2013 Draft Review - Acadia

The Bears began the weekend with 20 draft picks, after a handful of trades they acquired a top prospect and 16 new draftees.
by Marcel Cormier | October 29, 2013, 4:46 AM ET

Acadia's draft weekend began the night before the big event with a significant trade between themselves and the New York Empire. 

The Bears will tell you that they are quite happy with their 16-man haul from the draft floor but it's this reporter's opinion that the weekend didn't play out exactly the way managment had hoped it would. The Pysyk/Ceci trade resulted in Acadia moving up two positions with their first pick but GM Guy Flaming eluded to it not being a big enough jump up to get the player the really coveted.

"This was one of those years where there was a pretty set vanguard of four or five players and then things really opened up to various opinion," said Flaming, "We had hopes that a certain player would still be there but going in we knew that, with certain teams selecting before us, that chances were pretty slim."

No confirmation from the organization but one source indicated that player was probably Edmonton Oil Kings forward Curtis Lazar who was chosen 7th overall by Quebec.

Rasmus Ristolainen - A pro ready, 6'4 and 220 lb defenceman who some projected to go earlier in the draft but slipped to the Bears who were satisfied to add him to the organization.

"Our scouts feel he'll be on our SICHL roster next year, or close to it at the very least," said Flaming, "He's been playing professionally back in Finland for a couple of seasons already so he's the opposite of a project." (Drafted 1st round, 11th overall).

Michael McCarron - Another addition that comes ready made, from a physical standpoint. The 6'5, 237 lb winger was a force at the junior level with the U18 team for the US-NTDP. One of four players from "the Program" that the Bears selected on the weekend, McCarron now skates for the London Knights where he has gotten off to a less than impressive start to the season from an offensive perspective. 

"It looked like we were going to be taking another defenceman as the draft unfolded but then the next few guys on our list all went in consecutive order," said Flaming, "We really liked the way Mike played at the U18s in April, he was dominant against his own age group. He might take a year or two but we have big hopes for him." (Drafted 1st round, 22nd overall).

Tristan Jarry - One of the bigger surprise selections of the first round had to have been with the first goaltender chosen of the 2013 draft class. Jarry appeared in just 29 WHL games with Edmonton last year although he was on a league record setting pace. Some would say not enough sample size, GM Flaming disagrees.

"We thought this year was a really underrated one for goaltenders and in our mind, Jarry was at the head of the class," he said, "I may be in the minority in this belief but I think there is a genuine chance we could see him at the 2014 World Junior Championship." (Drafted 1st round, 23rd overall).

Eric Comrie - We're not sure which was a bigger surprise; Jarry going in the first round or that Acadia took another goaltender with their very next pick and its another one, in Eric Comrie, that didn't play much last year.

"Eric had season ending hip surgery but we saw him in the summer and he's 100%, maybe even better than he was before the injury," Flaming suggested. "With Tristan and Eric, we're pretty confident that both of them are going to provide us with solid goaltending in the future and just maybe one of them can become a star." (Drafted 2nd round, 36th overall).

Hudson Fasching - The second power forward from the US-NTDP claimed by the Bears. Fasching is currently a freshman with the Minnesota Golden Gophers and is off to a terrific start.

"People called it a reach when we made that pick," Flaming began, "But I think this is one of those types of players that, 3 or 4 years from now we'll look back and say 'how did that guy not go in the 1st round?', I really do. He's got size, hands, character out the wazoo... he had a down year but he's back at the top of his game now and back on track." (Drafted 2nd round, 43rd overall).

Acadia then traded the 2nd round pick of the Edmonton Supersonics to Quebec in exchange for a pair of 3rd round selections.

Nicholas Baptiste - When the Fredericton Express selected Zach Nastasiuk with the final pick of the second round, an audible expletive was heard to come from Acadia's table. Using the pick they acquired from Denver in the J.T. Miller deal last week, the Bears chose Sudbury Wolves forward Nic Baptiste.

"Yes I will admit that the Express got the guy were had our eyes on at that time but that's the way the draft works, you have these quick dashes of disappointment and then they go away because you have the chance to add a guy like Nic instead," said Flaming. "He's an energy guy that can also produce and those aren't always easy to come by." (Drafted 3rd round, 59th overall).

Adam Tambellini - The first of back-to-back picks in the 3rd round went to the North Dakota freshman. Tall but lanky, college is the right path for Tambellini who will get plenty of patience from the organization to develop the right way. The offensive forward helped take the BCHL's Surrey Eagles to the RBC Cup last year.

"I love the fact that Adam joins some of our other top prospects in Rocco Grimaldi, Dillon Simpson, Mark MacMillan, Andrew MacWilliam was there last year... we like North Dakota a lot," Flaming said. (Drafted 3rd round, 63rd overall).

John Hayden - The third US-NTDP skater chosen by Acadia and another power forward from the team. The 6'3, 210 lbs center is now a freshman at Yale.

"Having moved J.T. Miller last week, we actually see some similarities between the way he and John Hayden play so you could look at it as us filling the hole," said Flaming, "He battled some injuries last year, started slow, but really came on after Christmas." (Drafted 3rd round, 64th overall).

Keegan Kanzig - Another pair of consecutive picks started with the selection of the biggest player available in the draft; 6'7, 241 lb defenceman of the WHL's Victoria Royals. Not surprisingly, the knock on the big man is his footspeed but there is no getting around his abundance of upside.

"He's massive, absolutely massive," smiled Flaming, "He's big and tough and mean and everything you want in a blueliner that big. I hope one day we get to see him and (2012 selection) Mike McKee on the ice together." (Drafted 3rd round, 71st overall).

Evan Cowley - There were a few comparisons between Cowley and 2012 Acadia draftee Anthony Stolarz in that both are considered very raw and both played in the NAHL. Cowely has now moved on to the Denver Pioneers where he is a freshman back up to fellow Acadia prospect Sam Brittain

"Raw is right; we're talking about a guy who taught himself how to play net," Flaming said, "I heard him say it himself last year during an interview on The Pipeline Show, he's never had any goalie coaching at all and he's as good as he is. I can't wait to see what happens after he's done at Denver." (Drafted 72nd overall).

Andrew Copp - Their sixth and final pick of the third round went to a sophmore from the university of Michigan who happens to be the team's leading scorer.

"Jacob Trouba, Boo Nieves and now two new Wolverines join our team," Flaming said, "I hope these two new guys are half as good as the other two." (Drafted 3rd round, 78th overall).

Aidan Muir - The 1st overall pick in the 2013 USHL Draft, Muir is a Michigan native who has plans to join the Western Michigan Broncos a year from now. Until then he'll play for the Indiana Ice in the USHL. Acadia has Mike Cichy, Mike McKee and Chase Balisy playing for the Broncos right now.

"He's honestly a bit of an unknown quantity for me but going 1st overall in a draft to the USHL... there has to be something there, no?" (Drafted 4th round, 106th overall).

Acadia then traded two 4th round picks and one 5th round pick to Edmonton in exchange for a 3rd rounder in 2014. That evening, the Bears and New York Empire made another trade involving picks that saw Acadia acquire the first pick of round 5 for a 5th and a pair of 7th round selections. 

Henri Ikonen - The Finnish forward is helping lead the Kingston Frontenacs to a fantastic start to the OHL Season. The rare European selection by Acadia did not go over well with a few of the other SICHL GMs still in attendance at the draft.

"We made the trade with New York the ngiht before after gathering our scouting staff together once more time," said Flaming, "He's just playing so well right now that we couldn't take the chance that he'd still be there with out original pick so we made the move. Glad we did!" (Drafted 5th round, 113th overall).  

Due to a family emergency, Flaming had to then leave the draft and so submitted a 10-name list to league Commissioner Mark Macrae. Amazingly, the Bears managed to draft the top 3 names on their list without even being in attendance for rounds 6 and 7.

Tyler Motte - The undersized energy forward was a standout for the US-NTDP last year and is now a freshman with the Michigan Wolverines. (Drafted 6th round, 148th overall).

Carson Soucy - The often injured defenceman of the Spruce Grove Saints is now a mobile and offensive minded 6'4 freshman for the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. (Drafted 6th round, 162nd overall)

Peter Quenneville - Another former AJHL player, Quenneville was actually named AJHL Player of the Year two seasons ago before he went on to star for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL. NOw he's a freshman with the Quinnipiac Bobcats. (Drafted 7th round, 180th overall).

"I was very surprised when the email came in that said we got all three of them," Flaming confirmed. "They are all what I would consider boom/bust selections but at that stage of the draft, who isn't?"

Bear Tracks

  • Acadia has sent long time team member Tom Gilbert along with six farm players to the Quebec Canons in exchange for a 3rd round pick and veteran Colby Armstrong. Armstrong was a member of the Bears back in 2006-2009 and still holds the record for playoff points scored in a single spring, his 21 came during the miraculous 16-0 run in 2007.
  • The Bears currently have 102 names on their organizational roster, 103 including impending Franchise Player Brooks Orpik. GM Flaming insists the team is not worried about getting under the 100-player cap and that in fact, the team could be active on the free agent market.


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