In the highly competitive environment at this year’s training camp, forward Brett MacLean
is keeping pace nicely.
“Brett’s doing good,” Coyotes Assistant General Manager Brad Treliving said. “… He’s pushing now to play on the team versus coming in and just being a guy who’s in the organization.”
MacLean has put up impressive stats since the Coyotes selected him in the second round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. During the 2007-08 season with the Oshawa Generals (OHL), he produced 119 points in 61 regular-season games, including 61 goals.MacLean then spent the 2008-09 season with Phoenix's AHL affiliate in San Antonio where he tallied 21 goals and 19 assists for 40 points in 74 games. Last season in San Antonio, he notched 65 points in 76 games, including 30 goals.
The native of London, Ont., is trying to show the decision makers within the organization that he’s ready to make the jump from the AHL to the NHL this year.
“I’ve worked hard for two years down there, and I’ve put up some pretty good numbers and tried to prove that I’m one of the better players in that league, and that I deserve a chance to make the NHL,” MacLean said. “Now it’s my time. I’m up here and I’ve got to show them that I belong, that I can stick here.”
MacLean has contributed in the exhibition games.
On Tuesday in Anaheim he scored a power-play goal and had seven shots, and on Thursday in Los Angeles he netted another power-play goal, a wrist shot past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick late in the third period that wound up being the game-winner.
Treliving said MacLean also did some things that didn’t show up in the stat sheet in the game against Anaheim.
“You really don’t notice him a whole lot, and then you look at the stat line at the end of the game and he’s got a goal and seven shots,” Treliving said. “He’s around the net and he’s parking his body in front (of the net) on the power play, so he’s pushing, which is a good sign.”
There’s no doubt MacLean can put the puck in the net, but Treliving said one of the factors that will go into the decision on whether MacLean sticks in Phoenix is how well the other facets of his game have developed; something that’s very important in Head Coach Dave Tippett’s structure.
“Scoring goals is a real attractive quality, but there are other pieces of the game, and the way that we play here, we love you to play well from the blue line in, but you’ve got to also play well from the blue line back, and I think he’s been responsible,” Treliving said. “You can really see the step that he’s taken.”
MacLean recognizes there is stiff competition for jobs at this camp and he’s prepared for whatever decision the staff makes about where he plays in 2010-11. He said if he’s told to go back to the AHL he’ll work on what he’s told to do to take the next step.
“I’m not going to be bitter about it,” MacLean said. “I’ll go down to the American League, work on my game, try to get better, hopefully improve all my stats, work on my all-around game, try to get quicker and stronger and hopefully show that at some point this year I deserve to get called up.”