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NHL draft notes: locals heading to camp, Caufield to college

Cole MacKay and Keegan Stevenson, passed over in the NHL draft over the weekend, will get a chance to suit up in NHL development camps this week while a Greyhounds prospect drafted by the Montreal Canadiens is still looking as though he'll play college hockey nest season
Cole MacKay (Luke Durda-OHL Images)
Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images

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They were passed over in the draft over the weekend, but local products Cole MacKay and Keegan Stevenson will head to NHL development camps as they open up around the league this week.

MacKay, a forward with the Ontario Hockey League’s Soo Greyhounds, will attend the development camp of the Vegas Golden Knights while Stevenson is set to head to the camp of the Vancouver Canucks.

MacKay scored 27 goals and 61 points with the Greyhounds during the regular season, his second full season with the team, before adding a goal and three assists in 11 playoff games.

The Vegas camp is set to open on Tuesday.

Stevenson, who scored 19 goals and 34 points in 55 games with the Guelph Storm before adding three goals and five points in 23 playoff games as the Storm won the OHL title, will open camp with the Canucks on Tuesday as well.

Nearing 72 hours after he was drafted by the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens, exactly where Cole Caufield will play next season is up to him.

A draft pick of the Greyhounds and committed to play college hockey at Wisconsin next season, the NHL club has gone on record saying they’ll let him decide where he wants to play next season.

“We’re not going to dictate where he goes,” Canadiens assistant general manager Trevor Timmins told the Montreal Gazette. “That’s up to the player and his family. So it’s good education for him to come to Montreal next week (for the Canadiens evaluation camp) and be part of our group with some professional players as well and see where he goes from there.”

Timmins added, “I fully expect him to be at Wisconsin next year.”

Caufield was the Canadiens first round selection (15th overall).

In an interview with The Hockey News, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said, “most likely he’ll be in college next year. Most likely, but you never know. I don’t expect him to play (in Montreal) next year, but he won’t spend four years in college. I don’t think so. I hope not.”

Ahead of the NHL draft, Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis said the team had been keeping in contact with Caufield, as well as American forward John Beecher, who was a first round pick of the Boston Bruins.

“With those guys having the years that they’re coming off of, it’s just a wait and see how their NHL draft goes,” Raftis said. “We’re in contact with them. It hasn’t been anything that has gotten close at any point thus far. We’ll see how the next couple of weeks trend.”

As it stands, it appears that Caufield remains on track to be with Wisconsin in the fall.

Montreal’s development camp is set to begin on Tuesday.

Greyhounds defenceman Jacob LeGuerrier, a fifth round pick of the Canadiens on Saturday, will also be a part of the camp.