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12-06-2012, 11:40 AM
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It was my first time watching Walsh play. I came in with low expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised for the most part. Walsh played first line right wing tonight, he didn't get any penalty kill time, but did play on the first power play wave.

The first thing that caught my eye when watching him was how strong he is on his skates. He was virtually immovable out there. Very strong and balanced, he knows where his body is at all times. His skating overall is horrible away from the puck. His technique looks odd and he’s not constantly moving either. He's a pretty slow guy away from the puck and plays a stop and go game. There was a few times where he should have kept his feet moving and he would have gotten the puck. His top end speed seems very slow and he looks sluggish on the ice. However, once he gets the puck his skating increases dramatically. He suddenly has fairly good speed, his technique doesn't look nearly as awkward and he starts skating hard.

Walsh’s offensive positioning really impressed me. It seemed like, for the most part, he was in a very good position to receive a pass. He slips away from his man and gets himself in scoring position. Speaking of passing, his passing needs some work. His play making is definitely on the weaker side, as he often tries to forces plays. However, his head is always up and seems to have good vision so the potential is there. His wrist shot is very good, lots of power and good accuracy. His release seems a bit slow, but when he gets it off it’s a laser beam. He picked up his first goal by a beautiful snipe after being in a good positioning to receive a pass.

His hockey sense surprised me. He has great positioning in the offensive zone and neutral zone as well. His compete level seems low though. Walsh doesn't engage himself nearly enough along the boards and doesn't attack the puck carrier at all. Defensively, he has some work to do. I really liked the effort though; he blocked shots and back checked. His positioning isn't the greatest and at some points it was just downright bizarre. He doesn't go into the corners either. For a guy of his stature, you’d expect him to at least battle it out time to time. The one time he did, he won the puck and it resulted in a goal for Dartmouth.

I want to talk a bit more about his balance and strength on his skates. It’s really impressive. He uses his body well along the boards not only to gain the puck but to keep it too, he just doesn't do it with consistency. He rarely finishes his checks, but he is physical in puck battles. His second goal came from great work along the boards, then going right to the net. He got the puck and fought off two defenders before backhanding it in.

Walsh is still very raw at this point, but the skill is there. I really hope I get to see more of his games in the future, he’s a very intriguing player. The skill level is there and so is the hockey sense, however the skating and compete level aren’t. Hopefully he improves those two aspects of his game.

Highlights: Here

First goal is at the 1:30 mark and the second is immediately follows it. He's #22 in white.

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