Alex Forsberg walked away from the Prince George Cougars but he could steal the show if general manager Dallas Thompson chooses to trade the disgruntled forward during Thursdays Western Hockey League bantam draft in Calgary.
Itll all be dependent on how things go prior to the draft if anybody wants to make a move and give up something, said Thompson. Well take a look at it but right now were just fielding offers.
We dont have to do a deal right now if we dont feel were not getting anything that helps us down the road, he added. [We havent received an offer for] anywhere close to what we think hes worth.
The Cougars acquired Forsberg when they selected him first overall in the 2010 bantam draft with the intention of building their team around him. But despite his obvious skill, the 18-year-old was inconsistent, and injury-plagued, in his two seasons with the
Forsberg decided not to return to Prince George after the Christmas break and finished the season with the Humboldt Broncos in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League after Thompson was unable to trade him before the
Jan. 10 trade deadline.
In 31 games with the Cougars Forsberg had nine goals and 10 assists. In Humboldt he managed seven goals, seven assists in 14 regular season games and notched two goals and 10 assists in 16 playoff games.
I dont know whether it helped us or hurt us here, said Thompson about Forsbergs SJHL stint.
To go down to a lower league you take a little bit of a step backwards but, certainly he went in and did put up some points. We will see.
Thompson said the Cougars had some of their scouts pass through Humboldt to see how Forsberg was doing and from reports hes received a lot of teams have gone to watch Forsberg.
Other than the possibility of swinging a trade for Forsberg, Thompson, along with the Cougars scouting team of Bob Simmonds, Ron Gunville, Todd Harkins and a few area scouts will be in Calgary looking for the right players from the 1998 draft class to fit into the teams future plans.
We feel we had a very strong draft [last year] and we want to make sure we complement those guys for the years going forward, said Thompson, referring to
snagging Jansen Harkins and Brad Morrison, second and
As of Monday the Cougars had single picks in each round, except round four when they had none and round six with multiple picks.
The bantam draft goes until every team passes through a full round, usually ending between 12 and 14.
Thompson declined to comment on former assistant general manager and director of player personnel Wade Klippensteins resignation a couple weeks ago, but said the Cougars are well prepared for the draft because when Klippenstein got the job as head scout for Team Pacific for the 2013 under-17 World Challenge tournament last year they reorganized the staff to make sure the bantam stuff was taken care of.
Were in good shape, said Thompson.
The bantam draft begins at 7:30 a.m. PST with the Cougars picking third overall after the Vancouver Giants and lottery-winning Regina Pats, who moved up from fourth spot.