Q&A with 2006 prospect Jamie McGinn

By Jason Ahrens

Jamie McGinn is a promising left winger with the Ottawa 67s who stands a good chance of being a first round pick in the 2006 NHL entry draft.

McGinn stands in at 6’ tall and 170 pounds and plays a very physical game. He was one of the more consistent forwards on the inconsistent 67s in 2004-05, played his way onto the top two lines and saw his share of power play time — all very impressive for a 16-year-old rookie.

McGinn, who will be 17 this week, previously played for the North York Canadian Minor Midget AAA team, and was a third round pick of the 67s.

The Fergus, Ontario native picked up four points for Team Ontario in the Under 17 tournament where Ontario finished in fourth place. He picked up 22 points in 59 regular season games with Ottawa. He followed that up with 11 points in 18 playoff games and in the Memorial Cup he tallied three goals and added one assist in four games for Ottawa.

Hockey’s Future caught up with McGinn shortly after he was named to Team Canada for the Under 18 tournament to be held in the Czech Republic.

HF: Well Jamie, 40 kids at the camp and 18 were sent home this morning, how tough of a night was it?

JM: Well it was a long night anyway, I was up and down all night, watching TV, trying to get some shuteye, but it just wasn’t happening for me. It was really nerve wracking, but it is a big relief just to know that I’m here today.

HF: What did you do during the camp that got you on the team?

JM: I just came out and gave it my all every time I touched the ice. I finished all my checks, I just played my heart out as I wanted to wear this jersey as long as I can.

HF: Tell me a bit about the Under 17 tournament last December, you performed quite well for Team Ontario, how did that help you prepare for this?

JM: I think it helped me prepare because I just built off of my performance there and took it back to the Ottawa 67s and continued with it through the last half of the season and then I got invited here and I just continued to work hard through the off season in the summer. I just played hard here and it seemed to work out for me.

HF: Has the coach given you any indication of what sort of role you are going to play on the team, like scoring line, checking line or is that still up in the air?

JM: Not yet, we just met everyone this morning who made the team, so hopefully we will get a better idea today at practice and we’ll find out soon.

HF: Have you ever played any tournaments on Olympic size ice before?

JM: I don’t know what Belleville is, it’s pretty big ice, but that would probably be the biggest. I’ve never been to Europe before so I’m looking forward to that. Supposedly the flight is pretty long so that is going to be a killer getting over there, but it is going to be a lot of fun.

HF: As a winger, how does that change your game playing with the wider ice? It is fairly easy to get pushed to the outside and that would leave you a long way away from the net.

JM: I try to use my body as a positive, just use my strength and try to get closer to the net and tip in anything. That seems to be a real plus to my game, I get in front fairly well and I seem to be able to bang home rebounds or get a piece of the puck.

HF: In the OHL finals you got hurt in the second game against London and missed the rest of the series. What happened and how is the injury now?

JM: I hurt my shoulder a little bit. It is a 100 percent now. I don’t even feel it. I was just clearing the puck out of our own zone and went into the boards the wrong way, I didn’t fall or anything, it was just a little bump and it was too bad that it kept me out for a couple of games. But I kept working hard every day in practice and I was ready to go for the Memorial Cup.

HF: I thought that you had a really strong Memorial Cup, but how did you find the media pressure, as there were hundreds of media at every game?

JM: It was definitely a different experience; you get a little bit of it in Ottawa, but when you go to the Memorial Cup every TV station is there. I never had Sports Centre before and SportsNet and they were talking to me, which was a big shocker, but a lot of fun.

HF: Tell me a bit about what it’s like to play for Brian Kilrea in Ottawa, a guy who was a legend before you were even born.

JM: It was a great experience and I hope to be able to play for him for the next couple of years anyway. He is a great all round guy and he knows what he is talking about that is for sure. We were the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and he got us all the way to the Memorial Cup so he knows what he is doing.

HF: This is your draft year and that brings a little extra pressure, do you approach things differently because of that, or is it just business as usual?

JM: Definitely normal business. I just go out and play my game and I don’t worry about the people in the stands. If I perform on the ice, then things should fall into place. I don’t worry too much about that stuff, I just try to keep it away from me, play my own game, keep a level head and go out and give a 110 percent every night.

HF: What aspects of your game are you looking to improve the most after your solid rookie year?

JM: Well, definitely I found that most of my points were around the net, I would like to start shooting the puck more, getting different kinds of chances, getting better hands, stuff like that. I feel my hitting is pretty good and I’m going to continue with that.

Copyright 2005 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.