Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
Sidney Crosby. That is going to be a name you will want to get to know if everything continues to progress as they have this far.
Crosby is a five foot ten, 186 pound, 16 year old with the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), a division of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). A rookie in the league, he won’t even be eligible for the NHL draft until 2005, but he has been turning heads for a good many years already. The Oceanic made him the number one pick in the QMJHL draft and it appears Crosby will have to get used to everything that goes with being put in the limelight.
The Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia native grew up watching the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, but he has had to adapt quickly to a new home in Rimouski, Quebec where he has already become somewhat of a celebrity around town. It is not only being recognized around town that Crosby has to deal with. Scouts and media from all over North America seem to be following ever move he makes. One of the major concerns of his new team is to make certain that the pressure doesn’t become too overwhelming.
Pressure can become friend or foe, depending upon the personality, but when Wayne Gretzky was asked if he thought anyone would break some of his scoring records, a feat many hockey fans would deem impossible, he replied “Yes.” The name Gretzky threw out as the player he thought capable was none other than Sidney Crosby, claiming that he was the best prospect he has seen since Mario Lemieux.
So, how do things look for Crosby at this point in his young career? He has already earned the CHL’s Player of the Week honours after scoring five goals and nine points in four games and he has been the QMJHL’s Player of the Week for two consecutive weeks. To top things off, he leads the QMJHL in points with 40 (18 goals and 22 assists) after 19 games. It looks as if pressure might become a friend of this young star.