I really like him when he has the puck. He just makes good decisions with it. He isn't an exceptional stickhandler or a blazer, but he doesn't panic, and makes good passes. He has a slow release on his shot, but it's a hard one. He's not a really tall guy, but he's really solidly built, and when he wants to crush someone, he really can. I think he's got all the tools to be an NHL D man, especially if he keeps his physical game up. If you ever get a chance to watch a Halifax game, it's obvious watching him he is just a smarter defenseman than pretty much anyone else in the Q most nights.
Very good and accurate description. Picard really impressed me everytime I've seen him play.... he could really be a steal....not a superstar but an excellent D-man. my only downside his that I've been reading about his offense everywhere and though he had points almost everytime, he dosn't seems really like an offensive defenceman to me.
Like Paxtang mentioned his release is a bit slow... like he'd wants to crank it up a bit too much. He looked more like a sure thing in the defensive side, and a fairly good guy on offense. But like mentionned what sets him appart in the Q is decision making and aggressiveness. I would compare his potential to a lesser version of Nick Boynton
Ruzicka is playing with Owen Sound, currently the CHL's 2nd ranked team. If it were not for London this year I believe they could see Memorial Cup action. The team should go deep into the playoffs.
EDIT: I also forgot about Triston Grant in my CHL update last night. He scored the GWG to lead the Giants over the Silvertips.
Hitch spoke about Grant a few weeks ago and said he was really excited about how much he's improved this year now that he's been given some real ice time. I'm not going to pretend that Grant is all of a sudden a good player now, but I expect him to be on the Phantoms next year along with Gratton, which should be a fun one two punch to watch.
Ruzicka scored his 27th of the year today against Gino Pisellini and the Plymouth Whalers. Thats 27 goals in 37 games on the season, 20 of which are even strength goals.
Mike Richards had an assist vs. the Knights today, and fought Bryan Rodney. No word on how he faired.
Beauchemin, Grant, Scurko and Tremblay are playing this afternoon as well.
I went to today's game in Plymouth to see Ruzicka for the first time. His goal was pretty as he had the puck in the middle, passed it off to the right circle, got it in down low and jammed it pass the Plymouth goalie to make it 1-0. A few minutes later, he fought off 2 defenders and with heavy pressure got off a shot in traffic that only a great save stopped. He did not avoid the contact (even got a roughing call), is strong on the puck, and has a nice shot. I saw live for the first time what I have been reading about.
Also, saw draft eligible Bobby Ryan play. He is the real deal and is a power forward with a strong 2-way game. He scored the other 2 goals for Owen Sound. He will be gone long before the FLyers draft, but oh what a solid prospect he looks like for an 18 year old.
I just read that Alexandre Picard is "arguably" on of the best defenceman in the QMJHL this year. Although he's only 19, will he be shipped off to the Phantoms next AHL season?
On another note. Ben Eager hasn't had such an important role this year and I think this has to do with his size and age. He's the youngest player on the phantoms right now and has been placed into a checking role. With the graduation of Sharp, and other prospects does anyone think he'll be put on the second line?
Yes, he does...... but psst.... check the number of games
True. I prefer to use points per game, it's more accurate.
As of right now it's Richards at 1.37, Carter at 1.30 and Ruzicka at 1.29.
Rosie's been in a bit of a rut. But I don't use Bobby Ryan's absence as an excuse though. He proved last year he could put up points without Bobby. He should be able to do it this year.
He played a little more physical last night but got snapped on by a Colts defenseman and he didn't want any part of it. Didn't fair well at all with the golves dropped, although that's to be expected in my opinion. His helmet didn't even come off and from the camera angle RSO had it was hard to tell if any punches at him connected, he was trying pretty hard to get out of it. No blood or brusies for evidence. I just hope this doesn't stop him from playing with a bit of an edge, though it shouldn't.
What's this I hear about Richards and a groin injury? He started last game but didn't finish. Is this something that will cause him to miss much time?
I'm guessing Richards isn't playing this weekend....
The Ontario Hockey League today announced that David Bolland of the London Knights and Evan McGrath of the Kitchener Rangers have been added to the Western Conference roster for the 2005 Bell All-Star Classic to replace forwards Bobby Ryan of the Owen Sound Attack and Michael Richards of the Kitchener Rangers who are unable to participate in the game due to injury.
Alexandre Picard had two goals tonight and was named first star of the game. Last night he scored one, while having a quarter of his team's shots, 11, and was named third star of the game. He now has 12 goals and 14 assists through 46 games.