By Eldon MacDonald
52. Shane McColgan - “Rocket Man” - RW - USA
Vitals: Size - 5’10”, 160 lb.; shoots right; Born: 1-Jan-93 - Manhattan Beach, CA
Team: Kelowna, WHL
2010-11 Stats: 67-21-45-66-62-(+3) + WHL playoffs 10-8-11-19-8-(+5)
52 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
52 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
HM - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50 (HM = 51 to 58)
57 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
65 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
65 - The Scouting Report's Top 100
167 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (125th North American skater)
134 - New York Rangers
Yes, Shane McColgan definitely is a rocket man in every sense of the word. He can explode up the ice, use his hands and agility to weave through defenders, use his rapid-release shot to catch goalies unawares and he has the hockey sense to make the most of his skills. He can also play well defensively and has the drive and intensity of a little guy who will not back down.
Last year, Shane McColgan was the runner-up to WHL rookie of the year - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, a player projected by many as the first pick overall in this year’s draft. This year Shane was projected to go very high in the draft as well, some even had him top 10. What happened??? Well, he had a rough start to the season as he had tonsillitis and had to have his tonsils removed. Whether that had lingering effects, I don’t know. What I do know is that his season never took off and he actually finished with three less points than last year. But then the playoffs came and the player we expected to emerge at the start of the year finally appeared and Shane had an excellent playoff, leading the team with 18 points in 10 games, 8 more than second-place Tyson Barrie.
So where does this Southern California beach kid, product of the Wayne Gretzky era phenomena, go in the draft. Do we draft the kid with the first round talents, do we draft based on his short-comings - lack of a decent-sized frame and corresponding lack of strength, do we draft based on his not-so-good regular season or his phenomenal playoffs? These are questions that will be answered in June. With a ranking completed before the playoffs, NHL Central Scouting had him sixth round. With the playoffs, I have him second round although there are arguments that his deficiencies could drop him all the way to fourth. I would like to think I am right but we will have to wait till June to know for sure.