Wednesday, July 8, 2009

McCabe officially accepts NTDP invitation

I've been told that Jake McCabe officially accepted the NTDP invitation yesterday. (Yeah, we already knew he was going to accept, but now it's official.) So I figured his official acceptance was a good excuse to post a bit more on him, and luckily a few friends obliged with some fun quotes!

Regarding McCabe's game:
* Jake is a tremendous skater, he sees the ice very well and can pass and shoot with the best of them. He was the youngest player on the 16s last year but still developed very rapidly. If his development continues at the same pace with the USNDTP he will play in the NHL a few years from now. -- TW GM Bill McCoshen
* The first time that I saw Jake skate with TW 16's I knew along with Rick Dorman that he had the "it" factor that you want to see in a hockey player or any athlete. That "it" factor was he always wanted the puck and played the game with a edge that some players even at the college or pro level don't have.

Jake is a strong skater and sees the ice very well for a young hockey player and is only going to get better and better over the years. The chance to play at USNDTP will help him learn the game from a international level as well from playing at the junior level. It will also increase his exposure to the NHL with playing at Ann Arbor. -- TW U16 Head Coach Gary Shuchuk
* I think McCabe's biggest advantage is that he doesn't have a weakness. He's consistently consistent when he's on the ice. Never finds himself out of position, never finds himself having to make a recovery play. He doesn't get rattled and for a kid his age that's pretty impressive. I saw him play in an intra-city game this year with 1,200 people in the stands and he didn't flinch. Not bad for a freshman. He doesn't do anything great, but he doesn't do anything bad. Every game I saw him play last year was against kids 2-3 years older than him so I didn't see a ton of offense but there were a few flashes of brilliance. His defensive game is more advanced than LaPoint's at the same age, his offensive game not as much but he can grow into it. Could stand to grow a little bit but it's not a huge drawback. He's fairly solid for his size. -- Chuck Schwartz
* Jake McCabe is unreal. He’s going to be a sophomore. He might be the best defensemen in the state. -- WSN's Chris Walby

* He is a really good player that has a ton of upside. Skates well and does not make any mistakes. Also, has a bit of an edge to his game which makes him really intriguing. He is going to be really good and has pro potential in my books.
-- friend of the blog who has seen McCabe play
Gotta give some love to Team Wisconsin for improving McCabe's game and increasing his exposure on the national stage. Coach Shuchuk says he "believe[s] playing for TW helped in his development by playing with and against older players, and the competition that he was up against helped elevate his game." And I've been told that the USNDTP "saw him good" (to borrow an expression from LT) while he was playing with TW at the USA Hockey National Tournament in St. Louis this year. And since I jumped on the TW bandwagon last year, I feel obligated to point out TW's role in McCabe's success. Go TW! By the way, if you have a chance to make it to any TW U16 or U18 games this year, I highly recommend doing so. (And if you show up wearing a Shuchuk jersey, there's no telling who all might stop by to talk to you, lol.)

And speaking of McCabe's play at Nationals in St. Louis, I gotta share this recount of his game-winning goal in the 1st game of the tourney:
Jake had a HUGE goal in the first game at Nationals very reminicent of Billy Baker's game tying goal for the 1980 US Olympic in their first game against Sweden. The difference was Jake's goal was a game winner with about a minute to play in the game.
Now it's just a waiting game to see where McCabe ends up collegiately. As mentioned previously, UW, the little green bastards, minny, Notre Lame, and UMD (what are we calling them now?) are all hot on his trail. I'd expect he's exploring all of his collegiate options, and this could get interesting. But I'd like to share the sentiment offered to me the other day: "Playing for Mark Oseicki would certainly prepare him for his NHL career as Mark is one of the top defenseman coaches in the country." Hey Jake . . .