Scout projects MacAuley to be a WHL starter
That was clearly the case Thursday for Prince Albert goaltender Dawson MacAuley, who tuned into the WHL bantam draft just in time to see that the Medicine Hat Tigers had selected him in the second round, 36th overall.
And he was able to share the news with his Grade 9 classmates at St. Mary High School.
"The teacher let me go on the computer, and right when I pulled up the website, my name was the most recent listed," he said.
"It's just awesome, because Medicine Hat is one of the places where I was actually wanting to go. I didn't want to be too close to home - like P.A. or Saskatoon. It's not that it would have been disappointing, but going to Medicine Hat is really cool, because it's far enough away from home, but not too far away."
MacAuley isn't too far away from becoming a WHL goaltender, though the six-foot-four, 188-pound goalie isn't eligible until the 2010-11 season. He hopes to play midget next season with the Prince Albert Mintos.
MacAuley made his mark this past season with the bantam AA Prince Albert Venice House Pirates.
"We watched Dawson a lot, and we were looking for a high-end goaltender," said Tigers head scout Brad McEwen.
"We really feel Dawson is that type of goaltender. We really believe he's a starter in the Western league. All our research is real positive - he's a big player already and he has good athleticism to his game. We were real happy to get him."
MacAuley might compare to Calgary Flames farmhand Matt Keetley, who played with the Tigers just a few years ago.
"Matt was a bigger goalie who technically improved the longer he was in Medicine Hat," McEwen said. "We think Dawson can do the same thing. We have a good goaltending coach who'll work with him."
In the interim, MacAuley is working out and running in preparation for the Tigers' rookie camp in July.
"So many thoughts were going through my mind today, thinking about Medicine Hat and what it would be like to play there, and what I have to do to get there," he said. "It's just so crazy to think about it."
As happy as he was to be drafted, MacAuley was disappointed bantam teammate Matt Anholt wasn't chosen. "I feel badly for Matt," he said. "But a lot of good players were never drafted."
TOP PICKS: The Portland Winter Hawks drafted Weyburn defenceman Derrick Pouliot first overall. With the second pick, the Moose Jaw Warriors chose Morgan Rielly, a B.C. defenceman who plays at Notre Dame College.
NOTEWORTHY: Tanner Moar, a defenceman from Canwood, went to the Kelowna Rockets in the seventh round, 141st overall. … Prince George chose Dion Phaneuf's brother, Dane, early in the third round. … First-round prospect Tayler Balog, a forward from Weyburn, went to Regina in the second.