With such an impressive crop of talent eligible for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, it’s no surprise that some players have continued to sift through the 2009/2010 season under the radar. One such player is Erie Otter’s forward Greg McKegg, who currently sits 16th in OHL scoring so far this season. Drafted second overall in the 2008 OHL Priority Selection behind Sudbury’s John McFarland, expectations were high for the St. Thomas, Ontario native last season. After posting a pedestrian 8 goals and 18 points in his rookie campaign, McKegg was lost in the shuffle heading into this year, especially given the immense talent of the 1992 birth years in the OHL.
You may recall that I was one of the supporters of McKegg who advocated that this type of season was well within the realm of possibilities back in September: http://www.thescoutingreport.org/tsr-feature-ohl-sleepers-watch/. In hindsight, I guess 20 goals and 60 points might have even been a bit of a low projection, but I still find it a bit interesting that McKegg’s success has gone largely unnoticed. Could it be that he plays in a small OHL market like Erie? Perhaps. Could it be that he doesn’t quite have any real defining quality? Likely.
Despite putting up very impressive numbers this year, McKegg still lacks an element to his game that really jumps out at you, which is probably the main thing that is holding him back from the Top 60 at this point. While he has good size and has filled his frame out well, he doesn’t skate particularly well, which is arguably the biggest detractor for scouts. He does have an effective top speed, and he does a good job of protecting the puck and making moves at that speed, but McKegg does have some troubles getting there. His first few steps still need a lot of work, and his choppy stride is something that isn’t very appealing, either.
The skating is no doubt a concern when projecting his potential at the next level, but McKegg does a lot of other things pretty well, which really need to be considered when evaluating him. He’s a strong puck distributor who has strong vision in the offensive zone. He is particularly effective working on the half-boards and behind the net, which is where he is mainly utilized on Erie’s power play. While McKegg’s offensive skills are by no means amazing, he does have some crafty hands and a quick and accurate shot, which have really helped him elevate his game significantly this year. Another thing that goes unnoticed with McKegg is his ability to play a strong two-way game. He can play either Center or on the wall, and is positionally responsible in the defensive zone.
Essentially what I’m getting at, is that while McKegg might not be in that upper echelon of OHL players, there is a lot of merit behind his season thus far, and he’s getting better every week. McKegg needs to continue to show scouts that his skating is improving and that he’s willing to compete hard every shift, but with this type of consistency, Greg McKegg is definitely a player that should start to peak your interest as he is likely working himself into the back half of the second round.