Jakob Chychrun, arguably the best defenceman available in the 2016 NHL Draft, used to be a forward. He dreamed of becoming the next Sidney Crosby. Then he dropped back to defence and got inspired by Drew Doughty.
“He’s got a little chip on his shoulder, which I love,” Chychrun says.
Prospect Boris Katchouk’s father died when he was one year old. He was raised by his mom, a speed skating Olympian in the Calgary Games.
QMJHL star Pascal Laberge’s hockey dreams are fueled by a dad who drives a truck.
Consensus No. 2 pick Patrik Laine tries to “copy” the style of his idol, Alex Ovechkin.
These are the little nuggets of insight into eight members of the 2016 NHL Draft class you can glean from watching “The Road,” a six-episode YouTube docu-series created by Gongshow and Octagon Hockey.
With interest in future big-league stars so high at this time of year, “The Road” is one of those “Why hasn’t this been done before?” creations, delivered bi-weekly in bite-sized chunks.
Watch Episode 1:
Watch Episode 2:
Watch Episode 3:
Watch Episode 4:
Watch Episode 5:
Of course, it’s a marketing tool. The eight prospects followed from the CHL Top Prospect game through the NHL Combine and the Draft, are all Octagon clients: Laine (Tappara), Chychrun (Sarnia Sting), Luke Green (Saint John Sea Dogs), Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), Laberge (Victoriaville Tigers), Rasmus Asplund (Farjestad BK), Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires), and Logan Stanley (Windsor Spitfires).
But hockey heads will feel like they know a little something beyond these kids’ stat line when their names are called to the podium on June 24-25.
“My dad put me in skates when I was two years old,” says Chychrun, a Boca Raton, Fla., product. “The first skate I did was with Stanley C. Panther. He’s the mascot for the Florida Panthers.”
Octagon client services and marketing agent Rob Grant came up with idea for the series and linked with Gongshow. The agency was sold immediately.
“We loved it,” says agent Allan Walsh, who represents Laberge. “Holy moly, this is a great idea. I can’t believe nobody’s done this before.”