Canes defenceman gearing up for a full WHL campaign Leave a comment

By Dale Woodard on September 11, 2021.

Through no fault of his own, Logan McCutcheon’s rookie season in the Western Hockey League was a shortened one.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that wiped out the first half of the 2020-21 season, the blue-liner from Saskatoon and his Canes teammates were limited to 24 games in the 2021 portion of the season, their games limited to weekends and only against Central Division opponents.

Still, McCutcheon made the most of it.

As the Hurricanes headed into the second day of training camp Friday afternoon at the Enmax Centre, McCutcheon and his teammates now gear up for what will hopefully be a proper full season.

The difference there, of course, is a full slate of 68 games instead of the 24 the Canes played last year.

“Maybe a little different,” said McCutcheon of preparing for a full season. “But I think it’s always just trying to prepare so you can play the best you can when you get here and do your best.”

Judging by his rookie season, McCutcheon has given himself a nice template to work off of.

The defenceman who the Hurricanes selected in the third round and 60th overall in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft scored once and added 11 points in 23 games.

He scored his first career WHL goal April 25 in a 4-1 win over the Calgary Hitmen in Calgary and had five points in his last seven regular season games.

“I think it was really important,” said McCutcheon of his rookie year, even a shortened one. “It was a great learning experience to go in and learn from the team and get used to things and get your feet in the water and get used to it.

“I think it was just the size and speed of it. It was a lot faster, bigger and stronger than I’m used to playing. So getting used to that took a little while. But I think I adjusted well.”

McCutcheon’s point totals put him second in team scoring among defenceman, second to veteran and Detroit Red Wings prospect Alex Cotton.

Being around that veteran presence definitely paid off.

“They definitely taught me a lot,” said McCutcheon. “We’ve got some veteran guys on the back end who are really great players. There was so much to learn from all those guys with the experience and games played.”

Getting ready for, ideally, a full season, McCutcheon spent ample time on the ice, in training and as part of the U18 championship in Calgary.

“I went to the U18s in Calgary, which was a good experience. But it was kind of the usual, just skating, working out and getting back in to things.

“That was a great experience (U18s) to be out there with some of the best players in the country. It was a great learning experience.”

There are three more games on the slate today.

Team Red plays Team Blue at 9 a.m., followed by Team Red taking on Team Grey at 10 a.m.

Team Blue and Team Grey play at 11 a.m.

Sunday’s Red vs. White game is Sunday at noon at the Enmax Centre.

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