1st Day Scrimmage
Hey all. These are some opinions from the scrimmage I attended today. There was a lot to take in so I apologize if some players aren't mentioned. I plan on going tomorrow so will post again. Enjoy!
Cuma: He has an NHL mind already in my opinion. He is very poised, a fluid skater, makes good passes and has a nice shot. He has good positioning but obviously needs to add strength. He did have some of the best point shots of the day. He had a nice one timer, ankle-high that caused Wade to make a nice stop. He also played the point for the final 1 minute that the goalie was pulled, putting 3 nice hard low shots on net that were tipped.
My opinion is that give him time. No reason to start his UFA clock and I think he needs to fill out. Give him one more year in juniors, let him go to the world juniors, then see how he is physically next year.
Scott: We all have seen him. He is slow and turns over the puck. I would much rather see Stoner be the 7th defensemen. But I will get into that next. (I do understand Scott is on a one-way contract)
Stoner: He plays the body, is mobile, and can make a pass. I haven't seen him much but he has put his time into the team and I would contend that he has more to offer than Scott.
Noreau: He is fast, has hockey intelligence but is smallish. He wasn't noticeable out there for anything great or anything bad.
Zanon: I have seen him play a bit on Center Ice but didn't see his hands. I know it is one scrimmage but he had much better hands/first pass than I thought. He was paired with Burnzie and played very solid.
Irmen: I loved him as a Gopher but he is about 2 steps too slow...still. He just looked out of place.
Gillies: I love this kid because he hustled (Unlike Shep and Pouliot). He had a very nice goal, was on the puck and showed some nice hands. I think a year of Houston may help him develop more skills offensively. I have no problems with him sticking with the club...but only if he gets enough development time.
Brodziak: Didn't notice him much...
Kalus: As Russo mentioned, he pissed of the Wild regulars. He drilled Schultz twice throughout the day. He tried to hit Boogy but Boogy gave him a lacrosse slash...then, later, Schultz and Johnsson double-teamed him. With that said, he showed much more effort than he did in the prospects scrimmage. He has speed, size, hands and a shot so I like him more than Pouliot...but that isn't saying much.
Sifers: He seemed mobile...but he stands out to me because he got into a chase for a loose puck with Koivu...hit Koivu...Koivu got up and cross-checked him in the back. Pretty good intensity.
Hnidy: Solid defensively...we have heard what he brings.
Lannon: Played with Cuma and didn't seem special at anything but didn't look slow or dumb on defense. He seems like what he was signed for--minor league guy that can come play a game or two in the NHL if necessary.
Sheppard: I love and hate this kid so much. I don't know what his off-season consisted of but he still barely moves his feet. He didn't look strong at faceoffs. He looked like he always does-strong down low in the offensive zone. He has a shot, is tough on the puck and smart...just needs to push himself more.
Pouliot: You all know him. He has skill but no desire. He looked like he wanted to be watching the Vikings game...he makes good plays when the puck is near him...but he doesn't skate towards the puck and when he gets it, he tries to stickhandle through three guys.
Schultz: This is the only vet I will comment on...because he pinched 498938 times. I don't know if he is trying to condition himself like Pavlov's dog so that he isn't afraid to join the rush..but he joined more than anyone else.
Clutterbuck: I think he is going to surprise people in the next few years. He certainly did not look out of place next to Butch and Mittens. He is a very smart player...has underrated hands I think. I know he is great as a forechecker but really does add space on a finesse line as well. I really wish we had Kesler or a mini-Richards or mini-Koivu that could center Gillies and Clutterbuck because they would drive 1st lines crazy.
A lot of people left after the first half. Now, I understand that the Vikes were starting and that it was 12:10...but, how many training camps hold a scrimmage that lasts one 25 min period? I'm not the brightest, and I know that this was the first made public, but I have always read most teams hold two 25 running minute periods...I guess I just had to ***** because I heard so many people say "Well, I guess that's it." and then leave.
Anywho, I will be there tomorrow. It was awesome and I am glad the new regime allows us fans to participate.
Excellent stuff...thanks for the update, keep'em coming! :)
I agree with your assessment of Pouliot. I don't know what his problem is exactly, but he sure has one. Ben was a passenger out there. And, his new GI Joe look doesn't seem to be helping him.
I liked what I saw with Kalus. He got his nose in there as he was first on the puck more than a few times. He showed some speed and a quick release of his shot. It's clear that he isn't popular with his colleagues. He seemed to be looking to catch someone off guard to nail him with a big hit.
Cuma was sharp and handled the puck with more patience than you would expect a rookie to. He's a thoroughbred and I think he is NHL ready. I'll bet that he seems some big league action before the year is through.
Hilbert looked pretty good. He caused a few turnovers and got to the net a few times. He's a smart player out there.
Zannon knows what he's doing out there. His maturity stands out alongside of all the rookies.
Scott needs to pick it up a little. But, I guess I have to give him a break as it's hard for those big guys to get started.
Gillies shows no offensive creativity out there. But, he makes up for it with this speed and fearless drives through the middle and to the net. He scored a nice one with a quick upper corner in tight.
And Boogie was ... Boogie.
Wait a minute - they're having open scrimmages? And there's another one tomorrow? Cripes, I need to come out of my cave more often!
Can anyone tell me how Krupp looked?
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