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Friday, November 12, 2010

Mark McNeill: A guy you should know

His Prince Albert Raiders have come back down to earth after a hot start, but center Mark McNeill is still scoring at a little over a point-per-game clip, and is someone to keep an eye on as a first-round pick who could be tabbed with a 20-30 selection if he keeps it up.

At about 6-2 and pushing 210-215 pounds, he's already a physically mature specimen, but will be an NHL project. McNeill is a pretty good skater for a big man but needs to work on his agility and change of direction. Red Line Report noted that he has significantly improved from where he was last season in terms of picking up his skating stride and quickness, so he's on the right track. In fact, Kyle Woodlief and Co. had McNeill in their October issue rising section, likening his improvement this season to that of Ryan Johansen last year.

The Feb. '93 birthdate and Edmontonian has eight goals and 23 points in 20 games for the Raiders this season where his teammates include Boston prospect Ryan Button. Last year, he totaled 24 points in 68 games, so you're looking at a significant jump on the stats sheet with this guy. He's got a hard, heavy shot and soft hands for making good passes. Plus, he's showing the vision and hockey sense to be a point producer at the next level in time.

So, watch this guy. Of course, if he keeps putting up the points, with his size and upside, he won't last to the top-15 let alone the 20-30 pick range.

Oh, and guys who can fight are always welcomed by the Boston fanbase. McNeill hasn't had to do it a lot (and I tend to think it's because he doesn't have many willing dance partners), but he really puts it to Dominick Favreau here.

And Medicine Hat's Dylan Bredo here:

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