Hockey is almost back. The Canucks are almost back. One of the first signs that the Canucks are officially back is their hosting of the Young Stars Classic Tournament, which will start September 11. We get to take a sneak peak at our young guns and other teams' prospects. The Canucks released the roster of players they had invited to the prospect's training camp and tournament today, he 31st of August. While, we do not have any Connor McDavids in our roster. Canucks fans have a lot more prospects to be excited about than in past years.
One prospect in particular that Canucks fans should be excited about, is Jared McCann. The Canucks drafted Jared 24th overall in the 1st round of the 2014 draft. Jared had a decent draft year with Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, scoring 27 goals and 35 assists. In an interview with TSN's James Duthie, Canucks fans quickly figured out that Jared has a chip on his shoulder. He was disappointed that he fell to 24th, which prompted the "It is what it is quote." As last year's (2014) prospect tournament rolled around, Jared was diagnosed with mono and never had a chance to showcase why Jim Benning and gang selected McCann in the 1st round.
Imagine playing hockey while recovering from an illness like mono, which causes severe fatigue.. Not an easy task as some cases take up to 6 months to recover from the debilitating illness. (WebMD) Team Canada most likely would have taken a look at adding Jared to the roster if it was not for the recovery from mono and the inevitable slow start to the season. Instead, Jared missed out and could have taken the 2014-15 OHL season "easy". But, he did not. Instead, Jared posted highs in goals and assists, scoring 34 goals and 47 assists. He did this in 56 games and while recovering from the after affects of mono. That is a 1.4 points per game scoring pace. That scoring pace is better than Bo Horvat's draft+1 year. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds alumni Jeff Carter had 66 points in 57 games during his draft +1 year. Another player who had a comparable scoring rate was Ryan Getzlaf.
Those are good players to share company with.
Elite Prospects had this to say about Jared,
In an interview with Sportsnet, Kyle Dubas, McCann's former General Manager, said this about Jared,
I know Jared can become a top-six centre in the NHL," Dubas said. "His ability and what the underlying numbers show should be extremely valuable, so long as he continues to develop and maximize his potential." -Sportsnet
Chris Edwards of NHL.com said this about Jared in his scouting report on Jared.
"Jared is a highly skilled and creative playmaker, he has excellent hands and puckhandling ability. He sees the ice very well and can get the puck through traffic with great saucer passes.
"He is not a guy who will always bring you out of your seat but is dangerous every shift and at the end of the game he will quietly have a goal and three assists. Jared is an excellent penalty killer, smart and reads the play very well."
– Chris Edwards, NHL Central Scouting
Take a look at McCann's highlights from this past season. He can skate, he can pass, he can score.
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Jared is a player to be excited about. This summer, he took an awkward hit during the Team Canada summer showcase in a game against Russia and had a suspected concussion. Pulled from the rest of the showcase, we did not get to see any more of Jared. This training camp, Canucks fans should be excited to see what McCann can do, because they have not seen Jared up close. Jim Benning drafted a player who clearly fits the direction he sees the Canucks' going, a hard working two-way team. This article is not debating Benning's asset management, but he has drafted a special player in Jared McCann who has something to prove.
Be excited Canucks fans, the future is bright with players like Jared McCann.