“Kegger” Off to a Strong Start

“Kegger” Off to a Strong Start

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The Maple Leafs' 62nd Overall Selection in the 2010 NHL Draft

Greg McKegg has had a bit of an up and down week with multi-point games one night and zilch the next night. However, McKegg is still on pace for a phenomenal season with 19 points through 11 games played and sitting 2nd overall in league scoring behind Niagara’s Ryan Strome. Despite his efforts, the Erie captain has had a tough time carrying the Otters to respectability this season, as they currently last in the OHL’s Western Conference. The team’s poor start has fueled rumors across the league that McKegg could be on the move to a contender relatively soon, possibly to the London Knights.

Hockey’s Future’s Jason Menard recently put together a nice feature on McKegg, which can be found here. Greg attributes much of his early season success to the valuable experience gained playing against NHL calibre players at the Maple Leafs‘ rookie tournament and training camp, particularly the exhibition game at the John Labatt Centre against the Flyers:

“Any time you get to be on the ice with the caliber of guys that I was on with, it’s an awesome experience and I learned a lot,” McKegg said. “It was just a lot of fun to out out there with those guys, meet new people, and get to learn from that coaching staff.” “We learned a few of their systems. I was just trying to soak everything in,” he said. “It’s nice to come back and a lot of our systems are similar, but it’s nice to learn all parts of the game and it was just a great experience.”

“Obviously up there it’s a lot faster, a lot stronger, and there’s a lot less time and space. You learn from it. The OHL is still a fast and strong-paced game, so it’s nice to get up there and see what that game level is like. “I had a good time when I was up there. I got to play alongside a guy like Wayne Primeau. He is such a hard-working guy and such a veteran guy. He talked to me a lot about work ethic and what you have to do. He was just a great guy to learn from.”

In addition to the impressive point totals, McKegg’s 2010-2011 season will about his commitment to getting stronger, faster and more responsible in the defensive zone. Greg finished last season with a -13 plus/minus, good for third worst on the squad, but has already bumped that to a team best +5 rating thus far. He is seeing more time on the penalty kill and already has a few shorthanded markers to his name. If he continues to progress forward at the rate he has displayed so far, McKegg will find himself being mentioned among the NHL’s top prospects sooner rather than later.

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Alex has been a part of the original MLHS team since way back in 2008. He has contributed to the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals with a special interest in junior hockey and player development.