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07-14-2005, 08:31 PM
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Day 4 (Part 2) Recap

Jens really seems ahead of the curve. He is poised and has the seasoning you hope the rest of the younger pick up down the road. He is a very good skater, who is strong on his feet. He has good hands and makes some real nice passes. Again, the seasoning explains a lot of it. He has a good shot selection, nothing overly flashy. He can sneak a move or two by you, but it seems he wants to beat you with his skating ability and little to no flare. There hasn't been a lot of contact, but from what I’ve seen, he can work through a check. It seemed at times he wasn’t excepting contact, then got a Petiot or Baier in his face and got disturbed (those two were shutting guys down in the crease big time). I guess you could go back to the Europe vs. North American debate. Overall, I think he could make it, no doubt.

He has some size. It is okay but he is not that tall. He has good hands and is a solid passer. His shots aren’t bad but they’re not spectacular either. I don’t get the right vibe from him. He goes from playing some decent well-minded hockey to some uninspired play. I think conditioning maybe a factor. If he put it all together, I would say a decent AHL defenseman.

Nate has an exceptional package to offer. On one side he sits 6’4 and is very agile. On another, he isn’t overly offensive minded, but he can move the puck from the point. He had a good year last year in the CHL with Wichita. He has some space to improve, but at 25, time is crucial in his case. He has okay speed and is good on his skates. He is a very patient player who reads and anticipates well, and has a nice touch. He doesn’t rush things but needs a better sense of urgency at times. He should move up in leagues this year. He played a career high 73 games and faired pretty well. Might be headed to Reading, might not. The Ice Dogs and Falcons have coaches participating in the camp and San Diego has been scouting a little, so this is a good opportunity for him to seize a contract (And this goes for all the guys, who are ECHL caliber at this point in there young careers)

I’ve never seen a player skate backwards better then he could do forward. Maxime is a hard, hard worker who does not give up. He seems a bit out of place. Even though he’s listed on the roster as a forward, he has spent the last two days back on defense. Nuntheless, he would turn out to be a good typical stay-at-home type. He’s got a stocky build and I want to see his mean side. He’s spent the majority of his last two seasons in Louisiana (ECHL), but has received call-ups to Houston (AHL), during the past two seasons as well.

If you didn’t know any better, both Brian and Eric Werner could be brothers…okay maybe cousins. They play the same style of hockey. Even though Werner is a bit ahead of him in his career, their styles are very similar. He is a very quick and agile defenseman that sticks to his responsibilities. He doesn’t tend to leave himself open to get burned, hence he is a good positional player He’ll throw the body when he needs too, but he might just throw it to let you know it’s going to be tough to go through him. On the offensive side, the ability is there. He has a good shot selection and shows the ability to be very effective from the blueline.

He’s not a 100 percent. I don’t care what he says. I haven’t asked him either, but I know better. He’s been losing his edge a bit here and there and falling on the ice. It won’t stop him if you know his mentality. He also looks to have been put on a diet or maybe the haircut just throws me off. He seems to have slimmed down a bit. He’s supposed to be the Perfect of Discipline and Pain in the future for the Kings, but he still has assets that make him more valuable.

Mike’s another hardnosed competitor. He has seemed to grow a bit and fill out, looking back to last summer. He has average speed and is okay with puck. He goes hard to the net and is not afraid of getting dirty to get the job done.

He’s an average skater who is great on the straight-aways but needs to work on his directional movement. He isn’t the fastest guy out there but he is big, so he tends to stick out. He really needs to work on his skating, mainly changing direction with confidence, power and how to accelerate out of it. He can throw the body and has a bit of a mean streak, but I don’t think anyone has really gotten under his skin. He did throw the body a bit, but I think it was more out of frustration.

Players I’m still chasing:

Things are going very well, or in my eyes they are. Looking back to last year, there is a difference in talent and ability. And that’s not just because Crosby or Johnson aren’t here. I know people want to see the Kanko’s and the Brown’s. It is a weird year because the team would have already had their draft picks and they would have placed them in this camp. By now, you should know not to worry about the Kings at draft day.....they should be making the most of their picks. Hopefully one or two of them will make an appearance at the Prospect Tourney.

Young Guns

Collectively, seeing Pushkarev and Tukonen has to make you smile or if you prefer…cringe. These two youngins' are very talented. And while I try to remain objective and not try to glorify them too much they are going to be very good players in the future. The both have a lot a room to grow. They are “green” and they will need to learn things on the way.

In Pushkarev, I see a young man who has been on a constant cramming session, since joining Calgary in the WHL. While he’s not afraid to try anything, I think there might be a little overburdened. However, he is taking it in stride, which says a lot about the youngster. He is coming along at a nice pace. He has shows the ability to be a good point producer and someday a noteworthy showstopper.

Be frustrated as you may, but Tukonen is going back home. He is also very “green.” I suspect that he’ll grow a lot more this year. Hopefully he has a good new coaching staff wanting for him back with Esspo. He also is very clever when it comes to stickhandking and shows a lot of poise.

Both of them can be very slick and carry that element of surprise. They will be very interesting prospects to watch, no doubt.

Stifling Blueline

After turning great performances last season and last summer, both Paul Baier and Richard Petiot have returned in good shape and improved. While Pets shows to be ready to give the NHL a crack come this fall, Baier is behind him making his own noteworthy strides.

The Black Bear fans’ and Roger Grillo are going to end up loving Paul, while Pets will earn his believers either in L.A., or Manchester. That’s a guarantee. Even though they are still young and always could use some fine-tuning, they are both in good hands. Fans will soon come to enjoy both of these rearguards.

Rise up

Brian Boyle’s stock has risen. After having a question mark hanging over his head for the most part of last year, his fortunes have changed. Something clicked last year and he poured in on for BC towards the end of the season. He was by far the most dominant player in the lineup for the Eagles and his consistency showed. It has not gone unnoticed even though he is not at camp this year. A project in the making…he is going to be someone well worth watching next season. To all those DirecTV customers…those BC games will be in the high 600 channels, starting with CSTV.

How many dark horses are in the stable Mr. Taylor?

If you follow the WHL much, check out Ned Lukacevic (Kings 2004-4th Round –110th overall). The kid plays with Spokane in the U.S. Division. Something tells me he is going to have another solid year with the Chiefs. He has really grown over the year and he’s got late bloomer all over him. What is most impressive about the winger…not only is he crafty and possesses a good touch; he can find a whole other gear and really motor. He is very quiet, but deep down he is an intense player with a tremendous edge.

Spokane has had a couple semi decent years during his stay. Hopefully as Bill Peters makes his return to the Chiefs, things will again start to look up. The U.S. Division is shaping up for another good year. Trust me, its well worth your time. or

That’s all my brain can fathom for right now. I actually have to work tomorrow (boo!), so I have to skip camp. I will however, be back Saturday.

Last edited by dafranchz: 07-14-2005 at 09:14 PM.
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