NHL Central Scouting will present the second annual E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence prior to the start of the draft Saturday. The award honors late Buffalo native E.J. McGuire, who served as director of Central Scouting for seven years before dying of cancer at age 58 in April 2011.
This year’s recipient is Neil Doef, who was a Central Scouting “player to watch” for the 2015 draft before sustaining a hit during the world under-17 Junior A Challenge that left him paralyzed from the waist down. After diligent rehabilitation, Doef is expected to walk across the draft stage with help from a walking pole.
Neil Doef, paralyzed below waist in 2014 hockey accident, will walk onstage at Draft to receive EJ McGuire Award. https://t.co/r50U3uIDmr
— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) June 23, 2016
“Neil's determined approach to his ongoing journey of recovery and rehabilitation truly displays many of E.J.'s inspiring characteristics,” Dan Marr, who succeeded McGuire as scouting director, told NHL.com. “It is befitting to recognize Neil's strength of character and positive outlook with this award.”
NHL honors late Buffalo native and former Central Scouting EJ McGuire before Day Two. pic.twitter.com/TgIwPq5GiP
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) June 27, 2015