Sunday, September 10, 2006

Prospects In Camp

The wife called me crazy for dragging her at 9 AM to check out the Vancouver Canucks' prospect camp at 8-Rinks. Well, there were about 200 of us crazies there. (You know you live in a hockey city when...)

Some thoughts and observations from the scrimmage:
  • Luc Bourdon - Cool Hand Luc had Jovo's crazy legs out there. He frequently joined the forwards on the rush; he sometimes got caught. His skill level was better than most who were at camp, but his inexperience was obvious and he needs to learn to better pick his spots.
  • Michael Grabner - By far, the quickest guy on the ice. While chasing someone on a penalty shot, he managed to catch up and steal the puck away from behind. He's got Pavel's speed, but right now, his feet are going faster than his head and his hands.
  • Nathan Smith, Rick Rypien and Prestin Ryan - A couple of the hardest-working and most vocal players on the ice. Without much offensive upside, they need to carve a niche for themselves (a la Alex Burrows) to make the team.
  • Alexei Smirnov - You can tell that he has good hands and good offensive instincts. You can also tell that he lacks focus. It is easy to understand why, even as a high draft pick, he hasn't been able to stick in the NHL.
  • Jesse Schultz - Truth be told, the supposed successor to Anson Carter was practically invisible.
  • Daniel Rahimi - Was absolutely horrible. He couldn't handle the forecheck and had all sorts of problems moving the puck and getting it out of the zone.
  • Alexander Edler and Jannick Hansen - The two WHL'ers were okay but didn't stand out. Edler, particularly, was solid, but looked slow at times.
  • Marc-Andre Bernier - His ability to find some open space and his quick shot led to a couple of goals.
  • Dustin Slade - Sucked. Even let in a goal from center ice, much like another goalie who no longer plays here.
Overall, prospects camp was uneventful. There are a few spots open on Alain Vigneault's team; however, only a few players have a realistic chance of getting them. For those lucky few, it's on to Vernon later this week for main camp.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 10:58 PM


At September 11, 2006 8:47 AM, Blogger Jeremy said...

Thanks for being our eyes and ears at the prospects camp -- great to hear an objective assessment of where these guys are at. In a lot of the stuff you read online, fans' expectations of many prospects seems to be that they'll solve major problems in the big team's roster...your report is more of a reality check.

At September 11, 2006 5:28 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

Thanks Jeremy.

There's no doubt there's some potential there - probably the best potential as there's ever been from the Canucks' system - but reality is, most of these prospects are at least a year or two away.

I actually think it's better that Matt Cooke, Jan Bulis and Taylor Pyatt get long looks at filling in Bertuzzi's and Carter's roster spots.

One guy I forgot to mention on the post is Juraj Simek. The guy has some good hands! I think the knock on him is that he hasn't yet played in North America and it's wait and see if he can translate well to a quicker, grittier game.

At October 01, 2006 8:29 AM, Anonymous jetpitts said...

dont have a great feel for how vancouver handles their prospects - given the way they have ruined brandon reids carreer -


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