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By TJ Collelo - Logan Shaw picked the perfect year to have a breakout season with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
The Glace Bay resident leads his team in scoring with 24 goals and 19 assists for 43 points in 66 games – all career highs. And with his eligibility for the NHL draft this June, Shaw hopes his enhanced play will catch the eye of scouts.
More playing time this season has resulted in a big boost to his confidence and his game.
"Every time you’re out there on the ice, I try to do my best and work as hard as I can," said the 6-3, 190-pound right winger. "I know there’s people watching every game and I wouldn’t say it’s pressure, it just gives me motivation to work hard."
Shaw worked on his strength and speed to prepare for this season.
"My first couple of strides I’m taking, I’m a lot faster and getting more jump on other players. It’s making a difference," he said. "I put a couple of pounds on. It’s hard to gain weight for me, but I probably gained about five pounds. Confidence makes you stronger, too."
In his third year on the Eagles’ roster, Shaw is considered a veteran on the team despite being only 18. The club doesn’t have any 19-year-old players and with a number of big-time injuries to key players this season, it’s been up to the likes of Shaw to speak up in the Eagles dressing room.
"It feels better in the dressing room to have more of a role," said the Eagles first-round pick in 2008. "Especially with Taylor MacDougall out, he’s a big leader for us. With him out and a lot of young guys in the dressing room, it’s important for me to step up and be a leader."
Screaming Eagles head coach and general manager Mario Durocher said Shaw's ability to shoot the puck has set him apart.
That shot was on full display last week, as Shaw fired both of his team’s goals in their 4-2 loss to the Moncton Wildcats, March 11. He also scored the overtime winner for the hat trick – the first of his career – in a 5-4 win Dec. 30 against the Halifax Mooseheads.
"He’s a good shooter and has a quick release," Durocher said. "That’s what he has to continue to do. That’s probably one of the reasons why he’s going to get drafted. It’s not about passing for him, we want him to shoot. That’s why he’s been successful this year."
Despite their woes in the win column, Shaw says the team has remained loose and upbeat. The club faces a Herculean task in the first round against the top team in both the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the country, the Saint John Sea Dogs.
"As long as you work hard and play a full 60 minutes, we’ll be fine in the playoffs."
PHOTO CREDIT - capebretoneagles.com
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