I really liked what Jankowski provided today. He has an absolutely filthily release, and a high end hockey sense (the ability to find the open areas on the ice). I think he needs to assert himself into the play more consistently and become a larger focal point on the offensive end, because he certainly has the skills and frame to do so. With that said, I think he wanted to show that his 200 foot game has grown since last year and was making a conscious effort of not getting caught up ice. Outside of Elson, I thought he was the best player on the ice in the third period.
Monahan and Gaudreau simply dominated the game for the vast majority of the time they were on the ice. Both players posses elite hockey sense and playmaking abilities and are a treat to watch together. I believe both players ended up with three points during this scrimmage. Monahan's two way game is NHL ready, and we all certainly know about Johnny's skill.
Pat Sieloff is a physical, energetic, mobile player with a "never quit" type mentality.
I will be utterly shocked if he does not become a mainstay at the NHL level in some capacity one day very soon. I am heavily interested in seeing how his game progresses on a hopefully much better Windsor team this next year, and of course at the World Juniors as well.
John Ramage and Tyler Wotherspoon continued to impress today, and I can't say enough about just how steady these two players are as they patrol the blueline. I can't wait to see them both in Abbotsford this coming year.
Markus Granlund had yet another great game. I must say that I have always been slightly skeptical about this player, but he has certainly surprised me this week. From what I saw he was actually quite good in the faceoff circle, and of course his offensive game is top notch. His shot is lethal.
Turner Elson was the best player in both scrimmages combined in my opinion. He just continues to impress me. I did not see a single aspect of his game that I did not like. I hope he gets a significant opportunity this year in AHL and I suspect that Troy Ward is going to love this kids game.
I thought Emile Poirier struggled at times in the first scrimmage, but really came on strong today. He displayed his breakaway speed on multiple occasions and was creating opportunities for himself at the drop of a hat. His skillset and physical maturity is still quite raw overall, but you can certainly see that he has speed to burn, and a solid all around game. I fully expect him to spend at the very least another year in Gatineau, and then presumably the following year in Abbotsford (since he is a 94' born) before he is on the radar for an NHL spot.
Morgan Klimchuk certainly did not wow anybody with his offensive abilities during the scrimmages this week, but man oh man does this kid work his tail off. I would say that his puck pursuit and and work ethic were the best out of any player at camp. He will need to bulk up over the course of the next year or two in Regina, but I liked what I saw from Morgan this week. Outside of his hustle, I would say that his shot is his greatest asset.
Jon Gillies showed us first hand why he had so much success in Providence last year.
I am really not the greatest at evaluating goaltending because I have never played the position, but it is extremely hard not to come away impressed with his size and natural ability.
Lastly, I was really impressed with Ferland's finish to the camp. It is so easy to see why he had to much success at the Junior level with his size and physical gifts. His skating has improved from what I have seen and I can only hope that he has and will continue commit himself to becoming a full time pro.
I would keep going, but I thought I would end it here. All in all I thought this week was a gigantic success and it certainly showcased the amount of growth we as an organization have made in terms of selecting and developing talent over the past three years or so. I can honestly say that I have never been this excited about the prospects we have in our system, and hopefully we see the rewards of a having a legitimate prospect pool paying dividends on the big club within the foreseeable future. I for one expect we will!
Someone had an interesting idea, putting Backlund on the wing (where he has played before with success apparently) and having Jankowski as a possible 2nd line center.
Janko's got miles to go until he can center a second a line in the NHL. By then, Backs should be 27/28... that's not worth putting him on the wing for a first year player down the middle.
JG - Monahan - X
is only maybe 2 years away from being pretty dominant at the NHL level. Janko's not going to be ready for second line duties then.
Backlund was worth throwing on the wing, if Calgary managed to get one of the FA centers, or traded for one that had NHL experience. In like 3-4 years when Jankowski can finally play in the NHL... It's not worth putting an older Backlund on the wing. You'd be better off throwing Janko there if Calgary was actually able to compete at that time.
JG has some unreal skill. I think he is easily our most skilled prospect he has some incredible vision and hands. I really hope he can add some more mass to his frame as I think he has nhl ability right now.