By Fred Wallace
Speaking of the Owen Sound Attack, the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection is this weekend.
The Attack have the # 4 selection overall, and it's imperative that they nail this pick for a variety of reasons.
Reason # 1; We're coming off a season that disappointed the most faithful of the faithful, so the need for an impact first round underage to give the local fans hope is key to restoring a lot of good faith, even among the most loyal.
Reason # 2; Many of the key members of last year's team remain in place, so a significant player at # 4, like a Boone Jenner or a Matt Puempel who were top 6 picks the year before, could nicely augment, what I believe is, a solid existing crew.
Reason # 3; There's a bit of space between Owen Sound's first selection and their next selection.
The Attack pick 4th overall, but the # 24 pick belongs to Windsor and # 44 has also been peddled.
Owen Sound's second pick this year won't come until # 47.
Yes, the Attack will have 6 picks in the first 80 selections, but they need to nail the first one at # 4.
And Reason # 4, it's imperative for General Manager Dale DeGray and the scouting staff to produce something terrific from the time spent looking for prospects.
Joey Hishon was a Mike Futa first rounder.
Steven Shipley at # 3 the year after has been good, but has he been as good as Seguin, or Skinner, or Toffoli or even the emerging Greg McKegg ?
And last year's first rounder Curtis Crombeen at # 9 had his season bushwhacked by a midseason injury and thus remains a question mark in many ways.
So the need to ace the first round pick is as crucial, maybe more crucial, than ever before in Owen Sound.
Tomorrow, we'll make the pick.
I'm Fred Wallace