game when he's on the ice, and is favorably compared to Ottawa Slammers' defenseman Erik Karlsson in that regard. Despite being only 5'10", he does not shy away from rough play, and seems to have all the tools to succeed in the SICHL. The only concern from most scouts is that he played his draft year in the AJHL, against arguably lesser competition than his peers.
All told, the Supersonics made eight selections at the draft, and GM Franceschini is happy with how things turned out.
- 1st Round (7th Overall) - Cale Makar (D): Potential franchise defenseman for the next decade.
- 2nd Round (34th Overall) - Isaac Ratcliffe (LW): The most notable strength Ratcliffe brings is his size. At 6’6” and 203 pounds, he is one of the tallest players in the OHL, and plays a prototypical power forward game.
- 3rd Round (70th Overall) - Ostap Safin (RW): Skates very well, with balance and noteworthy speed, and handles the puck with ease and control at top speeds. Displays a dangerously accurate shot that he is never hesitant to use; often a threat in the offensive zone.
- 3rd Round (90th Overall) - Andrei Altybarmakyan (RW): A bit of an off-the-board pick, Altybarmakyan is a risk-reward type of player. His stat line in the Russian Junior League (31 GP, 20-25-45) is impressive, and at this later point in the draft seems worth the risk.
- 4th Round (110th Overall) - Ian Scott (G): Despite not quite dominating at the junior level, Scott has all the tools scouts look for in a goaltender in the mid-rounds of the draft.
- 5th Round (118th Overall) - Dmitri Samorukov (D): With 20 points in 67 games for the OHL's Guelph Storm, Samorukov is known as a rugged defender lacking footspeed with some offensive instincts. It will take a while to put everything together, but the wait may be worth it in the end.
- 5th Round (127th Overall) - Tomas Vomacka (G): Currently a bit of a project, scouts are hoping that Vomacka is the second coming of Tomas Vokoun, and under-the-rader Czech goaltender who went on to a great SICHL career.
- 7th Round (174th Overall) - Arnaud Durandeau (LW): Nico Hischier's linemate with the Halifax Mooseheads, the hope is that it was Durandeau who padded Nico's stats, and not the other way around.