Bob Tory will be able to have a leisurely morning, and might even get in a relaxing lunch while waiting for his turn to select a player in today's WHL bantam draft.
The Tri-City Americans general manager doesn't have a pick until the fourth round, where he will get to select three players.
"You always want to have your first-round pick, but we have been successful with lower-round picks and list players," said Tory, who spouted names such as Taylor Procyshen, Johnny Lazo, Kruise Red-dick and Brendan Shinnimin. "Quality is always better than quantity."
Calgary holds the first pick of the draft. Among the top players available this year are defensemen Brycen Martin and Ryan Pilon, and forward Jake Virtanen.
Tri-City's first-round pick belongs to Regina via the Carter Ashton trade. Its second-round pick is with Vancouver, which made the deal last year to allow the Americans to move up the ladder and draft goalie Eric Comrie. The third-round pick goes to Calgary's as part of the Zak Stebner trade, and the fifth-round pick to Swift Current for the Mike Brown trade last year.
"We have been able to sign some guys who will be able to make up the difference," Tory said. "Not to say there might not be a trade. We traded up to get Connor Rankin and Eric Comrie. There are teams interested in our overagers, and we have six with value."
The Americans still have their picks from the sixth round through the end.
Tri-City, which finished 44-24-2-2 (92 points) returns seven overage players, four 19-year-olds, three 18-year-olds and three 17-year-olds.
Also today, Kennewick native Taylor Vickerman hopes to have his name called. He would be the first Tri-City player to be drafted since Spokane took Richland native Seth Compton in the fifth round in 2003.
Vickerman, a 6-foot, 175-pound freshman at Kamiakin, played forward for the Spokane Jr. Chiefs bantam AAA team.