Brandon Coe in action. (Supplied by the North Bay Battalion)
Brandon Coe picked a good time to have a breakout season.
With 2020 representing the six foot four wingers draft year, Coe has 36 points in 38 games for the North Bay Battalion, including 15 goals and 21 assists.
“We think the sky is the limit for Brandon Coe,” Battalion General Manager Adam Dennis said. “I think that’s our job as a staff is to push him in that direction and get him a little bit closer every year.”
Coe was originally drafted in the first round of the 2017 OHL draft, third overall and was recently named to Thursday’s Canadian Hockey League’s NHL Top Prospects Game.
“It’s important for Brandon to realize it is not a prospects game, it’s a game where you can start to turn some heads,” Dennis explained. “For him, he has started to come into a full player this year and seen some consistency in his game and I think he needs to bring in a playoff mentality to this game because he can make some headway.”
“He has earned his spot in that game, just with his play and I think he can really elevate it,” Dennis continued. “I think we know exactly what Brandon Coe is capable of and he needs to show it on the big stage.”
Since Ryan Oulahen has taken over as the interim head coach on December 10th, Coe has exploded for 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 12 games.
“To grow, you need to be allowed to make mistakes and go through growing pains,” Oulahen stated. “I know in the last 12 games, there have been a few games where we haven’t been happy with him, and a few where he has been unbelievable and the best player in the league. I think it’s our job as a staff to get that consistency factor.”
“You want to know, as a player and coaches, or anyone who is going to want Coe, is going to want to know what he will bring every single game,” Oulahen continued.
With any draft-eligible player, the eyes have been on Coe. Recently he was ranked 47th among 217 North American based skaters by Central Scouting.
“We’re not blind to the fact that with overall team success, there’s individual careers and individual things going on,” Oulahen explained. “That’s a good message to our young team is to see Brandon. He hasn’t been here all week because he is at the game right now and he has a big game ahead of him.”
“It’s a unique game in our league because it isn’t an All-Star game, but a prospects game,” Oulahen said. “It’s intense, physical and you see guys over the years have a big game and it elevates their draft stock. We’re hoping Brandon has a big game and hopefully he comes back and he’s an awesome player for us this weekend.”
After the prospects game Thursday night, the Troops head to Kitchener to take on the Rangers Friday, before wrapping up the road trip in St. Catharines against Niagara on Sunday.