Navigating through one’s draft season can be tricky.
Thomas Ebbing of the Chicago Steel is stickhandling through it like a set of pylons.
In his rookie season in the United States Hockey League, Ebbing is on the rise through draft rankings. The talent possessed by the five-foot-11, 165-pound Ebbing displays well beyond the 11 goals and 20 points that have him as one of the 2013 NHL Draft’s hotter commodities.
Not that the Troy, MI product is necessarily aware of his own trajectory.
“Honestly, I don’t pay much attention to Central Scouting rankings,” Ebbing said. “I will hear from people if I made some list, but other than that, I don’t pay attention to it.”
It’s not easy ignoring scouts in the stands, but Ebbing has managed to shut that part out in order to focus on his play.
“You know that at every game there are scouts to see all the talent in the USHL, but I don’t let it affect my play,” he said. “You just go into every game not thinking about the scouts in attendance.”
But it’s hard to disregard it altogether, especially when Ebbing is earning praise from scouts and accolades in the form of a trip to the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
The event – showcasing 40 of the top draft eligibles coming from the league – was one of the more enjoyable moments of Ebbing’s season despite the game being all about business.
“It was a very fun event to be a part of,” Ebbing said. “There were so many talented players there to showcase their skills and I just took it as another game.”
Having teammate and fellow draft eligible Christian Heil to share it with only added to his excitement, Ebbing said.
“Being able to go with another teammate to the Prospect’s game made the event that much better,” the Michigan State University commit admitted. “Both Heil and myself try not to think about the draft during the year, instead, we’d rather focus on the team’s progression.”
The USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game isn’t the only notable event on Ebbing’s calendar this season, either. Ebbing was a member of the gold medal winning Team USA entry at the World Junior A Challenge.
“It was an amazing experience to play in a different country and represent the United States,” Ebbing said. “It was an honor to have been selected to represent my country, and playing with top end talent helped to compare myself. The best feeling was coming home with the gold.”
Perhaps the only feeling that can compare will come on draft day when Ebbing navigates his way through the stands to the podium at the 2013 NHL Draft.