The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Prospect Profile – John McFarland

Christopher Ralph is a sportswriter with a focus on hockey prospects, the entry draft, as well as occasional Flames coverage here at THW.

“Full Potential” Prospect Profile:

Please “Click Here” for “Notes Up Front” and the “Legend” for various topics covered below in my “Live Updated” NHL 2010 Draft Preview article.

John McFarland (Click on name for up- to- date stats)

John McFarland {Photo: Chris Creamer @Flickr}

Date of birth: 04/02/92
Place of birth: Richmond Hill, ON
Ht: 6-1, Wt: 195 lbs
Shoots: R
2009-10 Team: Sudbury (OHL)

NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010


Perhaps no player increased their stock as much as McFarland at the NHL draft scouting combine. McFarland is definitely an enigma and perhaps the biggest boom or bust prospect that will be drafted in the first round; that is, if you take out the Russian Roulette Factor. The fact that McFarland is on e of the best skaters in the entire draft and has insane offensive potential, along with his scouting combine performance might attempt more than one NHL GM and scouting team to take a chance on him earlier than I rank him (19th). By the same token, given his less than stellar OHL season, he likely slips to the bottom third of the first round.

Scout’s Honor:

“Excellent skater with high-end speed and agility and maybe overall, a high skill player. A great wrist shot, he plays with an edge. He’ll fight, not often, but when he does it shows his meanness. Who can we compare him to? A Brenden Morrow perhaps, who was drafted by Dallas and is still a contributing captain-member.”

– Director of NHL Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire

“John has worked very hard this season on becoming a two-way player. John is one of the fastest skaters in the league. He also possesses one of the hardest wrist shots in the league. The attributes make him a very dangerous player. But what will make him a dangerous NHL player is the ability to use these skills to create offense and also being a contributing factor in his defensive zone. John has really started to contribute in the defensive zone and also has been one of our top penalty killers. John is also a very physical player and not afraid to initiate contact. He has the hockey sense of an NHL player and plays better with better players around him. He strives to be the best player on the ice.”

– Sudbury Wolves head coach Mike Foligno

Current Season:

2009-10:  In his second season in the OHL, McFarland finished second in team scoring for the Sudbury Wolves, registering 50 points (20G – 30A) in 64 games.

Scouting Combine Performance: McFarland had simply an amazing combine.

  • 1st in Anaerobic Fitness: Peak Power Output (watts/kg)
  • 3rd in Anaerobic Fitness: Mean Power Output (watts/kg)
  • 1st in Musculoskeletal: Standing Long Jump (in)
  • 1st in Musculoskeletal: 4 Jump (Mat) Mode: Avg Jump Height (in)
  • 7th in Musculoskeletal: Right Hand Grip (lb)

International Tournaments:

  • During his rookie season in the OHL, McFarland competed for Team Ontario in the 2009 World U-17 Hockey Challenge on Vancouver Island. He was the tournament scoring leader, with a total of 12 points, and was also on the tournament all-star team.
  • He captained Canada’s Under-18 team to gold at the 2009 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament. McFarland has represented Canada in each of the last two WJC-U18s. In 2009 he finished second on the team in points (3-5-8) and in 2010 he tied for the team lead in goals with 4 tallies.

ETA = 3 yrs

Risk-Reward Analysis: Risk = 2.5/5   Reward = 4.25/5

NHL Potential: Top 6 scoring forward


  • Great athleticism
  • Skating – one of the best skaters in the draft
  • High-end speed
  • Great shot and release
  • Plays with an edge
  • Natural born scorer
  • Elevated his game in international play

Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:

  • Continue to train to increase strength and mass.
  • Consistency.
  • Prove he has the necessary drive necessary to make it at the next level.
  • Improve play without the puck

Fantasy Hockey Potential: Offensive = 8.5/10   Defensive = 7/10

NHL Player(s) Comparison:

At his best: Brendan Morrow


*Prospect Profile on

Interesting Notes:  (

“Before he was selected first overall in the Ontario Hockey League draft by Sudbury, McFarland played Minor Midget for the Toronto Junior Canadiens winning an OHL Cup Championship while scoring 100 goals. His 100th goal came in the final game of the OHL Cup, when Tyler Toffoli (No. 16 ranked) fed him the puck for an empty net goal. Playing Major Bantam in 2006-07 for the Canadiens, he had 160 goals and 300 points.”

Other Rankings:

CSB: 15-NA

ISS: 30

TSN: 17 {Bob MacKenzie}

McKeens: 24

THN: 20

THW:  19  (June  ’10) {Christopher Ralph }

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This document is the intellectual property of Christopher Ralph and cannot be used or duplicated in any way without expressed written consent. Any use of this document without the expressed written consent of Christopher Ralph will result in public exposure and legal prosecution.

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