Tracking the Storm

McGinn Eyes Memorial Cup to Cap Banner Season

Friday, 05.16.2014 / 3:00 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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McGinn Eyes Memorial Cup to Cap Banner Season
After scoring 43 goals in 58 regular-season games, Brock McGinn and the Guelph Storm are headed to the Memorial Cup.
While NHL playoff action barrels toward the conference finals, junior hockey postseason has reached a crescendo, as the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup begins this weekend – and the Carolina Hurricanes have a rooting interest.

Michael Smith
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The Ontario Hockey League champion Guelph Storm, featuring Canes forward prospect Brock McGinn, is among the four teams participating in the annual tournament to decide the Canadian Hockey League champion.

In his fourth and final junior season with Guelph, McGinn exploded offensively, nearly equaling his point production from his first three seasons combined. The 20-year-old posted 43 goals and 42 assists (85 points) and a plus-46 rating in 58 games

“Brock had a tremendous season. He’s grown as a player, and his offense has continued to develop,” said Darren Yorke, video scout and hockey operations assistant with the Canes. “Not too many players – regardless of their age – can put up 43 goals in 58 games. He’s got a tremendous shot and he’s smart.”

Guelph, coached by former Hurricane Scott Walker, worked their way through Plymouth, London, Erie and North Bay, each by a 4-1 series margin, en route to capturing the OHL title. McGinn played in 12 of those games, having to serve an eight-game suspension after a check on Connor Sills in the first round.

McGinn returned to action in the Western Conference Final against the Erie Otters. The Canes’ 2012 second-round draft pick remained a point-per-game producer in the postseason with 12 points (6g, 6a) in as many games. He would go on to score a goal in the title-clinching game against North Bay.

“It took him some time to get going. Obviously when you miss as many games as he did, the pace picks up, and it’s going to take some time to get your legs regardless of what you do with conditioning,” Yorke said. “Once he got his legs underneath him, he continued to play that NHL-style game that we love.”

With McGinn’s professional career on the horizon, the Memorial Cup will serve as a fitting cap on what has been an increasingly impressive junior stint for the younger brother of NHL players Jamie and Tye.

“It’s part of the process of growing as a player,” Yorke said. “He’s going to take this experience, especially with this as his last time as a junior player, and grow as a professional player. He’s a leader on the team, players look up to him and the pressure is on him, which is a good thing.”

The Canes inked McGinn to a three-year, entry-level contract in April 2013. That will kick in at the outset of the 2014-15 season, but McGinn already has some AHL experience under his belt. After being knocked out of the first round of the OHL playoffs in 2012-13, the Fergus, Ontario, native skated with the Checkers in four regular-season contests and two playoff matches.

Later this summer, McGinn will attend Carolina’s training camp and compete for a depth spot on the roster.

“He plays a very physical game,” Yorke said. “He has to be able to do that at the NHL level, and you’re dealing with stronger players. He’ll have to come in, work hard like everyone else and try to earn a spot.”

More immediately, McGinn looks to continue his and the Storm’s banner season. Guelph, playing in the Memorial Cup for the fifth time in their 23-year history, will face the Western Hockey League champion Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday, the Quebec Major-Junior Hockey League champion Val-d’Or Foreurs on Monday and the host London Knights on Wednesday in round-robin play. All Memorial Cup games will be televised on NHL Network.

“The Memorial Cup is one tough tournament to win. To even get to that point is such a huge accomplishment from a team perspective. He had to win the OHL [championship], go through the playoff grind, and now regroup to try to win another playoff series just to try to win the CHL championship,” Yorke said. “Winning is always great for development. You understand what it takes and how hard it is to win.”

DATE MATCH-UP RESULT/TIME TV
MAY 17 GUELPH vs. EDMONTON 5-2 NHL NETWORK (7:30 p.m.)
MAY 19 GUELPH vs. VAL-d'OR 6-3 NHL NETWORK (MAY 20, 1:00 p.m.)
MAY 21 LONDON vs. GUELPH 2-7 NHL NETWORK (MAY 22, 1:00 p.m.)
MAY 25 FINAL: EDMONTON vs. GUELPH 6-3 NHL NETWORK

All times listed in Eastern standard time.



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72