The Bismarck Bobcats are preparing for the NAHL Draft on Tuesday along with the challenge of building a team as good as last season’s.
The Bismarck Bobcats’ 2019-20 season was one of the best in the history of the organization, but one that ended with uncertainty. After a 12-3 start, the season was halted due to the ongoing pandemic. Now, the Bobcats have to reconstruct their roster.
“I think it’s just trying to build a hockey team again, and whatever cards are dealt our way we’re going to do the best job we can,” Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie said.
The Bobcats enter Tuesday’s NAHL draft with around 10 picks, which Sedevie says is a big difference from the pressure of having just one pick last season.
“There’s a lot of weight put on Tuesday with the amount of picks we’ll have,” Sedevie said. “Last year we had one pick in the draft with such a veteran group that we had coming back. We have six or seven guys coming back that I feel is a good core to build around.”
It has been an unusual offseason with delayed camps and less access to ice for some players, but Sedevie says that doesn’t change the preparation that goes into the draft.
“You have to have a good staff, and you have to rely on your knowledge. You build your notes all year long, and that’s something that you have to trust people, but you’ve got to do your homework all year long to build the base of your notes so that you are prepared for the draft,” Sedevie said.
The Bobcats’ groundwork could be the first step toward their goal of earning a fifth central division championship under Sedevie.
“We’re just trying to grind here and build the same hockey team that we had last year,” Sedevie said. “It got us back on track.”
The Bobcats hope to stay on track in September when the season is scheduled to start, but Sedevie says the league is meeting on a daily basis to discuss potential alternate start dates.