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01-24-2005, 05:30 PM
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St. John's Prospects- My Mid-Season Analysis

Just for fun I did my own mid-season analysis of the Leafs propects playing in St. John's.

Please let me know what you think of my assesments. Or, if you want, do some of your own.

They're listed in order of their point production so far this year.

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Kyle Wellwood- C𧇏0, 180 YOB: 1983
The Good: Has amazing puck skills, vision and creativity and a natural goal scoring ability. Great on the faceoff and his defensive play has improved this year.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Needs to continue to work on defense and intensity. Has to prove that he can stay consistent and remain among the AHL leaders in points.

Future: He抯 shown enough that he抣l get an NHL shot. It will be up to Wellwood to prove himself from there.

Brendan Bell- D𧚻, 205 YOB: 1983
The Good: Strong all-round defenceman. Not a power play quarterback, but he can be counted on to put up points and generally plays a solid defensive game. Has improved his physical play this year. Very good leader.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Consistency has been a big problem. Can be a completely different player from one game to the next. Is sometimes prone to giveaways and occasionally attempts to make a fancy play when a more simpler play would have done the job.

Future: If he can maintain his strong play of late and work at being more consistent, he could have some degree of an NHL future ahead of him. But he could just as easily max out as a very good AHLer.

Jeremy Williams- F𧇏1, 185匶OB: 1984
The Good: Very few NHLers have a better shot than Williams. He抯 a sniper that has the ability to blow the puck by goalies. Has seen time this year on the point on the power play. Is a feisty player and his overall game has improved as the season has worn on.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Defensive play is not his strong suit. Has been a bit streaky in the scoring department and is still looking to carve out a defined role for himself on the Baby Leafs.

Future: Looks to be well on his way to a pretty good rookie year. Next year will be key for Williams. Expectations will be higher and he抣l need to prove he can be a main cog in the Baby Leaf抯 offense. If he can do that, a shot in the NHL could follow.

Nathan Barrett- W𧚺, 189匶OB: 1981
The Good: Has the ability to be a very good scorer for the Baby Leafs. He can play an energetic game and be a bit of a spark plug when he抯 in the mood.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Injuries and inconsistency have prevented him from truly establishing himself at the AHL level. Is only an average defensive forward. Too often doesn抰 give a full effort.

Future: A third year AHLer should be putting up more points than Barrett is. At this point an NHL career is an extreme longshot, but he should have a number of strong minor league years ahead of him.

Ian White- D𧇏0, 175匶OB: 1984
The Good: Has been a workhorse for the Baby Leafs often playing in the 25-30 minute range. Can play top minutes in all situations and has either met or exceeded all expectations of him.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Being undersized, he抣l have to fight negative stereotypes in order for him to get a chance. Obviously will never be a crease-clearer. Hasn抰 shown enough of the shot from the point that he made famous during his junior career.

Future: His play has been more than good enough to deserve an opportunity to show what he can do in the NHL. Could surprise a lot of his detractors and have a successful NHL career.

Ben Ondrus- RW𧚺, 185 YOB:1982
The Good: Tremendous leader who is not afraid to do whatever it takes to help the team win. Plays with an enormous amount of heart and works hard every shift. Is capable of getting under the opponents skin. The type of player every coach loves to have.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Probably doesn抰 have enough skill to play a regular shift in the NHL- even as a 4th liner.

Future: His hard work and determination could get him a call-up to the big team at some point, but he抣l be hard-pressed to stay there. Should end up being a very good player in the AHL. Maybe even a captain.

Carlo Colaiacovo- D𧚻, 205 YOB: 1983
The Good: Has done everything asked of him at the AHL level. He抯 been St. John抯 best defenceman pretty much from the day he arrived. Can quarterback the power play, kill penalties and has stepped up his physical game as well.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Has had some tough luck with injuries in his two years in St. John抯.

Future: He抯 pretty well a sure thing to be an NHLer. Should at least be a top four player but has the potential to play on a top pairing. Offence from the defence isn抰 lacking in Toronto, so he抣l have to quickly prove that he can apply his defensive skills in the NHL in order to contribute.

Andy Wozniewski- D𧚿, 230 YOB: 1980
The Good: Huge defenceman who can manhandle forwards in the corners and in front of the net. Plays a safe, stay-at-home game and rarely makes mistakes. Can throw the big hit on occasion and has a good shot from the point.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Has trouble handling the puck to the point where it can be a defensive liability at times. Has virtually no offensive upside. Needs to be even more physical.

Future: He抯 currently injured, but he抯 had a very solid AHL rookie campaign so far. However, he will be turning 25 this year so his window of opportunity to have any kind of NHL career is already closing fast. With some luck, he could be a depth defenceman in the NHL, but a more likely scenario sees him forging out a career in the minors.

Kris Newbury- LW𧇏0, 200 YOB: 1982
The Good: Has blazing speed which helps him as a tenacious and effective forechecker. Can play a physical game and is pest who consistently irritates opponents.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Has hands of stone and very little offensive imagination. This will likely prevent him from being an effective offensive player even at the AHL level.

Future: Will have to work hard just to keep his job in St. John抯 on a consistent basis.

Regan Kelly- D𧚼, 200 YOB: 1981
The Good: The type of player who can do everything reasonably well. He抯 decent defensively and could put up slightly better offensive numbers if he was given the chance. Has a hint of a physical game when he抯 in the mood.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Doesn抰 stand out in any aspect of the game. His overall skill level has basically rendered him as a depth player in St. John抯. Work ethic and play is largely inconsistent.

Future: May not be in the Leafs plans after this season. As for now he抯 a below average AHLer and there抯 nothing really to suggest that will change in the future.

Jay Harrison- D𧚾, 211 YOB: 1982
The Good: Great leader and team player. He抯 a big, tough stay-at-home defenceman who is always eager to drop the gloves if it means sticking up for a teammate.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Much more should be expected of a third year player. He has yet to establish himself as an important player at the AHL level and plays on the third pairing more often than not. His development has moved at a snail抯 pace.

Future: Still has a lot to prove in the AHL before he can be considered for an NHL job. And at this point in his career, time is running out quickly.

Scott May- F𧇏0, 198 YOB: 1982
The Good: Strong skater with a degree of offensive imagination. Can provide a spark when he抯 on the ice.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Recently sent down to the ECHL. Never did anything to show he belonged at the AHL level.

The Future: Will have to rediscover his game at the ECHL level if he ever wants to get back to the AHL.

Tyson Marsh- D𧚻, 190 YOB: 1984
The Good: The tough, stay-at-home defenceman is rarely noticed on the ice- in a good way. Makes the safe play and can play tough and stick up for teammates when necessary.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Doesn抰 have the skill to truly excel at any aspect of the game and make himself stand out on the ice. Has split much of the season between St. John抯 and the ECHL.

The Future: With some effort, he could establish himself as a depth AHL player in the near future. An end to the lockout would certainly help in that regard.

Dominic D'Amour- D𧚽, 202 YOB: 1984
The Good: Another big, tough defenceman. He has an intriguing set of raw skills as he抯 a decent skater and possesses a canon of a shot. An extremely intense and competitive player on the ice.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Has been very uneven in the AHL this year. Can look lost on the ice as his positioning needs a lot of work. Doesn抰 react quickly enough to the plays going on around him.

The Future: Could very well end up back in the ECHL if the defence corps in St. John抯 gets healthy. Has the potential to have a decent future ahead of him, but has a lot of work to do in the meantime.

Mikael Tellqvist- G𧇏1, 185 YOB: 1979
The Good: Has provided the Baby Leafs with the kind of goaltending that抯 needed to win at the AHL level. Has a competitive attitude and has already backstopped Sweden in some very important games.

What抯 Holding Him Back: Sometimes his positioning can leave himself hung out to dry and can be prone to soft goals. Has had problems with injury and seen much of his playing time go to J.S. Aubin. Has yet to establish himself as one of the best goalies in the AHL.

The Future: Is capable of providing Toronto with backup goaltending at least as good as Trevor Kidd was last year. But that job may now end up going to J.S. Aubin. An NHL career is still a possibility, but the 慻oaltender of the future tag is starting to wear a little thin at this point.

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