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A scout's take on Rockets players at Top Prospects Game
With more than 200 National Hockey League scouts in the stands, few events during the course of a hockey season are more heavily scrutinized than the Top Prospects Game.
Forty of the top draft-eligible players in the Canadian Hockey League, including a pair of Kelowna Rockets, were under the scouting microscope on Wednesday night at Prospera Place.
Warren Henderson of the Capital News spoke to Marcel Comeau, the director of amateur scouting for the NHL's Winnipeg Jets, to get his assessment of forward Colton Sissons and defenceman Damon Severson.
• Comeau on Sissons, the 14th-rated North American skater in Central Scouting's midterm rankings:
"He's got a good power forward game, a good drive-and-shoot game, he shoots the puck well off the rush, but he's also a good player below the dots in the offensive end.
"He's a guy who uses his size well, I think his intangible qualities are real strong, he's a very determined guy, a lot of battle and second effort in his game. He's not just an offensive guy, I think he's got a strong two-way game, he plays a good team game, so I think that's what he brings to the table."
• Comeau on Severson, ranked 46th among skaters in the midterm report:
"He's a real strong skater, his transition skating from backwards to forwards and forward to backwards is very good. He has good size and strength, he handles size and strength in coverage well, not a guy that's easily moved off the puck, but he can move some people off the puck himself. Those type of defencemen are always important in a game nowadays that's real fast, but he also can handle himself on the physical side. He's got a real good point shot and gets the puck through to the net real well."
• Comeau on the overall impact the Top Prospects Game can have on a player's draft value:
"I think you have to be careful not to put too much on one game like this, either positively or negatively. I think if the guy is a real stick-out in this game that's a real feather in his cap, but it's not necessarily the be-all, end-all.
"On the other hand, if he struggles, the player can't be buried just because of what he does in this one game. It's another viewing for us, I think that's the way all guys look at it. That's why you see so many scouts in the building. It's a factor but shouldn't be the biggest factor in terms of where they fit into things."