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McLaren Makes Decision, Signs With Marauders


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McLaren Makes Decision, Signs With Marauders

VHLM prospect joined new team late last night, expected to make debut today


For the first time in his hockey career, Addison McLaren is leaving the state of Minnesota to play.


The Minnesota Storm were one of several VHLM teams who expressed interest in signing the 19-year-old winger, and given McLaren stayed in-state to play high school hockey instead of going the USHL or USNTDP route earlier in his career, and then committed to play college hockey with the Golden Gophers, it was widely expected that they would be his landing spot.


McLaren, however, has opted to spend the next season of his career in Florida, signing with the Miami Marauders.


"It was not an easy decision for me - there was a lot of interest from VHLM teams and they all made good pitches and they all would've made great homes for the rest of S74, I think," says McLaren. "And it was especially tough for me to choose to leave Minnesota - this is my home."


"This is a chance to spend a little more than half a season learning the ropes of the VHL system and to me that was the priority ahead of jumping into a situation where I'd get a lot of ice time or jumping onto a top team in the middle of a season. And I really appreciated the interest and helpfulness shown by Miami and also the experience in the organization."


Spending four years at Eden Prairie High School, McLaren established himself as a notable prospect in the hockey world by compiling 71 goals and 40 assists for 111 points in 74 games, though he also picked up 199 penalty minutes. He missed significant time as a sophomore with an ACL injury suffered with the football team, before returning and dedicating himself exclusively to hockey. After returning, McLaren thrived in his junior and senior years to become one of the best high school hockey players in the country.


But questions about his size, durability, and the fact that he hadn't played at any level above high school nagged scouts, preventing him from becoming a true marquee prospect. When he turned some heads late in his first season with the Golden Gophers, though, the VHL came calling. Although still a bit of an unknown in VHL circles, McLaren's work ethic early on has impressed teams - including the GM of his new squad. "What I like about McLaren so far is that he doesn't seem to be afraid of hard work," Marauders GM Ricer told media when discussing the signing. "Even before joining a VHLM team he had already been training to improve his player. Who wouldn't want someone like that on their roster?"


26 games into S74, the Marauders are 8-18-0 and sit ten points out of the playoffs. There is some hope, however, that they can battle up into a playoff spot as the year goes on lead by S74's 30th overall pick, defenseman Eoin Byrne, and potential top S75 prospects, goaltender Rara Rasputin and defenseman Chicken Wing (ranked 17th and 13th, respectively, in the most recently-published VHCS rankings).


McLaren will join a forward group that has some potential, though perhaps not any standouts like those three - but if he can acclimatize quickly to the VHLM, he could provide a spark that helps the Marauders go on a bit of a run as the season goes on. "McLaren is going to fill a role on the wing here in Miami, a position we are lacking in depth. He's going to get every chance to succeed and I am hoping that the energy he puts into training will run off on some of his other teammates," says Ricer.


McLaren is expected to make his debut with the Marauders later today. "I'm really looking forward to getting down to Florida and getting to work," said McLaren. "Playing professional hockey is my dream, to be one step closer now, it's amazing. I'm so excited to meet my teammates, to get into some games, and hopefully to help this team move up in the standings."




664 words, claiming this week only

Edited by tcookie25
edited in a title and word count
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Hey nice article! I really like your use of stats, and the paragraph spacing makes it easier for me to read. Think maybe you could add an image or team logos to make the article pop more but you're on the right track. Really looking forward to playing against you! 8/10

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