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Wilson Farrow moves closer to an NCAA scholarship - quite literally

Sudbury hockey prospect Wilson Farrow now has his sights set firmly on pursuing an NCAA scholarship.

Geographically speaking, he's heading in the right direction.

After spending the past two years in the OJHL (Ontario Junior Hockey League), Farrow has signed on with the newly-founded Rochester Jr Americans of the NAHL (North American Hockey League) for the 2023-2024 campaign.

The 6'0" smooth-skating defenceman does so after accumulating 38 points in 38 games last year, a season split between the North York Rangers and Pickering Panthers - and one in which he largely accomplished what he set out to do.

"Coming into my second year in that league after joining what was a really good team the first year, I think I came in with some confidence," said Farrow, a Nickel City Sons product who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2020 OHL draft by the Sudbury Wolves.

"I wanted to build off that, really learning in that league and simply go and compete and help whatever team I was on."

An offensive minded rearguard basically since the word "go", Farrow has generally caught the eyes of scouts mostly through his efforts on the offensive side of his game, all while he continues to work on the finer elements of defending just as efficiently at the other end of the rink.

"I think I was able to create a lot of options, which obviously helps with more points," said Farrow. "It (trade to Pickering) was a good move for me in terms of putting me in the best spot to succeed, really competing with a good team."

"I went in wanting to show my offense," he added. "Simply try and make the most of a new situation; don't overthink it - and play to your strengths."

That said, he was equally as adament this summer that there might be another junior hockey offering on the horizon that might better pave the way to university hockey south of the border.

"I think the OJHL was a really good stepping stone for me," Farrow explained. "It got me the opportunity to where I am today. But the NAHL offered a lot of exposure, just being in the States in front of all of the schools."

"It's a really good league that sends guys on to the next level."

In head coach Francois Methot, a third round pick of the Buffalo Sabres (1996) and 15 year pro largely with the Rochester Americans (AHL) and the Mannheim Eagles of the German League and assistant coach and former NHLer Brian Gionta, there is little doubt that Farrow's new team has plenty to offer aspiring young prospects.

"It's great to talk to them, to draw from them, to have the trust we have in them," said Farrow. "All of that really plays into our success. Rochester has given us everything that we need to succeed: facilities, equipment, all of the resources and the people."

"All of this was a huge factor in my decision to come here."

This was certainly not the pathway Farrow envisioned when his name popped up on the computer screen back in April of 2020.

"For me, it was a bit of a unique situation, being drafted by a team in my hometown," he recalled. "That's a pretty big draw, right off the bat. But I think Covid kind of messed things up for me, timeline-wise."

"Once I made the move to North York, I really wanted to dive into the school route."

Farrow has three assists to show for his efforts in three games to date and while nothing is yet firmed up in terms of school options yet for the 19 year old heading into next year, the highly academic teen is more than willing to trust the process.

"For me, it's about controlling what I can control and those opportunities will come."

He is, after all, well positioned for it.