Point will make a difference

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Brayden Point will never be the tallest player on any team.

However, his size — 5’9, 160 pounds — shouldn’t be the reason he drops late into the second or third round of the National Hockey League draft this weekend.

Point is already in Philadelphia and awaiting his name to be called by one of the 30 NHL franchises.

“Growing up, I’ve always been a smaller player. I’ve never let it bother me,” Point told the Calgary Herald. “There’s guys in the NHL that are smaller players and end up playing big roles on their teams. I don’t think size is a huge factor in the game, if you can think the game.”

Point has always been a big role player, from midget AAA to the Western Hockey League.

He burst onto the scene as a 15-year-old with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the 2011-12 playoffs. He scored seven goals in 14 games.

In his rookie year, he put up 57 points. This season, he exploded for 91 points and carried the Warriors on his back.

He was the third-leading scorer for draft-eligible WHL class, only trailing Kootenay’s Sam Reinhart and Raiders’ star Leon Draisaitl.

More importantly, Point was in on almost 50 per cent of the Warriors goals. He was crucial to their 21 wins this year.

He was also part of Team Canada’s gold medal team at the 2013 Ian Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

Point has developed into a solid two-way player. He is gritty and plays with a physical edge. He played on the power play due to his speed and offensive skill, but also on the penalty kill because of his aggressive fore-check and determination.

All of Point’s teammates and coaches, including Mike Stothers of the Warriors have all stated how determined he his.

I spoke with Stothers in January about the correlation between Point and the Warriors success thus far that season.

“I don’t think there is anybody that has done more for their organization or hockey club than Pointer,” he said. “For what we have and where we are, it is a direct reflection on the contribution of Brayden Point.”

For what its worth, Point is not a puck-hog — he had more assists than goals last season.

According to the same Calgary Herald story, 14 teams interviewed Point.

It will be a shame if teams downgrade the Calgary native just because of his size.

In my opinion, Point should be a good late first round pick, if not an early second round pick.

Central Scouting has him listed at 31 and points to his vision and how dynamic he is with the puck.

Point’s game will probably translate well into a second or third line centre in the NHL.

A good comparison for Point could be Brendan Gallagher, although he tries to emulate Tyler Ennis. He isn’t big, but he plays bigger than his size.

Point could be a steal for a team willing to take a chance.

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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