Can you imagine a weekend of hockey where you don't have to worry about goons, ringers, and all the other BS that sometimes comes with adult tournaments? Well you don't have to imagine. These weekends exist and their called The Draft Experience. I know a lot of y'all have heard of these events but you're still not sure what they are all about.
There have been a lot of questions about how we draft teams for the greatest adult hockey tournament in the world, The Draft Experience. I spend a lot of time chatting with players about it so I thought creating a blog would be a way more efficient process. I still want to talk to all of you though. Hockey is my life and I love talking about it. So if you’d rather hear me tell you how we draft, shoot me a message. I’m always down to talk about draft experiences.
When players register for a tournament we ask them to rate themselves. This isn’t an exact science and most players tend to under-rate their abilities. There are those that also greatly over-rate their abilities. We see you white gloves and mirrored visor guy.
Because we know this stuff happens we also ask players to rate their friends that are coming to the event as well. Usually players are pretty close but if Chad says he is an 8 and multiple friends say he is a 3. We usually give Chad a call to discuss.
Before the draft we meticulously go through the ratings to create the draft rounds. I am originally from Oklahoma and that’s where I started playing puck. An Oklahoma 6 is a way different skill level than a Canada 6 that’s for sure. And I'm not knocking Oklahoma hockey. I love Oklahoma hockey but there is a difference between players that have the opportunity to play every day vs my Oklahoma crew that might get to play twice a week if they are lucky. So sometimes I have to go full on sleuth mode for the draft. It is not uncommon for me to search what beer league a player is playing in and contact the league commissioner to talk about the skill level in their leagues.
Each round is created with players of similar skill levels. All the Canadian 6’s are in a round and all the Oklahoma 6’s are in a round…. A way lower one than the Canadians btw. Then the rounds are randomized so no one knows what round # corresponds with what skill level.
You will show up at the draft at 7pm on Friday night. Maybe you know a few people playing and maybe you don’t. It doesn’t matter. You're about to know everybody. Once the draft starts things get crazy. Usually the goalies are in the first round. We give goalies a solo cup of beer, the countdown starts, and the goalies chug. The fastest chugging goalie gets first pick of the round 2 players. Slowest chugger gets last pick in the 2nd round. Soon it will be your round’s turn to chug. You’ll be called to the front, you’ll be drafted by a goalie, and then it’s your turn to chug to try to help your team get the first pick in the next round. Don’t worry if you don’t drink beer. Other options are available, like ginger ale.
Soon the teams are made and we have to pick schedules for the 5 games your team will play over the next two days. Well what better way to decide than another chug off? We line up each team and have a boat race. The fastest team gets first pick of the weekend schedule. This is the most important chug because lets face it, this draft night is young. No one wants the first game of the morning because you probably aren’t going to be done partying with your team until the bar closes.
That’s basically how the draft works. The draft is a huge part of the weekend. Not only do you get to start building camaraderie with your team but also the opposing teams. Leaving the bar with a whole tournaments worth of friends, new and old, makes these weekends special and memorable.
So special that soon you’ll be planning out your Draft Experience trips with players that live all over the world. There’s nothing better in hockey than the DexCrew and you’re about to become part of it.
I can't wait to meet you and play some puck