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Greg McKegg Turning Heads in Leafs Nation

March 24, 2011, 9:42 AM ET [ Comments]
Brian Huddle
CHL and NHL Prospects • RSSArchiveCONTACT
For those who missed it last night, my piece on Avalance prospect, Joey Hishon.
Scouting Report on Greg McKegg, for more detail.

Taken 2nd Overall in the 2008 OHL Draft, Greg McKegg was once a highly touted minor player out of the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs. No stranger to expectations, having been drafted ahead of the likes of Tyler Seguin, Jeff Skinner and Erik Gudbranson, hope was high for the lanky pivot coming into his rookie campaign with Erie.

“I got into hockey because of my dad, Mike, who played for the Sudbury Wolves and the University of Windsor. My parents were my biggest supporters through my hockey career; they’re the ones that got me to the rinks, and I wouldn’t be here, today, without them.”

Coming out of the gate in his rookie season, hopes were high for the young McKegg; but ice time was hard to find. The St. Thomas native finished his rookie season with only 18 points, and many were questioning if Erie were right when they drafted him so high.

Playing on the low-profile Otters certainly didn’t help his draft stock the next year, as the once promising forward found himself listed 94th by Central Scouting.

The forward had come into camp strong, but the same couldn’t be said for the regular season. McKegg found himself back with trainers-- a knee injury. The injury cost the center, who found that his skating was a step behind where it should be. Even just the simple tasks like stopping were odd and unusual for him.

To add insult to injury, Greg found his name was spelled wrong on Central Scouting’s list.

Finishing out his season strong, McKegg found himself sitting 11th in OHL Scoring when all was said and done. 37 goals and 48 assists had put him back on the radar, if only slightly.

“I wanted to be an exemplary leader for the team and continue to improve upon last season,” McKegg stressed when coming into his third year. It was only a few shorts months ago that Brian Burke had drafted the Erie center 62nd Overall.

“I couldn’t have asked to be a part of a more prestigious and well-known organization,” he added, also throwing in that he had grown up a fan of the Red Wings.

After a good showing with the Leafs Rookie Tournament, and into their pre-season, McKegg was sent back to Erie with a mandate. “They tell me to keep working hard and getting faster while continuing to study the game.

“I hope to get faster and stronger, those are two keys to improving my games.”

On September 24th, 2010, McKegg was named the Captain of his junior squad, prior to his return from Leafs Training Camp.

Known as an offensively gifted centerman, McKegg sees time at all three forward positions when the need arises. At any given moment, McKegg has shown himself to be one of the best players that the OHL has to offer. Once his biggest weakness, McKegg improved mightily on his skating this past offseason and has deceptive speed, and can sneak into scoring areas with relative ease. More of a passer who's been asked to shoot more, McKegg has shown the ability to do it all, in all three zones of the rink.

“I like to model myself after Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, he’s a great two-way player and a good leader.”

While McKegg is likely to go back to junior next year as well, being one of the youngest drafted in 2010, his production has continued this season with Erie, scoring 49 goals and 43 assists, good for 6th in OHL Scoring.

The Leafs have plenty of time with McKegg, and can afford to be patient with him. Look for him to continue his strong play as the Otters take on the reigning Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires in the first round of the OHL Playoffs.


NOTE: A piece is coming either tomorrow or early Saturday on Bruins prospect, Jared Knight. Look out for that B's fans. He's one of my favorites.

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