Part 1 – Merritt Islanders
As the sun rises on another WNHL season, we find ourselves on the precipice of greatness. The greatness that comes from driving down a couple slices, couple beers and couple joints, then hitting the ice with a bunch of other middle aged dudes (shut up Brock) in an attempt to hoist the most prestigious trophy in all of sports the King Street Cup. Last year it was the Merritt Islanders, led by GM Tyler Stack, who navigated their way through the season, and were able to hoist the most prestigious trophy in all of sports. As a reward for this glory they somehow received the first overall pick in this years draft because whatever the hell. Let’s take a look at what they did from the position of power.
With the first overall pick in the draft, the Islanders drafter last years Gerald Young award winner for best defenceman Kevin Wright. It’s about as obvious of a first pick as you can get. 2 King Street Cups, 1 WNHL Xmas Classic Championship, WNHL Rookie of the year, 2023 Spring 4 on 4 Champion. The guys resume is almost as impressive as the WNHL’s own Scotty Legend. Islanders kept the good times rolling by selecting Mark Doyle in the second round, building a room full of guys who don’t say much but who are pretty good at hockey. Meanwhile Jon Campbell filled his diaper knowing that the chances of playing with Doyle again are diminishing forcing Campbell to have to associate with people outside the Fonthill blood line.
After snagging Cousin Save in the third round, marking his highest draft position and upping the pressure on him, the Islanders secured their blue line by grabbing last years rookie standout Darren Dimarco, longtime WNHL blueline stalwart Jeff Beadle, and the swiss army knife of the WNHL Billy Crumm. Combining these three with Kevin Wright puts the Islanders blue line on par with…i don’t know, probably the actual Islanders defence? Who do they have? I can’t tell you, but I can tell you who they don’t have, Jeff Beadle, that’s who.
Moving in to the mid rounds of the draft, Islanders grabbed Evan “I swear I’ll make videos for the league” Fabiani and the bespectacled Jake Hope. Hope is a great pick if you’re looking players who can stick handle, probably score a couple but absolutely can not stay on his feet. This dude hits the ice more times then your average crystal meth user. Stack then looked at his draft board and muttered “hmm, too likeable of a team, I know the remedy for that”. Then drafted Shawn McKinnon just to balance it out. Say what you will about McKinnon, and I have, but you can’t argue with his dedication and intensity. Taking a bus from and playing like he is from Hamilton, and you can’t ignore the fact that he scored a critical goal in the playoffs to propel the Islanders to the King Street Cup finals. Still though, guy is kind of a huge dick.
As they advanced to the championship rounds, the Islanders picked up two Daves a Dom and a Jon (who is really screwing up the whole “D” thing). Dave Nolan (Ryan) and Dave “The Inspector” Gomez join Cousin Dave bringing the Islanders to the only 3 Dave team in the league. Tough to compete with 3 Daves it would seem. Islanders capped off the draft with rookie Dom Reid and Jon Misir. I have nothing to say about either of these players.
The Islanders, who are looking to repeat, definitely secured the blue line, but the question remains, can Stack and Doyle carry the offence enough for a repeat championship? No. No they can’t.