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09-12-2011, 12:21 PM
  #65
Trxjw
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Land of no calls..
Country: United States
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I have a hard time listing Erixon as a "stand out" because, frankly, I expected him to be this good. Not because I consider myself an authority on his game, but because this is at least a couple, if not several, notches down for him in terms of level of competition. It's 18-21 y/o kids, and he's coming off a very good season in what could be considered the second or third best league in the world. That's not to say I'm displeased with what he's done, I just think people are forgetting the level of competition as a barometer.

Thomas and Bourque have been very good, but again, they're guys that I really expected to be dominant. Both will need to bulk up before they can make the transition to the NHL, but the rest of their respective games look polished.

For me, the standouts have been Andrew Yogan and Blake Parlett.

While Parlett is subject to the same "level of play" analysis I gave to Erixon, I think Parlett is a few notches down in terms of his experience and has certainly opened a lot of eyes in these first two games. Very smooth skater, great on his edges, and most importantly, makes timely decisions as to when he should jump into the play or lead the rush out of the zone. Very cerebral in his ability to read the play defensively as well.

Yogan has been what I was hoping he would be: A big body who can read the play and make space for himself in scoring areas, and a guy who will work hard along the boards on the forecheck. I think he obviously has a size advantage, but he was very effective against some of the bigger d-men he's faced thus far. I think he's guilty of trying to be too fancy when he's looking to make a pass, but I like the way he finds holes in the slot to generate chances. I also think he's been taking a few shifts off and I'd like to see him be more consistent from shift to shift. Regardless, I'm expecting good things from him this year.

Some other guys I've been pleasantly surprised with are Wilson and JAM. I've also think McNaught is a decent skater for an enforcer, so that should work in his favor.

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