Machesney to show his stuff

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

KITCHENER -- Washington Capitals scout Steve Bowman is looking forward to Wednesday's NHL/Canadian Hockey League top prospects game in Vancouver.

It will be his first opportunity to see Daren Machesney in net, on the ice.

Machesney, 18, from Lambeth and playing with the Brampton Battalion, is ranked third in North America by NHL central scouting in its mid-term rankings.

Carey Price of the Tri-City Americans is No. 1. Vincent Alexandre of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens is No. 2.

Machesney is a rookie in the the OHL this season and is carrying a 2.67 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and 12-10-4 record.

But all seven times Bowman has gone to a Battalion game this season, Machesney has been on the bench.

"I know he's a heck of a driveway hockey player," Bowman said with a laugh yesterday from Vancouver.

Machesney, a nephew of Dallas Stars scout Paul McIntosh, lives across the street from Columbus Blue Jackets amateur scouting director Don Boyd.

"When I used to pick up Boydie (to go scouting), he was never ready, so I would end up across the street with his son Josh taking shots on Machesney in the driveway," Bowman said.

"He was good. He was little. He was only about 11. . . . If I have to make an evaluation on that, I don't know how I can do it. That's why I'm as anxious as anybody to see him in the prospects game."

Machesney played Tier 2 junior with Newmarket last season after playing junior B with Petrolia. He was the Battalion's 13th-round selection in the 2002 draft.

The skinny on Machesney from the scouts is: "He's got quick feet, a good glove and moves from side-to-side well. He can play a mixed style."

Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Oceanic is rated the No. 1 skater in North America.

Slovenian Anze Kopitar, who plays junior in Sweden, is No. 1 among European skaters.

The NHL draft will happen only when there's a signed collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players' association.

Sudbury Wolves left-winger Benoit Pouliot is No. 2 among North American skaters, with Owen Sound Attack right-winger Bobby Ryan at No. 3.

Forty of the CHL's draft-eligible players will play in the top prospects game.

CHL president David Branch, who is also OHL commissioner, said last week: "It was important that this game proceed regardless (of the NHL lockout). There will be (an NHL draft) in due course. These players deserve this game."


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