Colony Rebuilding

A little chat about the 2020 draft and more!
by Gary Graves | November 17, 2020, 11:33 PM ET

When deciding to embark on a full on rebuild a year ago, we needed to have a solid franchise restoring plan in place. One that would correct past mistakes and replenish both the team’s bank account and depleted farm system. The goal was to make smart trades that would bring in prospects and/or picks in for upcoming drafts.

Believing that the 2020 draft was one of the deepest in years, the scouting staff were given a mandate to pull together a solid draft plan. Given the team would have a large number of picks available to them, this became the focus as soon as the season ended.

With the Colonials finishing 2nd last in the standings, the biggest question would be whether they would win the draft lottery and the rights to take prized prospect Alexis Lafreniere. Well that honour went to Banff, but Boston did win the right to select third after Chicago took slot number two, much to the dismay of our friends in Hamburg.

The draft prep wouldn’t be so much of a focus on the #3 slot, as we knew either Quinton Byfield or Tim Stuetzle would be available. Any one of those two guys would provide the team with a top line player. The biggest focus would be on picks from round 2 and down.

Just prior to the 2020 draft, the Colonials made a couple of deals. The first would be to add a second 1st round pick by dealing picks 36 and 57 to take the 26th overall pick from the Norsemen.

In addition, the team traded Riley Nash to the Steelhawks to acquire Kristian Reichel who is an undrafted winger who once put up 57 points for the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels and is also the son of former SICHL player Robert Reichel. Kristian is an example of hard work pays off and could be a nice find for the Colonials down the road. A smart player with solid positioning and strong on-ice awareness.

Draft Day. Yep, we watched ‘Draft Day’ prior to the SICHL Draft Day, and boy did that get the draft juices flowing!

The SICHL draft opened up and was as predictable as it could be for the first two picks with Lafreniere and Byfield going 1-2 respectively. Then came the moment we have built up to over the past year. The Boston Colonials were proud to select Tim Stuetzle who played for Adler Mannheim in the DEL last season.

“Stuetzle is a player that has the ceiling of a superstar out of the guys at the top. Lafreniere has a really high floor but his ceiling is lower than Stuetzle” - SICHL Scout, January 2020.

While time will tell whether that statement is true, we feel we have a potential 1st line center in the making who is described as an electrifying, quick strike, line-driving player that has all the tools including game-breaking instincts, compete and skating.

After drafting Stuetzle, that completes the trade that sent Nathan MacKinnon to the Huskies last year. The team turned MacKinnon into some pretty nice assets going forward in Erik Brannstrom, Raphael Lavoie and Tim Stuetzle.

Now onto the rest of the draft!

Pick 26 - Ridley Greig (Black Book #14, Recrutes #18)

“He’s a hard, two-way, smart player” raved one scout this year. Greig was a sparkplug with the WHL Wheat Kings in 2020, a competitive force who produced 60 points in 56 games. He competes with a real edge and has skill, the kind of player that is wired the right way.

Pick 31 - John-Jason Peterka (Black Book #24, Recrutes # 26)

Happy to select Peterka with pick 31. Peterka’s a high-octane, energy winger who relies on his speed and aggressiveness to generate offense and scouts feel that could put him into consideration for a future top 6 role in the SICHL. His best attribute is his shot. Peterka tied Alexis Lafreniere for most goals at the 2020 WJC by a draft eligible player.

Pick 42 - Luke Evangelista (Black Book #21, Recrutes #28)

Happy to see Evangelista fall to 42! Luke’s stock rose as the 2020 season went on. After a unimpressive rookie campaign in a limited role, Evangelista finished his second season with 61 points in 62 GP, including 23 even strength goals. One scout said “incredibly smart player who reminds me a lot of the way Bo Horvat played in London”. Evangelista is a 200-foot, pass-first winger who needs to get stronger and develop more of willingness to battle for loose pucks.

Pick 47 - Jeremie Poirier (Black Book #98, Recrutes #49, MacKenzie #33)

Hoping to land Lukas Cormier who ended up going at #46, the Colonials grabbed one of the most offensively gifted defensemen in the draft. At the same time, one of the worst defensive defensemen in the draft! Poirier has a hard shot and elite puck carrying skills. So will he be converted to a forward position or will he find some defense, time will tell.

Pick 60 - Jean Luc Foudy (Black Book #58, Recrutes #55)

Brother of Colonial’s prospect Liam Foudy, the older brother is also a great skater. Foudy can be characterized as a transitional puck rushing center, who can threaten with incredible speed. The hallmark of his game is his skating ability. The knock includes poor puck decisions at times and a poor shot. Time and a ramp up of competitiveness could prove to make this a solid pick if he pulls it all together.

Pick 61 - Zayde Wisdom (Black Book #36, Recrutes #75)

Zayde Wisdom is a two-way, hard-working power forward who plays with controlled tenacity. Great along the boards, makes plays and creates offence. Playing on a top line in Kingston with Shane Wright and eventually Martin Chromiak, \Wisdom finished the season with 59 points in 62 GP.

Pick 65 - Devon Levi (Black Book #4 ranked goalie)

Levi had a fantastic year in 2020! In the CJHL, he was named Player of the Year, MVP, Goaltender of the Year, and Rookie of the Year. He was also named MVP while playing for Canada East at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge in December, helping his team reach the final. Levi also dominated with a .941 save percentage with the Carleton Place Canadiens last season and is an invite to Team Canada’s 2021 World Junior Selection Camp.

Considered an undersized goalie, Levi no doubt has the skill. He is super-fast on his feet and moves rapidly from post to post. He’s very smooth and fluid in all his movements. Let’s hope this pick proves to be fruitful!

Pick 89 - Ryan Francis (Black Book #75, Recrutes #66)

Francis, an undersized speedster, considered one of the better playmakers in the draft, shot up the draft rankings with his 19-20 bounceback season doubling his previous output with Cape Breton. Francis put up 72 points in 61 GP. He has excellent vision and hockey IQ, making players around him better with his playmaking abilities and ability to slow down the play when he has the puck on his stick. So far in the 20-21 season Francis has 18 points in 14 GP!

Pick 95 - Tyler Tuilio (Black Book #85, Recrutes #67)

Tullio averaged more than a point per game in 19-20 with the OHL Oshawa Generals. Tullio is an aggressive, well-rounded winger, who plays bigger than his size. Will need to improve skating to make a SICHL impact. The beauty about drafting kids is waiting for the development to see what you have in three to five years!

That rounds out the picks selected within the top 100, but we had more! We won’t go into a deep dive on every additional pick, but a few honorable mentions worth noting include:

Pick 147 - Viktor Persson (Black Book #42)

Persson is a two-way, puck rushing defenseman who can impact both ends of the ice, and considered one of the biggest sleepers of the draft due to lack of exposure compared to other prospects. According to a source “Viktor has some real likeable and well-rounded qualities to his game.”

Pick 156 - Amir Miftakov

An undersized goalie, Miftakhov made a name for himself this year at the 2020 World Juniors Championship (WJC) pushing favorite Yaroslav Askarov out of the net and into the starting role, posting a solid .919 SV%.

Miftakov plays well with traffic in front of net and has great side-to-side movement that can limit attackers. In 7 GP in the KHL this season, Miftakov is posting a .917 save % and a 4-2 record with a 2.25 GAA.

Overall we feel great about the 17 selections made this year and are so happy to hear the recent SICHL Puckcast validating the kind of draft we had hoped to pull off! Hats off to Mark Kelly and the rest of the scouting team! 

Despite the recent negative comments by a long time unnamed rival, the team has been very transparent to its fans about the rebuilding process and have appeared to have received full support from fans and corporate sponsors.

Looking forward to 20/21 and onwards and we have started scouting for 2021 already!

#ColonyRebuilding

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