Friday, May 26, 2017

Tigers Deal Schneider

Medicine Hat, AB — The Medicine Hat Tigers announced on Friday morning that they have traded goaltender Nick Schneider to the Calgary Hitmen. In exchange for Schneider the Tigers will receive a 2019 4th Round Bantam Draft Pick. 
“We would like to thank Nick for his contributions both on and off the ice,” stated General Manager and Head Coach Shaun Clouston, “We wish Nick all the best in Calgary with the Hitmen.”
Schneider is coming off a 2016-17 season which saw him appear in 47 games and post a 32-11-1-0 record with a 3.43 goals against average and an .886 save percentage. Schneider finishes his Tigers career appearing in 133 games overall and recording 74 victories since being acquired from Regina in 2013-14.
As suspected the Tigers Dealt one of their Overage Tenders in Nick Schneider. Schneider is signed by the flames. Calgary acquiring him very likely means that the Flames will send him down to play Junior for another year.

The Tigers Initially acquired Schneider in a deal with Regina in 2014. In that deal The Tigers received Schneider and a 3rd round pick(Ryden Fedyck), and traded away Daniel Wapple and Logan McVeigh.

This brings the Tigers Overage Count to 8. I've added Bullion back to the Likely Overage category because his status isn't completely written in stone.

His tenure with the Tigers started very impressively, but ended on a bit of a sour note.. He came out of the gate as an amazing backup tender winning his first 11 starts.  He won a contract with the flames after his 1st year with the Tigers as a backup goaltender. The following season he struggled a little with the Tigers going through growing pains, hence the Tigers aquired Austin Lotz/Mack Shields. 

 Last season the Tigers also needed some goal-tending depth going into the playoffs and their backup acquisition Michael Bullion ended up becoming the starter.

Unlikely  Overagers(8)
John Dahlstrom(Import)  -Drafted unsigned

*unlikley to do having other quality OA forward Imports
Likely Overagers(6)
Michael Bullion
Mark Rassell*
Zach Fischer*
Brad Forrest
Kristians Rubins(I)*
Ty Schultz
Jordan Henderson

* Likely candidates
Rubins will probably be out at the start of the year, so one of Forrest/Schultz/Henderson will likely start the year here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tigers Ship Away Overage Bradley

Medicine Hat, AB — The Medicine Hat Tigers made their first move of the 2017 off season acquiring 99 born goaltender Jordan Hollett from the Regina Pats. In exchange the Tigers agreed to send 97 born forward Matt Bradley, 2018 2nd Round Bantam Draft Pick and a 2019 5th Round Bantam Draft Pick to Regina.


I think I like this move. 

I feel like the Tigers acquired Hollett to become their starting goaltender next season. They gave up a bunch to get him. It potentially frees up an OA spot if Hollet can prove to be a starter.

Matt Bradley is also going to a team that has a memorial cup spot next season, so I Imagine he would be quite happy with that scenario.  

If Hollett isn't starter material the Tigers do have options and won't have to decide until the OA deadline. It creates competition, depth, and flexibility which is never a bad thing.

Since Bradley is drafted but unsigned, I wonder if Regina has talked to Montreal on what their plan for him was. I'm wondering if their assurances that he will be back. If Montreal lets him go, their is a bit of risk for him in the Free Agent Pool. I think he will be back, but you never know.

Tigers Overage Scenario
I think the Tigers really hope Hollett can be a starter, as this could strongly help them out with their top 6 next season by keeping an extra point per game forward. It would make a lot of sense.

For that reason I think their Overage Situation has changed to the following.

Unlikely  Overagers(10)
John Dahlstrom(Import)  -Drafted unsigned

Nick Schneider - Signed 
Michael Bullion
Likely Overagers
Mark Rassell
Zach Fischer
Brad Forrest
Kristians Rubins(I)
Ty Schultz
Jordan Henderson

Fischer, Rassell, Rubins seems like an excellent OA combo
Guesstimated Roster
Max Gerlach(19 Mason Shaw(19) Fischer(20)
 Rassell(20) James Hamblin(18)  Import(18/19?)
Tyler Preziuso(18) Josh Williams(16)   Ryan Jevne(19) 
Ryan Chyzowski(17) Gary Haden (18)

Kristians Rubins(20) Dylan Macpherson(19)
David Quenneville(19) Dalton Gally(19)
Cameron MacPhee(18)



Since Rubins maybe recovering from surgery, they could easily keep an extra OA Defenceman until Rubins returns.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Bantam Draft Day

Check Down below for a Review of the 2011 Bantam Draft Class
Initial Thoughts of the Bantam Draft
Wow, The Tigers took players all the way back into the 14th round. that is unheard of for them.

 They must have had a few names that were ranked much higher on their lists or they cleaned house from older prospects and had extra room.
The Chart Courtesy of The Medicine Hat Tigers Website
NamePositionHometownHeightWeightRoundPick Overall
Garin BjorklundGGrande Prairie, AB5’111471st21st
Scout TrumanFLethbridge, AB5’51372nd43rd
Ryan WatsonDDelta, BC5’91493rd65th
Noah DanielsonCOlds, AB5’8.51604th87th
Brett MeermanRWBlackfalds, AB5’8.51555th110th
Kadyn ChabotCLethbridge, AB5’7.51606th131st
Austin DycerDYorkton, SK5’8.51498th175th
Brayden KaptyDCoalhurst, AB5’9.51329th197th
Stephen RosierFCalgary, AB5’717110th219th
Tyler BatesDCalgary, AB5’715011th241st
Samuel DeckhutCSan Diego, CA5’5.512412th263rd
Talon ZakallDKamloops, BC5’914013th285th
Davis ChorneyCNipawin, SK5’1118014th307th

Draft Strategy
 Normally Goaltenders are highly volatile and it is why we don't see a lot of them picked in the first couple rounds. Their are lots of past examples of goaltenders taken early not panning out.

However with the elimination of the ability to take goaltenders in the import draft, goalies seem to be slowly creeping up the list in the draft order. The past couple years a few of them have been taking in the 1st rounds, and it is not uncommon to see half a dozen selected after the 2nd round.

 If you are a team with a late first round pick like the Tigers and their is a goaltender that you've watched and really like, it makes a lot of sense to take a stab at the best goaltender available, and that is what they did.

Stick to their strengths in last position
The Tigers are good at finding the smaller players with talent, later in the draft, so in a draft where you pick 21st out of 22 teams it is understandable to retreat back to what their strengths are and why not a lot of bigger bodies were selected. They are essentially trying to keep up with the pack and hope they find a couple gems in the later rounds.

Unfortunately for us, we won't really know how well or how poor they did, until this draft is long forgotten, and we are sitting here 6 years later going OMG that seemed like yesterday.


Reviewing the 2011 Bantam Draft
It seems like yesterday Blake Penner the hometown kid was picked in the first round.
In this draft the Tigers had the 18th pick in each round out of 22 teams.

First Round 
Blake Penner

Third Round
Chad Butcher 
Round Four
Nathyn Mortlock
Alex Mowbray

Round Six
Zac Robidoux Goaltender
Steven Owre

Round Seven
Michael McEachern

Round Eight
Josh McCulloch

Round Nine
 Nolan Martens

Round Ten
Patrick Normandeau

Round Eleven
Matthew Donnelly

Nothing for them after the 7th round

Blake Penner - 3 year utility/3rd line player.
Chad Butcher  WHL ALL-Star
Nathyn Mortlock Depth 8-9th defenceman (released, and played for regina)
Alex Mowbray -  4 year 3rd line player (released and played for spokane as an overage)
Steven Owre - WHL Allstar
Zac Robidoux - 3rd string goaltender Traded to Lethbridge for a 3rd round pick.

2011 Draft Grade: A
In an average year you want 3 core players, but the Tigers found 2 allstars, 2 3rd liners, 2 players that had cups of coffee in the whl.

If the Tigers had had a top 5 draft pick, I'd say this draft would have been average. However they had the 18th pick and for that this draft is pretty outstanding and a big reason why this past season the Tigers had top of the line talent regarding their overage positions.