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O'Nabigon first Ranger to take player of the week honors


O'Nabigon's 2 game winners, allow him to capture OHL player of the week 
 


O'Nabigon has left his experience in Mississauga with the Ice Dogs
behind him, and is looking to continue his resurgence in Kitchener.

December 23, 2002

Nathan O'Nabigon's name has been tossed around Mississauga as one of many parts of a rebuilding project that flopped.  These Ice Dog flops are all too commonplace in today's OHL.  Eventhough the Ice Dogs' organization is only in it's 5 season this year, it is becoming quite obvious that the problem isn't who the Ice Dogs are trading for, it is what they are doing with these players after they've arrived, O'Nabigon who has gone full-circle is a prime example of this fact.  Despite the fact that O'Nabigon has just arrived in Kitchener, Peter DeBoer is the closest thing that Nathan has had to a consistent coach in his career, having previously been mentored by Peter DeBoer in Plymouth during his rookie season.  Unfortunately DeBoer's hand was forced in terms of getting an high-scoring winger for the team's playoff run which ended 6 games into the OHL final.  The Don Cherry experience didn't benefit the then sophomore winger.  O'Nabigon's point and goal totals actually dropped in his second season in the league.  Add a great coach, a dash of confidence and a good locker room with many great linemates and for O'Nabigon the recipe has resulted in a junior resurgence and probably the attention of many pro scouts; something the ranging winger has had to live without over the past year.

Nathan O'Nabigon's back-to-back first star performance, and game winners in Guelph and then the next night in Kitchener, along with a total of 5 goals were enough for the OHL and it's writers to take notice.  The Rangers may have sent an entire line (Campbell - Roy - Kanko) to the All-Star game but up until this week they've been waiting for someone to take the player of the week podium.  Despite the fact that it did not fit in the OHL's definition of a week.  O'Nabigon actually scored 7 goals, and tailed 8 points total over 3 games in 7 days.  O'Nabigon was brought over from the Mississauga Ice Dogs to give the Rangers a scoring presence on the second line and with many of the Rangers' stars absent guys like Richards, Martynowski and of course O'Nabigon have had to step up their games.  Though it is largely overshadowed by his offensive output in the two games of last week, it is easy to miss the fact that O'Nabigon was a +5 during the past two games, and was not on the ice during any even strength goals, testiment to the fact that strong offensive play and defensive play can go hand in hand.  O'Nabigon even had some time to spare while he was in the midst of doubling his goal totals the last three games to pick a fight with big Guelph winger: Aaron Lobb.
 

 

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