Since the beginning of last season, Grizzlies fans could sense there was something special about this sixteen year old defenceman. With great hockey sense, ability to see the ice the way he does and dangerous going forward, Nolan De Jong, earned rave reviews in his first year in the BCHL and logged a lot of ice time. This gave Nolan a chance to play in all situations and assisted with his development at this level. All this, despite the debacle of last seasons Grizzlies team.
One season later as a seventeen year old, De Jong hasn't missed a beat. A trip earlier on to suit up for Team Canada West in the Jnr A, Championships in Halifax earlier in the season, was a well deserved accolade in what must have been a great experience for Nolan.
So far this season, De Jong has settled in well to Bill Bestwick's system and on a winning team and mentality, his game can only get better. This type of form hasn't gone unnoticed from the pro-ranks, as we have seen quite a few more NHL scouts than usual, prowling around the Bear Mountain Arena.
The exciting news for Nolan and family as well as Grizzlies fans in that, De Jong has been ranked 150th by NHL scouting's Mid-term report for North American skaters. Now this by no means is a given that he'll be drafted at the NHL draft in New Jersey this summer, but, it does show that Nolan has deservedly attracted a lot of attention and is high on the radar right now.
With the amount of Major Junior and USHL players making up the bulk of the Mid-term rankings, Nolan is one of five BCHLers on this list. Another acknowledgement of the quality and standard that the best Jnr A league in the country has on offer this season.
Here are the BCHLers on the Mid-term NHL Central Scouting draft for North American players:
Ranking Name Team
# 62 Adam Tambellini Surrey Eagles
# 104 David Pope West Kelowna Warriors
# 132 Cooper Rush Chilliwack Chiefs
# 150 Nolan De Jong Victoria Grizzlies
# 162 Dane Birks Merritt Centennials
|Nolan De Jong|