Michael McNiven Signs Canadiens Entry Level Deal

“Can’t believe the last couple weeks I’ve had.  Winning my first NHL Rookie Tournament game, getting invited to an NHL Main camp, and last but not least, I signed my first NHL ELC without being drafted in my first year.  Thank you Montreal for this opportunity and thanks to all the friends and family for getting me to where I am.  This is just the first stepping stone to the next chapter and I’m going to continue my hard work and dedication to obtain the 2nd contract.  Lots of hard work and dedication is needed from here on in.  Miss you and love you Grandpa, wish you could be here to see this!” – McNiven’s Instagram

 

Marc Bergevin must see something in Michael McNiven, given everything that he stated.  Did going undrafted light a spark, perhaps? Before saying all the right things, as he has, he seems to have done all of the right things.

 

The numbers provided indicate a relatively seamless transition between the OJHL and OHL for the man mentioned

The numbers provided indicate a relatively seamless transition between the OJHL and OHL for the man mentioned

 

The 6’1 207 pounder in a strong positional goalie, playing alongside the 6’7 Jack Flinn.  Flinn, bearing the tougher starts, has all the right gifts to help McNiven continue to develop as strongly as he can in his particular style.  With strong positional play comes the need for efficient lateral movement and there should be little to no reason to believe that McNiven would be lacking so.  McNiven had the best goals-against-average among OHL rookie goaltenders with a mark of 2.79 this season becoming the first Owen Sound Attack goaltender to earn the award.

 

Michael McNiven says claims that he studies Jonathan Quick (who he says is closest to his style) and Carey Price, wishing that in spite of having two completely different playing styles that he wishes he could mix both of them together.  While fancy statisticians might disagree with the Jonathan Quick portion, this would be an appealing –albeit nearly impossible– hybrid.

 

This is his opportunity to learn from Carey Price.  Management brass are wise to continue adding depth between the pipes and provide said openings for learning opportunities while Carey is at the top of his game.  Could McNiven be among the first to rise up and showcase these learned abilities? He has three years to do so.

 

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