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HARTLEY’S HART ATTACK – (How the PG Cougars were built) Nov. 3, 2023 EDITION 965

Building through the Draft!

That is arguably the best way to see a team improve.

The Prince George Cougars made a conscious decision when head coach/G.M. Mark Lamb was hired in June 2018 that would be the route the team would take.

Sure there were growing pains with losing records in the initial stages but it appears the investment is paying off with the team off to an impressive 11-4 start.

The Cougars are carrying 22 players, 16 of which came from the Draft, just five from trades and one a non-drafted signee.

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Here is a closer look:

From the WHL Prospects (Bantam) Draft:

First Round picks: (4)
Forward Riley Height  (second overall in 2020)
Defenceman Keaton Dowhaniuk (third overall in 2019)
Forward Koehn Ziemmer (fourth overall in 2019)
Defenceman Tyson Buczkowski (15th overall in 2021)

Second Round picks: (4)
Defenceman Bauer Dumanski (26th overall in 2020)
Forward Jett Lajoie (28th overall in 2022)
Defenceman Hudson Thornton (33rd overall in 2018)
Forward Hunter Laing (33rd overall in 2021)

Third Round pick: (1)
Forward Aiden Foster (61st overall in 2022)

Fourth Round pick: (1)
Forward Terik Parascak (76th overall in 2021)

Fifth Round pick: (1)
Defenceman Ephram McNutt (92nd overall in 2020)

Eighth Round picks: (2)
Goalie Ty Young (158th overall in 2019)
Defenceman Drew Peterson (164th overall in 2021)

From the WHL Import Draft: (2)
Forward Ondrej Becher (First round, 16th overall in 2022)
Defenceman Viliam Kmec (Second round, 104th overall in 2021)

From the WHL US Priority Draft: (1)
Forward Nicholas McLennan (Second round, 41st overall in 2021)

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Non-Drafted: (1)
Goalie Joshua Ravensbergen (Put on the 50-man list after the 2021 Draft)

Trade: (5)
Forward Matteo Danis (Acquired from the Calgary Hitmen in October of 2023)
Forward Oren Shtrom (Acquired from the Everett Silvertips in August of 2023)
Forward Zac Funk (Acquired from the Calgary Hitmen in January of 2023)
Forward Arjun Bawa (Acquired from the Red Deer Rebels in January of 2023)
Forward Carlin Dezainde (Acquired from Medicine Hat in December 2021)

To summarize:

From the Prospects Draft, the Cougars have four first-round picks on their team, four second-round picks, one in the third, one in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the eighth for a total of 13.

From the Import Draft they have two, from the US Draft they have one plus they have one that was not drafted and five that were obtained in a trade.

With the Cougars sitting in first place in the entire WHL standings it appears the decision to build their roster largely with draft picks has started to pay off.


Cat Scan podcast:

This is season six of Hartley’s Cat Scan, a weekly podcast show that predominately features the PG Cougars.

This week my guest is Aaron Foster, a former PG Cougar, whose son, Aidan, is a 16-year-old rookie on the team.



RIP Bobby Knight, 83. Since he coached for years in Texas (at Texas Tech) will they honour him at the World Series by someone throwing out the first chair?

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*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California

Soon after volatile and temperamental coach Bobby Knight passed at 83, he was temporarily denied entry at St Peter’s Gate pending review of some of his most controversial transgressions. Well, this explains the chair that fell out of the sky over Indiana.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Rumour has it Arnold Schwarzenegger’s estranged wife, Maria Shriver, is attending the LA Clippers Halloween home game dressed as Mozart. When Arnold heard about it, he said, “I’ll be Bach.”

*Comedy writer RJ Currie of Winnipeg

Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. After growing up in Winnipeg, he has lived in Prince George for the last 44 years and is in his 11th season as the radio colour commentator on the Prince George Cougars home games. Hartley is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).


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