It’s the strongest draft at the top in a long time this year, which makes for a difficult draft to predict. There are always some tactical picks in the first round but with so many big averages and names in the draft this year, it’s tough to predict where they will be, or if there will be fewer of them with so many higher average bowlers available to pick instead. I'll give my predictions for the first round here:
Chad Hurd (225) selects Brett Hendrickson (250) - team average 475 Chad looks to pick his anchor bowler here and Brett sets him up with the best combination of a strong anchor-calibre bowler without pushing the team average up too high right off the bat and hurting draft position in later rounds.
Craig Enns (225) selects Glen Howarth (245) - team average 470 Friday night veterans and common teammates, Craig is probably thrilled that Glen is back in the draft this year. They’ve bowled together many seasons in the past.
Linda Orne (226) selects Karen Armstrong (241) - team average 467 Linda picks a good friend and great anchor bowler at the same time. The chemistry with this combination will be great.
Andrew LaMonica (227) selects Sam Gelardi (252) - team average 479 Andrew is a first-time captain and with the fourth pick is still fortunate enough to be staring at a huge list of options for who could anchor his team this year. Sam is one of the elite bowlers in the province and a good fit here.
Belle Lourenco (227) selects Tyson Nelson (260) - team average 487 Another pick where the chemistry fit meets with a bowler who will probably be looking for someone to fill that anchor role.
Ben Jeffers (229) selects Darren Maxwell (244) - team average 473 They bowled together last season and how often do you see a bowler of Darren’s calibre sitting there approaching the middle of the first round?
Dylan Stevenson (232) selects Ethan Buckman (238) - team average 470 Dylan was on fire last season and Ethan has upside to average a lot more than the 238 he’s entered at. This pick sets up a great 3-4 punch where both bowlers also have a lot of upside to improve on their listed averages.
Wayne King (234) selects Cordell Galbecka (245) - team average 479 Cordell is back in the province and with this pick, we get a team where one of Wayne or Cordell is playing in the third position - a scary team for anyone to play against.
Cindy Cousins (237) selects Char Hurd (220) - team average 457 Cindy and Char make sense on a team together and landing on a 457 average is sure to set Cindy up in a great position for the second round, giving her a chance to put together a very strong 2-through-4 lineup.
Chris Jeffers (237) selects Corey Chaikowski (233) - team average 470 Chris usually tends towards picking from the best players left on the board and the chemistry fit is good too.
Jennifer Devenney (237) selects Holly Chaikowski (216) - team average 453 There are a few ways that Jennifer could go with this pick but if she wants to keep her options open for later on in the draft, picking Holly here would give her the lowest team average so far and should set her up to have a high pick in both of the last two rounds.
Matt Rodych (242) selects Amanda Devenney (227) - team average 469 The YBC bowler/coach reunion was cut short last season, but Matt gets another chance to team up with Amanda here. 469 is also a good number to be at with how the draft has gone to this point.
Jeston Bartram (243) selects Alyssa Campbell (245) - team average 488 Alyssa probably shouldn’t still be here this late, and if she does fall it’d be tough for any of the captains in this range to pass up the opportunity to put together what would almost certainly be the best 3-4 punch in the league.
Colton Youzwa (247) selects Dave Duncan (223) - team average 470 This pick puts Colton into the middle of the pack for the next round while combining two bowlers that have some experience as Friday night teammates.
Dwayne Gelardi (254) selects Mitch Dubell (182) - team average 436 Dwayne going low is a little unconventional here, but with the calibre of bowlers still left on the board, it might be worth picking the leadoff he wants while almost guaranteeing the top pick in rounds 3 and 4 to fill out the lineup.
Trevor Cook (255) selects Tim Hooper (204) - team average 459 The tactical pick makes sense for Trevor here, who could try to get under 457 (Cindy and Char) or at least 467 (Linda and Karen) and then still get one of the top bowlers remaining here by having a high pick in the 2nd round. Tim is one of 3 or 4 great options here if Trevor decides to go this route.