During his first camp, I saw an interview with the kid on RDS. He was well spoken,in French, and seemed like a pretty impressive guy. I found myself really hoping he'd do well. I've never seen more than a few shifts of him on the ice, but some guys don't have the extra gear that gets you from high scoring Jr. to solid pro. Could be mental toughness, competitiveness, who knows. I still hope he does well though.
I was at that camp and as most people I liked the kid a lot. I also heard a conversation between André Savard and his scouts about Urquhart, they really thought he was a steal in the draft... unfortunetly he didn't do great so far, hopefully he gets a regualr spot in Hamilton, though I have no clue about his play right now.
i dont know why you guys are so surprised by urquhart's production. latendresse played like crap on the 3rd line and excelled on the top line. the fact is any of these kids, and they are kids, can play in any of the 3 leagues (nhl, ahl, echl) if given the chance. u dog urquhart for years, when if he had the chance, he could potentially be in the nhl now. it gets easier as you go up, not harder. it boggles my mind howyou call these kids "busts" when they haven't been given an opportunity.
He was given a couple games in the AHL before this year and he didn't play well. I was at his first ever AHL game and he looked scared to get hit. And I can see why people would call a 2nd round pick in a great draft to be a bust when he has played 3 seasons in the ECHL. I know people love to say well Ryder played 2 seasons in the ECHL, but of course they would be wrong since 5 games doesn't count as season, which is how many games he played during his first stint and 20 his 2nd stint. Urquhart has played over 170 games in the ECHL, 7 in the AHL.
It's great that he is making the most of his chance and he likely wouldn't have gotten the chance if Grabovski didn't get a cheap shot to the knee (which Hamilton sent a tape in on the hit) but he clearly didn't impress management at camp in the past two years and the comments made after this years camp, was surprise in that Urquhart didn't seem to mind being sent down again, according to Coach Lever.
I dont know what management will do with him for the rest of the year, but I would think that he has earned himself a contract for next year, although I wouldn't say that for sure until we see what he does in the playoffs imo. That said hopefully the success will give him more confidence and push him to work really hard this coming off season to make Hamilton full time next year and show what he can do.
The skill is there and has been there, it's other areas of the game that need improvement and each year he seems to be progressing. From his rookie year in the ECHL, where I watched him sit the bench in the playoffs to last yeare where he showed more heart and effort in the playoffs to hopefully even better this time around. I do think people were quick to start calling him a bust but I can also see why. That said I hope he can continue to improve, on my website I ranked him in the HM of the Top 20 prospects for the first time in 2+ years after having him ranked in the top 10 when he was with the Rocket. I always thought he was the most skilled of all our picks from the Rocket just as I always wished he had Lapierre's heart to go with his offensive skills.