Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A Chat With Assistant G.M. Brad Robson

Hurricanes Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Personnel joined Fred and I as a guest on Hurricanes This Week Monday night on CJOC.

Robson talked about a number of things ranging from the Canes' final 15 games of the regular season to the upcoming Bantam Draft. Here is a transcript from that interview:

Question: Brad, what do the Hurricanes need to do to make the playoffs? Is there more to it that just being consistent in these final few weeks of the regular season?

Robson: "Well. consistency has been a problem for us the last while. We've only won one game in our last nine. We've played 57 games so far and have 15 left. All we have to do is worry about ourselves, not about Swift Current, Regina, Prince Albert, and Calgary. Starting this Friday in Red Deer we have a 15 game schedule and with that we probably need to simplify things a bit more and break it down into 3 or 5 game segments. I think over these 15 games we probably have to get anywhere from 14 to 16 points to be comfortably into a playoff spot."

Question: You've got some top end picks in this 2011 Bantam Draft coming up in a few months. Two first rounders and two second rounders. Do you see possibly trading one of those high picks to acquire a player now or will you wait to see what happens at draft time?

Robson: "Well, we would defiantly listen to all teams. With those four picks, we have high commodities that other teams are looking for. There are other clubs that don't have a first or second round pick, so we would certainly listen to teams. It would have to be an interesting offer and a trade that would help us down the road as well. It would have to be a deal that would make me, Rich, and our scouting staff stop and consider what that player or players are."

Question: If you look into the crystal ball for a second, you will have your three current overage players moving on after this season and with six potential overagers next season and you can only keep three, the team will have at least six new faces in the line-up next season. What are the chances we will see some of last year's bantam picks wearing a Hurricanes jersey in 2011-2012?

Robson: "You take a look at our 1994's coming up. Tanner Kovacs is the top goalie in the Alberta Midget AAA League. He's played very well. I watched Adam Henry from Winnipeg play the last few days. He's coming on strong. I watched Jaimen Yakabowski play a few weeks ago and he's coming along. Sam McKechnie with the Calgary Bisons has been very strong. Taylor Balog, another 94 with Tisdale has been very strong. Mitch Guiel and Mason Blacklock both playing in B.C. have been good. So we have a number of 94's that have a good opportunity to play for our hockey club next year. We do have potentially six positions open next year and we do have the Topping's, the Erkamps', the Merkley's, Leverton's, the Jamal Watson's and the Remi Larochelle's. We have some depth that's coming. We don't want to rush our 95's either. Both Rich and I though it was best for our organization in terms of the players development that some of the 94's went back and played with their teams and be the number one go-to guys with their Midget AAA clubs and junior programs. I think when they come into our (the Hurricanes) program next year they will definitely have more success with us."

Question: Brad, you take a look at this upcoming draft again for a moment. What's the crop of bantam picks like this year and what will this team be looking for with these four picks in the first two rounds?

Robson: "The way we've broken it down is we have two picks in the top 10 and then we will really focus on the top 25 to 30. Then we build for the the rest of the draft from the third round and on. The Bantam Draft this year is very strong in forwards. A lot of these guys have very good skill and with that is a lot of size. A lot of those kids are coming from Alberta and Saskatchewan and some from the B.C. Lower Mainland. There's only about a half dozen top defencemen, but some of those guys are very strong too. So in our top four picks, we're going to have to try and get some forwards, but also grab a top-end defenceman. We're really going to have to work the draft to our advantage so we get a few forwards and a few defencemen just for depth."

The 2011 Bantam Draft will take place at the end of April.


This blog post is brought to you by www.clearlylethbridge.com.


  1. I rarely listen to the show. If say it was moved to 7 to match game time starts that would be awesome. 6 is just to early for me. Am I alone? I'd love to be able to listen all the time.

  2. If you miss a program, you can download it the next day on our CJOC website and listen at your leisure. You can also download it as a poscast on iTunes and listen any time you want. Thanks for the feedback though about the time of the program. I will relay that to the powers at be.

  3. Nice interview, Pat! Even with the major Bantam tournaments across the countries, it must be an extremely difficult task to assess and predict the development of all the 13 and 14 year old players across both Canada and the USA. The top players in each province/state are often easy picks mostly because the better players have usually developed physically sooner than the others, but the others will catch up, and the REAL job is having connections with the various coaches, and discovering how the kids ATTITUDES are going to affect their development. Then you can find the smaller, skillful players who love to compete, who hate to lose, and who are more likely going to develop into another Tyler Ennis, a Brendan Ranford, or a Braeden Schenn, etc. Good luck Canes scouts!!

    I picked up a couple of 2011/2012 season ticket seats yesterday for my valentine and myself. At $9/seat/game, nothing even comes close to the entertainment value! Thanks for posting the deals, Pat, and Thanks Canes!!!!! - Richie.

  4. Playoff picture just got darker with PA and Brandon winning their games the Canes now trail PA by 6pts and Brandon by 9pts. Oh sure they have games in hand on both team, but you have to win them. PA still has an easier schedule which will make them tough to catch.