Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Marcus Vela, Incoming UNH Freshman, Drafted by San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks Draft UNH's Marcus Vela

Power center Marcus Vela is on his way. On June 27th, the 6'1", 205 lbs., right-shot forward was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the 7th Round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He was the 170th pick overall. Next month, Marcus will leave his hometown of Burnaby, British Columbia for the cross-continent journey to Durham, New Hampshire for his freshman year at the University of New Hampshire.

Less than two years ago, at the age of 16, Vela (DOB: 3/3/1997) went to play Junior A hockey for the Langley Rivermen in the British Columbia Hockey League. Two months into his rookie season in the BCHL, Marcus Vela verbally accepted a scholarship offer from UNH. Over the course of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, Vela netted 32 goals and added 42 assists for the Rivermen. Last December, he played for Team Canada West in the 2014 World Junior A Challenge.

Player Year Team League GP Goals Asst Pts PIM
Marcus Vela  (F) 2014/2015 Langley Rivermen BCHL 50 20 26 46 57
Playoffs BCHL 3 0 1 1 4
2013/2014 Langley Rivermen BCHL 54 11 11 22 41
Playoffs BCHL 12 1 4 5 6

Here are some video highlights of Marcus Vela from the 2014-15 season, courtesy of Langley Rivermen TV:

Scouting Reports

Scouting report from NHL CSS:
"Key on the power play and penalty kill … plays a responsible two-way game … very strong on the puck … solid on face-offs … brings a physical element … plays with a purpose … good vision … high compete level.”
From Elite Hockey Prospects:
"An offensively gifted power center that takes the game as it comes to him. Good hockey sense and possesses the positive character traits that indicate versatility in a lineup; scouts look for these intangibles in players. Decent skating ability, but knows what he can and can't do. Knows how to direct plays and realizes when and how he can step in to make a difference - whether it be through a little bit of rough stuff or with a clutch goal. All-in-all, the type of well-rounded player that can compliment his linemates well, and knows how to make an impact in a game.”


On NHL Draft day, Marcus Vela was at home in Burnaby, British Columbia with his dad Dave and mother Liz. I had an opportunity to interview Marcus, via email, about his selection in the NHL draft:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your selection in the 7th Round of the 2015 NHL Draft. I understand you were at home in Burnaby, British Columbia on draft day. Would you describe what it was like as Day 2 of the draft began?
Marcus Vela: As Day 2 began I knew that if I were to be selected in the 2015 NHL Draft that it would be on this day. I woke up in the morning and started to watch the draft with my family. Once the draft reached the 5th round mark, I started to watch a little closer because that was where I was projected to go. But, by the beginning of the 7th round my name didn't pop up.
I wasn't too upset because my current mindset is to be ready for my freshman year at UNH this coming fall. I knew that if I didn't get drafted, my journey would not end but in fact I would have the chance to play collage hockey and develop my game further. Once I saw my name pop up, I was excited and honoured to have been selected by the San Jose Sharks.

Mike Lowry: Since last September, the NHL Central Scouting Service has consistently identified you as a prospect likely to be drafted this year. Now, the San Jose Sharks have drafted you and you are the only player from the British Columbia Hockey League to be drafted this year. As the draft progressed into the later rounds, were you concerned that you might not hear your name called?
Marcus Vela: Yes, I started to get concerned as the rounds went on but for me the draft wasn't everything. Obviously, the draft is a huge deal and a great accomplishment but I knew whether I got drafted or not I would be playing collage hockey and would have a chance to develop my game much further. As I found out, I had been selected I was honoured and proud to have been picked by San Jose.

Lowry: Did the scouting staff of NHL clubs interview you ahead of the draft? Did you have a sense that San Jose might draft you?
Vela: Yes, I was in contact with a few teams, one of them being San Jose. I had a feeling San Jose had more interest in me but I did not know how much interest there really was.

Lowry: What are the skills that you think might make you a successful NHL forward in the future?
Vela: My style of play is a 2-way power center. I am responsible in my own end and have a physical element to my game. I can also chip in offensively and help in that area of the game. Aside from the need to develop further before starting a professional career, I believe that being a responsible 2-way power center can make me successful in the future.


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