Mississauga rookie defenceman Merrick Rippon looks like he’s finally starting to adjust to the step up in competition from the CCHL to OHL.
After starting the season with just two assists in his first 14 games, Recrutes spoke to an OHL-based NHL scout about Rippon’s start to the season.
“In fairness to the kid, let him get 20 games under his belt, but I’ve been disappointed in him,” said the scout. “Remember it’s his first time in the league, and they’re so bad in their own end…we’ll see what happens after 20 games.”
Not sure if Rippon had wiretapped the conversation, but since then he’s been on fire. It’s starting to look like he needed 15 or so games to start finding the offensive game he was noted for in his two seasons on the Ottawa Jr. Senators’ blueline. Rippon has collected four points in his last three games, including a three-assist effort versus Peterborough last Sunday.
“I actually think he’s a better backwards skater than forward,” added the scout. “He showed some edge, he just hasn’t got it going with the puck the way I expected.”
With the return of Owen Tippett and in the next two weeks Michael McLeod from their NHL clubs, expect Mississauga to improve significantly and take pressure off of Rippon and his fellow defencemen in their own zone. Also expect the Steelheads’ offensive numbers to spike, and as Rippon gains his confidence with the puck, for him to continue improving his numbers, and even pot a few goals.