Tag: Patrick Kane

Saginaw Spirit v London Knights

Leafs select Mitch Marner, who’s modeled his game after Patrick Kane


SUNRISE — The Toronto Maple Leafs, not long ago run by a general manager who promised to build a team with “proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence,” have used the fourth overall pick to select one of the smallest players in the draft.

Fortunately for the Leafs, Mitch Marner makes up for his lack of size (he’s listed at 5-foot-11, 160 pounds) with a huge amount of talent. The 18-year-old forward had 44 goals and 82 assists this season for the London Knights. His 126 points were second to only Dylan Strome (who went third overall to Arizona) in the OHL.

Marner also enters a Leafs organization that’s more than familiar with his game.

From the Globe and Mail:

… the main voice in the Marner camp is Toronto’s director of player personnel, Mark Hunter. The former Knights general manager knows Marner intimately – he picked the forward 19th overall in the 2013 OHL draft and persuaded him to forgo a scholarship offer from the University of Michigan.

At that point Marner was 15 years old, 5 foot 7 and 130 pounds, and his size was the biggest reason he slipped to London at 19. Over the next two years, he grew four inches, added 30 pounds and rang up a terrific 126-point season to finish second in OHL scoring as a 17-year-old.

Hunter’s belief in him paid off. He thinks it will again for the Leafs and he has support from colleagues such as Lindsay Hofford, one of the Leafs’ newest scouts, who was the Knights’ director of scouting when they drafted Marner.

Not surprisingly, Marner has called Blackhawks star Patrick Kane “the guy I’ve always looked up to,” and he believes the NHL has changed enough to allow smaller players to thrive.

“It’s not about height,” he said. “It’s not about cross-checking as hard as you can. It’s not about hooking. All those get you a penalty nowadays. It’s a speed game now. It’s about thinking. If you have the brain to play in the NHL, no matter how tall you are, you can play. If you can dodge hits, you can play.”


Related: Get to know a draft pick — Mitch Marner

Get to know a draft pick — Mitch Marner

Kitchener Rangers v London Knights

Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from former Minnesota Wild scout Mark Seidel, who currently serves as the president of North American Central Scouting.

Mitch Marner (C)

Height: 5’11 Weight: 160 Shoots: Right

Team: London Knights (OHL)

Country: Canada

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 6 among North American Skaters

What kind of player is he?

A diminutive skill guy, at a time when diminutive skill guys are all the rage.

Sure, that might be overstating things a bit, but we did just wrap a Stanley Cup Final in which Patrick Kane (5-foot-11, 181 pounds) and Tyler Johnson (5-9, 175) finished tied for the playoff scoring lead. And if you’re looking for offense, look no further than Marner — he finished second in the OHL in scoring this year (126 points in just 63 games), became the fastest 17-year-old in London history to score 40 goals and became the 46th player in franchise history to notch 100 points, joining the likes of Kane, John Tavares and Corey Perry.

“The NHL has changed,” Marner said earlier this month. “It’s not about height. It’s not about cross-checking as hard as you can. It’s not about hooking. All those get you a penalty nowadays. It’s a speed game now. It’s about thinking.

“If you have the brain to play in the NHL, no matter how tall you are, you can play. If you can dodge hits, you can play.”

Seidel says:

“The Kane comparisons are inevitable because both are undersized, offensive machines that had phenomenal careers with London. Marner is a magician with the puck and had the OHL scoring race locked up — until the final day of the season, when Dylan Strome notched six points to snatch the title. Although Marner needs to get stronger, concerns about his size are overstated as he’s shown a willingness to go into the dirty areas to make plays. It also shouldn’t be overlooked that he came into the OHL as a one-dimensional offensive star, only to evolve into a complete player under the tutelage of Dale Hunter. Marner has the potential to become a superstar in the NHL, and shouldn’t drop out of the top-five.”

NHL comparable: Kane/Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

For more 2015 NHL Draft profiles, click here.

Toews, Kane featured on NHL 16 cover, set franchise firsts

2015 NHL Awards - Press Room

For the first time in the history of EA Sports’ NHL series, two teammates and the Stanley Cup will appear on the cover as NHL 16 will feature Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The last time the cover included two athletes was NHL 96, but that one showed Steve Yzerman and Scott Stevens competing against each other.

“Being teamed up with Jonathan for the NHL 16 cover is a great feeling,” Kane said, per EA Sports. “I never would have imagined being on the cover twice, and the fact this is happening on top of our team taking home the Cup is unreal.”

Kane was featured on NHL 10 while Jonathan Toews was the cover athletes a year later. They’re the first players to appear on the worldwide cover twice.

NHL 16 will be out in North America on September 15. You can see the game’s E3 trailer below: