The first round of the 2014 NHL Draft emanates from Philadelphia on June 27 with the Washington Capitals holding the 13th overall selection. Over the next week, I will profile five potential draftees that could realistically be available to Washington.
Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (Ontario Hockey League)
Age: 18 (May 31, 1996)
NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: No. 10 (North American Skaters)
While it may be idealistic to expect McCann to develop into a player of Chicago Blackhawk center Jonathan Toews' caliber, any player who admittedly models his game after Toews is sure to emphasize both ends of the ice.
McCann is a strong all-around player with a high hockey IQ. He finished with 27 goals and 62 points last season for the Greyhounds, his vision and deceptively dangerous shot making him Sault Ste. Marie's second-leading scorer in 2013-14. The 18-year-old, however, takes just as much pride shutting down the opposition. He was regularly matched up against the opposing team's top players and is a strong penalty killer.
Scouts rave about his ability to play in every situation and do so effectively. A threat in all three zones who contributes with or without the puck, McCann is the definition of a "200-foot player."
"Jared is a highly skilled and creative playmaker. He has excellent hands and puckhandling ability. He sees the ice very well and can get the puck through traffic with great saucer passes. He is not a guy who will always bring you out of your seat but is dangerous every shift. An excellent penalty killer who reads the play very well."
"His hockey sense translates to plus creativity, vision, positioning and defensive awareness. He regularly lined up against the opponents' best players in tough even-strength minutes, and was effective in doing so. He's an above-average stick handler who won't try to be a hero, but can make tough plays to evade pressure and create chances. He'll also pull off the occasional highlight-reel play.
"His best offensive asset in the attacking zone is his shot. He's got a bullet, and can score from a distance -- and at times, overshoot. McCann certainly needs to get stronger, and despite a good physical work ethic he projects as a below-average physical player at the top level."
Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.