TORONTO- In his third full season with the Toronto Marlies, right-winger Greg Scott is playing his best hockey since turning pro in the mind of head coach Dallas Eakins.
In 29 games this season, Scott has scored nine goals and 17 points, which put him on pace for career numbers in both categories.
“His foot speed, the way he’s driving his legs and confidence with the puck. It’s amazing right now,” said Eakins about Scott’s recent ability to produce.
Never being drafted, after his final season with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League, Scott signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.
As a rookie in 2009, Scott scored 10 goals and 32 points with the Marlies. Unfortunately, his sophomore season had some injuries and he was limited to just 55 games, still producing 10 goals and 30 points however and earning a two-year contract extension.
As one of only four Marlies to suit up in every game this season, the 23 year old is healthy and doing his best to make up for lost time.
“Other players take more time to develop,” said Eakins. “Joey Crabb’s a great example of that. He hangs around, gets his feet wet a little bit and now he’s having some success and a lot of time at the NHL level. A guy like Greg Scott, he just needs to continue developing his game. He’s taken a big step forward and he’s playing the best hockey I’ve seen him play”.
Scott’s recent play hasn’t just been rewarded in the statistics column. His playing time has increased, as he is now playing second line along side Joe Colborne and Marcel Mueller, and he is a key piece to the top penalty killing unit in the American Hockey League.
“He’s starting to become very dangerous when we’re killing a penalty,” said Eakins. “Scotty’s turned into a guy we can rely on late in games as well. He’s involved in all of our special teams and is a big factor in our five-on-five game.”
Scott leads the team with two short-handed goals and joked in the locker room that he should have more with all the breakaway attempts he gets while down a man.
While everything lately has gone well for Scott, it could all be taken away at any given moment if he allows it.
“His confidence is number one,” said Eakins about what Scott’s game has needed most improvement in. “Scotty’s a guy we try to work hard with on his confidence because if he has a hiccup early in the game, it goes south on him real fast. He has a hard time kicking that mistake out of the way and getting on with the game but he’s taken major strides mentally.”
Overall, Scott has become an integral part of the 2011/12 Toronto Marlies. He’s still developing and will keep on improving, but if he wants to follow Crabb to the next level, it’ll take more dedication and consistency before Eakins gives his recommendation.
“We don’t need two weeks of this, we needs two months, three months, four months and that’s when you start getting a sniff with the big club.”