RICHARDSON'S US DREAM IS OVER
July 07, 2004
Ellis was led to believe that Bees' rising young star was going to be selected by Sudbury Wolves in last week's Ontario Hockey League draft.
But 17-year-old Richardson was overlooked and Ellis said: "I think there were a lot of Czechs and Russians who were expected to have gone earlier. "When they didn't, the team that wanted Mark decided to go for them instead. Mark was expected to be their second pick, and you only get two picks per team. "It shows that a lot of people perceive that the standard of hockey in this country is not very strong because teams were going for players from Pool A countries like the Czech Republic and Slovakia. "It is a shame for Mark and I am very sad that it did not
happen for him, but the Bees will benefit because he was one of the best British players in the country last season. Staying in the British National League another year will not hurt him, though. "It is up to him to take it to the next level. "Our goal now has to be to help him go over to North America next year. Ideally I'd like to get a scout over to watch him and we can keep sending videos of him." Ellis admits he is no nearer knowing who will be Bees' netminder next season. But Scott Hay, who deputised for the injured Stephen Murphy for the latter half of last season, has been linked with a move to East Coast Hockey League club Bakersfield Condors.
Ellis would still like Murphy or either one of the other top two British goalies, Stevie Lyle or Joe Watkins. But Murphy is still hoping to land a club in Scandinavia where he is trying out.
Lyle, who won the BNL play-offs with Guildford Flames, is a target for Elite League clubs.
And ex-Bee Watkins is looking to be released by Bakersfield, but had hopes of joining another club in North America.