After sending the 31 NHL teams to the second draft, Brett Leason considered that he needed a job last summer. Almost nothing would be long enough as long as he gave him somewhere and something to do. He did not want to sleep in, play video games, skateboard and then repeat it. He was still hoping for a future in a professional hockey – this would not change because of a few snubs – but he had time to fill it.
So Leason signed to work an eight-hour day as a landscape in his hometown of Calgary. He was surprised at the alarm at 6 o'clock every weekday. Although he was disappointed that it was passed, he pushed lawn mowers, trimmed edges, painting and shelter holes for $ 15 per hour.
Looking back at the experience, the season made cuckled. It was not suitable for optimistic NHL who were older than 19 years of age than almost every draft pick. But the job reinforced him, and he reminded him where his whole passion was.
“They are long days,” he said. “It's not what I wanted to do. I thought the hockey was a great thing for the rest of my life, and it gave me a deeper dig on that. ”
In June, he fulfilled his dream that he was a draft picking NHL when Washington Capitals chose it in the second round, 56th overall. For the first time since 2012, the Capitals drafted their first two pickings: Connor McMichael, their first round, and Leason. On Thursday the team signed Leason to a three year entry level contract.
With a 6-4-4 frame, there is a quick release, good skills at Leason without the high quality poc and IQ at the right wing. He worked this summer with his fellowship during the development camp at the Command training complex, and he is working to join Hershey Bears company, the American Hockey affiliation of the team.
Leason is 20, no longer a teenager. It leaves it different from most of the draft picks, and its age could be accelerated. Now signed, the Capitals will be able to monitor it directly and help the bulk.
For Washington, Leason's main concern is his strength. It weighs more than 200 pounds. It's a weights program this summer and wants to find a stronger training camp and a few heavier pounds.
“He has shown that he is able to skate, and has a good shot,” said Assistant General Manager Ross Mahoney. “We saw it this year, and it went a long way. The challenge will be to continue to grow stronger from the ice. ”
From the first time Mahoney heard about Leason, about three years ago, he saw a tall clean wing with a room to grow on. He liked what he saw mostly. The Capitals kept an eye on him playing most of the last two seasons for Prince Albert Raiders, a major junior team in the Western Hockey League.
Last month, they attended. In Leason, they saw raw ability and steal second round. And it will go into the Capital City system right away, even if it can be pushed around.
“He has to understand that he was one of the bigger, stronger guys, where he was,” said Steve Richmond, development director of the Commanders.
By the age of 12, Leason stops football to focus on hockey. He played street hockey before he hit the local dances in Calgary. He was never a great skater, ”said his father, Darryl. His first stroke was not explosive, and he did not find speed in open ice. His skating needed fine refinement.
The height of the season could be maintained as a skater. His father is 6-4, his mother 5-11. He always remembered to be higher than many of his colleagues.
“When I stood on ice, at the age of 4 or 5 years old, I loved the game,” said Leason. “I think my skill has always been, but I couldn't do it. use with my skating as it was. ”
In 2016-17, his first full year in WHL, Leason said he did not feel he had a fair chance. “He was determined to remain diligent, without the minutes you could get,” he said. In those times, he called his main example: Darryl encouraged him to stick to the task, wait for a patient and what he could see.
That mind helped again last summer. After changing landscapes, Leason developed his skating almost every day. By improving it, it became better. The thing he was keeping back was pushing him forward: The last season, he scored 36 goals and made up 89 points in 55 games. He led Prince Albert to score and played for Canada at the junior world championship, where he had three goals and two help five games – despite a broken nursing.
By then, he compiled the NHL draft radar. He said that he also had a clearer understanding, feeling more comfortable in his body – and in his skates.
Read more from The Post: t
Pick the first round Connor McMichael has a long way to go, but the Capitals see great potential
At Capitals, development camp, Joe Snively shows a D.C hockey scene.
Capitals reveal regular season schedules 2019-20, a challenging start
Defense capitals Brooks Orpik announces retirement, saying ‘is a pretty easy decision’
washington capitals (tagsToTranslate)