Allan McShane is a centre who is praised for his offensive game and skill, but he has yet to put it all together and that is why he is ranked as more of a second round prospect heading into the 2018 NHL Draft.
Birthplace: Collingwood, Ontario
Date of birth: February 14, 2000
Weight: 190 lbs.
Team: Oshawa Generals (OHL)
McShane had a slight increase in production this year in the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals. He scored three more goals than his rookie year, and had 21 more points. He also had a goal and five assists for Canada at the World Under-18 championships.
He is a pass-first centre, which is slightly deceiving because his shot is so good. He has one of the better releases in the draft and if you watch video of him, you will see he gets a lot of goals from range.
McShane is at his best when he has the puck on his stick. He has a very good playmaking ability, and it’s where his game really shines. His 22 primary assists at even strength was by far the best of any first-year draft eligible player in the OHL (Adam Mascherin, who is re-entering the draft, had 21. No 17 year old had more than 16.)
In fact the 22 primary assists at 5-on-5 were tied for third in the entire OHL, regardless of age.
But with the good comes the bad. Despite his smaller stature, he gets knocked for his skating, with some scouts saying that will need to improve if he wants to be a centre at the NHL level. He played some wing this season, and that may be where his future is.
He did take the third most face-offs on Oshawa this year, so he played a majority of the time in the middle.
McShane was Hockey Prospect’s #21 prospect for the 2018 NHL Draft a year ago. They dropped him down to #107, by far the lowest grade he has received so far. Even NHL Central Scouting dropped him from 33 at midseason to 50.
There are additional question marks about his intensity. He has shown the ability to take entire shifts or games off, and not even be noticeable despite the incredible skill those same scouts praise. He also hurts himself in transition defensively because on top of the skating issues, he tends to stop moving his feet which causes him to be left flat-footed.
Despite that, he has been able to get by as his hockey sense gets top accolades from many of the scouts who watch him play. Basically, a lot of the time when he seems to not be working it’s because he knows where to be on the ice.
Scouts that were high on him going into the season just didn’t see enough from him in his draft eligible season, and while that hurts his draft stock, the abilities that got him the attention in the first place are still there. In order to be one of the bigger fallers in the draft, you do need to be high up at a certain point.
If he can harness that, he could become a top prospect. The second round is full of players who are very talented but with some question marks. The ones that put it together make the 31 teams that pass on them look silly.
Future Considerations: #47
Hockey Prospect: #101
Craig Button: #60
Scott Wheeler (The Athletic): #31
NHL Central Scouting: #50 (North American skaters)
“A little undersized, he will never be able to physically manhandle other players, so he does not try to, but he is able and willing to take a hit to make a pass and is remarkably quick at recovering after he gets plastered. Two areas where McShane does not have to make do with less are as a playmaker and in terms of his hockey IQ.”
“Offensively McShane shows good skill to his game, a confident puck handler with the ability to create space with his creativity and puck skills. However he can be limited at times due to the combination of limited size and a short skating stride. While he moves his feet quickly and has good edges, McShane can struggle to generate speed and attack with pace. He shows a good skill set, but Allan needs to play with more urgency to his game and find a consistent compete level that will elevate his game.”
He can try too often to force plays offensively, but when he slows the game down and hangs onto the puck to draw defenders to himself and open up lanes, he’s one of the more effective passers in the class. His biggest asset is his puck handling and he can make defenders look silly off the rush or from a standstill.
McShane has skill, but with so many questions about whether he could put it all together consistently at the next level, it makes it hard to judge him. Most rankings have him going in the second round.
Not one scouting service sees him as a top-six centre in the NHL which is not encouraging with his skill set, but then again, if he was a surefire top-six centre, he also wouldn’t be available in the second round.
If a team is looking to take a chance on a centre, and you believe in the skill and skating abilities you see in front of you, you could do a lot worse than McShane. His puck skills get high praise for a reason, and if he can start using his very good shot more often, you could see the goal scoring numbers pick up as well.
But teams need to see more consistency in his game. Teams don’t like their skilled players to be unnoticeable for shifts or games at a time.
If he ends up as a third line centre, you could do a lot worse than someone with his skill set, but if that is his upside, is he worth taking at the spot you might need to take him? That question and how teams see him will depend how soon his name is called.