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Top Prospect Close To My Heart

by Joe Bowen / Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs are excited about getting a quality player with the seventh pick overall at this years NHL Amateur Draft in Ottawa and they should be. This year’s talent pool is particularly deep and for a change the Leaf scouts are going to get a chance to show their stuff as Cliff Fletcher and company have a boat load of picks to make instead of trading them away. 

The likely first overall pick is one quite close to my heart. Steven Stamkos is a young man I have know almost since birth. His father Chris and I have played slowpitch with and against each other for almost 20 years. We watched little Steven come to the ballpark and play with the other kids including my sons Liam, Derek and Sean.

He is a tremendous young man with solid family roots. After finishing his season in Sarnia with the Sting there was very little time off for Steven as he was quickly enrolled in Brother Andre Secondary School to continue his high school studies.

I jokingly told him to not go up and take the Tampa Bay hat and jersey, but stay seated and pull on a Leaf hat.  As his new agent I would then announce that Steven Stamkos would go no where but to Toronto! 

This past weekend all of us in Unionville had a very special time as the very first Father and Son Slowpitch tournament was held giving us old coots a chance to play with our kids on the same team.  It was a special time for all of us and having Steven participate and go to the final showed what kind of an all around athlete he is.

He will have a great NHL career. Now we have to start working on getting him back to the team he loves as soon as possible.
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