||08-24-2012 02:16 AM
Went to the Rookie Camp today and saw some guys, here's a couple of guys I noticed:
D Brayden Park - Very explosive and likes to jump in on the rush, always looks for big hits. He does occasionally put himself out of position looking for the hit and gives up 2 on 1's. Had very good D-to-D passes with Kyle Macdonald.
D Kyle Macdonald - Very reliable defensively, never caught pinching or behind the play. Didn't see any offensive plays by him, but his shutdown game was impressive.
D Joe Hicketts - Another very explosive defenseman who loves to rush the puck and create offensive chances for both himself and his teammates. Joe seems very composed in his play and never seems very rattled or overwhelmed. His shot is also very good, he scored a beauty with a slapshot from the circle that the goalie didn't even see beat him over the left shoulder and off the crossbar and in. Overall, Hicketts was the best defenseman there and he would be my pick to make the team this year. The only thing he could work on is his size and his work in the corner.
F Keith Anderson - A very big body, but doesn't use it to his advantage much. He has good speed through the neutral zone and good enough hands, but I didn't really see him use his shot much and he didn't have much vision of his teammates. If he could improve his vision, use his body and be physical, and shoot the puck a bit more he could be a good power forward in the WHL in his prime.
F Brayden Larkin - Really uses his size to his advantage and is very physical, but picks his spots and makes sure he doesn't draw a penalty. He is also pretty good at getting under the other team's skin. Larkin rocked Tyler Soy a couple of times and really threw him off his game. Brayden had 1 or 2 good chances, but couldn't buy a goal. I feel if Larkin could improve his skating and his offensive awareness, he would be a very versatile 3rd-4th liner.
D Jeffrey Baum - Very smooth skater, his transitions are extremely fluent and he is very good in the corners. Never gets caught behind the play or pinching. Always makes the smart play and rarely coughs the puck up. Only flaw I see in his game is his lack of physicality and his shot from the point.
D Jack Walker - One of the best skating defensemen I've ever seen. Easily the fastest kid out there, Walker loves to rush up for a scoring chance and is very dynamic in the offensive end. His style is similar to Joe Hicketts, but Jack doesn't quite have the confidence that Hicketts has when rushing the puck and making plays. If Jack improves on the defensive side of his game, I could see him and Hicketts make the Royals this year.
F Tyler Soy - Great vision, always has his head up and is alert. Backchecks fairly well, but doesn't go too deep into his own zone. Tyler did get thrown around quite a bit and it did seem to affect him a bit, but he was always deadly when he was on the ice. His shot was also one of the best I saw, but he seems to like to pass more often than shoot. His best asset was his vision though. Tyler finished with a -1 against Team Gold. If Tyler can improve his size and physicallity, he could be a Ryan Kesler like player down the road.
F Kristian St. Onge - A big body with a good shot and finish. Had plenty of scoring chances in front of the net using his big body and ended up with a goal and an assist against Team Gold. Kristian was also not afraid to get physical. If Kristian can work on his skating and his vision, he could be a very intimidating power forward.
F Brandon Fushimi - Great speed through the neutral zone and has a very explosive stride. Also has a nice set of hands along with a strong snapshot and wasn't afraid to get physical. Brandon also seemed to be able to get under the other team's skin, moving the target from Soy over to himself, which he handled very well. Brandon scored a goal and had numerous chances by deking around the defenders and getting a shot on net. Very impressed with this kid, I'd say he's the best forward there and has a shot to make the team full time as a 3rd or 4th line guy.