Thursday, May 20, 2010

Someone you should know: Greg McKegg

Is it me, or is the OHL just churning out excellent prospects every year?

No, it's not me...just being Captain Obvious there for a second.

But, Erie Otters center Greg McKegg is one of those players who embodies the terrific talent pipeline the OHL has become over the last decade, and is someone who if he slips out of the first round, could be a nice find for the Bruins at 32nd or even 45th overall.

He scored 37 goals and 85 points for the Otters, and even though they were swept in the first round of the OHL playoffs, scored a pair of goals and was the team's best player according to several reports.

Now, he's only very average-sized and is only a so-so skater. He's not a bad skater, but he isn't explosive and is more quick than fast, which always raises the doubts a little bit when scouts are trying to figure out where to grade him. That said, he's an offensive whiz, with the vision, instincts and puck skills to get it done. His production has been no fluke; think of him as a similar kind of player to what Brad Boyes was in junior, and no, I'm not just making the easy comparison because we're talking about the Otters here.

What I like about McKegg is his competitiveness and character, though. This is a guy who, when I talk to scouts familiar with him, was the best player on the team just about every time they saw him play. That's always saying something, even if his size and overall skillset is nothing to write home about.

To add to the appeal, Red Line Report chief scout Kyle Woodlief said that McKegg was one of the few forwards for Team Canada who actually showed up to last month's fiasco in Belarus at the under-18 championship. So, that's a bonus-- you have to like a guy who's still skating his bag off and trying to get it done when more than a few of his mates have mailed it in and are too busy feeling sorry for themselves to put in an honest effort.

So, McKegg is someone to watch for sure. He may not quite have Boyes' elite skill-level at the same age, but he'll probably end up being a player because he's got such heart and drive. Guys like that are hard to keep down.

4 comments:

  1. Ya McKegg had a monstrous 2nd half. I had a feeling he'd be a 4th-5th round guy in December, but I think he's raised his stock to maybe a 3rd rounder or late 2nd rounder at best.

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  2. liked your el Nino article on hj.com

    do you think the B's will go Best Player Available at every pick? I'm just curious - because if they are able to pick up Seguin + Nino/Skinner, other forward etc., then they'll have a glut of fwd prospects (Colbourne, Caron, Hammil, Sauve, etc) but not much on D

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  3. Many thanks, Trav. Don't think they'll have a shot at Nino based on where he'll likely go, but worth writing about. Great kid who had a remarkable year given where his stock was back in August of '09.

    Now, the Bruins will take BPA with one caveat, and that is-- if they have a defenseman on their board who may be a couple of spots lower than the higher-rated forward, they may go ahead and opt for the D based on organizational needs. But, the two players will have to be close. Otherwise, they'll go BPA and try and draft for need later. A guy like Julian Melchiori in the 2nd and maybe Austin Madaisky in the early 4th are the kinds of defensemen they could land who bring that offense from the blueline capability and don't need to be had with 1st-round picks.

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