Michael Laidley makes NHL ‘to watch’ list

Michael Laidley ends his first year at St. Lawrence on a high note.

Named captain of national Junior ‘A’ squad playing in international tourney

KINDERSLEY, SASK.—Little Current’s Michael Laidley not only made the roster for Team Canada East for the World Junior A Hockey Challenge that started this past weekend in Saskatchewan but he was also appointed team captain and named as one of three players on his team to watch by NHL Central Scouting.

“The team selection camp was last week and then I found out I made the team on Wednesday morning and by Wednesday afternoon we had left for Saskatchewan,” Michael told The Expositor on Monday. “It was really exciting and then this past Saturday I was made captain. I was thrilled.”

As captain of the Aurora Tigers, Michael is no stranger to the position of team leader. He was also joined by three of his fellow Tigers on the 22-man Team Canada East roster including fellow forward Drake Board and defensemen Kyle Locke and Callum Fryer.

“It (the hockey tournament) has been awesome so far,” said Michael. “It is great having three of my Tiger teammates with me on the team and the whole team in general has been working well together. It’s a fast-paced event so you have to gel quick. We also have a great coaching staff (head coach Marty Abrams, assistant coaches Mark Grady, Marc Lafleur and Troy Ryan).”

On Sunday night, Team Canada East faced off against Team Switzerland, but sadly lost 3-4.

“We feel we outplayed them, but we ran into a hot goaltender and couldn’t get in the extra goals we needed,” explained Michael. “We feel strong, though, and are looking forward to our game against the US tomorrow (Tuesday). They are a big contender, but we are prepared.”

In a list supplied by NHL Central Scouting, Michael was selected as one of three payers from his team “to watch.”

“Michael Laidley can play in all situations, has excellent speed, is a difference-maker on the ice, plays with energy, strong puck-pursuit game, good puck skills in traffic and makes plays at top speed, gets to the net well and has a good shot,” were the reasons given by NHL Central Scouting for their selection.

Eighteen-year-old Michael Laidley of Little Current got his start playing locally for the Manitoulin Panthers before moving on to the Sudbury Wolves bantam AAA, minor midget AA, Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves and finally on to the Aurora Tigers last fall.

The 5’11”, 170 lb forward is one of Ontario’s rising hockey stars having recently accepted a full scholarship to St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY for 2015.