'Super Buddies' McLeod, Bastian look to make mark with Devils – NHL.com

New Jersey Devils forward prospects Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian have a lot more in common than being two top prospects working their way up the development ladder.

They also know how to make life easier on their equipment manager by using the same custom stick as teammates with Mississauga in the Ontario Hockey League.

Other Mississauga players had sticks personalized with a stamp of their last name. But McLeod and Bastian shared the same stick measurements, so theirs were stamped with “Super Buddies,” a label given to them by Tom Frater, Mississauga’s equipment manager.

“Me and [McLeod] used the exact same stick, curve, shot, grip, everything,” Bastian said. “So instead of making two different orders of the same stick, [Frater] just had the ‘Super Buddies’ mark stamped on our sticks and we just took out of the same pile.”

Tweet from @SteelheadsEq: Who’s twigs are these? @14Nbast @MikeyMcLeod9 #newstupercyrileybrace #nogibby pic.twitter.com/KvAkfGWwVe

Frater, who has been equipment manager in Mississauga since 2009, said Bastian moved up five flex points to match McLeod’s curve after the latter began a scoring surge during the 2015-16 season.

Bastian and McLeod, each 19, weren’t using identical sticks during Devils development camp last week, but the “Super Buddies” nickname still suits them because they could one day be linemates for New Jersey.

McLeod, the 12th pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, might be closer to earning a roster spot at this stage.

“He’s the real deal,” Bastian said of McLeod. “You could tell after his participation for Canada at the [2017 IIHF] World Junior Championship that he took another step. No one could really stop him in the second half and he was lights-out in OHL playoffs.”

McLeod had 73 points (27 goals, 46 assists) in 57 regular-season games, and led Mississauga with

Read More Here...

This entry was posted in Hockey News. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.