Straight outta Moose Jaw: Kenndal McArdle
National Hockey League scouts are saying that the Florida Panthers might have made the pick of the recent draft when the team snagged Moose Jaw Warriors left wing Kenndal McArdle with the 20th overall pick. The team swapped prospects with the Philadelphia Flyers to move up and insure that McArdle was available.
Ranked seventh in North America by NHL's Central Scouting Service, he jumped from eight goals two years ago to a team leading 37 goals and 37 assists. This was 10th-best in the Western Hockey League, in 70 games.
Bu there is more to this young minority player than you see on the ice. He has character.
Last year, he took the blame for his coach's firing and then rallied his teammates from last in the WHL to a playoff berth.
"McArdle is an explosive skater, extremely strong on his feet and not easily knocked off the puck. His quick acceleration allows him to find open holes and create scoring chances. He plays at a very high skill level and is tough to contain when driving to the net from either wing. He is very tough on opposing defensemen in one-on-one situations," says NHL's Central Scouting report.
"He handles the puck well in traffic and makes good decisions in tough spots. He has a quick release on his wrist shot and an excellent one-timer shot. McArdle is a very gritty player who competes hard every night and can work through adversity. He delivers big hits in every zone, doesn't back down from a challenge and stands up for teammates. He has a great attitude and desire for hockey."
Here's to hoping we see the talented McArdle soon in St. Louis taking on the Blues.
Speaking of the Blues, the team re-signed defenseman Bryce Salvador and his action on and off the ice won praise from management.
GM Larry Pleau said in a release, "We're pleased to say that Bryce's career as a member of the St. Louis Blues will continue for several more years. He has been a steady performer on the ice and his leadership will be key to our success moving forward. In addition, his community involvement and strong character have made him an excellent representative of this organization."
Salvador is one of two players of color on the Blues roster, along with Jamal Mayers.