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Looking for some thoughts on some USA U17 players

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Old
02-22-2005, 09:54 PM
  #1
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Looking for some thoughts on some USA U17 players

I'm preparing an article on some prospects on the USA Hockey U-17 team ...
They've got some astounding young talents who loook like top prospects for the 06 draft.

Erik Johnson -- Big defenseman with great skill. WIll play for gophers in 06. Great skater for a big kid. Loves to move the puck up the ice. He likes to mix it up and he throws his body around, but doesn't have hitter's mentality like Jack Johnson. Way to early to say, but seems like a lock for the first round.

Dan O'Brien - Looks like a powerfoward with great skill in the making. 6'2. Good size. Willing to hit. SICK moves. Lots of upside. Needs to shoot more.

Brett Bennet - Every team I've seen this kid, I've been impressed. He plays his angles. He seems big in the net, though he's not huge (6ft). He's got a great glove. He moves well. He makes the easy saves look easy. He makes game-saving spectacular saves. He LOVES to play the puck and get it up ice to teammates. And he's very vocal, telling teammates where they should be and who's sneaking in.

Other impressive guys?
Patrick Kane is an offensive force, but he's just 5'9.
Ryan Flynn is a big forward who loves to hit, loves to shoot, and is very responsible in his own end. The whole package.
Rhett Rakshani seem's much bigger than the 5'10 he's listed at. Lots of skill. Good skater.
Chad Morin very skilled offensive defenseman.
Kevin Montgomery has a hard and quick shot from the point. He also has decent size for a defenseman at 6'1 and growing.
And Jamie McBain is rock solid in his own end and punishes forwards.

Any thoughts on this guys?

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02-22-2005, 10:47 PM
  #2
cagney
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One thing I'd point out is that James O'Brien is actually an '89 birthdate so he's '07 draft eligible.

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02-22-2005, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagney
One thing I'd point out is that James O'Brien is actually an '89 birthdate so he's '07 draft eligible.
Good lord, you're right.
Man. This kid is already 6'2. He's already got dynamite skills. He's only going to get bigger and better and start using that size.
Wow.

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02-22-2005, 11:42 PM
  #4
cagney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsguyone
Good lord, you're right.
Man. This kid is already 6'2. He's already got dynamite skills. He's only going to get bigger and better and start using that size.
Wow.
Yeah, he's a pretty impressive player considering his age.

I got to see the U17 team a few times via internet broadcast and while it wasn't great quality I came away with a few impressions of my own...

Johnson is a decent skater for his size but it's still probably the weakest element of his game. It seemed like he was able to compensate on the rush with his excellent stick skills. I saw him juke a few forecheckers in a very impressive manner. If he improves his skating he could really be a force rushing the puck. He already looks like a pro out there with his size and poise.

Kane seems to have the best scoring instincts on the team and when that is combined with his speed he makes for a real offensive force. However, when I saw him he got ragdolled by opposing defensemen. He seems like a player that could excel with lots of room, playing against players his own age but he really needs to bulk up to compete with older, bigger players. You can see that he does much better statistically against players his own age than he does against older players.

Flynn seems like the most impressive forward from an NHL standpoint (besides '89 O'Brien). He didn't seem to have elite skills but he's got the size and mobility to be a prospect. I'll be interested to see how he progresses over the next year.

D-man Mike Ratchuk looked like he could be one of the most purely skilled players they had. It's unfortunate that he's so small because he can just flat out fly with the puck. I have heard people question his hockey sense but I'd want to see him more before making my own decision.

I really liked d-man Brian Strait's poise and sense for the game. He was a real leader on the U17 team and didn't look out of place on the U18 team the one time I saw them.

Forward Blake Geoffrion looked better than I thought he would considering his average stats. He worked hard, handled the puck well and had a nice shot. He was also solid in his own end. He certainly didn't seem like the high-end player many had hyped him to be but he was still pretty good.

That's how I remember it.

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Old
02-23-2005, 10:57 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagney
Yeah, he's a pretty impressive player considering his age.
He's been the one forward that impresses me just about every time I see them.
Over the past tjree weeks I've been focusing on the U17 team. And they're pretty darn good.
I'm a little leary of their defensive play as a unit.

Quote:
I got to see the U17 team a few times via internet broadcast and while it wasn't great quality I came away with a few impressions of my own...

Johnson is a decent skater for his size but it's still probably the weakest element of his game. It seemed like he was able to compensate on the rush with his excellent stick skills. I saw him juke a few forecheckers in a very impressive manner. If he improves his skating he could really be a force rushing the puck. He already looks like a pro out there with his size and poise.
It's hard to say, given the speed of his opponents, but this kid seems to have too many end-to-end rushes to not be considered a good skater.


Quote:
Kane seems to have the best scoring instincts on the team and when that is combined with his speed he makes for a real offensive force. However, when I saw him he got ragdolled by opposing defensemen. He seems like a player that could excel with lots of room, playing against players his own age but he really needs to bulk up to compete with older, bigger players. You can see that he does much better statistically against players his own age than he does against older players.
It's funny. He's always the top point scorer, but I've never seen him really stand out.

Quote:
Flynn seems like the most impressive forward from an NHL standpoint (besides '89 O'Brien). He didn't seem to have elite skills but he's got the size and mobility to be a prospect. I'll be interested to see how he progresses over the next year.
These guys will be the Skilles and Stoas next season.

Quote:
D-man Mike Ratchuk looked like he could be one of the most purely skilled players they had. It's unfortunate that he's so small because he can just flat out fly with the puck. I have heard people question his hockey sense but I'd want to see him more before making my own decision.
He seems like the most stable defensive defensive of the bunch. He also seems to have the kind of presence you want your defenseman to have.

Quote:
I really liked d-man Brian Strait's poise and sense for the game. He was a real leader on the U17 team and didn't look out of place on the U18 team the one time I saw them.
Yeah. I haven't seen Straight since he made the jump, as all of U18 games are on the road lately.

Quote:
Forward Blake Geoffrion looked better than I thought he would considering his average stats. He worked hard, handled the puck well and had a nice shot. He was also solid in his own end. He certainly didn't seem like the high-end player many had hyped him to be but he was still pretty good.

That's how I remember it.
He plays with great energy. I didn't notice anything remarkable about his skills./

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02-23-2005, 03:56 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsguyone
I'm preparing an article on some prospects on the USA Hockey U-17 team ...
They've got some astounding young talents who loook like top prospects for the 06 draft.

Erik Johnson -- Big defenseman with great skill. WIll play for gophers in 06. Great skater for a big kid. Loves to move the puck up the ice. He likes to mix it up and he throws his body around, but doesn't have hitter's mentality like Jack Johnson. Way to early to say, but seems like a lock for the first round.

Dan O'Brien - Looks like a powerfoward with great skill in the making. 6'2. Good size. Willing to hit. SICK moves. Lots of upside. Needs to shoot more.

Brett Bennet - Every team I've seen this kid, I've been impressed. He plays his angles. He seems big in the net, though he's not huge (6ft). He's got a great glove. He moves well. He makes the easy saves look easy. He makes game-saving spectacular saves. He LOVES to play the puck and get it up ice to teammates. And he's very vocal, telling teammates where they should be and who's sneaking in.

Other impressive guys?
Patrick Kane is an offensive force, but he's just 5'9.
Ryan Flynn is a big forward who loves to hit, loves to shoot, and is very responsible in his own end. The whole package.
Rhett Rakshani seem's much bigger than the 5'10 he's listed at. Lots of skill. Good skater.
Chad Morin very skilled offensive defenseman.
Kevin Montgomery has a hard and quick shot from the point. He also has decent size for a defenseman at 6'1 and growing.
And Jamie McBain is rock solid in his own end and punishes forwards.

Any thoughts on this guys?
Erik Johnson- Great size, great skills, good head for the game, not a pretty skater but gets the job done, NHL shot already, 1st round material!
Brian Strait- Ok size, good skills, great skater, great head for the position, good leader, more of a defensive defensmen.
Chris summers- good skills, good skater, good head for the game, good size, just an all around good solid d-man.
Kevin Montgomery- Ok size, physical d-man, good offensive talents, another solid all around d-man.
Mike ratchuk- Great skater with great skills but no size. Doesn't have the head for the position. I predict some College coach will make him play forward if he wants to see ice time.
Ryan Flynn- Great size, very strong, still finding his way. I think the second year of the program will be a big year for him.
James O'brien- Great size, Great skills, good skater. 1st round pick in 07
Luke Popko- Not very tall but very strong on his skates. great skills, works hard.
Bill Sweat- Highly skilled and very fast with the puck on his stick. Sweet moves in tight around the net. Needs to bulk up.
Rhett Rakshani- Probably the most talanted forward on the team. Not a pretty skater but is strong on his skates. Consistantly finds the back of the net.
Blake Geoffrion- This one puzzles me! He has great size and very good skills but he doesn't seem to show up to play every game.
Michael Carmen- Good skills, very fast, needs to be a more complete player.
Brett Bennet & Joe Palmer- I'd take either one in net. Brett seems to be more athletic but Joe makes it look easy!

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Old
02-23-2005, 05:00 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigd
Erik Johnson- Great size, great skills, good head for the game, not a pretty skater but gets the job done, NHL shot already, 1st round material!
Brian Strait- Ok size, good skills, great skater, great head for the position, good leader, more of a defensive defensmen.
Chris summers- good skills, good skater, good head for the game, good size, just an all around good solid d-man.
Kevin Montgomery- Ok size, physical d-man, good offensive talents, another solid all around d-man.
Mike ratchuk- Great skater with great skills but no size. Doesn't have the head for the position. I predict some College coach will make him play forward if he wants to see ice time.
Ryan Flynn- Great size, very strong, still finding his way. I think the second year of the program will be a big year for him.
James O'brien- Great size, Great skills, good skater. 1st round pick in 07
Luke Popko- Not very tall but very strong on his skates. great skills, works hard.
Bill Sweat- Highly skilled and very fast with the puck on his stick. Sweet moves in tight around the net. Needs to bulk up.
Rhett Rakshani- Probably the most talanted forward on the team. Not a pretty skater but is strong on his skates. Consistantly finds the back of the net.
Blake Geoffrion- This one puzzles me! He has great size and very good skills but he doesn't seem to show up to play every game.
Michael Carmen- Good skills, very fast, needs to be a more complete player.
Brett Bennet & Joe Palmer- I'd take either one in net. Brett seems to be more athletic but Joe makes it look easy!
Bill Sweatt just committed to CC.

Didn't Johnson and Geoffrion also commit already?

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02-23-2005, 05:07 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oilers Chick
Bill Sweatt just committed to CC.

Didn't Johnson and Geoffrion also commit already?
Johnson is Gopher. Not sure about Geoffrion

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02-23-2005, 07:08 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsguyone
Johnson is Gopher. Not sure about Geoffrion
Carman has also committed to Minnesota

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02-23-2005, 08:16 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsguyone
Good lord, you're right.
Man. This kid is already 6'2. He's already got dynamite skills. He's only going to get bigger and better and start using that size.
Wow.
Not to steal anything from this thread, but Nate Gillies is the same age but 6'5. The kid is freaking monsterious.

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02-23-2005, 08:21 PM
  #11
bigd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuckFan01
Carman has also committed to Minnesota
Carman, Johnson - Minnesota
Bennett, Strait, Squires - BU
Summers, fardig - Michigan
Sweat - Colorado College
McBain - Wisconsin

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Old
02-23-2005, 08:29 PM
  #12
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Kane and Montgomery were both in London with their parents last weekend and they were given the VIP tour and took in a game vs. Sarnia. With so many players leaving London after this season, the Hunters are desperately trying to get these two signed.

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Old
02-24-2005, 08:33 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomhower
Kane and Montgomery were both in London with their parents last weekend and they were given the VIP tour and took in a game vs. Sarnia. With so many players leaving London after this season, the Hunters are desperately trying to get these two signed.
Thanks for the tip, Boomhower.

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02-25-2005, 10:40 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oilers Chick
Bill Sweatt just committed to CC.

Didn't Johnson and Geoffrion also commit already?
According to the comprehensive Chris Heisenberg, Geoffrion is still in play. I know Michigan is after him and Kane heavily.

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