Apparently the Wings may have done it again. Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News says in today’s edition that they may have stolen another player in the draft like they did in the past with players such as Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. This time it’s Evan McGrath, an 18-year-old center for the Kitchener Rangers of the CHL. The Wings took him in the fourth round, 128th overall as their second pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
In 2002-2003, he had a great rookie year with the Rangers, scoring 16 goals and 31 assits over 64 games during the regular season and then helping Kitchener win the Memorial Cup. He had eight points in the 21 playoff games, including two goals and one assist in the title game. After that season, he was considered a lock for the first round of the draft and some even had him going in the first ten picks.
His 2003-2004 season was not as good (68-15-36-51) and he was ranked the just the 36th best player in North America going into the draft after being #15 at midseason.
It appears that being drafted by the Wings has given McGrath a jump, however, and he has rebounded with a huge season to this point. In only 23 games, he has scored 15 goals and notched 25 assists for 40 points and is fifth in CHL scoring.
The front office in Detroit is obviously very interested in seeing whether he keeps up that pace or not. I don’t think it’s all that likely he’ll be in a Red Wings jersey any time soon, though, since the Wings are very cautious in bringing up new prospects. He’s still very young and they’ll likely continue to let him develope, unless he really starts lighting it up.
Hockey’s Future has a scouting report on him here.
Also, if you can read Portuguese, head over to OtW: Brazil. Humberto and the guys over there have really been active during the lockout and are posting up a storm. They are serious enough about hockey to put all but the most rabid fans to shame, which is amazing, considering they live all they way down there in Brazil.