Sarnia, ON – Sarnia Sting Head Coach and General Manager Dave MacQueen announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Brandon Francisco to an OHL Contract and Education Package.
“Going into the draft our Scouting Staff was extremely high on Brandon, however we were made aware that he had several options and he would weigh out those options carefully before making a commitment. To draft a player of Brandon’s skill-level in the third round and have him commit to our hockey club is a major step as we continue to build the foundation of this organization brick by brick,” commented Dave MacQueen.
As a testament to the skill of Francisco, the ISS (International Scouting Service) ranked Brandon 17th overall in their final OHL Priority Draft Rankings and rated him as having “The Best Hands” of any draft eligible player. They compiled the following scouting report of him.
“Brandon is one of the most offensively dangerous players in the draft. Elite puck skills and speed on the rush. Is able to get the puck and transition to full speed instantly. His soft hands and quickness make him very difficult to defend against on the rush, allowing him to beat defenders to the outside at will. Has superb vision and natural hockey instincts. Very good anticipation without the puck, and gets into open spaces.” – ISS Player Profile – 2009 OHL Priority Draft
MacQueen adds, “A lot of credit goes to our entire staff and ownership group as we put a tremendous amount of time and effort into providing Brandon and his family with as much information as we possibly could to enable them to make the best decision they could. We are extremely pleased to have a commitment from Brandon and his family to the Sarnia Sting and the Ontario Hockey League. We feel Brandon is a pro-caliber player with a bright future in hockey. As well, in signing this agreement should he chose an alternate route he now has an Ontario Hockey League Scholarship available to him. We look forward to developing Brandon both as a hockey player and as an individual during his time with the Sarnia Sting.”
Last season with the York Simcoe Express, Francisco had one of the top offensive outputs of any draft eligible player scoring 57 goals and 50 assists for 107 points in 72 games played.
Francisco a native of Bradford, ON won’t be eligible for the NHL Draft until 2012 as he is a late birth date (born after September 14th).
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)