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Hockey Challenge 2014

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I won't be able to attend the sessions today but beat writer Andy Eide (@AndyEide) is there tweeting updates along with the team itself.

Here are a few of my observations from the session yesterday.

- More people were there than have been in previous years. You're always going to have parents and some older players but there were definitely more fans than previous years.
- Mathew Barzal looked very good though possibly unchallenged. I thought he looked to break out offensively a little bit too much but you simply cannot deny his talent. He is a 15 year old playing against 15 and 16 year old's and he is a cut above everyone else in terms of skating ability and puck handling. I'll be very interested to see how he plays against the big boys.
- Michal Holub passed the eye test for me. I think he makes the team if he continues to play like he did yesterday. Showed good speed getting to the outside and around the corner with the puck, he always seemed to be around the action and generally "looks" like a player who belongs in the league.  He has to keep it up... but I think he probably makes the team.
- Keeping with the '96 players for a moment... I thought Jordan Ross outplayed Carter Folk.
- Dylan Gambrell has some nice skills and it will be really interesting to see if they can get the U. of Denver product signed.
- I thought Kevin Wolf struggled. I heard that he played better in the morning but he didn't look very solid yesterday afternoon.
- Austin Douglas is improved but I think he is still a long shot to make the team. I'd like to see him be more assertive on the ice.
- Danny Mumaugh looked fine although he was barely tested in his half.
- In the '97's... I thought Keegan Kolesar looked pretty good at times. He has a nose for the goal to go with decent speed and some decent handles. He should be ready by next year.
- Hunter Lester is a listed player from Idaho and while he isn't the swiftest of skaters he was always around the puck and had a nice session. He sticks out like a sore thumb with the Michigan colored pants with the number at the bottom. The line of Lane Pederson, Lester and Kolesar had some decent shifts.
- I didn't notice Tristan Simm or Luke Van Schaack at all after they scored in the early session.
- Nick Holowko has good chemistry with Barzal and that very well could be enough to make the team next year.
- Jordan Roberge had a nice session and seemed to be around the net a bunch. He had a goal.
- Evan Cusmano is an interesting player. He's a big body... very big body... and he doesn't exactly fly around the ice. But he always seemed to be in the right places and he has pretty decent hands.
- Cody Lightfoot had a few impressive hits including one that was a touch high on Holub.
- Ethan Bear, the 2nd round pick, still looks a bit raw and unsure of himself to me but he has a solid frame and skates well. Another year of seasoning and he should be fine.

I'm probably forgetting a few things... but that is what I have. I'm missing the sessions today but I'll be back in the rink tomorrow afternoon for what I believe will be a main camp scrimmage.


Anonymous said...

Barzal enough said. Wow! Now lets see him stick around for main camp unlike Gropp! (although if he goes home after rookie camp he has a very smart agent)

Nice to see Holub stepping up. He will be a good player in the future.

I agree on Ross versus Folk. Folk needs to cut the act and play some hockey.

Wolfe is slow slow slow. Douglas was more assertive today but generally very solid and physical. I don't expect 6'7" D to try and be overly offensive. He is the only D on the ice that can handle Barzal at all. And thats due to his big reach and awesome skating ability for a kid that big. Wish Greene could skate like him. Put Wolfe and Greene against Barzal and it would be ugly.
Gotta ge back to work. Fun fun. Thanks Ty

Kevin said...

You touched on something that I didn't think about yesterday. I made a remark to my friend that some of these kids lacked the hustle necessary for a training camp, but I never thought they just played a game earlier that day and could've been tired.

Unfortunately, I forgot my roster at home and can't comment of specific players. I figured Barzal was either 8 or 16. When I got home I realized that Barzal is 16. #8 was Dash Nabb. I thought he skated really well and seemed like in the right place at the right time.

Anonymous said...

This might sound nitpicky, but Gambrell is not a University of Denver "product". He's a 16 yr old, so I'm guessing he hasn't been to college yet. I would guess you mean he's made a soft, verbal committ to the Pioneers or
maybe you meant Colorado Thunderbird product. The most significant thing I've taken from the "rookie" camp so far; what the heck happened to Wolf? He looks nothing like he did last year. He'll be hard pressed to make the team this year.

Thunnex said...

You are correct. Forgot to refer to my blogger manual on that one.

Anonymous said...

I love you but you don't know what you're talking about. Wolf is head and shoulders about the rest. and he will make the team.

Anonymous said...

20 yr old Deagle, 19 yr old Forsberg, 18 yr old Wardley, 18 yr old Pietroniro (list player they brought in and really like, his younger brother was at rookie camp). 17 yr olds Hauf, Theodore, Green, Jerrett Smith and Taylor Mulder. That's 9 d-men ahead of him. Even if they don't keep Deagle as a 20, Wolf is still 8th on the depth chart. Plus, who knows if they use Elliot as a d-man.

Anonymous said...

I am not as versed in hockey as allot of the commentors on this blog or 710 but I don't see Luke making the team this year from what I have seen and read about camp this year.

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