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Bears Pleased With Draft Day Haul

by Guy Flaming | September 25, 2010, 8:48 PM ET
The 2010 SICHL Entry Draft is now in the rear view mirror and the Acadia Golden Bears are satisfied with the talent added to the organization. "It was a busy weekend for sure but now that it's all said and done we can look back and smile at what we think was a pretty good few days," said GM Guy Flaming. In truth, the team started making additions and changes to the franchise in the days leading up to the event. The SICHL Expansion draft saw 3 players leave - Marc-Andre Bergeron to Havana and Dareen Haydar and Robert Nilsson ending up on Vancouver's new roster. Prior to the expansion draft, Acadia unloaded netminder Joey MacDonald to the Vancouver Island Norsemen in exchange for a 5th and 7th round pick. MacDonald was not going to see any playing time for the Bears this season so it was an easy trade for Flaming to make. Then on the eve of the draft, Acadia completed a trio of deals. The Bears sent Jeff Tambellini and Bryan Pitton to Whitehorse in exchange for 3rd and 7th round picks; Mikhail Stefanovich and Alex Bumagin were dispatched to St. Louis for 3rd and 4th rounders; Mitch Wahl went to Las Vegas bringing back a 6th round pick and power forward prospect Tomas Vincour. "We wanted to get more picks for the draft because we had a plan to try and move up if we could," said Flaming, "In the end, that didn't work out but the silver lining is that we were able to draft a lot of players. Plus, getting Vincour was something I'd been trying to do since the 2009 draft so it was nice to finally get that accomplished." Armed with 15 picks, Acadia went into the draft knowing they wouldn't be factors until late in round 1, picking 23rd overall. Round 1: Beau Bennett (Penticton Vees, BCHL) - "We're quite pleased to come away with Beau Bennett with that pick," said Flaming, "I like that he's going to a good program in Denver and think his combination of hands and speed will really lend itself well to the SICHL one day." Apparently that wasn't the player Flaming expected to be putting a jersey on though. "No, that's true. For one thing, we didn't think he'd be there and two, the player we sort of had in mind was taken way before anyone expected. I mean, I thought taking Tyler Pitlick at 23 would have been a reach but to see him go 17th to Las Vegas well... that was a surprise." Round 2: Brad Ross (Portland Winterhawks, WHL) - Acadia then dealt veteran forward Joffrey Lupul to Quebec in exchange for the Cannons' 2nd round pick, 37th overall. "It was a tough decision in the sense that we still feel at his age, despite his nagging health concerns, Joffrey can bounce back and be a terrific player. However, he'd been passed on our depth chart by a few guys for this year so we put his name out there and got a pick and were able to use it to get a guy we really like." "Brad Ross is, in my opinion, the kind of guy every championship team needs to have - someone who can not only agitate with the best of them but play a regular shift and produce points while doing it." Ross led the WHL in penalty minutes last season but was third in scoring on a team that had a lot of offensive weapons. Curtis Hamilton (Saskatoon Blades, WHL) - A bit of a gamble, the Bears then chose forward Curtis Hamilton who missed much of last season with a broken collar bone - twice. He then returned to action for the playoffs and was subsequently hit from behind and suffered a concussion. "Yeah there are some concerns there but we felt that if he had of been healthy, he could have put up huge numbers with the Blades and might have gone top 20. We hope this is a case of a guy missing time, out of sight out of mind... and that his 2010-11 year makes us look really smart." Round 3: Sondre Olden (MODO, J20) - The big Norwegian played in Sweden last year and had solid numbers for the junior MODO team. He represented his country at the Division I U18 and U20 tournaments and shone - he had 22 points in 5 games for Norway at the U18s. "Our scouts told me that he was near the top on their list of mid-round sleepers who might actually step into SICHL action in less than 3 years. He's nearly ready from a physical perspective but needs to add muscle mass and strength. Sam Brittain (Canmore Eagles, AJHL) - "Like with Bennett, we saw his attending Denver this coming year as a huge plus. He'll have to fight for the starter's job but we think he'll get that and become a star in the NCAA. We can be patient, this is more of a project pick than us addressing a pressing need." Brittain is a big bodied goalie who was considered the only 'A' level prospect in the AJHL last year. Matt MacKenzie (Calgary Hitmen, WHL) - A bigger, defensive d-man who still managed 36 assists and 40 points on the WHL champion Hitmen last year. MacKenzie is a physical blueliner who likes to hit and is strong in front of the net. Poised to be a main player for Calgary this season. Round 4:Gabriel Bourque (Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL) - A member of the 2010 WJC team for Canada, Bourque was passed over during the 2009 SICHL Entry Draft. Last season the Wildcats added Bourque for the playoffs and got all the way to the Memorial Cup in part because of the way the feisty Bourque led the team - with 29 points in 21 playoff games. Justin Shugg (Windsor Spitfires, OHL) - Speaking of the Memorial Cup, Shugg was second in scoring on the Spitfires behind no one but Taylor Hall. Shugg managed 79 points in 67 games playing a variety of roles, sometimes the checker and sometimes in the top 6. He's a character guy and that's why the Mississauga St. Mike's Majors acquired him in the off season as they host the Memorial Cup this year and are amassing a high quality team. Louis Domingue (Quebec Remparts, QMJHL) - Domingue played for Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament in 2009 and may get consideration for the U20 squad in either 2011 or 2012. He's a big goalie and is considered one of the best in the Q. Round 5:Brandon Archibald (Ste. Sault Marie Greyhounds, OHL) - Archibald's selection was the first of three "Brandons" taken by Acadia on draft day. He's the defensive partner of Brock Beukeboom and notched 33 points. The 6'3 blueliner is a 2-way guy that can play tough in his own end. Brandon Davidson (Regina Pats, WHL) - Was he a flash in the pan last year with his +15 rating on a woefully inept Pats squad? Somehow the rookie not only kept his head above water but flourished despite his team's poor play overall. Davidson had an impressive 34 points in 59 games. Round 6: Luke Walker (Portland Winterhawks, WHL) - An overaged player who played for USA at the WJC in Saskatoon and won a gold medal. Ironically, he beat out former Acadia prospect Mitch Wahl for one of the last spots on the WJC roster. Walker finished 5th in Portland scoring, right behind Nino Niederreiter and 11 points back of Brad Ross. A heart and soul player who leads with a strong work ethic. Brandon Maxwell (Kitchener Rangers, OHL)- The goalie was once part of the US-NTDP before heading north to the CHL. Maxwell had a hot-cold season with the Rangers but was very strong in the playoffs. He was passed over in the 2009 SICHL draft. Round 7: Matt Kennedy (Barrie Colts, OHL) - The Colts added Kennedy for their playoff drive that eventually fell short of its goal. The 6'2 winger averaged a point per game over the last two season in the OHL and had a 4-game stint in the AHL with Syracuse in 2009. Kellen Jones (Vernon Vipers, BCHL) - The diminutive forward is a scoring machine at the Jr.A level and is headed to the ECAC's Quinnipiac Bobcats where he and his twin brother are expected to produce just as effectively. He's small but really skilled. A long shot. Mark Stone (Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL) - He had 28 points in 39 games for the Wheat Kings last year and had 4 points in the 2010-11 WHL season opener a couple of days ago. At 6'2, Stone is another big forward for Acadia and if he can round into form like his brother Ryan Stone, he'll be a fine contributor at the next level too. Bear Tracks: Acadia issued qualifying offers to all 11 of their restricted free agents... The Bears expect to have a glut of potential rookies at camp this year including Rich Peverely, Ryan O'Reilly, Cal Clutterbuck, Kris Russell, Ladislav Smid, Jimmy Howard and others... early indications are that the 2011-12 Bears could see another youth movement in the form of Magnus Paajarvi, Jordan Eberle, Kyle Beach, Jacob Markstrom, Dana Tyrell, Tomas Vincour, Blake Geoffrion, Billy Sweatt, Freddie Pettersson, Spencer Machacek and more...

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