The Utica Comets have signed Vancouver Canucks 2016 7th round drat pick Brett McKenzie to an Amateur Tryout for the remainder of the 2016-2017 season.
Brett McKenzie has signed an ATO with Comets, per AHL transactions
Center was 29-38-67 with OHL's North Bay Battalion this season pic.twitter.com/l2l1TbU76S
— Ben Birnell (@OD_Birnell) March 22, 2017
In his final season with the North Bay Battalion in the OHL, 20-year old McKenzie scored 29 goals and 38 assists in 67 games played. His team missed the OHL playoffs giving him an opportunity to show what he is made of.
McKenzie was a re-entry into last year’s draft and OHLprospects.com listed him as the top available re-draft eligible player.
I must admit, I felt he should have definitely been drafted last year, when he was a key cog to North Bay’s deep playoff run (as the team’s 3rd line center). But ultimately, I suppose, NHL teams felt that his skating needed to be upgraded and that he didn’t show enough offensive upside to warrant a selection. This year, he made improvements to nearly every area. His skating is definitely better, more explosive. His shot has added velocity and become a major asset. – OHLprospects.com, April 2016
McKenzie was named the Batallion’s Most Outstanding Player this season.
Canucks Army writer Jeremy Davis stated last fall that “McKenzie’s current increase in rate of production from draft-plus-one to draft-plus-two seasons is unprecedented, especially for a seventh round pick.”
While McKenzie is still raw as a player, his ATO will give the Canucks a good look into what they have with the young man.