When converting from forward to defense, Miles Gendron's biggest concern was not letting his teammates down. The Rivers School star certainly exceeded the expectations of his teammates and himself when making the move back to the blue line.
"Austin Rook, our top defenseman, went down so we had to have someone back there. Miles had some experience on the point on our power play so we moved him back there. He walks the blue line well and moves the puck well," said Rivers head coach Shawn McEachern, a former star at Boston University.
Gendron has no shortage of potential and upside. His skating ability and athleticism are off the charts and he will continue to develop as he plays a full season with the Penticton Vees before heading to UConn to play for head coach Mike Cavanaugh in the fall of 2015.
"His skating ability is just so good. He is difficult to forecheck. He just is a natural back there. He has a good first path when retrieving the puck. He reads the breakout and jumps into the rush," said McEachern.
McEachern, a veteran of 1,008 NHL games, knows a thing or two about what professional organizations are looking for when scouting players. He believes Gendron is a unique prospect.
"Not many teams have guys who can jump so high and skate so fast. He tested very well at the NHL combine," said McEachern, a former assistant at Northeastern and UMass Lowell.
Gendron is likely to be taken anywhere from the late second round to the end of the third round. The NHL organization that selects him will be getting a prospect who loves the game and is willing to do anything he can to make the team better.
"His biggest concern is letting down his teammates," said McEachern.
Central Scouting Final Ranking: 74
Hometown: Shrewsbury, Mass.
2013-14 Team: Rivers School (New England Prep)
2014-15 Team: Penticton Vees (BCHL)
Strengths: great skating ability, sees the ice well, used to having puck on stick, thinks game well, makes good reads
Weakness: adjusted right away to defense, but needs to get a little more physical
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.