Mario Scalzo has been looking pretty good of late and seems to be getting more and more comfortable with his offensive game in the AHL as the year has progressed. With numerous defensemen injured (Traverse, Belle, Grossman) and now Greene up with Edmonton, Scalzo is getting even more time. He's pretty impressive offensively. He skates quite well and he makes some pretty nice moves. Sometimes he makes unnecessary moves in the neutral zone, but...
Where he's most effective is the power play. He has set up some nice plays in recent games that have resulted in goals. He had one assist where he basically did a lap in the attack zone and drew everyone toward him to pass it to Loui Eriksson for an easy tap-in. Last game he set up Toby Petersen for an important one-timer that kept the Iowa Stars in the game.
Coach Allison has been speaking Scalzo's praise lately too. If you ask me, he's one of the best prospects Dallas has in Iowa. He does have some difficulty in physical battles, but if Dallas needs a good puckmoving defenseman for the power play, Scalzo is the man for the job. At 5'9" 187 pounds, even if Scalzo were to add more muscle, I think he'd always have trouble in physical battles at the NHL level. However, pair him with a big defensive defenseman, and you'll have a balanced pair.
Such as Nicklas Grossman. Before he injured his shoulder against San Antonio, Grossman was incredibly steady, especially when one considers how young he is. Grossman has NHL defensive defenseman written all over him.
One other guy who's looking decent this year is Marius Holtet. Man, does this guy give an effort. He has decent speed and some skill to boot, but his bread and butter is his effort forechecking and backchecking. He's seeing penalty killing time this year and has been seeing a little power play time recently too. Holtet finishes his checks so often. However, he shows his skill now and then too. He scored an important shootout goal against Chicago on Saturday. I would say that Holtet has the potential to be a contributing fourth line NHL player. Not one receiving 4 or 5 minutes, but 9 or 10 minutes. He's not there yet, but he was worth the draft pick and the development in the AHL. I think as Marius gains more and more confidence, he'll become more and more of a two-way threat. He doesn't have big AHL numbers, but he does have some skill. He may not crack Dallas until the end of his entry level contract, but he does have a chance.