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Bench Talk / Off The Wire



By Fred Wallace

 Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".


Twenty years ago, when talking about scouting hockey players, then Owen Sound Platers coach John Lovell said. " it's a humbling job. "

The gist of what John Lovell was saying is that players you envision as prospects sometimes never materialize...... and others who you believe have no hope and no future in the sport somehow get to the National Hockey League.

I see it every time I watch an NHL game; invariably I'll see an Ontario Hockey League grad and think. ' how did HE get there ? '

To that end, the National Hockey League's Central Scouting Bureau released their MidTerm rankings yesterday.

Jack Hughes who was selected 8th overall by the Steelheads in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, but never showed in Mississauga, is the highest rated North American Skater on the MidTerm list.

Hughes plays out of the American Development Program in Michigan.

There are 43 current Ontario Hockey League players on the list, somewhat ironically, the highest ranked OHL player is Mississauga defenceman Thomas Harley who scored & played well in Owen Sound just last Saturday.

From an Owen Sound standpoint, it's somewhat of a " shutout " for the Attack.

Both netminders Mack Guzda ( at # 15 ) & Andrew MacLean ( at # 31 ) made the list for North American Goalkeepers, but no skaters from the Attack were ranked.

That's not a staggering news bulletin- again we go back to the OHL Trade Deadline and put quite simply, Owen Sound lacked young, appealing prospects and as a result were forced to discard rather than deal themselves into the Western Conference derby that features London, Sault Ste Marie, Saginaw and Guelph, most of whom upgraded at the deadline.

But as we related above, the Midterm rankings are just that, a subjective projection of what might happen, what could happen,..... but probably won't.

Which means NHL Draft Ranking or otherwise, the situation for a player not on the CSB MidTerm list is not hopeless, not the end of the line, but in reality it's an opportunity and motivation to prove a lot of people wrong.


I'm Fred Wallace




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