Seven Attack Players Have Eyes for NHL Draft
The 2012 NHL Entry Draft could prove to be one of the most successful drafts ever for the Owen Sound organization.
The Attack enter the draft with four players on NHL Central Scouting’s list of the top 200 ranked players (Maidens, Smith, Gavrus, Dotchin), however; the final list rarely turn out the way it was written with NHL teams always tossing in a few surprises of “project players” and players whose draft years have already passed.
The Platers/Attack previous high of players taken on draft day was 4 (unless records kept in the 90’s and various internet sources are wrong), which occurred twice. The first in 1993 when Andrew Brunette, Scott Walker, Marian Kacir and Kevin Weekes were selected and the second in 2010 when Joey Hishon, Geoffrey Schemitsch, Jason Wilson and Steven Shipley heard there names called. IF you’re like us and count Lane MacDermid as a home grown prospect who honed his craft with the Attack for two and a half seasons before being dealt to Windsor, then it’s happened three times. In 2009, Scott Stajcer, David Kolomatis, Garrett Wilson and Lane MacDermid were all selected.
The Owen Sound organization has had 40 players drafted since its inception in 1989/1990, with varying degrees of success each year. Below is a list of each player drafted and the year they were drafted in. Ironically in 1999 there were no players drafted out of a roster that included Dan Snyder, Joel Ward, Sean Avery, Chris Minard, Adam Mair and Curtis Sanford who all went on to play in the NHL.
1990 – Owen Lessard
1991- Jeff Perry, Grayden Reid
1992 – Kirk Maltby, Jason MacDonald
1993 – Andrew Brunette, Scott Walker, Marian Kacir, Kevin Weekes
1994 – Jamie Storr, Wayne Primeau, Shayne Wright
1995 – Shayne Kenny, Brent Johnson
1996 – Kurt Walsh, Ryan Davis, Ryan Christie
1997 – Kyle Dafoe, Adam Mair
1998 – Jason Doyle
1999 – 0
2000 – Agris Saviels
2001 – 0
2002 – Pat Jarrett
2003 – Brad Richardson
2004 – Dan Lacosta
2005 – Trevor Koverko, Bobby Ryan
2006 – Theo Peckham, Bobby Sanguinetti
2007 – Wayne Simmonds
2008 – Tyler Beskorowany
2009 – Scott Stajcer, David Kolomatis, Garrett Wilson, (Lane MacDermid)
2010 – Joey Hishon, Geoffrey Schemitsch, Steven Shipley, Jason Wilson
2011 – Jordan Binnington, Andrew Fritsch, Andrew Shaw
That previous high of having four players drafted just MAY be challenged in Pittsburgh this June. If the hockey world has proven one thing it is that there are NO guarantees, however; here is a list of Attack players that could hear their names called on draft day.
Jarrod Maidens – Normally a player who has not suited for over half a season would see his draft stock tumble, but not Maidens…he just has too much upside. The Ridgeway native and 2011 Game 7 hero was still able to notch 12 goals in 28 games to go along with 11 assists and when ready to resume playing, will be a big contributor to the Attack lineup.
Gemel Smith – There is no question that NHL Scouts have had almost EVERY possible opportunity to see Smith. An OHL final and Memorial Cup in 2011, a Gold Medal at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament (along with Maidens), a Bronze Medal at the 2012 World Under 18 Championships, an appearance in the 2012 CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game and one of four Attack players to appear in all 68 regular season games during the 2011/2012 season.
Artur Gavrus – Fast with a wicked shot is one way to describe the Belarus native. In his first year of North American hockey, Gavrus impressed scouts with his speed, tenacity and skill, while being able to tally 37 points in 45 games. Gavrus had an impressive October scoring 8 times in 11 games, including a 4 game goal scoring streak.
Jake Dotchin – If Scouts like big, physical and sometimes down right nasty defencemen, they’ll love Dotchin. A rugged defender who possesses an absolute cannon of a shot, had a solid rookie season. The Glen Morris native notched 3 goals and 16 assists to go along with 77 penalty minutes. At 6’2, 205lbs and only 17, he has plenty of time and opportunity to become an elite defenseman.
Cameron Brace – But his draft year was last year, right? It doesn’t matter. Brace finished 3rd on the Attack in the goal scoring department with 29 goals, but it isn’t so much his 29 goals that will get noticed…it’s the fashion in which he did it. Cameron scored 16 goals from September to the end of January, which is impressive, however; it was his 13 goals over the final 19 games, plus 4 in 5 playoff games that has him on the radar.
Joseph Blandisi – After being overlooked in his initial OHL draft year, Joseph has the opportunity to become one of those unique stories. Taken in the 3rd round by the Attack in 2011, the 17 year old had a solid start, piling up 20 points in his first 33 games and finished with 31 points. Proving to be a two way player, Blandisi finished the year with a respectable +4 rating.
Kurtis MacDermid – Despite being limited to only 9 games due to injury and spending the beginning of the year with the Junior “B” Grey’s because of an influx of defensemen on the roster, Kurtis MacDermid made an impression. Scouts draft players based on how they feel they will have developed 5-10 years down the road, which means MacDermid may be very appealing to some teams. His father Paul had a long and successful NHL career while his brother (and Attack Alumnus) Lane got his feet wet with the Boston Bruins last year. Lane was also passed over in 2 NHL drafts before being picked up by Boston….a decision many NHL teams may have regretted. You won’t find a player that works harder on or off the ice.
Whether the Attack have 2, 3, 5 or 7 players drafted, there is no doubt that the anticipation for NHL Draft weekend ramps up for both fans and the players involved.