To observers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, it was hard to miss John Edwardh’s playoff performance.
Night after night, the junior A rookie was playing the hero for the Okotoks Oilers as he helped lead them within a goal of knocking off the eventual national champion Brooks Bandits.
When the smoke cleared and the disappointment of a playoff exit waned slightly, not only did his stats tell the tale — 13 goals and 19 points in 16 playoff games, including six game winners — the widespread interest among the scouts did, too. As in, National Hockey League scouts, who came kicking the tires on the Calgarian.
Edwardh is your true definition of a taking a flyer, which an NHL team might just do in the late rounds of Sunday’s entry draft.
For his part, the 18-year-old from Douglasdale had no idea the NHL draft was even a possibility.
“I don’t really know what to expect, to be honest,” said the 5-foot-11, 170 pounder on Wednesday. “After the season ended, my coach told me there were some teams interested in me.”
But he’s not holding his breath.
“I don’t want to get my hopes up and if I don’t get drafted be disappointed. Just keeping an open mind and we’ll see what happens Sunday.”
Okotoks head coach/GM James Poole noted that NHL scouts had dipped in to watch the Oilers from time to time during the season, but when Edwardh started going great guns in the playoffs, more and more of them showed up.
“Halfway through the year, I don’t think he was on anyone’s radar, but he had a strong playoff . . . I think there’s a chance,” Poole said, pegging the odds at 50-50 that his charge will be a late-round choice.
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