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Tuesday, May. 21, 2019
McCallum sticks to the game plan at first camp in Sudbury
by Randy Pascal

If it's not broke, don't fix it.

To some extent, that was the axiom that remained front and center in the mindset of Sudbury Wolves' 2019 first round OHL entry draft selection Landon McCallum (15th overall). He stayed true to the saying, as well, as he first hit the ice in a Wolves uniform, last weekend, at the team's spring Orientation Camp at the Gerry McCrory Sports Complex.

"It's been more of a case of sticking to my routine, going to the gym as much as I can, and getting on the ice, whenever I can," noted the 5'10" 154 pound centerman on Saturday. "We also just had the Gold Cup. That was a good thing to prepare me."

It was a very similar, highly methodical approach to his game that the Simcoe (ON) native was most pleased with as he worked his way through the highs and lows of his draft year with the Brantford 99ers last year.

"I would probably say my consistency," said McCallum, asked what he liked most from his 2018-2019 campaign. "I tried to stick to the same plan and go into each game with the same mindset, enter each game with the same routine. I thought I was a lot better at that this year, which made my confidence go up."

The end results were evident. McCallum finished the year with 17 goals and 32 assists in 31 games, recently committing to the Wolves for the upcoming campaign. "I think I'm a hard worker and offensively gifted, in the sense of my vision and playmaking ability," he said.

With an athletic background that dabbled in soccer, at times, McCallum is definitely among those who eschews the notion of sport specialization at an early age, words that will delight the mucky mucks of Hockey Canada these days.

"I was into soccer as a kid, a lot," he said. "I actually think that helped me a lot. I think it helps all kids playing different sports growing up. Soccer, for instance, works on your legs. You're always running."

"There is also the aspect of playing on a team, which carries over to hockey season as well, being a good team guy." While many in attendance over the weekend may have believed they were catching their first glimpse of McCallum, that might not have been completely true.

The Wolves' prospect was actually in town, back in April of 2016, a member of the Brantford 99ers Major Peewee "AAA" team which competed at the All-Ontario Championships that year.

In fact, McCallum scored twice as his team played to a 5-5 tie with the Nickel City Sons on the opening day of the event, with Brantford eventually edged out, 4-3, in the bronze medal game by the Ottawa Jr Senators.

Midway through his second sojourn to Sudbury, he wasn't about to change what got him here. "Don't try and be someone else, stick to what I know, stick to how I play," he explained, looking forward to the Sunday scrimmage.

"They selected me for a reason."

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