A recent first-round NHL draft pick might be spoiling his career prospects because of a video game addiction, according to some gossip passed along by hockey analyst Jeff Marek on the Sportsnet podcast 31 Thoughts. Marek, who declined to name the player, cited a conversation with his junior general manager, who said the talented prospect was draining himself with late night gaming sessions. Here’s a transcript of his comments, which begins with a discussion of Fortnite and starts around the 22:15 mark of Thursday’s episode:
“On video games – and I’m not going to say the player’s name. I really doubt he’s going to make it to the NHL, and it’s because of a video game addiction, to the point where his junior general manager told me that they’ve had him go to counseling over it, because he’ll play until all hours of the night and into the morning and then he’ll have no energy the next day. Like, he’ll be a write-off. And it is that bad. He has this compulsion for playing video games until all hours. I swore that I wouldn’t say the player’s name, but it’s unfortunate. He’s a recent first-round draft pick for a very, very prominent NHL team, will probably never play in the NHL because of a video game addiction.”
Marek goes on to say that his information is between six months and a year old, and he adds, “This guy is a good player and was a high pick ... but there’s a good chance he’s not going to make it to the NHL and his general manager said, ‘Yeah, the video game addiction is bad. It’s bad with this kid.’”
Marek is probably right not to name the prospect, but it’s not too hard to come up with the possibilities. The list of Canadian junior players who were recently drafted in the first round but haven’t yet made the NHL isn’t that long, and the “prominent” qualifier narrows the possibilities even further, depending on your interpretation. At least we know he doesn’t play for the Coyotes.