by JHabs, Staff Writer, AllHabs.net
MONTREAL, QC. — With the 2012 NHL Entry Draft behind us, and scouts taking a well-earned vacation, the next crop of stars are itching to go, training harder than ever, eagerly waiting for their time to shine at the 2013 NHL Entry draft.
The future is coming, the young stars wait patiently, fantasizing about the day, imagining how it would be as they watch an NHL General Manager walk up to the podium, in what seems to feel like an eternity; they listen patiently, their throats swell, their grips tighten, the crowd goes silent as they hear the words “The <insert NHL team> are proud to select….”
Who to watch
Nathan MacKinnon – 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL
Nathan MacKinnon, born and raised in Halifax Nova Scotia, has been drawing comparisons to Pittsburgh’s captain, and former Rimouski Oceanic, Sidney Crosby due to his tenacious style of play, level of skill, as well as hailing from the same province.
After an impressive rookie season with the Mooseheads, MacKinnon is being hyped to have a very strong second season; scouts will be sipping their coffee, wide eyed, watching in amazement as Nathan dazzles the Halifax Crowd.
MacKinnon is a right handed center, and has already been labeled by a few scouts for having elite level skill, and many are eager to watch this young man grow into a powerful force in the NHL. The Dartmouth native is currently being projected as a top three pick, but as history has shown, anything can happen between now and next June; for now, one thing seems certain, that the future is very bright for Nathan.
Seth Jones – 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Portland Winterhawks, WHL
Son of famous retired NBA player Popeye Jones, Seth has taken his passion to the ice, and has excelled at every level, recording 31 points in 52 games with the U.S. National Under-18 team. Born in Plano, Texas, Seth has been on scouts radar for quite some time, and he is but one season away from every player’s dream; being drafted by a NHL team.
Touted as the next blue-chip defensive prospect, people who have seen Jones play have claimed he’s going to be the next best thing. Jones is being heralded as a wizard at both ends of the ice, and his physical play adds another dimension to his game.
Seth Jones has been projected as a shoe-in for being a top three pick in next year’s draft, and if he continues to develop and have an impressive season with the Winterhawks, it is possible he is selected first overall. Jones will be one of the many prospects that scouts will observe closely, and ponder the question “Just how good can Jones be?”
Needless to say the Portland Winterhawks, and the Halifax Mooseheads will likely attract the most attention for their upcoming stars; they are touted to be two powerhouses moving forward. It would not surprise anyone if either team were to take a shot at the Memorial cup next season.
Check back next week for the next issue of “Following the Future.”