The Other Brandon Wheat Kings 2000 NHL Entry Draft Prospects – Rob McVicar
PART 3 OF 3 Part 2 introduced Brett Thurston and Kevin Harris, two solid defencemen. In this final part on Wheat King draft players, we’ll examine goaltender Robert McVicar.
McVicar, a goalie who is listed as 6’3, 183 will be somewhat of an enigma at this year’s draft. McVicar started the season in the BCHL with the Trail Smoke Eaters and stayed there for two months because he wanted to keep his college eligibility. However, the Wheat Kings, and the education and scholarship program offered by the league, lured him into the white, black, and gold of the Wheat Kings by late November. However, from there the season became a trying one for McVicar. On a Wheat Kings team that was struggling to make the playoffs and had one of the league’s best goaltenders in Jamie Hodson, McVicar was limited to back-up duty and rarely got a chance to start. In the final 13 games of the season, McVicar didn’t see a minute of ice time as the Wheat Kings rode Hodson down the stretch in a failed bid to make the playoffs. Surprisingly for the level-headed goalie, the Central Scouting Bureau (CSB) had a gift waiting for him. Despite being limited to just 14 games and under 700 minutes of work in the wheat kings net, McVicar was rated 11th by CSB at mid-season and jumped up to 8th on the final rankings.
McVicar should be a late round selection in this year’s draft, roughly the 7th or 8th round. The limited time he played and the fact that he doesn’t have an agent to get on the phone to GM’s around the NHL on his behalf will hurt his stock. However, the fact that he is listed eighth and that he climbed three spots on the CSB charts despite limited playing time was sure to get the attention of some scouts. If a team is desperate for goalies and there is no one left on their draft list, then he might sneak into the middle round. Still, long term, McVicar is a very solid prospect who should have a very solid pro career ahead of him. Whether it’s in the NHL or not is what has to be decided.
Even McVicar himself was surprised at the final ranking, saying he was seriously considering not opting into the draft this year until the rankings came out. Due to his limited viewing this season, it will be hard for teams to get an accurate read on him in preparation for the draft. Still, he is a solid goalie with great size and athleticism. In all McVicar’s stats are as follows, 14 GP, 3.82 GAA, 5 wins, 7 losses, and a .882 SP. Not overwhelming numbers, but considering that the Wheat Kings lost 536 man-games to injury and that often they only dressed four defensemen, they are respectable numbers. While McVicar looked sharp upon his arrival, as the season went on he looked more and more shaky in the net. It can be attributed to the fact that he has always been a starter in his career and he was unfamiliar with what it would take to become a good back up goaltender. If Hodson does make the jump to the pro ranks next year, then McVicar will have the chance to shine in his old role of starter.