NEW GLASGOW – Both Connor MacLaughlin and Blair Dewtie were excited when they found out they were the Weeks Crushers 2014 territorial picks.
“I grew up watching the Crushers, so I think it’s pretty cool to be part of the organization now,” said Dewtie.
MacLaughlin said that he was surprised because he didn’t expect to be an option for their pick this year.
“It’s pretty exciting because you always think about playing for the Crushers, but you just don’t think it’s actually going to happen,” he said. “I always hoped I’d play a higher level of hockey and play the next step. I thought it’d be nicer to stay at home than go away somewhere. If the opportunity came (to go away) I would have to make a decision.”
A defenceman with the Weeks Major Midgets for the past two seasons, MacLaughlin had two goals and six points in 69 regular season games. The 6’1 Eureka native said he believes it’s his defensive play and performance at Atlantics that put him on the Crushers radar.
Dewtie, a 6’1, 185-pound forward, will also enter his third season with the Weeks Midgets this fall. In 68 regular season games he had eight goals and 30 points, while posting three goals and six points in 11 playoff games.
“It’s important to us that if there is local players who want to play junior A hockey, they are in our lineup,” said Jason Malone, Crushers head coach and GM. “Both Blair and Connor have been contacted by other teams leading up to the draft so we know that they both have the ability to play at this level and we look forward to having them both in our lineup when they’re ready.”
When asked what he would have to do to be ready to play junior hockey, Dewtie said consistency was the biggest thing he needs to work on.
“(If I want to play junior) I just need to try and be more consistent with my play,” he said. “You can always be faster going up and down the wing. This season I was trying to be stronger with the puck and play with more confidence, so I’ll keep working on those parts of my game too.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris