Today is one of the big day in the United States. It is the day of the North American Hockey League draft. It is a big day for many player who have hope to be drafted, and have worked hard to put themselves in the best opportunity to make it happen.
Some say that drafting is nonsense. Some say it unfair to player. Some say it completely unnecessary. I disagree completely.
The draft is important for league parity and competitiveness. It is important for the player who is picked to be recognized for his achievement. It is a reward.
Of course some player picked by team they do not want to play for. But when you are not paying to play, or in Major Junior you get paid to play, do you really deserve to be in total control? I think not.
So many people focus on the player side of thing that the lose focus on the bigger picture.
The draft is not only about the player, it is about the organization and the people in the organization. The draft is where General Manager, Coach and Scout establish themself as being great or not great at their job.
The draft is the place where player not only recognized, but team staff get recognized for doing great work.
If a General Manager, or Scout do a great job in the draft, they likely get noticed by the higher level. No different from the player, team staff looking to move up and advance their career.
To often people lose sight of the team staff who are still being develop as well. Junior hockey is not simply about the junior player development. It is a place where staff develop for higher level junior, NCAA and professional hockey.
The draft is important part of the development process for player and staff. It is not the most important though because some player get over looked and some staff get over looked.
Beyond the important reason for player and staff career, it is tradition. The traditions of our game can not be so quickly tossed aside in some cases. The draft, in those league that have the draft, is very important tradition.
Today we honor the player, staff and tradition of drafting. Good luck to all.