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Leader-Post article (Lang open to making deals)

May 2 2012 at 7:23 AM
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Response to Edm Journal art (Penalties biggest downside to Oil Kings' positive WHL playoff performance

Lang open to making deals

By Greg Harder, Leader-Post

May 2, 2012

Regina Pats general manager Chad Lang.

Photograph by: Don Healy, Leader-Post , Leader-Post

The Regina Pats aren't scheduled to be on the clock until the second round of Thursday's WHL bantam draft in Calgary, but their timeline is subject to change.

Pats GM Chad Lang - a notorious wheeler and dealer - is keeping an open mind when it comes to the possibility of either moving up in the draft or acquiring more picks somewhere in the early to mid-rounds.

"We didn't have a first rounder last year and we were real happy with our draft," said Lang. "At the end of the day if we have the opportunity to move up I'll look at it. If we can't move into the top 12 then our next plan of attack would be to see if we could somehow pick up multiple picks, whether that be in the second, third or fourth rounds. There's a lot of good kids in those first four rounds so if we have an opportunity to maybe pick up multiple picks like we did last year, that's something that really intrigues us."

The Pats gave up their first pick in this year's draft (11th overall) to acquire defenceman Martin Marincin from the Prince George Cougars on Jan. 10. Lang says he doesn't regret the deal, nor is he concerned about going into this year's draft without a first-rounder. The Pats currently have at least one pick in each of the next eight rounds.

Still, the task of landing a high-end prospect becomes more difficult in the absence of a first-round pick. It also puts a little more pressure on Dale McMullin, who's entering his first draft as the Pats' director of scouting.

"The only pressure is to make sure those first couple of picks can play," said McMullin. "But I don't think there's any more (than usual). Chad hasn't put any pressure on me. We've done our work and studied all winter long, worked hard at it. You're going to make mistakes, you just hope you don't make very many.

"It would be nice to have a first-round pick but Chad has a way of manoeuvering along the way. Who knows? You have to be ready for everything."

During last year's draft, Lang parted with the 16th overall selection (which he had acquired from the Tri-City Americans in the Carter Ashton deal) in order to acquire a pair of secondrounders from the Moose Jaw Warriors. As a result, the Pats dropped out of the first round but had three picks in the second.

"We ended up having more picks than we did going into it," Lang said. "Yeah, we didn't have a first round pick yet we were comfortable with the guys we were able to select in the second round (Adam Brooks, Dane Schioler and Bryar Ortynski). We felt they were in consideration to be firstround guys."

Since the price is typically high to acquire a first-round pick, the Pats believe it can be more cost effective to go with quantity over quality.

"That's where you have to really rely on your scouting staff and make sure we do our homework all year on those players," added Lang, who has been in Calgary all week poring over reports with McMullin. "If we still feel there are legit kids there (in the second, third and fourth rounds) we'll do what we can (to get them). Sometimes it's a little easier to pick up those picks (rather than a first-rounder). Yet I think the draft dictates that too. If there's a lot of quality players sometimes the price stays (high). That's why it'll be good to spend the next few days to try to sort through it, figure out where we're at in the top five rounds and see what we want to do as far as a plan going into the draft on Thursday."


The following is where the Regina Pats are slated to select in Thursday's WHL bantam draft:

Second round (31st) - from Kelowna for Myles Bell.

Third (63rd) - from Kamloops for Thomas Frazee.

Fourth (68th) - from P.G in Martin Marincin deal.

Fifth (94th) - from Lethbridge for Damien Ketlo.

Fifth (109th) - from Tri-City for Carter Ashton.

Sixth (114th) - from P.G. for Campbell Elynuik.

Seventh (134th) - from P.G. in Marincin deal.

Eighth (165th) - their own pick.

Ninth (187th) - their own pick.

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