SJHL 2004 draft review

By Jesse Gill





Both SJHL players selected in the N-H-L went to the Washington Capitals

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League had two of its players
selected during the 2004 Entry Draft, one player less than the three selected
in 2003. Since 2000, there has always been an SJHL player selected in each
draft.

 

2000: 1 SJHL player taken out of 293 total

2001: 2/289

2002: 2/290

2003: 3/292

2004: 2/291

 

Despite the low number of draftees, the SJHL has had some
successful NHLers move on from the league. In 1981, a couple of solid
defenseman were drafted from the SJHL, Prince Albert Raiders’ James Patrick
went ninth overall to the New York Rangers and Moose Jaw Canucks’ Chris Chelios
went 40th overall to the Montreal Canadiens. In 1988 Notre Dame’s
Rod Brind’Amour went ninth overall to Toronto and Humboldt’s Len Easu went 86th
to Toronto.

 

1989 saw Notre Dame’s Kent Manderville go 24th
overall to the Calgary Flames and the last noteable pick was in 1996 when
Melfort’s Willie Mitchell went to New Jersey.
Notre Dame has had a great deal of draft success and have had four
players drafted in the past three years including 2004’s Andrew Gordon.

 

The SJHL has also had a number of NHLers come out of the
league, but not get drafted out of it, they include: Bobby Clarke, Reggie
Leach, Curtis Joseph, Scott Pellerin, Wade Brookbank, Ken Daneyko, Steve
Konowalchuk, Brian Skrudland, Kelly Buchberger, Chris McAllister, Brett Clark
and more.

 

Below is an examination of the two players taken in 2004,
Justin Mrazek hailing from Saskatchewan and Andrew Gordon from Nova Scotia.

 

Andrew Gordon

 

Birthdate: December 13, 1985

Place of Birth: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

Height: 5-11

Weight: 180

Team: Notre Dame Hounds

Drafted: Washington Capitals, 7th Round, 197th overall

 

Year
Team
League

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2000-02

Dartmouth
Subways

AAA

68

13

21

34

N/A

2001-02

Dartmouth
Subways

AAA

78

48

82

130

N/A

2002-03

Notre
Dame Hounds

SJHL

58

20

27

47

12

2003-04

Notre
Dame Hounds

SJHL

55

20

44

64

12

 

Totals

SJHL

113

40

71

111

24

 

Totals

AAA

146

61

103

164

N/A

 

Like fellow East Coaster Brad Richards, right winger
Andrew Gordon decided to move out west to Wilcox, Saskatchewan to play his
Junior Hockey, and like Richards he’s a skilled and disciplined player. The
18-year-old from Porters Lake, Nova Scotia is a solid passer who could turn out
to be a later round steal if he develops next season in St. Cloud where he
earned himself an NCAA scholarship. He was one of the elite players in the SJHL
last season, earning player of the week honors in February. Gordon was also
named a star of the game for the Sherwood Conference during the SJHL All-Star
game. His Triple-A stats from the 2001-2002 season were no doubt helped by
playing on a line with phenom Sidney Crosby, but they were solid last season as
well. Time will tell if Gordon can take his game to the next level and become a
solid NHLer, but for now he’s a project.

 

Justin Mrazek

 

Birthdate: July 21, 1985

Place of Birth: Regina, Saskatchewan

Position: Goalie

Shoots: Left

Height: 6-3

Weight: 185

Team: Estevan Bruins

Drafted: Washington Capitals, 8th Round, 230th overall

 

Year
Team
League

GP

W-L-T

GAA

SPCT

SO

2001-02

Yorkton
Mallers

SMAAAHL

20

13-4-0

3.28

.923

2

2002-03

Yorkton
Harvest

SMAAAHL

30

17-9-1

2.79

.913

3

2003-04

Estevan
Bruins

SJHL

38

14-16-5

3.14

.903

0

 

The Washington Capitals looked to the SJHL a second time
when they picked goaltender Justin Mrazek of the Estevan Bruins. Mrazek a tall
goalie who covers a lot of net earned a scholarship to Union College after just
one SJHL season tandeming with goalie Andew Arklie in Estevan.

 

In 2002-03 Mrazek backstopped the Yorkton Harvest to the Air
Canada Cup Regional Championship and also earned the Top Goaltending Honor in
the Tournament. Mrazek wasn’t ranked by the Central Scouting Bureau and his
selection came as somewhat of a surprise. He is definitely a long shot prospect
who could develop into a solid goalie with a few NCAA seasons under his belt.

 

 

In addition to Gordon and Mrazek, Aaron Boogaard spent over
a month in the league awaiting an WHL deal.
While not officially drafted out of the SJHL, he is worth of
examination.

 

Aaron Boogaard

 

Birthdate: August 11, 1986

Place of Birth: Newmarket, Ontario

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

Height: 6-2

Weight: 220

Team: Tri City Americans / Melville Millionaires

Drafted: Minnesota Wild, 6th Round, 175th overall

 

Year
Team
League

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2001-02

Regina
Pat Canadians

SMAAAHL

38

1

6

7

95

2002-03

Calgary
Hitmen

WHL

39

3

0

3

52

2003-04

Calgary
Hitmen

WHL

12

0

1

1

24

2003-04

Melville Millionaires

SJHL

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

2003-04

Tri City
Americans

WHL

23

3

1

4

33

 

Totals

WHL

74

6

2

8

109

 

Boogaard wasn’t listed by Central Scouting in the final
ratings and spent about a month with the Melville Millionaire during the
season, waiting for a trade from the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.

The Hitmen eventually dealt him to the Tri-City Americans.

 

Boogaard is a young power forward who can provide a physical
presence. The younger brother of former Prince George tough guy Derek Boogaard
and current Wild prospect, Aaron is big and strong with good skating skills. He
is definitely another project for the Wild with some size.

 

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staff.