The expansion draft has come and gone and now we are left to break down the results. Obviously the big news of the day is the loss of James Lee… I kid. Half of you probably had no clue who he was (the other half could probably name what college he attended). The big loss is of course Keith Shologan. The sad reality with being able to only protect 6 Canadians that we were going to lose a good starter. Assuming we protected Getzlaf, Heenan, Best, Labatte and Picard were the first 5, that meant we had to pick between losing Shologan or Foley. Based on age and DT being a tough position to replace I personally would have opted for Shologan but based on salary and the ability to go import the Riders went the other way. Hard to argue either option and a tough call either way. I wish Shologan nothing but the best as I loved what he did in his Rider career.
Losing James Lee was a curveball I don’t think we saw coming but I makes sense. When you factor in FAs, protections and question marks like Anderson and Rey Williams the reality was Ottawa was not getting a true starter from us. Obviously they like Lee’s potential as a starter. It hurts our depth at OT but honestly does is not a huge loss all things considered.
Zach Evans was the one that shocked me. I assumed he would be a third round protection and especially after we already lost Shologan. Essentially we just gifted Ottawa our Cdn DT depth. I get the point that Evans wasn’t really needed if we are going American at DT but I still don’t like losing them both. I’m not even sure who all we would have protected ahead of him. I assume Dan Clark, Rob Bagg, Cory Watman, Sam Hurl, Levi Steinhauer and ?? Tristan Black?? Kevin Regimbald-Gagne?? Maybe we played it safe and protected Craig Butler? Not a huge loss but I still don’t like it.
All things considered we came out in good shape having only lost one starter.
Here are some other random thoughts on the draft:
- I am far from the first person to say either of these but it doesn’t make them any less true: Ottawa already has a better OL than Edmonton and 2 QBs that are better than anything Winnipeg has
- Bold strategy taking 3 FBs in Round 2
- Surprised they did not take a veteran DB. Looks like they are taking the 2000 Riders approach and going with an all rookie secondary. Eventually may end up ok like it did for us but in the short term I see Durant padding some stats against them
- Really surprised at what they got in the 3rd round names like Eric Fraser (who I think is junk but is a starter nonetheless), Marwan Hage, Jason Pottinger
- By taking a free agent from Winnipeg in Round 3 (Kolhert) the REDBLACKS where essentially saying “Good lord! This is all crap, let’s just write a name down so we can move on.”