McColgan looks to boost draft stock

Rockets forward in Toronto for Top Prospects Game

Kelowna Rockets forward Shane McColgan will showcase his talents for NHL scouts Wednesday at the CHL Top Prospects Game in Toronto.

As far back as his first game in a Kelowna Rockets uniform three years ago, Shane McColgan had a definite goal for his hockey future: To be a first-round pick in the 2011 NHL entry draft.

The speedy 5-foot-9 centre will have a chance to make his case under the bright lights Wednesday night in Toronto at the Canadian Hockey League’s Top Prospects Game.

Listed 102nd among eligible skaters in Central Scouting’s most recent rankings, McColgan is, at the moment, well out of the range of the top 30 choices.

But with different NHL teams expressing different needs, predicting where players will actually fall could prove to be an inexact science.

McColgan plans to leave to leave nothing to chance at the Air Canada Centre as 40 of junior hockey’s top prospects audition their skills.

“I’m going to go in like it’s a regular season game and play my hardest and try to get my draft stock up. You’re showcasing yourself here,” said McColgan, who leads the Rockets this season with 44 points. “There is a little bit of pressure just because you’re trying to impress people who could potentially draft you. You try not to think about it too much. Just have fun playing the game and everything will fall into place.”

While the Top Prospects format features just one game, Rockets head coach Ryan Huska said McColgan’s performance on Wednesday could go a long way to determining how high the California native is chosen next June.

“Over the years, this game has become a real good opportunity for players to showcase themselves to NHL teams ahead of the draft,” Huska said. “A few years ago, (former Rocket) Blake Comeau had a great showing and he moved himself quite a bit. Shane needs to go in and show good work habits. If he has a good night, he could force some teams to take a more serious look at him.”

McColgan will play for Team Orr, but Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark will be behind the bench as Bobby Orr is unavailable for the game.

Rockets host Cougars

While McColgan struts his stuff for NHL scouts, the Rockets will be closing out a four-game home stand Wednesday against the division-rival Prince George Cougars.

The B.C. Division race remains as tight as ever with Giants in first with 49 points, the Cougars are second at 47 and the Rockets just one point back of P.G. in third.

“(The Rockets and Cougars) are separated by one point, so I would expect this to be very much like a playoff game,” said Rockets coach Ryan Huska. “It’s a very hard road for all the teams in the division with everything so tight. We have to be fighting hard every night and make sure we’re competing.”

Kelowna is coming off a weekend of mixed results—an inspired come-from-behind 5-3 win over the Portland Winterhawks on Friday, followed by a rather uninspired 5-2 loss to Medicine Hat on Saturday.

“I liked most everything we did against Portland, the way we were able to come back,” Huska added. “The second night I thought we were a bit flat, we need to be more consistent.”

This weekend, the Rockets will play three games in as many nights south of the border—Friday in Seattle, Saturday in Spokane and Sunday in Tri-City.

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

West Kelowna candidates discuss new city hall

This week learn about how your candidates feel about a new city hall in West Kelowna

Science teachers converge on Kelowna for conference

Exposing new instructional classroom tools for science teachers

Okanagan competitors to be featured in arm wrestling documentary

Arm Nation, featuring competitions from Kelowna and Penticton, will air on Oct. 20 on APTN

Former Vernon man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Cough cough: Kelowna MLA gets flu shot to prep for the cold season

Steve Thomson got his flu shot from Lakeside Medicine Centre Friday

Watch it again: Kelowna mayoral candidates square off

Missing the LIVE Kelowna mayoral debate watch now

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Black trucks figure prominently in Shuswap thefts

Chase RCMP investigating stolen vehicles from several communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Most Read