Yet again from Greg Harder....
Pats sign top prospects
By Greg Harder Mon, Aug 24 2009 COMMENTS(0) Slap Shots
We told you last week to watch for an imminent announcement about the signing of the Pats’ top two picks in this summer’s WHL bantam draft.
Well, it’s a done deal.
The Pats are holding a media gathering today at 4 p.m. to announce the signing of forwards Chandler Stephenson (first round, fifth overall) and Taylor Balog (second round, 28th overall). There were no recruiting issues with either player, each of whom has stated his desire to play for the Pats. Based on that fact, there wasn’t a great deal of urgency to get them committed before now.
Still, it’s an exciting day for the Pats' franchise and its future. Although both players still have plenty of work to do in terms of their development, there’s considerable optimism that they could represent the best one-two punch at the top of the draft that the Pats have had under the current regime.
Stephenson and Balog have affirmed that belief with their performance so far in training camp. Stephenson is small but looks to be the complete package in terms of scoring, playmaking, defensive awareness and work ethic. Balog, who was originally projected as a possible top-five pick in the draft, may be the ideal complement to Stephenson — a big power forward who can skate well and has a nose for the net.
It’ll be interesting to watch this duo grow together over the next four to five years.