Jared McCann: Bergeron 2.0?

Steve Dangle
June 27 2014 10:02AM

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Ok, Bergeron 2.0 is a pretty unfair question to ask, but you can blame Jared McCann for that. His gifted offensive talents combined with the pride he takes in shutting the opposition down could make him a name that comes up in Selke talk in the future.

I was fortunate enough to talk to the projected mid-to-late first-rounder about his game, his development, and learning both ends of the ice. Warning: May also contain totally sweet highlight reel video.


We’re talking on the eve of you being selected in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but I saw a video from a few years ago of a younger Jared McCann all excited at the idea of being selected in the OHL Draft. I want to see if you still feel the same way about what you said. You said that your two favourite players at the time were Tyler Seguin and David Backes. Is that still the case?

No, well, yeah, I guess so.  They’re two of my favourite players but they’re not two of the players who I model my game after anymore.

Who are the guys that you model your game after now?

Patrice Bergeron or Jonathan Toews.

So one day you’re going to win the Selke is what you’re saying.

Ha. Hopefully! It would be nice.


That is something that you talked about back then and a little more recently – your two-way game. How do you think that has developed?

I think it’s going really well and I still obviously have a long way to go but last year Mr. Keefe (Greyhound head coach and former NHL player Sheldon Keefe) put me in a position where I could develop as a two-way centreman. I’m not one of those top five guys who are just worried about scoring goals and stuff anymore because you won’t be able to do that at the next level. I feel like I’ve been improving and going  in the right direction.

How has it helped you to be on the Soo Greyhounds in terms of development? Watching some of your highlights, guys like Fritsch, guys like Tolchinsky – you were able to create magic out there.

Yeah I’ve always had good chemistry. My first year I played with Fritsch for a bit and Tolchinsky, but just playing in the Soo was amazing. It’s been awesome and it really helped me with my development. If you look at the players they’ve drafted like Jeff Carter, Jake Muzzin, and those guys, I felt like it was the best place for me to be. 

What was your favourite team growing up?

I was an LA fan when I was younger.

See my buddy says that but I don’t believe him. I think he just says that because they’re good. I don’t know, you might just be doing that, too.

No, no. I have photos to prove it. 

Who was your favourite player growing up before the Seguin and Backes days?

Probably Jonathan Toews.

What about your favourite King?

Now or back then?

Both.

Right now it’s Jeff Carter and then back then… I don’t know. Good question. Wayne Gretzky, probably. 

Wayne Gretzky is not a bad player.

Haha well he’s a Soo Greyhound, so. 

One thing that comes with being a first round pick is hopefully you get signed to an NHL contract, you would hope. I don’t know if you know this but NHL players make a lot more money than most people. What do you see yourself buying with your first pro hockey paycheck?

The first thing I’ll do is take my parents out to dinner or something like that. 

…That’s it? One dinner?

Haha a couple dinners, probably.

What are some of the things going through your head right now? You’re hours away from being drafted into the National Hockey League. 

I guess I’m nervous. I didn’t really sleep that well but it is what it is and hopefully when I hear my name called it’s going to be a great experience with my family. It’ll be a dream come true. 

One very common criticism for young guys coming up is their defensive game is too weak and they’re not good enough without the puck. It sounds like you pride yourself on being pretty good with the puck.  What has helped you become a better two-way player? 

Just the fact of realizing that at the next level it’s not all about scoring points and stuff like that because some of those guys don’t even win Cups, right? It’s about being able to play both ends of the ice and defence is just as important as offence. I want to be that important guy that the coaches go to be a difference.

Was there a moment where you remember shutting a guy down as if you had scored a goal?

Yep. All the guys that are rated ahead of me who are so gifted offensively who can really score goals. I take pride in playing against them and really making it hard on them.


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Steve Dangle has a YouTube channel with over 3 million views and is the co-host of the Steve Dangle Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud. Steve has also worked for CBC, the NHL Network, Leafs TV, Nike, the KHL, and most of all, the Toronto Zoo. stevedangle.com
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#1 ubermiguel
June 27 2014, 10:12AM
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A goal prevented is as good as a goal scored. Keep it coming with the mid to late round draft profiles. It's nice to have a story attached to the names that will get called tonight.

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#2 RyanCoke
June 27 2014, 10:15AM
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I want to see at least 10 more of these articles before 5pm when the draft starts.

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#3 RyanCoke
June 27 2014, 10:18AM
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ubermiguel wrote:

A goal prevented is as good as a goal scored. Keep it coming with the mid to late round draft profiles. It's nice to have a story attached to the names that will get called tonight.

Damn then the goalies are good for 30 goals a game prevented. They better than the goal scorers.

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#4 Arvind Shrivats
June 27 2014, 10:24AM
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Calling anyone the 'next Bergeron' is a bit of a stretch. Bergeron is an incredible anomaly, in that he had a relatively average junior career, and turned into a stud on the NHL level. That's unlikely to happen to anyone.

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#5 Wintoon
June 27 2014, 10:25AM
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Refreshing to hear from a young player with a really mature view of the game and what he can bring to it.

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#6 FlareKnight
June 27 2014, 10:31AM
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Should be interesting to see where he ends up going.

Two-way games are interesting. You can be praised for it by some (McCann here) or ripped for it (Gauthier last year). More offense here at the moment, but still he's where he is in rankings because of that defensive game.

Good interview though. Should be a helpful piece for whoever he ends up with. Probably fine to say Bergeron 2.0 since people are always looking for those guys, like the Lucic 2.0, or the Pronger 2.0, etc.

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#7 MEANjoeGREEN
June 27 2014, 10:32AM
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His locker is right beside Nurses'.

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#8 Quicksilver ballet
June 27 2014, 10:36AM
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Even if he ends up like a Colin Fraser type. Fraser has 3 Stanley Cup rings to his credit, if he were to retire today.

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#9 DonDon
June 27 2014, 11:16AM
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What is the purpose of this interview on ON as the Oil doesn't have a draft choice between the 3rd and 90th selection?

With all that is going on Philadelphia right now surely there is more notable news to share?

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#10 rubbertrout
June 27 2014, 11:17AM
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Funny that Kopitar isn't his favourite King.

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#11 ubermiguel
June 27 2014, 11:51AM
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RyanCoke wrote:

Damn then the goalies are good for 30 goals a game prevented. They better than the goal scorers.

I was speaking more at the team level; McCann gets it that as a team preventing goals matters just as much as a team scoring. But there's a reason goalies win the Conn Smythe so often; it's the one position where you can flat out steal a game (or series) by preventing scoring.

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#12 Lochenzo
June 27 2014, 11:52AM
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That jersey with the # 19...I'd say he's a closet Yzerman fan.

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#13 pelhem grenville
June 27 2014, 12:03PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Even if he ends up like a Colin Fraser type. Fraser has 3 Stanley Cup rings to his credit, if he were to retire today.

...still can't understand why we ever let Fraser go ...t'think he could have helped US win a cup or three...

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#14 Wigswag
June 27 2014, 12:21PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

Funny that Kopitar isn't his favourite King.

He mentioned Carter as a former Greyhound.

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#15 pelhem grenville
June 27 2014, 12:29PM
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...MADJAM back on the spoiler piece breaks the Kesler trade to Anaheim ...as he sez It's Started...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/vancouver-canucks-trade-ryan-kesler-to-anaheim/article19369772/

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#16 pelhem grenville
June 27 2014, 12:38PM
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@madjam

canucks.com... ducks site AND NHL.com STILL don't have the trade up on their sites...it's just YOU and the Globe & Mail...way to go SCOOP!!!

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#17 ikokoko
June 27 2014, 01:25PM
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RyanCoke wrote:

Damn then the goalies are good for 30 goals a game prevented. They better than the goal scorers.

He said goals "prevented" not stopped...those are two different things

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