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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

McColgan wants to be next California kid to hit NHL

It was just five months ago that Emerson Etem of Long Beach and Beau Bennett of Gardena became the first two California-born players selected in the opening round of the NHL Entry Draft.

It didn't signal the apocalypse, but it sure did send a message that the Golden State was becoming a bona fide breeding ground for future NHL talent. In August, at the 2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp Fueled by G Series in Toronto, there was another batch of top-flight West Coast talent on display.

Forwards Shane McColgan of Manhattan Beach and Matthew Nieto of Long Beach skated on the same line in Toronto for veteran coach Ken Hitchcock. Both have high hopes of following in the footsteps of their good friends Etem and Bennett as first-round selections in the 2011 Draft in St. Paul, Minn.

What they've already learned is reaching the NHL no longer is a pipe dream for those born along the Pacific Coast.
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