WHL Facts @WHLFacts
250 - With a goal & an assist tonight, @EdmOilKings Michael St. Croix (@stixy18) has just recorded his 250th career WHL point (reg season)
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Boo looked really good yesterday. Had spectacular one and one to get through two defensemen somehow and had a perfect feed on the resulting 2 on 1. The other forward couldn't bury it, but it was gorgeous.
He was strong on the puck all night, and had great passing vision. Still want to see more wheels from him though.
Sweden hasn't picked any established/veteran NHLers. But there's five younger pro's on the roster.
I'll be travelling and won't see any of the games, but if anyone is hungry for hockey they should look for streams 7-10th November. I've not seen all the rosters, but due to the lockout teams will be very strong (although I think the biggest names will be left at hom). It will be a great test for Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fasth. And as also has been reported previously by BBK and me, Carl Hagelin is playing tremendous hockey in the 2nd tier league and I can't help to wonder if the kid has taking another big step in his development over the summer, because he has so far been heads and shoulders above someone like Anze Kopitar or Gabriel Landeskog or Patrick Berglund (at the same time, its perfectly possible that a really fast player like him just is a better fit at a lower level then the bigger guys who really are targeted by the other team, but still...). He has basically been able to use his speed with the puck to his advantage as he has been able to do that in the NHL without the puck. He is constantly feetching pucks in the corners and taking it to the net or skating the puck up ice and what not.
Having followed these tournaments and prospects in them for atleast 15 years, more often than not its a great indicator of how close a player really is. Especially when you look at the best players that has come from behind somewhat and established themselves in the NHL. Guys like Kim Johnson, Henrik Zetterberg and Valteri Filpulla are examples of that, like they were very strong in their national leagues, but it was in these tournaments they really stood out. Players that like become alot better by playing with better players. It will be very interesting to see Fasth shoulder to shoulder to Carl Hagelin too, for example. You can possibly not get a better indicator than that of were that kid is.
In the second period of last weekend's Saturday night game against Michigan Tech, Skjei had the puck behind his net looking up for a quick outlet pass, he hit his man with the pass, and took a big hit (off camera as the camera followed the puck) as the TV commentators mentioned rather loudly.
After the hit he skated maybe one or two quick shifts, but after the second intermission, he didn't skate a shift in the third period.
Before that hit he's been very good. Smart player. Very good positioning. Finds a way to wedge his body between the opposing player and the puck. He's strong he's able to push opponents around. He skates at an elite level for a player his size, and when he does make an error in judgment he has the speed to cover it. He doesn't make many mistakes. Very smart player.
He is, as advertised, in the McDonagh mould. Though, I see a bit more offensive upside, he's more willing to rush the puck, and he has a very heavy shot.
Outstanding pick, once again, from Gorton and Clark.
Expect to see a line of Hagelin - Lindberg - Fast at some point for the Swedish National Team. although Hagelin will probably be slotted on the 1st line as well. Interesting - The Swedish Smorgasbord Line...