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Toews checks in at No. 3

by Jeremy Lemoine / Boston Bruins
With the 2006 NHL Entry Draft coming up on June 24 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, B.C., has jumped into our yearly draft coverage. This week, will look at the top five prospects in this summer's draft.

BOSTON - Jonathan Toews enters this summer’s NHL Entry Draft ranked in the No. 3 position. Toews is projected to be drafted anywhere in the top five, but is in no rush to get to the NHL. He freely admits that he would rather spend another year at the University of North Dakota and be a key cog in their lineup.

In his freshman season at the University of North Dakota, Toews got off to a slow start, but quickly picked up the pace and racked up 21 goals and 17 assists for 38 points in 41 games. He also had a commendable plus 20 rating.

“Why not stay another year in school?” Toews told the Hockey News in a recent interview. “Even if I am ready (to play in the NHL). It was an adjustment period for me in the first half (of the season). I would like to spend a whole season there where everything is clicking and be a big part of the team and a leader.”

The 6’1”, 195-pound center also made Team Canada for the World Junior Championships after he was not originally slated to make the squad. He played an important role in helping Canada take home the gold medal and finished with two assists and a plus two rating in six games.

“(Toews) was a surprise for Canada at the World Juniors,” said Scott Bradley, Director of Amateur Scouting. “He wasn’t penciled in to make the team, but had a great exhibition series with them to make it.”

The Winnipeg, Manitoba native has distinguished himself around the league as a smart and maturing forward. Toews’ patience with the puck makes him a dynamic scorer and a highly coveted draftee.

“(Toews) is a very aware player on the ice and a very hard worker,” added Bradley. “I think he’s a two-way player that you want to have in your system.

“He’s got the whole package.”

Central Scouting Report:

Possesses excellent acceleration, agility, quickness, and is an extremely smart player who is versatile and has played both wing and center equally well this season … has very good poise and patience with the puck when on the power play or five-on-five … possesses a dangerous shot with a quick release and has the ability to make big plays and finish … is very good on face-offs … plays in all game situations and is smart and effective at anticipating the play … closes off the passing lanes and causes turnovers when forechecking and is dangerous in shorthanded situations … a highly competitive team player who is unselfish and will take a hit to make a play … is a very consistent hard working player who leads by example … keeps the play in front of him … is responsible defensively … goes hard at both ends of the ice … is not overly physical when taking his man off the puck but is clever when using his body to protect the puck … has outstanding leadership qualities … named the most outstanding player of the 2006 NCAA West Regionals … was a member of Team West for the 2005 Under-17 world hockey challenge and a gold medal winner for Team Canada at the 2006 World Junior Championship … was also a member of Team Canada for the 2005 Under-18 Junior World Cup.

Personal Profile:

Pronounced “TAYVZ” … favorite player is Colorado’s Joe Sakic … wears number 9 because great players that he looks up to wear it … says his father and mother have had the most influence on his career, because they have “always been there and sacrificed everything for my dream” … patterns his game after Joe Sakic because “I love how he plays” … outside of hockey, most admires Tiger Woods, Mike Weir, and Lance Armstrong … most memorable hockey game played was the gold medal game of the 2006 World Junior Championships in Vancouver … most memorable hockey game watched was the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic final between Canada and USA … favorites include: Trailer Park Boys (TV show), Wedding Crashers (movie), Ben Stiller (actor), and Our Lady Peace (band) … if he had the chance to have dinner with any three people, would invite Jarome Iginla, Jessica Simpson, and Pam Anderson.
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