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Hockey Challenge 2014

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20 Year Old Situation

As many of you know, Seattle has only one 20 year old player returning from last season and that would be defensemen Brenden Dillon, who is a virtual lock to be back and make this roster this season.

This leaves the Thunderbirds with the ability to add two 20 year old players to the roster.... if they want.

One thing I see as a very real possibility is the Tbirds carrying only two 20 year olds on the roster instead of the maximum allowed three.

Why would Seattle do this? Quite simply, playing time. Take one look at this roster and you'll see a roster loaded with young players. Seattle already has 6 defensemen returning from last season that saw significant playing time in the form of Dillon, Bonsor, Fleming, Aasman, Ramsay and Muth. If you include Austin Frank and newly acquired import Dave Sutter in that mix you'd have 8.

Up front you have 10 likely returners in Troock, Rouse, Silvester, Gallimore, Lund, Wells, Jacobs, Lockhart, Elliot and Alos. Add to that Noebels and possibly Sanvido and that number grows to 12 forwards and 20 total players.

I don't have much doubt that any 20 year old player acquired would likely be an upgrade over the players at the bottom of this roster. Adding a quality player would most certainly improve this team in the short term. The real question lies in how that acquired player would possibly adversely affect the playing time and development of a younger player.

Put it this way...

Let's say this team is still 4th or 5th in what looks like a very tough U.S. Division. Wouldn't you rather see Alos, Elliot and Troock on your 1st or 2nd Power Play unit instead of a 20 year old player that won't be around for what appears to be a pivotal 2011-12 season?

Given that, I still believe that Seattle will go get one 20 year old. I just wouldn't hold your breath waiting for Russ Farwell to go out and get two of them.

Let's take a look at what might be out there.

Brandon: Darren Bestland, Jordan Hale, Mark Schneider, David Toews and Shayne Wiebe.

Brandon has a ton of 20 year olds and they have more than I have even bothered to list here. Jacob DeSerres and Andrew Hayes are also 20, but neither are coming to Seattle. Bestland and Schneider are defensemen and I don't think Seattle is going in that direction. This leaves Shayne Wiebe, Jordan Hale and David Toews as possibilities. My guess would be that Brandon keeps Toews, making Hale and Wiebe available... with Wiebe carrying a higher price tag than Hale.

Everett might have someone like Daniel Iwanski available but trades within the division are always tough so I wouldn't look for any deal like that to happen.

Medicine Hat will also likely have several forwards available as they will probably only keep one of a group that includes Joey Frazer, Taylor Gal, Tristin King and Matt MacKay. You could pick a name out of a hat... I'm not sure any of the 4 would specifically appeal to Seattle. King is the tallest of the bunch at 6'0" so I'll say maybe they would have the highest interest in him.

Moose Jaw will have a few players available including former Tbird Spencer Edwards, along with Thomas Frazee and Dylan Hood. Moose Jaw could do any number of things, but in a situation where they would keep Bosch and Rowinski they would only keep either Frazee or Hood. Frazee is 6'4" and had 55 points last year. Gee... you think they might be interested in a 6'4" Center who had 55 points last season. I'm thinking they do... but they could also go after Hood as well.

Prince Albert could have Colin Redden or Jordan Hickmott available.

Red Deer... you're looking at maybe Brett Ferguson.

Saskatoon has several choices... including Sena Acolatse and Jeremy Boyer who might find themselves looking for a job. They also have Randy McNaught (6'5") and Travis Toomey (6'4") who are big tough forwards.

Don't get too attached to this very loose "breakdown" of the 20 year old situation as things are pretty fluid and they are changing all the time.

UPDATE: I don't think this changes Seattle's situation at all but to show just how fluid the situation really is... Kelowna just acquired Brendon Wall reducing their number to 4. Reddin or Hickmott could still conceivably be a target.


Anonymous said...

Would love to have McNaughts toughness - esp. after last seasons soft team, IMO. Can't see how Saskatoon would let him go after all the battles he was in for them last year.

Glad to see your back posting!

Anonymous said...

Reading your posts makes me excited for the upcoming season! Can't wait to get back to going to hockey games!!!

stbird said...

Do very many teams have that same view as to not carry the limit of overagers, instead hanging on to so called young talent?

With out calling anyone out by name, I can say that there is a few quys on the team that I personally wouldn't mind see going so that we could add a little experience. Maybe I am wrong but it just seems to me to be a no brainer.

Glad too see you back. I know its still early but I look forward to new posts on your blog. Thanks.

Kodi said...

It's going to be interesting in camp as it's really going to be a huge competition in camp this year. I think if we do go for any 20 year olds it will be after the start of the season like we did a few years ago with LeBlanc and Cloud.

I had to write out the roster to see what the team reall has to work with:
Regular roster last season/Import Picks
G - 18 - Calvin Pickard
G - 18 - Michael Salmon

D - 17 - Austin Frank
D - 20 - Brenden Dillon
D - 18 - Dave Sutter
D - 19 - Erik Bonsor
D - 18 - Erik Fleming
D - 18 - Ryan Aasman
D - 19 - Scott Ramsay
D - 17 - Tanner Muth

F - 16 - Branden Troock
F - 18 - Brendan Rouse
F - 19 - Brenden Silvester
F - 18 - Brennan Tutt
F - 19 - Burke Gallimore
F - 18 - Chance Lund
F - 19 - Charles Wells
F - 17 - Colin Jacobs
F - 18 - Luke Lockhart
F - 18 - Marcel Noebels
F - 17 - Mitch Elliot
F - 17 - Tyler Alos

Looking above you see we already have 8 defencemen and 12 forwards that regularly played with the team last year (ok so Tutt didn't regularly play but he was still a scratch all season) so if we carry them all over this year that's already 2 healthy scratch players.

Played with team last year
F - 17 - Conor Sanvido
F - 17 - Jacob Doty
D - 17 - Zach Walker
D - 18 - Jared Crema

These are listed players that played with the team last season and will also be competing for a position on the roster.

D - 18 - Austin Baecker (Trade happened after the trade deadline so could not play with the team)
F - 16 - Justin Hickman (didn't play but did practice up in Kelowna with the team)
F - 18 - Jacob Fallon (Wildcard as he is comitted with Michigan but left the USNTDP earlier in the year)
F - 16 - Jayson Ness (Had a great showing at camp last season)

Now we have our wildcard group which brings even more talent to the fold with no room to grow.

So looking at all of this and the amount of young players we have we have to decide do we make moves and get a few 20 year olds to try to compete with Portland and Everett who have STACKED teams or do we take another year to try and build a powerhouse for the following season with the younger players. I say we sit back and wait to see how things unfold as it's going to be fun!

Anonymous said...

I won't be surprised if Toomey and/or Hood end up here/ - juva

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