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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Camp Thoughts, Round 1

Some camp thoughts after the first round of scrimmages yesterday. These are in no particular order, I'm just going to work my way through the sheet of lines.

- The line of Branden Troock, Andrew Taverner and Michael Holub was really clicking during their two scrimmages. Holub wasn't nearly as physical as he was during rookie camp and I would love to see him get back to running around smashing people but the line itself seemed to have some great chemistry.

- Saw a couple of decent shifts out of Igor Stakic.

- I'm still not entirely sure that Erik Fleming makes this team but his goal yesterday was a thing of beauty over the shoulder of Rebaliati.

- Shea Theodore is no worse than your 2nd best PP defender. His skill is far beyond where a 16 year old's should be and I can't believe we got him in the 3rd round. Great pick.

- Our first rounder in that draft also looks pretty good. Hauf has a really long reach and uses his stick well to defend. He is going to need more time to refine his offensive game but he could be a pretty decent defender right away for the club.

- Zach Douglas had a few good moments and a few not so great moments. I think he is very much on the fence to make the squad, but I liked some of his offensive game.

- Nolan Kruizenga actually looked pretty decent in net and I liked what I saw... with the exception of not getting his skate guards off before coming out for his second game. Rookies... (shaking my head)

- Stefan Burzan looks like he might be a keeper. I liked the speed that he flashed on a few rushes and he has decent size.

- Dylan Gambrell is another invite/list player who probably never plays for the Birds but he sure seemed to be around the puck a LOT.

- Sutter had moments where he flashed some serious skill and then moments where he turned the puck over and looked horrible and sometimes they came within the same play.

- Daniel Cotton was decent but needed the post twice to keep the puck out of the net. I need to see more to be convinced that he could back up Pickard.

- I really don't have any idea where Connor Honey came from but I kind of liked what I saw out of him. Flashed some speed and make a really nice pass for an assist. The problem is... this team just has a ton of forwards and I can't see how he makes the team but I'm most definitely intrigued.

- Carter Folk and Hauf had a nice little exchange of hits/incidents.

- Austin Frank looks like he has improved enough that I'm pretty comfortable with him fitting in at the back end of the defensive rotation.

- Carter Struthers is an 18 year old from Weyburn who looks to be headed to Penticton to play with the Vees but he has very good size and has looked pretty capable on defense. With the shortage of defenders... I really wouldn't mind seeing him playing for the Birds.

- Reid Fritzke was drafted in the 8th round and Austin Douglas was drafted in the 2nd round. What what I have seen so far Fritzke is solidly better than Douglas. I'm not sure how these things happen. The only thing I can think of is that Douglas is hurt, because he isn't playing with any kind of urgency or purpose.

- Ryan Gropp was noticeably absent from Main Camp. I've heard several theories but i would prefer not to speculate at this moment. Let's just call it "strange" that Gropp played so well in rookie camp and wasn't around for the first Main scrimmage.

- Taylor Green was listed in the pairings for Team Grey but did not skate. Hopefully we will see him today or tomorrow.

I'm getting into this Twitter thing so if you want quicker updates, give me a follow @TylerHunnex.


Anonymous said...

Connor Honey is a lock for this team.

Thunnex said...

I would love that. I liked what I saw.

Anonymous said...

Great recap. Any idea who the mystery #11 was for the grey team? I thought Troock looked good. I hope he stays healthy.

Thunnex said...

I have no idea... was wondering the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Not positive but I think 11 was John Edwardh.

Anonymous said...

So where is Carter Popoff? Was listed with T-Birds at last years camp. As a matter of fact there's several 15-16 year old skilled guys from that camp that i'm surprised are not here. Were by far more skilled than John Edwardh.

Anonymous said...

Did Popoff or any of those skilled guys you're talking about play in any of the preseason tournament games last season or were they just at camp? They might not want to commit to the WHL yet and are keeping their NCAA options open. If you're a 16 or 17 yr old forward, there's not much room on this year's roster, so without a guaranteed spot they may have decided to stay home. They could still be on the T-birds list of protected players while most of the 15-16 yr olds at camp this year are trying to catch the T-birds attention and earn a spot on the 50 PPL. .

Anonymous said...

Douglas was injured apparently. Very sore lace bite. No mobility. Showed a lot of grit even skating.

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