While being ‘unsnubbed’ isn’t a word, that’s pretty much what happened to Brayden Point Sunday.
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Brayden Point, right, from the Moose Jaw Warriors looks to make a pass in front of Regina Pats defenceman Colby Williams.
The Moose Jaw Warriors centre was named to the BMO CHL Top Prospects game as an injury replacement after being left off the initial list of 40 players in December.
“After not being named I wasn’t really thinking about it,” said Point. “Now that I’m going I just want to try to play my game and work my hardest and see what happens.”
The Top Prospects game will be held in Calgary — Point’s hometown — Wednesday (8 p.m., Sportsnet).
Standing five-foot-nine and weighing 160 pounds, Point is hardly a prototypical National Hockey League blue chip prospect. However after a breakout playoff performance as a 15-year-old and being Canada’s most valuable player in the gold medal game at the Hlinka Memorial tournament in August, he seemed like a shoo-in to be chosen to play in the Prospects Game.
After a slow start to his second full season in Moose Jaw, the snub has served him well. Since being left off the initial roster when it was announcemed on Dec. 13, Point has eight goals and 16 points in the 10 games.
The 17-year-old has said all along that he understands that there are a lot of talented players in the draft this year and that he wasn’t dwelling on it. Instead he tried to channel the disappointment of being snubbed the right way.
“I used it as motivation to try to prove them wrong a little bit, but now that I’m there the motivation doesn’t stop. I want to keep trying to get better,” said Point. “Hopefully I can show that I deserve to be there.”
Point will replace Sam Bennett from the Kingston Frontenacs on Team Orr who will be coached by Lanny McDonald. He will be joined on Team Orr by Swift Current’s Brycen Martin who played with Point throughout their minor hockey careers.
“I know a few guys there and it’s going to be fun to play with them and against them,” said Point. “It’s going to be cool to play in front of my family and friends and it’s awesome that they’re going to get to share in the experience with me.”
Point netted his 100th career WHL point Friday night against Red Deer and has 19 goals and 42 points in 44 games this season to lead the Warriors.
Point has a number of reasons to be excited about playing in Wednesday’s game, but as an added bonus he will now get to fly from Calgary to Portland while the rest of his teammates make the 17 hour bus trip to Oregon to start their nine-day road trip.