Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Expansion Draft Results

The PHL held an expansion draft on June 20 to fill the rosters of the Dallas Desperadoes and the Cleveland Cosmos. Each existing team was allowed to protect one goalie, three defensemen, and four forwards from their twelve-man roster. Teams also had the option of protecting two goalies, as long as they made a second defenseman available. Kansas City and Miami, the league's most recent expansion teams, were each allowed to protect two extra players. Once a team lost on player, they could not lose any more. The draft went twelve rounds, with goalies selected first, defensemen next, followed by forwards. 

Cleveland was awarded the first pick and used it to select goaltender Jim Cochran from Winnipeg. Dallas then used the second pick to take Jimmy Goren from Nova Scotia. With the fourth pick, the Cosmos selected St. Louis goaltender Jaroslav Danek, the man who had backstopped the Spirits to a dynasty in the 1980s. Cleveland mainly focused on veteran players who had been successful in the past and in addition to Danek also filled their roster with other big names such as Ottawa captain Joe Fletcher and Toronto's Rex Hull. 

Dallas also made some very interesting picks, including Reijo Rantala, who had also been selected in the 1989 expansion draft by Kansas City, and defenseman Olivier Meloche, who would likely become the only player in PHL history to play for both Dallas franchises. The Desperadoes also selected tough defenseman Brent McGill from New York. McGill will not play Dallas' first six games as he will be serving the remainder of a 20-game suspension received during the Civics' first-round series with Long Island.

Overall, experts felt that both teams were a little weaker after the expansion draft then the 1989 expansion teams. Though Cleveland appeared to be the stronger team on paper, Dallas seemed more focused on their future, selecting mainly younger players. "While Cosmos GM Bill Kelly boldly predicted a playoff appearance, Desperadoes GM Ross Becker tried to be realistic. "To be candid, I don't expect us to be a very good team at first" said Becker. "We want to build a team that can bring a championship to Dallas, not just make the playoffs. It's going to take a lot of hard work and patience but I think we got off to a good start today."

G - Jimmy Goren (NS)
G - Dan Pilford (MTL)
D - Brent McGill (NY)
D - Wesley Cole (CHI)
D - Olivier Meloche (MIL)
D - Reijo Rantala (CAL)
F - Scott Crook (DEN)
F - Patrick Garnier (CGY)
F - Ken Peters (BOS)
F - Grant Sibley (WSH)
F - Mike Wheeler (LI)
F - Jeff Jones (VAN)

G - Jim Cochran (WPG)
G - Jaroslav Danek (STL)
D - Justin Brand (DET)
D - Jeff Whittle (LA)
D - Brett Caldwell (SEA)
D - Svell Pahlsson (EDM)
F - Elliott Reese (PHI)
F - Patrice Labrecque (QUE)
F - Risto Ratianen (PIT)
F - Hindrik Hjertsson (MIN)
F - Joe Fletcher (OTT)
F - Rex Hull (TOR)

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