Sportsnet personalities Elliot Friedman and Jeff Marek have dropped his name on their weekly podcast, but Toronto Marlboros captain Jamie Drysdale is consciously working to drown it all out.
Coming off a GTHL Regular Season Championship and a Scotiabank GTHL Playoff title, Drysdale and the Marlboros are staying focused on an OHL Cup title rather than what the scouts are saying.
“The best advice I got was to not pay attention to any pre-draft rankings,” explained Drysdale. “It’s important to stay focused on my game and my team, and for us to be successful this season.”
The OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour is the seen as the last opportunity for scouts to size up players before the 2018 OHL Priority Selection on April 7, and the whole experience is nothing new to Cole Perfetti. The Vaughan Kings forward, who played in last year’s tournament with the Whitby Wildcats as an underager learned a lot about the process through his teammates last season.
“I was lucky to learn a lot from watching my teammates and what they went through, so I think I kind of knew what to expect,” said Perfetti. “I like playing in front of a lot of people and scouts, so seeing them at the games doesn’t make me nervous, it makes me more excited to play.”
By the time the OHL Cup rolls around, scouts have already seen countless games and have had the opportunity to assess a players performance. Scout Andrew Sykes admits that the OHL Cup has a bit more of a laid-back approach from a scouting perspective.
“You are comfortable and confident with a majority of the players,” said Sykes about his approach heading into OHL Cup. “It’s a chance to enjoy the high-quality hockey a little more. At the end of the year, you are looking to see which players raise their level of play even higher and step up to lead their team against the top competition in the biggest games of the season.”
As for the players, Sykes encourages them to stick to what they know and to avoid getting out of their comfort zone for the purposes of impressing scouts.
“Play the game that made you successful, play for the right reasons (for your teammates and team), and the rest will take care of itself.”
The 2018 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour kicks off on Tuesday, March 13 with five Wild Card Play-In Games. Click here for a full schedule.