- Created: July 30, 2014 - 1:07 pm
- Written by Nicholas Niedzielski
When McGinn joined the Checkers for the final four games of the 2012-13 season, his stock was already high and only rising. The left wing plays a very physical style of hockey and isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty to help his team win. These traits impressed Charlotte coach Jeff Daniels.
“He made an impact from his very first shift when he ran into one of the biggest guys on Texas and knocked him down,” said Daniels, adding, “For me he could have played in the American Hockey League last year just based on the two previous seasons, but obviously the rules are what they are. He’s a guy that gets on the forecheck, skates, bangs bodies, he’s got the finish and he does those little things like last year in Traverse City where he blocks a shot, gets up and blocks another one and gets pucks out.”
With that high praise and a brief taste of the AHL, McGinn returned to the OHL for the 2013-14 season and exploded for 85 points (43g, 42a), shattering his previous career-high and establishing himself as a top prospect who was ready to make an impact at the next level. That breakout season is something that McGinn believed was aided by his stint with Charlotte, among other things.
“In the last few years I think I’ve gained a lot of confidence as an offensive player as well as a gritty player. Even going down to Charlotte, that gives you a lot of confidence to show that they believe in you. I just wanted to bring that back to Guelph,” said McGinn, who led the Guelph Storm to the OHL title in 2013-14. “I just wanted to take back the same level of intensity they play with up there and take it back to the OHL, and I think I did that for the most part this year with Guelph.”
The offensive firepower that McGinn has added to his arsenal makes him an extremely dangerous player on the ice, one that could be a nightmare for opposing teams. Darren Yorke, Assistant to the General Manager/Video Scout for the Carolina Hurricanes, realizes the potential that McGinn could bring to the table.
“He’s the type of player you love to have on your team and you hate to play against because you’ve always got to be aware of him,” said Yorke. “He’ll make a huge hit and he’ll score a big goal. He’s a guy that the fans in Raleigh, Charlotte and the entire organization are really excited about.”
McGinn’s stint with the Checkers included two games in the team’s first round playoff series against Oklahoma City. The magnitude of being able to play in a playoff game so early in his career wasn’t lost on McGinn.
“You definitely don’t expect that but you hope. You never stop believing that you can do that, and it was a great experience.”
If the 20-year-old McGinn can continue his maturation into a tough, gritty player with a goal scoring touch, he can expect to be an integral part of the Carolina organization for a long time to come.