Warren Foegele won't be playing in the Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects game in Calgary on Wednesday, but he's an intriguing prospect who's creating some draft buzz amongst scouts nonetheless.
There are two reasons you wouldn't find him in the game.
One, he's No. 62 on the NHL Central Scouting Bureau's mid-term ranking of North American skaters, which was issued today by the league. No. 62 certainly doesn't guarantee you a spot in the CHL Top Prospects game.
Two, it's impossible to get an invitation to the CHL Prospects game if you don't play in the CHL, and this player doesn't.
Foegele, 17 (he turns 18 on April 1), was passed over in both the 2012 and 2013 Ontario Hockey League drafts and currently plays high school hockey at St. Andrew's College in Aurora, Ont.
Something of a late bloomer – he was only 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds in his minor midget season with the Markham Waxers – the now 6-1, 178-pound left winger is attracting attention from NHL scouts, who've been flocking to the Canadian private school or following SAC when they play games in the U.S. against prep schools there.
He's committed to go to the University of New Hampshire for the 2015-16 season, with the plan, for now anyway, to play in Penticton of the British Columbia Junior League next season.
Some scouts have been buzzing about his play of late, a fast-skating, hard-working, two-way left winger. Adding to the chatter is the fact he's one of those seeming "come out of nowhere" kids who's playing at a level of hockey in Canada that doesn't usually attract many, if any, NHL scouts.
Some scouts have wondered aloud whether Foegele may be this year's version of Mark Jankowski, the Calgary Flames' surprise first-round pick, 21st overall, in 2012 from Stanstead College in Quebec, who's now developing and playing well at Providence College.
A flash survey of NHL scouts puts Foegele in potential second or third-round territory for this year's draft. While some have projected him to go later than that, no more than a mid-round prospect, some of those who rank him as a possible second-rounder believe he has the tools to perhaps trend even higher.
Jankowski, part deux?
"He's a kid everyone is going in to look at now," one scout told TSN. "There's a lot of interest in him right now, so we'll see how does with a lot of scrutiny. There are always skeptics for players playing at that level but he's a legit NHL prospect."
Foegele, who trains in the off-season with Gary Roberts, is eligible for the OHL draft, again, this spring, though he seems intent on playing NCAA hockey at UNH.
In any case, it's a name that's getting some play from the scouts in a week when the top dogs will be on display in the CHL Top Prospects game.