December 09, 2010
Certain players write their own script. Swift Current Broncos centre Cody Eakin, who came ever-so-close to winning the last forward spot on Team Canada a year ago, made the most of one of his last outings before the final selection game by taking over over a game Wednesday before the very eyes of a Canadian assistant coach, Kelowna Rockets' Ryan Huska.
The Washington Capitals prospect, who was a 91-point scorer in the WHL last season, counted six points over the course of two Broncos wins in the B.C. interior against Chilliwack and Kelowna. More to the point, he also showed he could do more than just be a scorer, which is probably more essential than usual with the likely of makeup of Canada's lineup ("blue collar" is the new "truculence" for the next four weeks, people).
"The Swift Current Broncos' captain erupted for three points, including the game-winning goal, in the third period of a 4-1 victory over the host Rockets in WHL action at Prospera Place. Eakin, one of 40 players invited to Team Canada's final selection camp for the upcoming world junior tournament, is making a strong case for himself on this road trip. Swift Current's offensive catalyst also tallied two goals, including the winner, during Tuesday's 5-4 triumph in Chilliwack.
"Wednesday's performance came in front of Ryan Huska, Kelowna's head coach who will serve as an assistant for Canada, which opens camp this weekend.
" 'I think he knows the kind of player I am, and he's seen me before over the years," Eakin said when asked whether he was trying to leave an impression on Huska in his only game against the Rockets this season. 'But it definitely doesn't hurt to go out and have a solid game.' " (Dub Nation)
Rockets play-by-play man Regan Bartel, in not so many words, said book it:
"What I liked about Eakin was his compete level at both ends of the ice. Eakin is the real deal when he wants to play. He did some of his best work far away from the Rockets goal by winning board battles and scrums in the corners. Eakin took a hard hit from Rockets forward Evan Bloodoff in the third period at the Broncos blue line, but getting knocked on his rear end just shows you where his battle level was Wednesday night." (Regan's Rant)
There is a good storyline with, Eakin, a 19-year-old Winnipegger, having been a final cut from the 2010 edition. Luke Adam, the Buffalo Sabres prospect, did yeoman's work as the 13th forward, but there has to be a void for a Prairie kid who missed out when the tournament was in Western Canada.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.