Nicolas Hague, No. 11 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft, is in his second season with Mississauga of the Ontario Hockey League. He has 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in 59 games. The 6-foot-5, 206-pound left-shot defenseman has offered to maintain a monthly draft diary for NHL.com leading up to the draft in Chicago. His March blog comes with five games remaining in the OHL regular season.
Hi hockey fans.
The Ontario Hockey League playoffs are closing fast. We're playing with a lot of confidence right now and to clinch the Central Division gave us a little reassurance since that was one of our goals at the start of the year. We're playing well, clicking and feeling pretty good.
We're on a little bit of a roll down the stretch here because I believe we're all playing together and playing the right way. We're buying into what our coach has been preaching all year and playing to our identity and the way we want to play, and we're seeing the results. It's fun when you're winning, and everyone is kind of realizing that now.
I think we just need to make sure we're staying consistent. We're hot right now; we just need to keep that going. Once you lose that, sometimes you don't know when you'll get it back, if ever. We need to keep playing the way we are right now and keep that play heading into the playoffs.
Personally, I feel over the last couple of weeks that I've been playing well. I'm playing my game and we're winning. I feel I've settled in, our lines are coming together well and I've been happy with the way I've been able to contribute to help our team.
I know the NHL draft is closing fast. It's something I think about maybe once every day. It's kind of hard not to because it's a day I'm really looking forward to. That whole weekend is going to be pretty exciting. But at the same time, when I come to practice I know it's not about the draft. It's about what our team has to do to win a championship. That's the main focus.
My defense partner is Stefan LeBlanc. We've played together for most of the season and have developed that chemistry. It's going really well, and I really like playing with him. I think the feeling is mutual. We're out there against other teams' top lines and we've been shutting it down, so it's been going pretty well.
To close the diary this month, I just wanted to congratulate Brandon forward Reid Duke for becoming the first player in the history of the Vegas Golden Knights. I don't know Reid and haven't seen him play since he is in the Western Hockey League, but I saw the news on Twitter.
I think it's the start of a new era with the new NHL team, and just the fact that their first player is coming out of the Canadian Hockey League is a testament to how good the CHL is at developing players. We all know the great players of the past who have gone on to do good things and are making waves in the NHL right now.
Until next month, cheers!