The start of Brock McGinn's whirlwind rise into the NHL spotlight may be one week away.
It's his second consecutive appearance at the annual summer camp—but, despite earning positive reviews at last year's event, much has changed for the 20-year-old in the 12 months since.
|Size:||5'11", 186 pounds|
|Drafted:||2012 Pick No. 47|
|2013-14 Team:||Guelph Storm (OHL)|
McGinn is still riding on the momentum from a breakout 2013-14 OHL campaign, when the 5'11" winger piled up 43 goals (seventh in the league) and 42 assists in just 59 regular season games.
The unexpected scoring explosion sent McGinn's stock spiraling upwards.
Already well-known for his fearless physicality, defensive responsibility and Chad LaRose-esque peskiness, a newfound scoring touch suddenly transformed McGinn into a legitimate top-tier NHL prospect.
He plays with the selflessness and well-roundedness of a player much more experienced than he actually is—perhaps because of the influence of his successful older siblings.
McGinn's spring 2013 AHL debut produced a humorous and telling story, as relayed by Luke DeCock of The News & Observer:
When McGinn showed up in Charlotte after his junior season ended, Checkers coach Jeff Daniels called Hurricanes assistant general manager Ron Francis, concerned.
"I asked Ronnie, 'Are you sure this kid’s OK? He’s walking around the dressing room with his shirt off, and he looks 12.' " Daniels said. "But Ronnie said, 'No, no, he’s fine.' His first shift, he ran out and hit the biggest guy on the other team. I was sold after that."
One season later, however, no one questions McGinn's unorthodox aggressiveness or natural ability.
He impressed at the 2013 so-called "Canes Camp," then tore through the OHL season on first-place Guelph.
Wrote OHL scout Brock Otten on Monday about McGinn's improvement from 2012-13 to 2013-14:
He continued to play a staunch physical game but cut down on his cheap/silly penalties. He's still a tough player to play against, but he's a smarter one now. His goal scoring ability really took a step forward too, as he gained more confidence in his shot and became more than just a 'banging home rebounds' kind of guy.
McGinn is ready for the pro game. In all honesty, depending on how builds up strength in the offseason, he might be ready to contribute on a checking line as early as this year.
And the opportunity for McGinn to earn such an NHL role exists very clearly and tantalizingly.
Despite a few offseason additions, the Hurricanes' cast of third-line forwards remains undermanned and underskilled, with a desperate need for a fresh face and influx of intensity.
Riley Nash and Jay McClement will compete for superiority in the hierarchy of depth centers; neither are ideal checking line studs. Meanwhile, Nathan Gerbe certainly possesses the right grittiness but perhaps not the right size for the line; Patrick Dwyer has good defensive instincts but seemingly plays best when paired when Jordan Staal. The entire line is an obvious flaw in the Hurricanes' offensive composition.
Will Brock McGinn make the 'Canes team in 2014-15?
In the next two months, the youngster has three chances to impress Carolina's new coaching staff: next week's Development Camp, the Traverse City prospects tournament and, if all goes well, NHL training camp in September.
If McGinn's career ascension continues at the same pace that it has over the past 12 months, he could skating on PNC Arena ice regularly come October.