Hickmott is 25, a righty centreman, and is 6'2" according to the Golden Bears roster. This is the fourth university or college player signed to an ATO so far this spring after Tylor Spink, Ty Stanton and Shane Conacher.
Undrafted out of the WHL, he spent some time at the New York Rangers prospect camps before heading to university. Of course, he's seen a little NHL action, as the Golden Bears play the Oilers every year in the preseason.
At 25, Hickmott is older than the other tryouts. He's spent 5 years playing for the Golden Bears where he had consistently excellent scoring, finishing either first or second on his team every year since his first.
I can only find three Marlies ATOs last spring. Jack Rodewald was signed to a Marlies contract for this year, played a few games and has been very good on the Orlando Solar Bears. Erik Bradford was also signed by the Marlies, has played the whole year in Orlando and been okay. Reggie Traccitto was signed to a Solar Bears Contract and then traded.
Traccitto was the only college player, the other two were signed out of Canadian junior hockey.
This would seem to show a change in focus in scouting, and perhaps a bigger interest in stocking the minors but in a cautious manner. The Marlies position in the AHL right now and their very thin roster with so many callups to the Leafs is providing an excellent opportunity to take a look at players more closely than you can in a development camp.
Are they done? Will they find more new guys to try out? I hope so because acquisition is fun, even if they don't all work out.
Hickmott's UofA highlights: