Nothing better to break up the monotony of summer than to have the BB Yotes come into town for the prospect camp. Free air conditioning man, it’s priceless. Google thinks that no one has decent pics of the crop of draftees so here we go ( you can look at all my camp pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yotesgurl/)
1st rd ~ Henrik Samuelsson ~
2nd rd ~ Jordan Martinook
3rd rd ~ James Melindy ~ Super Ginger’s gear was held up by customs and he wasn’t on the ice the first two days of camp.
4th rd ~ Rhett Holland
5th rd ~ Niklas Tikkinen
6th rd ~ Samuel Hunter Fejes the Third
7th Rd ~ (Marek Langhamer isn’t at camp so…..) Justin Hache
The first day of camp is always a write-off because the vast majority of kids haven’t been skating recently. Pair that with their nerves and you basically have a shitshow. Granted, it’s hard for me to see of a lot of what is going on when I’m dinking around with my camera, but here’s a bit of what I’ve noticed from camp:
~ There is no OEL in this group. Even during his first camp, Oliver was so heads and shoulders above every other prospect (even with guys 4 yrs older than him). You could just tell he was going to be special. That being said, that isn’t typically the kind of player we draft anyways.
~ Brandon Gormley. Holy crap I wish I had a crystal ball so I could see what is going to happen for this kid in the Fall. He has the skill to be an NHL player this year, but with us bringing Z back….. and we all know how Tippett feels about kids…… I now feel like Gormley could be in the AHL and be an injury-call up guy. You know how Klesla loves to take pucks of his face (wear an f-ing visor). But … I don’t know, it’s a tough call. I love, love, this kid. He doesn’t seem as “physical”, but that’s because he’s so smart about his positioning that he doesn’t need to knock a guy on his ass to get the puck away. Smart kid, humble, love him.
~ Alexander Ruuttu ~ BEANPOLE. He’s tall and lanky. I feel like if he had a baggy sweatshirt on that I could use him as a kite. Alex actually looks remarkably better than last camp. I don’t know if that says that he improved that much over the year or if he was just that nervous last year. While he’s skinny, he can get out of a corner with the puck. He’s been paired with Samuelsson for a lot of the drills and they have some kind of European magic happening where they are noticeably better than a lot of the other pairings. It’s no fluke he was an early 2nd rd pick last year.
Chris Brown ~ It’s no secret that I’m high on Brown. He’s not really a top six forward, but letting him develop in college has really paid off. He’s gritty, he can be mean, and plays that two-way Coyotes hockey. His only hurdle is going to be that we have some other similar players. Plus, how can you not love a kid from Texas playing hockey?
Niklas Tikkinen ~ Our BB D-Finn is tiny. He flipped from being a forward to playing defense only two years ago. Luckily for him, we have 9000 Dmen so he can develop for like another 12 years and then worry about playing. Unfortunately for him, we have 9000 Dmen. At this point, it’s basically a curse to be drafted by us if you are a dman.
Lucas Lessio ~ Purely offensively speaking, he may be the 1st or 2nd most skilled player. He knows what to do on a breakaway.
Brendan Shinnimin ~ After completely kicking ass and taking names in the WHL the last two seasons, I am so interested to see what Brendan does in the AHL. He’s definitely a smaller player, but we apparently don’t shy away from that (O hai Ray Whitney and Andy Miele). He got shoved around a bit during camp scrimmage, so, we will see…..
Evan Bloodoff & Jordan Szwarz ~ They haven’t been super noticeable in the first two days of camp, but it’s completely possible it’s because I’ve seen them so much and I’ve been trying to pay more attention to the new kids? As always, Evan is speedy and I wouldn’t want to be in the corner against Jordan.
Phil Lane ~ This child also knows how to put the puck in the net. He’s going to the AHL next year after signing his entry level deal in April-ish.
Brett Hextall ~ pure hussle.
Ethan Werek ~ I’m totally bummed that we traded Oscar Lindberg to NY for Werek. He blends in and didn’t stand out for me on either day.
Connor Murphy ~ Connor is out for camp. He’s here, but with his arm in a cast. This kid just can’t catch a break in the injury department.
Justin Weller ~ Weller isn’t on the ice. Don’t know what’s up here.
Matheiu Brodeur ~ I heard some people talking about how Matheiu is standing out at camp. Guys, this is fourth or fifth year. He’s big, yes, but his skating? He didn’t play a lot in the AHL last season, is all I’m saying.
Mark Louis ~ WHO ARE YOU? WHERE DID YOU COME FROM? He’s alright. He’s old (’87 baby). This is all I have. In related news, guys with names that could be two first names confuse the hell out of me.
Pro tryout ~ Nick MacNeil ~ HE IS SO TALL. I mean, like, not MARTY tall, but I’m pretty sure Shinnimin could skate through his legs and Nick could still go on to have a family, if you know what I’m saying. He’s been pretty good. Wouldn’t be surprised if we bring him back to main camp or sign him at some pt for the AHL this year?
Jordan Martinook ~ Ok, here’s the thing. Much like the infinitely loved Kale Kessy, I don’t think Jordan is able to really show his game in camp. When people say that your game is similar to Milan Lucic, you can’t beat the crap out of people in camp. It’s frowned upon. I haven’t seen a ton from him, but I don’t think this is an accurate representation of what he brings.
Rhett Holland ~ Effort. Man, in the battle drills he TRIES. Like tries noticeably more than most of the others. Haven’t seen a lot of offensive side, but he admits that it isn’t really a part of his game. I like him a lot and as he develops over the next couple of seasons, I think a lot of other people are gonna like him a lot too. Stay tuned on this kid.
Samuel Hunter Fejes the Third ~ I enjoy Samuel Hunter Fejes the Third so much that every time I say his name, it’s going to be Samuel Hunter Fejes the Third because I think he is worth the extra typing. He is not amazing at one thing, but he’s pretty good at everything. He’s a good skater. He doesn’t get shoved on his ass very often. He can put the puck in the net. He’s going to college to become a learned man so we won’t see much of Samuel Hunter Fejes the Third in the next couple years, I think this is a sixth rd pick that will turn out to be smart.
Speaking of good ol’ Kale Kessy, what’s up with him? Well, I’m glad you asked. I don’t know. He’s just kinda chillin’ at camp. Unable to brutalize and maim, he is just skatin’ and shootin’. He’ll be back for main camp when hits are a bit more ok. 😉
So this may be completely inaccurate because I’ve also been busy taking pics, but there’s a bit of a glimpse at camp.
You know I can’t leave you without a little bit of BB Goalie, right?