FanPost

Observations from Dev. Camp Scrimmage

This is just a presentation of my notes from the dev camp scrimmage today. Curious to compare notes with other posters/attendees/writers and see if we noticed the same things.

Standouts:

DLR-Audette-Sekac line and Andrighetto-Holland (can't remember who the center was off the top of my head) line were the only real offense for Red, and only DLR/Audette/Sekac had any real consistency about it. Most shifts they were probably the best 2-way line, as should be expected with two wings who played against men all last season. Sekac had one particularly great shift where he played a snappy give and go with his D on the breakout, toe-dragged a trapping wing in the neutral zone, trucked another Kovy-on-Tucker-with-less-elbow after crossing the blue line, traded passes with DLR only to have the slot-one timer knocked a bit of course before he could put it home. Sekac looked like a man against boys, mostly because he is. DLR didn't have a ton of offense on display but showed great defensive awareness, as expected. Definitely looks to be a potentially good fit with Eller on a young, elite-potential 3rd line.

Andrighetto was the other standout on Red. He was playing at pro-speed: quick decisions, quick acceleration on the breakout and picking up in the neutral zone, shifty and agile. It might be AHL pro speed, but clearly much faster than most of the attendees. Won his goal off a fearless forecheck, banging one of the big defensemen behind the net with another covering, before a fluky bounce took it through Fucale's five-hole.

On white, the two players who most caught my eye were Hudon (seriously great hockey sense, looked to be getting close to the pro speed I mentioned re: Andrighetto, always made something happen) and the exceptional Christian Thomas. Thomas was a shifty, smart threat every time he got the puck. Set up everyone, won board battles, deked, and made beautifully weighted saucer passes while moving through the zone. Even though it wouldn't be reflected on the scoresheet, I'd say he was the best player overall in today's scrimmage. Every time he touched the puck he did something smart/good with it. The in-tight finish on his goal was the best of the bunch in my opinion.

Other prospects of note:

Gregoire, didn't really notice him. Maybe not so much of note.

McCarron, visibly frustrated at times including a Hulk-like stick smash against the glass after getting tied up on the boards by someone presumably 40 lbs lighter than him. I don't think he played all that poorly but definitely still putting it all together. Will never carry a line in the NHL, and probably won't even carry one in the OHL. But has tools, size, and skating to be a complementary beast down low.

After walking back to the bus stop around the side of the facility, I can safely report what everyone already knows: Scherbak is awesome off-ice and already clearly a fan fave. That being said, he has a long way ahead of him on the ice. Nowhere near pro speed yet, but will be. Made some smart passes in the O-zone, including part of the set-up for White's first goal. I give him 2.5-3.5 years to be a serious call-up option. At the moment he is a very tall, kind of hilarious child.

Fucale: None of the goalies were that noticeable, except the Wheat Kings kid who is small and plays deep in his net and will never see an NHL roster. Hawkey had a day to forget, but he didn't get a lot of help from Red. But one thing I noticed was Fucale's embrace of a kind of leadership position. I was seated over the tunnel and he basically pumped up the guys before they came out at first and seemed to be kind of head of the pack. Also I noticed him raucously cheering on his goaltending partner (I think the kid from Ferris State?) after a good save. He moves with a swagger and confidence that's pretty good for a 19 year old kid. Sees himself as a leader, presumably a consummate teammate. Likely great backup material, though we won't need him to be for a few years.

Disappointments:

Main disappointment had to be Mac Bennett. Had some real curious reads/problems with gap control while defending. If you hated the way Montreal gave up the blue line last year, you would have hated watching Mac today. Didn't see much of the puck moving that he's lauded for, but he's coming off a season-ending injury and there were no power plays or opportunities to really open it up for him. It's possible that it was him who made a great outlet pass in the second to spring a breakaway, but the pass was made from the other end and I couldn't see who it was. I'm not writing him off by any means, just less excited for him in the AHL than I had been. But now that I think about it, Lernout and Koberstein were both pretty forgettable and so was Ellis. Maybe that's more a reflection of the offense-heavy type of game rather than their play as defensemen. Or maybe I watch the puck too much, which is why I'll probably never be a pro scout.

Others might disagree but I wasn't impressed with MacMillan. Noticed a few times having slow decision-making, including one particularly egregious moment where he got a perfect dish in the slot and controlled, hesitated, and shot into the defenders stick rather than shooting right away. At a camp like this, I feel like it should be obvious who is thinking the game at a 22 year old/pro-level and who isn't, and I felt like MacMillan was thinking slow for one of the more senior guys at the camp.

Invites: Schmalz started stronger but kind of faded as it went on. Did lay a mean hurting on Momisso early on. Imama made a particularly crap decision on a 3-on-1, choosing to shoot center mass off the left wing instead of passing or even shooting in to the legs. Fast and nasty, but no real diamond in the rough potential as I see it. Was hoping to see some potential in Padakin, as he seems so intriguing as a cheap addition to the prospect ranks. But honestly, he didn't show much in this game.

If anyone has any specific questions, I'd be happy to try and answer them.

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