North Bay Battalion defenceman Mark Shoemaker is a good testament to the old adage ‘it doesn’t matter what round you get drafted in.’
The former Mississauga Reps teammate of Oshawa Generals captain Anthony Cirelli (a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect who was never drafted to the OHL at all), took big strides as an 18-year-old last season, demonstrating a multi-dimensional game on the Battalion blue line.
Shoemaker recorded four goals, nine assists and 13 points over 67 games while finishing second among North Bay defencemen with a plus/minus rating of plus-14.
“Mark is a really steady guy, and a real success story,” said Battalion head coach and general manager Stan Butler. “He was a late pick of ours off a minor midget team that wasn’t very strong. His first season in North Bay he didn’t really get to play a lot on a very competitive team, but last season he emerged as a guy who remained in our top four all season.”
The San Jose Sharks took notice, selecting Shoemaker in the sixth round (180th overall) of the NHL Draft in Buffalo this past June.
“He got playing with a lot of confidence as the season wore on and I think (Sharks scout) Bryan Marchment took note of that,” Butler continued. “He’s worked hard, so it’s nice to see him rewarded.”
The 6-foot-2, 208Ib. right-hand shot out of Mississauga is likely to see time on both North Bay’s penalty killing and power play units this season as he joins Arizona Coyotes prospect Cam Dineen and Calgary Flames draft pick Riley Bruce in leading the club from the back end.
“We think Mark’s upside is pretty high,” Butler added. “I foresee him continuing to develop into a really solid player.”
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