Man Sterling is looking good. You have to wonder if he ends up getting back to the NHL.
You can see Grenier has skill. Real nice touch with the puck. However, you have to wonder if he has enough strength to get into scoring areas. Actually playing a pretty good two way game.
Freisen had a couple of good shifts but you see he needs at times to keep his feet moving. In Junior you can coast through situations but here you burned a lot quicker if you get watching the play. Same thing Schroeder had to learn
Schneider has great pk shift and his line is doing ok. Actually Daovettilla made a couple of nice set ups. Mallet had a couple of effective shifts but whiffed badly on a good set up.
Hunt and Blain continue to play very well. Polosek needs work on sorting out play around the net. Gets heavy footed at times.
Announcers mentioned the Canucks may go with 9 defenseman and 12 forwards.
Wolves win 4-1 and played very good team game - especially defensively.
Probably should have watched scrimmage but figured I get lots of reports anyways. Going tomorrow
Some observations (realize everything has to be taken with a grain salt given the competition level here)
Grenier - I've been pretty dismissive of Grenier since Penticton but maybe need to to think twice here. Grenier has some talent. Slick touch and cool with the puck. Thought he played well both ways and looked dangerous in the offensive zone. Real good start at this level but we will see when competition improves.
Polosek - Has some work to do. Needs to work on first pass out of zone and be more alert around the net. Had some good moments when he bounced people off the puck and kept the puck in the offensive zone. Skating agility may be a problem here.
Kenton Miller - had very good game. Player that grows on you. Broke up a lot of plays and moved puck well. Probably should be on the first line instead of Friesen. Clearly outplaying Kattelus and maybe kept up even after others return. Guy who was kicked around in minor hockey but may be something of a late bloomer. Really difficult to see long term potential but doing well in this opportunity.
Schnieder had one of those games that gives you some justification for his signing. Probably a result of competition sinking to his level but he was a dominant on PK and his line did a great job on the forecheck. Played with and very much supported Daovettilla who, despite some problems in his own zone, had a decent game. Getting an assist was a good reward for a player with Daovettilla background.
Hunt - is playing extremely well game after game. You wonder if he has a future. To me. you can give Hunt a star every night. He just might be the best defenseman on this team and second only to Tanev when you look at the whole season. Just made some players look silly tonight.
Mallett. Mostly invisible - maybe in a good way as his line was well positioned all night and kept it simple. Thought his line was effective as a result
Friesen - not very noticeable. Being asked to play in a role above his level at this time, especially offensively. But still, I think, you have to be overall pleased with his improvement. Had a chance to score again tonight so maybe some offense will emerge here.
Blain continues solid work. He is going to push people for a job in Chicago.
Negrin - saddled with Meskovic but played well enough . Showed an ability to move the puck up and certainly on the right side of the +/- ledger.
Clime was again good but really he didn't have to be as good as he has been lately. The team played well in front of him and limited chances. Too bad about the late goal as Climie had quite shut out streak going.
Play of some are going to give the Wolves some choices to make as others return. Like to see Grenier and Blain get more time. To me Mallett might be better served by getting first line work in Kalamazoo.
Was this game by Schneider a one-off? Or is he maybe a guy that grows into a NHL 4th line role and just takes a long time to develop?
Just my opinion, but I see enough in Schneider to believe he could be of help in a 4th line capacity at the AHL level. Played this role in Manitoba and was ok. Been banged up so maybe has lost something. However, if he can regain form maybe helps here.
I don't see any NHL potential b/c of lack of foot speed