Jared McCann is a 6’0″, 175lbs center who spent last season with the Saulte Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He scored 27 goals, earned 35 assists, and finished the season with 62 points in 64 games.
On NHL.com’s final prospect rankings, McCann is listed as the 10th best North American skater. His favorite player is Jonathan Toews and he tries to model his game after the Blackhawks center.
In various mock drafts McCann has been listed as going between the 12th and 15th spot and will likely be an early-mid first round pick. His mix of skill, speed, and two-way ability make him an appealing prospect.
What A Team Will Get If They Draft Him
Todd Cordell of the Hockey Guys listed McCann as the 6th best player to come out of the OHL this draft year. He also had this to say about McCann:
"McCann is one of the top two-way forwards the OHL has to offer. He’s a good skater who gets up and down the ice quickly, and he always takes care of his own zone. He reads plays exceptionally well, and has great vision with the puck."
McCann is a very good skater who can excel in all three zones. He projects to be a second or third line center with the ability to play in all game situations.
According to Chris Edwards,
"[McCann] is not a guy who will always bring you out of your seat but is dangerous every shift. An excellent penalty killer who reads the play very well."
His Most Underrated Skill
In scouting reports of McCann, one can read about his skill/puck handling ability. However, one rarely reads about his breakaway/shootout skill. McCann has amazing moves in around the net and can deke a goalie with the best of them.
McCann has excellent patience when making moves and will always wait for the goalie to over commit. McCann also has an excellent shot. When he does not want to deke, he can roof a shot over the goalies shoulder before the goalie even knows what is going on.
The future of the shootout in the NHL is uncertain. But as long as it is there, players like McCann will be valuable assets to their team.
What He Needs To Work On
Although McCann has undeniable skill and two-way ability, his point totals are not what one would expect from a projected top 15 overall forward playing in juniors. Many of the draft eligible players in juniors, including Bennett, Reinhart, Draisaitl, Dal Colle, Virtanen, Perlini, Ritchie, Ehlers, and Goldobin, averaged over a point per game last season. All of them exceeded point per game production by a wide margin.
McCann on the other hand had 62 points in 64 games. That is not bad, but it is not setting high expectations for his offensive ability at the NHL level. McCann will likely be sent back for another year in juniors next season and he would do well to put a lot of points on the board (maybe even push for triple digits).
There is a lot to like in Jared McCann’s game. For some of his highlights, check out the video below.