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First AFHL Entry Draft Awaits Heroes’ Boss

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First AFHL Entry Draft Awaits Heroes’ Boss

June 28th, 2013

The AFHL’s 2013 Entry Draft begins on Monday, July 1st, and the crop of talent is as hot as ever.

Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Darnell Nurse lead the list of prospects.

“This draft is incredibly deep,” Pittsburgh Heroes GM Jason Henley told TheAFHL.com. “There is some exceptional talent available at the top end of the draft. From 10 to 40 can all be interspersed. Teams picking at the top end of the third round will still get first-round quality.”

Henley was hired to replace Kyle Kebert in the middle of last season by AFHL Commissioner Anthony Furino, who cited Henley’s instant success in the IFHL.

The Heroes, who have been in rebuilding mode since 2011, have two first-round picks heading into this year’s entry draft. What comes of the picks will go a long way to change the fortune of the franchise which has missed the playoffs for the past two years and appears destined to be on the outside that many more years, too.

Pittsburgh has complete faith in Henley. He is regarded as one of the most vigilant scouts and has a knack for finding talent that pans out. The Heroes hope that Henley can find some gems with their two first round picks in this draft.

“When he was here, Henley was seen as a draft guru,” said a GM in one of Henley’s former leagues. “When he left, fans were really disappointed. They thought he was the guy – more than anybody else – who was the driving force in his team’s success.”

Because the Heroes are in rebuilding mode, there is considerable pressure on Henley to maximize his opportunities at this year’s AFHL Entry Draft to turn the team around.

“I don’t know that it’s feeling the pressure as much as it is recognizing the importance of it,” Henley said. “There’s no a quick fix for our organization. We’re still in rebuilding mode so patience is going to be the key to our success. My draft philosophy is work hard, be prepared, and rely on your instincts. You have to get to the core of the player, find out what motivates them, find out what they’re about.”

Henley hinted that he might be willing to package current Heroes into draft-day transactions, but wouldn’t say if he plans on moving up for a top five overall pick.

“Let’s just say I know just how important this year’s draft is to the future of the franchise,” Henley said.  “I’m going to be ready.”

Categories : afhl

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The Amazing Fantasy Hockey League (AFHL) is a lifetime keeper fantasy hockey league that consists of 20 franchised teams, of which 10 are located in Canada, and 10 are located in the United States. The AFHL is in no way shape or form affiliated with the NHL or the NHLPA and all teams logos and players names are their property.