For just a couple of days, sports almost seemed normal. I use the word “almost” very loosely.

Yes, ordinarily on this date we would be watching with much interest the NHL and NBA playoffs, the MLB regular season and other sporting events.

That is off the table for an indefinite period (no sense trying to predict for how long because none of us has the answer).

We were, however, given just a taste of having that sports “fix” back and we can thank Rob Gronkowski plus the NFL Draft and on a more local level the WHL Bantam Draft for that.

Gronkowski coming out of retirement and joining Tom Brady with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just whetted our appetite before the NFL Draft, which began with round one Thursday.

We pretty much knew QB Joe Burrow of LSU was going number one to Cincinnati and that Ohio State DE Chase
Young was going second to Washington but after that, the speculation was endless.

There were so much hype and pre-discussion about where QB Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama was going but in the end, Tua is a Miami Dolphin and four teams ended up selecting a quarterback in round one, including Green Bay.

Yes, the Packers pulled off arguably the biggest shock of the first round by selecting Jordan Love of Utah State, and Green Bay actually made a trade to move up to get him at #26 overall.

Instead of getting a weapon for Aaron Rodgers, they pick potentially his replacement, but that is likely not for a few years down the road.

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On Wednesday, The WHL held its 2020 Bantam Draft online.

Did you know the PG Cougars made seven picks before the Everett Silvertips made one?

Yes, the Silvertips, who have made the playoffs and consistently put a competitive product on the ice in each of their 17 seasons, did not make a selection until the 4th round, 81st overall.

By that time, the Cougars chose players with the 2nd, 17th, 22nd, 26th, 44th, 66th and 70th picks.

Prince George only made 10 selections, all done by the 6th round.

The Cougars last choice was goalie Liam Hallett 114th overall.

The Silvertips actually took 12 players with 10 of them from rounds 7 to 13.

Based on this year’s Bantam Draft, P.G. should have a much better team than Everett in 2, 3 or 4 years.

That would be welcome news for the Cougars.

Since Everett came into the WHL in the 2003-04 season, they have finished with a better record than Prince George 16 out of 17 times.

This includes the Cougars big season in 2016-17 when they had 96 points but the Silvertips notched 100.

The only year P.G. had more regular-season points than Everett was in 2010-11, and in that season the difference was just three points.

Drafts in all sports are designed to be an equalizer for the bottom teams to move up and the top teams to move down.

Sometimes it works that way and sometimes it does not.

Coach/GM Mark Lamb believes this Draft is a game-changer for the Cougars organization.

Considering they had more first-round picks than every other team (with three) and chose four players in the top 26 that should be the case, but only if they made the “right” picks which we won’t know for at least until a couple of seasons down the road.

Yes, it is a delight to analyze, scrutinize and dissect the Draft whether it be NFL, WHL or another league.

The sports chatter is back and now we just have to again remain “patient”, (a word we hear far too often) but one day we will be getting our games back.

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By the numbers:

In total, 233 players were selected by WHL teams (none from Prince George), with 130 forwards, 82 defencemen and 21 goaltenders selected.

Alberta led all provincial branches with 77 players selected.

A total of 53 players were selected from Saskatchewan, 49 from B.C., 33 from Manitoba and 21 from the United States.

Combined with the 44 players chosen from the inaugural 2020 WHL U.S. Prospects Draft, held March 25, 2020, a total of 65 players from the United States have been selected by WHL teams.

11 players were selected from Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL) teams in the first round of the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft.

In the first three rounds, 34 CSSHL players were chosen, comprising 51.5 per cent of the first 66 players chosen.

In total, 81 players from CSSHL teams were selected.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly, watching “The Last Dance,” said watching Michael Jordan’s playing heroics remind him a lot of Miami owner Derek Jeter. Mattingly didn’t add that Jordan’s ownership record probably also now reminds him of Derek Jeter.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Draymond Green called Kevin Durant in his last Warrior season ‘the elephant in the room’. How true—-when it came time for KD to sign in free agency, Draymond gave him a long memory.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Police who arrived after reports of a big party at Dak Prescott’s home in Prosper, Texas, say they were unable to verify that there were more than the maximum 10 in attendance. So what could they charge him with? Violating quarantine restrictions? Too many men in the huddle?

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/


IN CASE, YOU MISS
ED IT:

Massachusetts authorities claimed to have broken up a canary-fighting ring. That’s right, canaries fighting — although you’d think they’d be too yellow.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 the Goat radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca