Thursday, January 18, 2018
7 TO WATCH AFTER SJHL/MJHL SHOWCASE
The first ever SJHL/MJHL Showcase was held this week in Regina, at the Cooperators Centre and, hopefully, it further enhanced the positions of players who are being looked at for potential NCAA commitments.
The format saw each league ice a team of players born 1999 and later as well as two teams of players born in 1997 and 1998.
In the six games, the SJHL managed to win five (one in overtime). However, the majority of the games were quite competitive and the result could have gone the other way if not for a few bad minutes or a fortunate bounce at the most inopportune time.
SJHL President Bill Chow says this event will take place again next year and the intent is for it to be re-evaluated after three years.
Having watched all six games, here is a list of seven players who may have seen their stock rise after their performances in the two games played. Keep in mind this is only one person’s opinion and I am not a pro scout.
1-Josh McDougall, NIpawin Hawks
McDougall appears to be a heavy favorite to win the SJHL Top Defenseman Award, maybe even the SJHL Most Valuable Player. He controls games from the blueline and while he didn’t put up any eye popping displays of offense this week, what he did show those in attendance is that he’s underrated in the areas that do not show up on the scoresheet. McDougall already has a scholarship to Mercyhurst, but there are whispers of an NHL future here.
2-Chance Longjohn, Notre Dame Hounds
Longjohn had the week’s single best performance by virtue of his two goals and three points on Monday night; however he was a threat far beyond the numbers. Longjohn has a well earned reputation as a quality person as and he’d be a fine addition to any post secondary line-up in that he can play the game as a depth player, capable of moving in to a more prominent role quite quickly.
3-Chrystopher Collin, Flin Flon Bombers
Collin’s release is already at an elite level despite being a first year junior. He’s building an impressive resume with his gold medal from the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge and his two-goal effort on Monday. He doesn’t need to improve a great deal to be considered a player that has a pro shot. That’s his ticket.
4-Tim Gould, Notre Dame
Gould is a 2000 born defenseman, so he’s a year younger than most Junior ‘A’ rookies. He also completed his academic schooling in eleven years, not the usual twelve. His off-ice maturity is already beyond what you would expect and his on-ice acumen is up there too. He still needs to fill out his physical frame, but he was the only player to drop the mitts over the course of two days, showing his intensity. He did so, despite nursing a serious gash on his eye (result of a high stick from Saturday).
5-Logan Schatz, Humboldt
Schatz has tremendous gifts offensively. He also is a very likeable young man and has not been shy about volunteering his personal time while in Humboldt. His academics are strong and he has improved the defensive side of his game in his 20-year-old season. Tuesday night’s game, he was dangerous every time he stepped on the ice. He could be in for a monster finish to the regular season.
6-Brenden Newton, Flin Flon
No player is more valuable to his team’s fortunes than Newton. The Bombers have an overall record that is 4-games under .500; but Newton is 4-games over .500 on his personal ledger. He stoned MJHL shooters with a number of acrobatic saves on Tuesday before the players in front of him went for a nap with seven minutes to go, damaging the final stat line. He has the potential to steal a series all by himself come playoff time.
7-Michael McChesney, Estevan
McChesney was the only player to score more than two goals this week, finishing with a pair on Monday and another one on Tuesday. There is no questioning his offensive abilities. He has a natural nose for the net and the fact that he’s American should, hopefully, further open the eyes of NCAA scouts in attendance.