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10-21-2012, 12:53 AM
hairylikebear's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
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A few comments from the Aeros-Stars home and home this weekend

Cody Eakin - He's a good skater with high end hockey sense and some impressive goal scoring instincts. He needs to be in the NHL though. There's nothing for him to gain in the minors.
Tomas Vincour - Pretty much the exact same thing as I said about Eakin can be said about him, except for the goal scoring instincts. The Vincour-Eakin-Smith line was the only Stars line that could generate any kind of offense. Even the Brodin-Scandella pairing had trouble defending these three, but that's expected for two players (Eakin and Vincour) who are already established NHLers.
Reilly Smith - He's fast and protects the puck along the boards very well. All he needs to be NHL ready is strength. His mental game is already exactly where it needs to be, but that's not to say it can't get better. His wristshot is hard but he takes too long to release it, and he's pensive about shooting through traffic. If he can improve those things he has 30 goal top 6 potential. If not, he's still a threat to beat a goalie from the top of the faceoff circles from time to time as a utility forward.
Alex Chiasson - He's one of those "no toolbox" guys. He's huge, strong, shoots well, skates well, and can absolutely dominate guys physically, but for whatever reason he just doesn't dominate play the way I'd expect him to. When he puts it together for a shift, his effect on the play is huge, but he just doesn't seem to do it that often. He has NHL top line tools, but he learn how to best utilize his talents in the AHL first before he deserves an NHL shot. I would expect him to spend two, maybe three years in the AHL but he could be a household name before his career is over.
Jamie Oleksiak - He skates badly but he's a giant so I excuse him a bit. If he were 6'4" his skating would be considered "average." If he were 6'0" it would be abysmal. He's pulled out of position easily but lacks the agility to return to his post in time. However, his defensive stickwork is excellent. His size, strength, and reach give him some options to get around forecheckers as he's leading the rush, but he tends to pass it away as soon as he gets around someone. His slapshot is pretty hard but the vast majority of the time he just weakly wrists it on goal. Tyler Myers comparisons are very generous, Chara comparisons are foolish and downright laughable.
Patrik Nemeth - His best attribute, by far, is his athleticism. His acceleration is top notch for a 6'3" guy. No one is going to power their way through him. He was rushing the puck up ice, joining the play offensively, and generally contributing all over the ice. However, he was also responsible for a few mistakes which led directly to goals, including falling down accidentally on one play that resulted in a quick 2 on 1, and failing to get down in time time to block a shot. That's probably his biggest issue: he has trouble making defensive decisions quickly enough. If that doesn't improve, he's an AHL lifer. However, he's still adjusting to North American hockey so I have a lot of faith that his decision making will improve.
Brenden Dillon - He's big, mean, skates well, shoots to kill, and he's only 21. Stars fans had him penciled into the NHL lineup out of training camp and for good reason.
Jack Campbell - Horrible. His fundamentals are exceptional but he idolizes a goalie (Turco) with awful fundamentals and mimics his style by frequently flopping around trying to make saves look a lot harder than they really are, and all that really just throws his fundamentals out the window. The talent is impressive but he needs to be locked in a room for 6 months with his eyes taped open watching Henrik Lundqvist play. He also has a tendency to forget where the goal is behind him.
Cam Barker - Hahahaha... forget the NHL, he's too bad for the AHL. Easily the worst top 10 pick in a loooong time. Worse than Brule, Filatov, Brendl and most others that get mentioned in those "biggest bust" threads. Just hilariously bad.

Mikael Granlund - He has obvious top flight offensive skill and creativity, but he's prone to turning the puck over and getting passes picked off, which isn't unusual for a 20 year old playmaker. He deserves every bit of the hype he gets. Hopefully he spends the entire year in the AHL even if the NHL returns. Next year, he'll take the NHL by storm.
Charlie Coyle - He's very strong on his skates and on the puck. I have few complaints or mistakes to note, but he lacks flash. I know he has an excellent shot from watching him in college and in the WJC, but he didn't show it off in these two games. He's the most likely of his linemates to find a spot on an NHL roster in the immediate future, but he would benefit as well from some more AHL time.
Jason Zucker - I've always been a fan of his and that hasn't changed. He constantly buzzes around both zones. On defense, he hounds the puck carrier and uses his stick actively, on offense he's either creating havoc on the forecheck or getting open and keeping his stick on the ice. He's just a nuisance for opposing teams. He's NHL ready, but there's some untapped offensive potential there that might get brought out if he's given offensive responsibility in the AHL for a year or possibly two.
Johan Larsson - I really didn't see anything special from him. He really blended in at this level. I've seen him compared to Johan Franzen and unless he just wasn't himself these two games, I feel that anyone who makes that comparison has never seen Larsson play. Nonetheless, he's a useful depth prospect that should stick in the NHL for a few hundred games in his career as a utility forward.
Jonas Brodin - Comparing his style to Lidstrom's fits him perfectly. He seems to always make the simplest, but smartest, play with the puck, and I didn't see him get cleanly beaten on defense a single time. At 19 years old he's simply too good for the AHL.
Marco Scandella - He was just manhandling the Stars forwards all weekend. I don't see a whole lot of potential here, but at 22 he looks like a solid 5/6/7 NHL defenseman who can make a play offensively but shouldn't be relied upon to do so. He plays pretty much exactly like Brenden Dillon.
Matt Hackett - He allowed one goal on 27 shots yesterday. Texas didn't really test him. Everything about his game was sharp, from positioning, to rebound control, to reflexes. I don't know about his lateral movement but that's mainly because Texas never forced him to make a save while moving laterally... Really everything indicates he could be an NHL starter one day, though admittedly I couldn't get a very clear read on him.

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