Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamp. Not real camp, but like sleep away summer camp for babies. They hike and play games. They sing song and chase chicks……….. wait, one of those isn’t right. Anyways, it’s time for prospect development camp.
All the draftees from two weeks ago are in attendance, along with some of our Juniors players and the college kids. Even Old Man Espy himself is making a cameo appearance.
Now I know all of you were DYING to get another look at Nick Ross (hahahahahaha), but alas Mr. Ross was too elderly for camp. After the first two days, it’s safe to stay that there aren’t any ……….. superstar…….. prospects here. Last year, Oliver Ekman-Larsson was far and away the class of the field. There are good players, but there is less of a glaring difference between talent this year.
Let’s start off talking strictly from a hockey performance perspective. I would say the first team of talent would be……
Forwards: Andy Miele (C), Evan Bloodoff (LW) and Jordan Szwarz (RW)
Dmen: Brandon Gormley, Maxim Goncharov
Goalie: (as much as this fucking pains me) Mark Visentin
Miele has wonderful hands, stickhandling, and makes good decisions. You can definitely tell that he’s a more mature player (he’s a 1988 baby) and is more calm with the puck. Now can he step onto the NHL team? No. Coming out of college, he needs to get knocked around in the AHL for a while before even thinking about anything else. He needs to get used to the hits and speed or an NHLer could kill his vertically challenged behind. That being said, I’d pay to watch him in a pick up game.
Evan…… no it’s not pronounced blood-off……. it’s blew-doff…… is really quick and a good skater. He’s scrappy for his size and in addition to a controlled shot that he can put places, he’s also willing to go into those traffic areas and take some shit to make a play. As a point-per-game player for Kelowna, he’ll be a stud by next summer.
Jordan just seems tough. He isn’t particularly big, but if there is a battle for the puck in the corner, I’d put my money on him coming out with it. He, too, was a point-per-game player last year when he was in Saginaw. His game has grown a ton since I saw him last Fall and I can’t wait to see what he does this year.
Brandon only practiced today because “his gear was in transit”. He’s a smart kid and is positionally sound. That’s good because his offensive upside is Yandle-esqe. While he is our smallest Dman, he has the most potential two-way upside. He’s a good skater and all the teams that let him fall to the 13th pick are stupid.
Max. Oh Max, you are something. I don’t know what, but you are something. Max is big, tough, and has a huge shot. At the same time, he has a temper, has questionable conditioning (as of now), and isn’t necessarily awesome at aiming that big shot. He would be an excellent pairing for Brandon because he’s all the things Brandon isn’t, and Brandon is all the things that Max isn’t.
Visentin. I don’t want to talk about it No goalie looked particularly good.
No picture of Visentin. Deal with it goalie.
Who do I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve?
Alexander Ruuttu ~ Hockey rating: 3.5 outta 5. AJ SQUEE rating: 5 squees. HE IS A FINN, HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG? Yes, his Dad is our scout, but apparently we did actually draft him for skill. He’s a great skater. His passing is good. His decisions were solid. Plus he reminds me of Boedker and you know I love that shit. He’s super tall and lanky. If he puts some meat on, he’ll be gold.
Chris Brown ~ Chris Brown will beat on some bitches, and by bitches I mean Corey Perry, not ACTUAL girls. He’s gritty and drives the net. He’ll lay a hit and then take the puck and go score a goal. If he keeps getting better, he’s gonna be freaking awesome. Not bad for a Texas kid.
Hextall. Yes, we all know his Dad. But Brett is a different beast. He’s tough and smart with the puck, but I’m pretty sure he’ll score more goals in his rookie year than his Dad’s entire career. Brett seems like he’ll be the one that takes big hits for plays and blocks shots. I don’t know how to explain it other than he seems like a worker (along the Fiddy/Korps/Winnik vein). Again, he’s not huge but it seems like he’s got a lot of heart and UND turns out a lot of smart players.
Darian Dzuiraskdfljas ;dfkwej;ijaw;fijasdf. Ok his real last name is Dziurzynski but tell me that doesn’t make you think of one big keysmash?!?!?! Darian’s a bigger kid that is tough (seems to be a pattern eh?). He’s made a couple slick ass passes that caught my eye but mostly he’s another kid that I would put money on coming out of a crowded corner with the puck. Plus, HE HAS AWESOME HAIR OK? STOP JUDGING. Seriously tho, I’m pretty obsessed with his hair. Pretty sure it needs it’s own twitter account. Hmmm….
I’m also somewhat partial to Harrison Ruopp. Don’t ask me why, he’s just endearing as hell. Possibly because he’s a baby draftee and from far, far away land.
And I saved the best for last:
BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABY GOALIE. After being so gracious to some idiot fans (not me ) at last year’s camp, I am still completely in the Domingue camp. While he hasn’t had a hot couple of days, I am not fazed because, at camp last Fall, he was meh in practice but was a stud in the game. You know who taught him that? PATRICK ROY BITCHES. Lurve. Lots o’ lurve.
So…….. what about Connor Murphy?
Well, I’m pretty “meh”. He’s a fine player. There isn’t really anything that attaches me to him? Yawn, blah, wahwah, wake me when his shift is over. So that’s not necessarily a bad thing for a Dman, but …………. I don’t know what it is or what’s lacking but……….. meh.
The rest of the guys, other than Brodeur (Nick Ross clone), didn’t stand out in a good or bad way.
So here are some random pics …… they didn’t turn out great cuz the lighting in Polar Ice is TERRIBLE.