Flyers Sign OHL Leading Scorer – Jason Akeson
Picture courtesy of OpenIceHockey.com
The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have signed right wing Jason Akeson of the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers to an entry-level contract that will begin at the start of the 2011-12 season, according to General Manager Paul Holmgren.
“It’s something I’ve been dreaming about my whole life. It’s something pretty special; it’s almost tough to take in,” said Akeson.
“It’s something special when you get this opportunity and someone takes a chance on you. It’s tough to go through the draft seeing your friends get drafted, you just have to keep working and hopefully things will work out. Thankfully they did,” Akeson added.
Akeson, 20 (6/3/90), currently leads the OHL in scoring with 24 goals and 79 assists for 103 points. He also has a plus/minus rating of +26 over his 59 games played this season with the Rangers.
The Flyers showed interest in Akeson for much of the season and knew he was a player worth of a contract.
“We were in contact before. We were talking throughout the year, here and there. My agent called me and let me there was a contract on the table (from Philadelphia). I was very excited,” Akeson said.
“Their organization is next to none and they’re a very good bunch of guys and I’m really happy to be signed there.”
Last season, playing on a line with Hurricanes rookie sensation Jeff Skinner, Akeson recorded 80 points (24G, 56A) in 65 regular season games. The Orleans, Ontario native also racked up 19 points (8G, 11A) in 20 playoff games for Kitchener.
Over the course of four seasons with the Rangers, Akeson has recorded 249 points (68G, 181A) in 193 games.
Akeson will attend Flyers rookie camp this summer where he hopes to impress the Flyers staff.
“I just want to show my skill and offensive ability but also be responsible defensively. You go there and want to be a playmaker and sniper and stuff like that but defense always comes first. I just want to be able to be trusted when they put me on the ice and hopefully they give me a shot.”
Some scouting reports list Akeson as a ‘soft’ player with a slender build who doesn’t have enough elite speed or skill to play in the NHL. Whatever the case, Akeson doesn’t think so.
“It’s a little tough (to compare my game), but I guess I’m pretty good mold of Claude Giroux,” he said “He’s a pretty good buddy of mine and I like to look to him so I try to compare my game after his.”
Akeson wouldn’t commit if we will turn professional after his junior season.
“The flyers are a great organization and I’m happy to be a part of it. Hopefully we can keep up the success in the future.”