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Kelowna's McColgan pitches NHL GMs, scouts

by Shane McColgan
Shane McColgan is a right wing for the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. McColgan, the only U.S.-born player selected in the first round of the WHL's 2008 bantam draft, finished runner-up to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer Rebels) as the league's top rookie in 2009-10 after posting 25 goals and 69 points in 71 games. In 67 regular-season games this season, McColgan led the team with 66 points, including 21 goals. The native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., rated No. 125 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of North American skaters in April, also led the Rockets with 8 goals and 19 points and was second with a plus-5 rating in 10 WHL playoff games. A participant in the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp fueled by G Series in August and the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January, McColgan has offered to maintain a monthly blog for that will chronicle his season leading up to the NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn.

Hello everyone. Thanks for taking the time to read my second to last Draft blog for After the season I took some time off; I think that was important. I won't start skating again until June 14 so I'll be off the ice for about two months but I have started my training program. That's why I'm now back in Kelowna … to train with a couple of the guys over here and with our athletic trainer (Jeff Thorburn) and skating coach (Aaron Konecsni) on the skating treadmill and that's been great. It's been good so far and I'm looking forward to getting started with the training.

While it is disappointing that I won't be able to attend the NHL Scouting Combine, I know that was something that was out of my control. Everyone knows how strong I am. I feel I can do anything in the gym but the main reason I wanted to go there was for the teams to really get to know me as a person, so that's the only reason why I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get to go, but everything will work out the way it will. If scouts or GMs want to call or do interviews with me, that'll be great.

I do feel I can bring my playmaking ability and leadership as well to any team -- since I feel I've grown as a leader in Kelowna. I feel my strengths are my offensive ability and will to win because I always want to win … I'm a real competitive guy and I think every team needs that. Obviously I'm not going to be a fighter or a fourth-line type player but if they want me to do a different role, then I'll try that. I'll do whatever it takes to play.

I'm prepared for whatever round I go in or whatever number I'm chosen at the NHL Draft. It doesn't matter to me. At the end of the day, you still have to make the team. I'm not going to go to the Draft. I'm just going to stay at home with my family and watch it with my family on television. I'll celebrate it with my friends and family back home (in Manhattan Beach, Ca.).

Individually in the WHL playoffs, I really excelled and took to heart what my coaches told me to do in the playoffs and really focused on that. Team wise, I thought we had a really good chance this year to go further than the second round. Playing Portland was pretty huge for us and everyone was expecting them to sweep us but we took it to six games, so I think we can build off of that going into next year but it was a good season overall.

When I look back, I did go to the Top Prospects Game and the fact this is my Draft year, there was a little pressure but now that the season is over, I think I can sit back, relax and play the waiting game now. But it was a tremendous year and all the guys are great on my team. We're a tight-knit group in the locker room and looking forward to 2011-12.

As a rookie, I had a tremendous year and this year I kind of got off to a slow start (sidelined three weeks) with my surgery (to remove an abscess in the right tonsil) and everything going on at the start of the year, but there's no excuses. I knew I had to battle through that. Overall, I think I had a pretty solid year. I would have liked to score a few more goals but that's about it.

Thanks for reading and check back next month after the Draft for my final blog of the season.
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