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07-11-2011, 05:08 PM
Josh Deitell
Hockey's Future Staff
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Boston
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Some notes:

Was surprised at how tame the action was today. Really not much chippiness at all, no scraps or anything close to that. Not many goals compared to years past either. Still, can't beat live hockey in July!

6 — Jake Muzzin — D
Hands down the best player on the ice for either side. Poised, smart with the puck, physical, and surprisingly fast. One play, a forward with speed flew up the middle and he did a great job of keeping him to the outside, then forcing a turnover and making a quick outlet pass. Another, a defenseman tried to pass the puck down to a forward along the boards and Muzzin anticipated it, intercepted the puck, carried it end to end and created a scoring chance. Lastly, he picked up a puck that was loose in the slot and ripped a slapshot that rang off the post. All-around game looks great.

43 — Michael Schumacher — F
Big, slow. Good positioning in the offensive zone setting up for shots in the high slot but as far as I could tell he never created anything dangerous and I was surprised that he didn't play very much along the boards.

49 — Joel Lowry — F
Didn't notice much except for his consistent aggressiveness on the forecheck. One play in particular, he tried to take a run at a defenseman and went flying awkwardly into the boards. Lax defensive coverage.

51 — Brandon Kozun — F
Kozun's game was hot and cold. During the scrimmage, he wasn't able to accomplish much. In the practice drills, he was on a line with Kaunisto and Czarnik and they were making highlight reel plays. Looked to loosen up just as the practice was ending. Don't see him as being NHL-ready like some were hoping.

54 — Kevin Gravel — D
Didn't notice him at all today, which I guess is good for a stay-at-home type.

55 — Michael Mersch — F
Didn't stand out much in the scrimmage, save a solid hit or two and good skating for a guy of his stature. Looked a little lost in the practice drills afterwards. He did finish a few plays with goals, but one in particular was after he flubbed a couple of passes and just happened to be in a decent spot to shoot. Raw player but he's strong, if he uses his body more he could be dominant along the boards.

56 — Nicholas Shore — F
Had the best shot of the day, a snipe to the top right corner off a 2-on-1. Tried to make things happen with his speed. Had a breakaway and made a nice forehand to backhand move but couldn't finish the play. His passing was mixed, a few nice tape-to-tape feeds but a few giveaways as well.

57 — Linden Vey — F
Showed quick hands and a good shot. More polished than most of his peers with the puck but still has yet to really define himself as particularly outstanding at anything. Did forecheck well but in his own zone, he shied away from an opportunity to take the body on a defenseman who pinched down which stood out to me as a weak play.

60 — Jordan Weal — F
I don't know what the deal was, but save for a couple of flashes, Weal had an off day. Wasn't able to do much in the scrimmage and was misplaying the puck in practice drills. In one particular one, where the center takes a pass from the defense, then passes to the wing, then receives it back, then passes to the other wing, Weal was consistently behind the play. His skating looked labored and he was bent over catching his breath after almost every shift.

64 — Andy Andreoff — F
Interesting prospect. Based on his play today I see him as a mostly defensive-minded forward, sandpaper type. Threw a nasty late hit on a defenseman who had cleared the puck up the ice, no damage done and no penalty. I actually liked the play. Stayed high in the offensive zone to cover defensively but despite that was also guilty of being lazy in his backchecking.

71 — Jordan Nolan — F
Really liked the way he played today. Showed assertiveness with the puck and was unafraid to drive to the net both with and without it. Played well along the boards and did well to cut players off in the defensive zone. Did overhandle the puck a couple times in front of the net, preventing himself from getting a shot off.

72 — Nic Dowd — F
Showed off good offensive skill with a few nice dangles and some great passes. Was in the right spot most of the time defensively but was also lax in his coverage (i.e. not keeping his stick down to protect passing lanes). Simple mistakes. Is capable of playing harder.

73 — Tyler Toffoli — F
All the positives are still positive (shot, offensive zone positioning, passing) and the negatives are getting better. Though he lost his man a few times in the neutral zone, on two occasions he covered for a pinching defenseman, showing good defensive awareness. Skating looked better this year as well.

77 — Robert Czarnik — F
Was buzzing in the offensive zone for most of the scrimmage. Made a few creative plays, one in which he almost scored on a wraparound and another in which he knocked out a puck out of the air into the net after his line had a good 20 seconds of pressure (goal was disallowed as an obvious high stick but it was impressive hand-eye). Looked great in practice drills.

80 — Nicolas Deslauriers — D
Was disappointed with Nic's play today. I'm one of his biggest fans but he didn't bring it. There were flashes of skill with nice passes and good defensive recoveries (one in particular when he tied up a wide open forward in front, preventing a goal) but he never got up to full speed and wasn't throwing his body around like he usually does.

81 — Andrew Campbell — D
The good news is that Campbell was loose, comfortable, and seems like a good guy to have around. The bad was that his play today left a lot to be desired. In particular, he got overwhelmed by forecheckers and had trouble getting the puck out of his own zone. Was not strong enough behind the net against opposing forwards.

82 — Ray Kaunisto — F
The pleasant surprise of the day. Not only did he look bigger and stronger than most everyone out there, he stepped up his play as well. It's true that he's been playing pro for a year, which gives him a leg up, but he showed off offensive skill that he hasn't had an opportunity to employ yet with the Monarchs. Particularly in the drills, he was making great decisions and picking corners. Backchecked hard, played the body, and was generally decisive and confident.

84 — Derek Forbort — D
Forbort had an OK but unspectacular day. Didn't notice many glaring mistakes but he did show a tendency to telegraph his passes, staring right at his intended target. He was fortunate not to have been picked off and victimized but surely would have been against better competition. Rushed the puck a few times and got it deep without issue; was nice to see him try not to do too much and keep things simple. Made good decisions with the puck in the neutral zone.

31 — Martin Jones — G
35 — J.F. Berube — G
75 — Chris Gibson — G

To be fair, I wasn't really paying attention to the goaltenders, so I won't comment on them.

Out of the invites, a few stood out:

48 — David Eddy — F
Has good speed and quick shot. Scored a nice goal with a deke on a breakaway and was involved throughout the scrimmage. Grasped the practice drills quickly and did not look overmatched against the drafted players.

61 — Rob Mignardi — F
Pretty clear why he scored over 30 goals in each of the last two OHL seasons. Kid has a great shot, good skating ability, and wasn't shabby on the defensive side of the puck either. Solid along the boards and good tape-to-tape passes. Scored with a snipe on a penalty shot.

83 — Colin Miller — D
Offensive defenseman with a good head for the game. Showed off good skating ability and a heavy shot and generally made good decisions with the puck, although his outlet passes were picked off a few times. He looked great on one play in particular when he split two forecheckers, shrugging them off before carrying the puck up ice. Was a little weak defensively, particularly in holding the point. Still only 18 though, not sure why he didn't get drafted.

Always important to remember that it's just a one-game sample, so don't read too much into these.

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