Edmonton Supersonics 2023 Draft Review

How does Mike Franceschini's "system" on draft day hold up when the GM isn't around? Let's find out...
by Kent Clark | October 4, 2023, 3:58 AM ET

Sonics' GM Mike Franceschini has boasted in the past that his "process" during draft day is second to none. Though careful not to make any claims about the development of the players, Franceschini firmly believes that the draft day system implemented prior to the 2017 draft has served his team well. The system is a closely-guarded process that Franceschini claims provides real-time analysis on the players remaining at any point in the draft, allowing for quick-decision making on a day where Franceschini is often also performing duties as Deputy Commissioner of the SICHL. 

Rival GMs aren't convinced. "I just saw him walking around with a dog-eared copy of the Hockey News Draft Preview," said GM Jeff Prozeller of the Continental Cup Champion Havana Revolution. "If that's his system, then congratulations on having the same system as half the GMs in the league, I guess?"

Franceschini insists that it's more involved, but when pressed for more information he simply offered a boilerplate response: "I trust our scouts and I trust our process. On draft day we need to have the same confidence at pick 150 that we have at pick 15 that we are getting the right guy for our franchise. We revamped our entire scouting department prior to the 2017 draft and we've been happy with the results since. Ultimately, you can't control what other teams are doing, and they may value the same guys that you do. All you can do is move on to the next kid."

2023 introduced a new challenge for Franceschini and his system, as he was unavailable to attend the opening two rounds of the draft. How would the system perform while on auto-pilot? 

  • 1st Round (27th Overall) - Eduard Sale (RW): A very boom or bust type of player, he will either star in a top 6 role in the SICHL, or be a total non-factor within 5 years. Not the profile of a typical Supersonics pick, but worth the risk at pick 27. 
  • 2nd Round (57th Overall) - Jayden Perron (LW/RW): A smaller skill player, Perron may provide some secondary scoring at the SICHL-level, if he can deal with the physical play.  
  • 4th Round (116th Overall) - Arttu Kärki (D): A dual-threat weapon, Kärki possesses above average shooting talent with the ability to make plays off the rush and activate in-zone. How often does a defenseman in this range fulfill that type of promise? 
  • 5th Round (147th Overall) - Ryan Conmy (RW): Conmy represents a return to the prototypical player-type that the Supersonics are fond of drafting. A safe player with an all-round game, will the dominoes fall in his favor?  
  • 7th Round (207th Overall) - Axel Hurtig (D): A big, angry defenseman, the hope is that Hurtig's unique skill set will distinguish him amongst a prospect pool full of puck-moving blueliners. 

Overall, Franceschini seemed pleased, if not particularly excited, about the players selected during the day. 

"Maybe it's the lack of adrenaline you experience as your pick is approaching, or the last-minute adjustments you consider," started Franceschini, while choosing his words carefully. "I looked back and reviewed the pick order and asked myself if I would have done anything differently if I were there in person. I don't think I would have. Eduard is a different player than we would typically pick, but he's also the type of player that we need to pick given our usual draft position, where the top offensive players are out of reach. We did this a few years ago with Lappy (2020 1st round pick Hendrix Lapierre). Jayden, too, could be just the type of secondary scorer that is always valuable in this league. Time will tell if our development program can do right by these players, but at the end of the day, I feel like our scouts did their job, and I'm happy with the results."

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