When a player arrives in the Ontario Hockey League as a 15-year-old, courtesy of its “exceptional status” label, the pressure is naturally both immediate and intense. The label is there for the duration, heady stuff for any young teenager looking to make his mark in major junior hockey.
Sean Day is one of those special players, now in his third full season with the Mississauga Steelheads. Selected in the first round, fourth overall, at the 2013 OHL Priority Selection, Day has gone about his business like any determined junior, yet he is dogged by suggestions in some quarters that his performance in the OHL to date has not met the lofty expectations.
Despite the occasional negativity, Day has battled past the slings and arrows, arriving in Vancouver this week with an opportunity to strut his stuff among the top CHL prospects. When HF spoke with Day on the evening the players arrived in Vancouver, we noted a rather calm edginess in his demeanor, a definite air of determination. He speaks with confidence and appears fired up to give a good account of himself through the on-ice testing and then the game on Thursday night.
At 6’2” and 224 pounds, Day is among the biggest players at the Top Prospects Game. Given his early start in the OHL, he is on pace to surpass the 200-games played mark later this season. He can fairly be considered a veteran defenseman in the OHL, yet he only recently celebrated his 18th birthday, back on January 9th. And while there are a number of players at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game regarded as imports, Day has the distinction of being the only player at the this event born in Belgium. He calls Rochester, Michigan his home.
The personnel at NHL Central Scouting had this to say about Day: “NHL skater with a smooth and powerful stride; deceptive speed and quickness makes him one of the best skaters in this draft class. He has speed that allows him to make a difference in all zones and is capable of carrying the puck out of the zone and up the ice quickly. He is a good puck handler and makes a hard, quick first pass. He’s very strong physically, effective in one-on-one plays and when he takes the body.”
Day is ranked 43rd overall by CSS in their midterm rankings, while his preliminary ranking was as a “B” skater.
Day spoke with Hockey’s Future in Vancouver, BC prior to the 2016 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, with that conversation being captured in this HF podcast.
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