This is a story that has a good sound to it. Not only has Cullen McLean defied the odds by making the Soo Greyhounds after being a 15th round pick at the 2017 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft, the 2001 birth year center is on the Central Scouting players to watch list ahead of the 2019 National Hockey League draft.
To be sure, McLean was somewhat of an afterthought when the Greyhounds selected him 298th overall with the third last selection of the 15-round, 2017 draft. But the 6-foot-2, 170-pound pivot produced 20 goals in 40 games for the Ajax-Pickering Raiders major midgets in 2017-2018 and stirred the Greyhound staff enough at this year’s main training camp to make the 2018-2019 edition of the Soo squad.
Through 24 games with the Greyhounds thus far this 2018-2019 OHL season, McLean has modest totals of 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points. And as NHL Central Scouting has taken note of McLean, so too has Greyhounds rookie head coach John Dean been impressed with the Brooklin, Ont. product.
“Cullen is a confident kid with good speed, a good hockey IQ and he’s good with the puck,” Dean told Postmedia. “He will be a good player in this league. I think the sky is the limit for him.”
Likewise, Hounds general manager Kyle Raftis has good things to say about the youngster who was selected with the Soo’s last pick of the 2017 draft.
“Cullen works incredibly hard and he’s a good team player,” Raftis said of McLean. “He is responsible defensively and the offensive tools are there. He can really skate and has good size.”
From a 15th round draft pick to actually making the OHL to becoming a potential NHL draft pick, McLean has already written a chapter of a good story.