I headed over to the job this morning and had to deal with stupid football fans, I almost hit one with my car. I digress. I went to the job to watch the rookie practice. All of the rookies that will be playing in the rookie game were there.
First off, goalies in attendance were Joel Gistedt and Kurtis Mucha. Gistedt was pretty impressive. I can definitely see the talent there. I was not as enamored with Mucha. He obviously isn’t to Gistedt’s level yet. During one defensive drill, it didn’t look like he was trying much at all.
The forwards were broken down into lines for most of the drills and the mini-scrimmage they did. Top line was Turris, Tikhonov (Chickenoff) and Boedker. I have a total man-crush on Turris. That kid is just so talented. He is practically oozing talent. And those three are fast m-effers! The next line was MacLean, Porter and Kolarik. This line wasn’t as impressive as the Turris, Chickenoff and Boedker line. I didn’t notice them too much (as I was busy watching the dmen). I cannot remember the rest of the lines but they included Staal, Colin Long, John Flatters, Adam Perry and Daine Todd.
I am liking Nick Ross even more this year. He seems a lot more confident and his skating seems quite smooth. He had good puck control and he also seemed to be directing his fellow dmen. Ahnelov handled the puck quite well except for one drill where they had to skate out, spin in a circle and then put the puck on net. He was having problems with the spinning and keeping the puck, but so were most other ds (Sean Sullivan and Michael Stone had a lot of trouble with this one too). Michael Stone and Mathieu Brodeur stood out mainly because of their size. Brodeur is listed as 6’5 but I swear he is taller than that. He seemed to tower over Ahnelov (or maybe Ahnelov is lying about his 6’3). Stone is listed at 6’3 and 205 but he just seemed so much bigger to me. The d did a lot of puck control/skating drills.
Once the players split up between d and forwards, I did not watch the forwards drills. The d just have so much more interesting drills. It’s all skating and puck control. I would glance down at the forwards but whenever I did, they were just doing a shooting drill. I am more about goalies and d. I like to watch when the forwards are denied. I like seeing the shot being stopped or the puck stripped from the forward.
Also, the job was not very cold. The first half of practice it seemed like a lot of the guys fell or lost an edge. The ice looked quite cloudy and not quite right. After the zamboni came through, the ice looked much better and there wasn’t the falling like before. The job also seemed to get a little colder by the end.
The guys also did like a mini scrimmage. They were actually getting a little rough with each other. There was some shoving and checking into the boards.
Overall, it was a good practice to see. It’s nice to see our future talent because some of it is just amazing. It’s also fun to see how the guys have developed from previous years.