Friday, February 22nd
Rossy here checking in with some prospect updates….
DobberHockey’s recent prospect graduate, Jonathan Huberdeau netted a career high 4-point night versus the Philadelphia Flyers last night earning 3rd star honours…..ummm, huh? Huberdeau now leads all rookies with eight goals and trails only Cory Conacher (15 points) with 13 points.
Hurricanes 2011 1st round pick, Ryan Murphy was an emergency call up last night and made his NHL debut. Murphy has disappointed many with his season in Kitchener but the rookie earned 23:51 minutes of ice time last night, second on the team only to Justin Faulk. Murphy was pointless and minus-1 with two shots on goal versus Winnipeg.
I caught a few really intriguing future NHLers last night in the Sarnia Sting versus Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Flyers’ 2011 3rd round draftee, Nick Cousins, put on a show in Sarnia (as he usually does) recording a hat trick and four points. In typical irritating Cousins’ fashion, the OHL’s leading scorer celebrated every goal he tallied and capped it off by taking his glove off and holding up three fingers, one for each goal, to the Sarnia crowd (many thought he flipped them the bird). Cousins was born to be a Philadelphia Flyer and he plays his role perfectly. He’s shaping up to be one of the NHL’s future pests, much in the same mold as Sean Avery. Cousins leads all OHL skaters with 97 points through 57 games including 14 points in his last three games. The Flyers will give Cousins a long look during their 2013-14 training camp and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make the team.
Cousins’ teammate and defensive leader Ryan Sproul also had an exceptional game adding one goal and an assist to his 19 goals and 60 points season totals, both league leading among defensemen despite playing 20 fewer games (40GP). With the Red Wings’ current injuries on their blueline (Smith, Colaiacovo and now Quincey), could we see an emergency call up of Ryan Sproul? He certainly would not look out of place and will be in a Red Wings’ jersey sooner than later. Detroit had three of its’ scouts at the game last night….just saying.
New Jersey Devils appear to have received great value in 2011 when the team drafted Reid Boucher (Sarnia Sting) in the 4th round. Boucher is tearing the OHL apart in goal scoring leading all skaters easily with 53 goals. Boucher netted two in Sarnia’s lopsided loss last night and that brings him within 5 goals of Steven Stamkos’ franchise of 58 goals. Boucher has nine games remaining to catch the elusive mark.
Get this kid on your radar – Vincent Trocheck. Drafted 64th overall in 2011 by the Florida Panthers (who are killing it at the draft recently), Trocheck has been arguably the Ontario Hockey Leagues most outstanding player. He was traded to a struggling Plymouth Whalers team and immediately help the team improve one-hundred times. Trocheck has 87 points (good for 3rd in OHL scoring) and 18 goals 37 points in 17 games as a Whaler. He reads the ice exceptionally well and has an unique ability to slow the game down. Trocheck will certainly have competition cracking the NHL over the next few seasons in the deepest and most talented NHL prospect pool (Florida Panthers).
A really interesting battle for the top spot in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft is shaping up. Nathan MacKinnon started the season as the top ranked prospect but American defenseman Seth Jones has recently surpassed the Halifax Mooseheads speedster on almost every draft list available. However, Jonathan Drouin (MacKinnon’s wingman) is actually my top ranked prospect. This kid reminds me too much of Claude Giroux/Patrick Kane to pass him up. He is incredibly smart, crafty, and elusive but most importantly, he oozes that “it” factor – you know, the ability to just dig deep and get it done.
Jordan Eberle still leads the American Hockey League in scoring (51 points in 34 games)…how silly is that?
If you are reading this, I am sure you have all heard of Connor McDavid, the most recent player to be granted “Exceptional Status” to be eligible to play in the Canadian Hockey League as an under aged player. I watched McDavid last year at the OHL Cup in Mississauga (an event I will be attending again this March) during his Minor Midget days and he was unbelievably gifted. Extremely intelligent and an all-worldly skillset makes him a truly ELITE prospect. McDavid leads all OHL rookies in scoring with 24 goals and 59 points (54 games). You can read more on McDavid in this excellent article “A Prodigy on the way to Stardom”.
McDavid is one of many young hockey players to adopt Gary Roberts’ training program and the former NHL has big plans for the exceptional rookie.
At practice now, leaning back in the stands, unworried about McDavid’s work ethic, [Gary] Roberts said, “He’ll be a beast in two years.”
“This is the dichotomy between prodigy and star, now and then, good and great. McDavid is skilled, but not yet strong; respected, but innocent and naïve; serious, but 16. His love and passion for the game have already bled into obsession. It is rare in someone so young but obvious to those he encounters each day.”
McDavid is not eligible until the 2015 NHL Entry Draft folks so start accumulating those first round picks.
Thanks for reading,
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