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Hockey Challenge 2014

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Jon and I chat about the Roster

Jon and I actually do this on an almost daily basis during the season... so I thought it might be cool to actually put it on paper and share it with you guys.


Tyler Hunnex: So here is what I think the squad looks like going into camp. 
I have 9 on Defense: Forsberg, Theodore, Wardley, Hauf, Smith, Foulk, Bear, Wolf, Douglas... with Wolf and Douglas probably the odd men out on most game nights.

That leaves me with around 14 forwards: Elliot (for now), Swenson (for now), Hickman, Troock, Honey, Sheen, Delnov, Lipsbergs, Eansor, Holub, Barzal, Kolesar, Pederson and Holowko/Folk. 2 Goalies: Fordyce and Mumaugh. 

I think it would be best to only keep 2 goalies around but I wouldn't be shocked if they kept 3 around and Myles stuck around as well.  That probably eliminates a D man but I feel like Douglas and Wolf will probably be on the roster. I think there are also a few guys on that list who aren't a lock to make the team (including a returner or two) and need to have a good camp to secure their spot. What do you think Jon?

Jon Whiting: This team has some very difficult decisions to make.

These are my locks for the team as of right now:

Defense (7): Forsberg (20), Wardley (19), Foulk (18), Hauf (18), Smith (18), Theodore (18), Bear (16)Offense (12): Elliot (20), Swenson (20), Delnov (19), Lipsbergs (19), Sheen (19), Troock (19), Hickman (19), Honey (19), Folk (17), Holub (17), Barzal (16), Kolesar (16)
Goalies (0): Note, I said locks for the team

That leaves me 1-2 defenders, 2 forwards, and 2 goalies.

I will start with goalies - If Fordyce (19) puts up good numbers during camp, he moves to a lock.  Then the remaining spot totally depends on how Logan Flodell (16) looks.
If he looks good, and they think he would be ready to be a backup next season, then I think they keep Mumaugh (17), and find a trading partner for Myles (18).  If they think Flodell is a couple years away, then I think they keep Myles (18), and trade Mumaugh (17).  Now, if Fordyce doesn't put up good numbers, and they are not comfortable with him, then I think they keep both Myles (18) and Mumaugh (17).

On the defenders - I keep 2 around for the first couple weeks of the season
I am told that Douglas (17) has improved quite a bit from last year's training camp.  And he was a 2nd round pick.  So I suspect he will be the one.
Since Wolf (17) has a year under his belt in the league (well, kind of), I would think he is the other. But, there are some other very good young defenders that will make it difficult, if Osterman (16), Durdle (17), Lamothe(17) play better than either of the above, they could be it.

On the offense - I have room for 2, and well, based on the fact there are no 18's as locks, I would guess they would try to fill with that age group. But, last time I looked at the list, there were only two, Leer (18), and Peterson (18).  Leer is from Alberta, and one the Telus cup last season, and then played one game in the AJHL.  So maybe he is coming to camp.  Peterson is Minnesota boy, and you never know about them making the trip.

Trades I think will be made.

I have said this before, and I will say it again, I personally think this team waits until the 2nd week of the season, or possible the 20 year old cut down date, and trades for a veteran goaltender.
I also don't think there is room for both Forsberg and Wardley on the same team.  I think one of the two will be traded.  If a 20 goalie is brought in, might be Forsberg.
With these trades, I think they will be looking for an 18 year old forward.

So Tyler, if Wolf is the odd man out most nights, do you really keep him around for his 2nd season, hoping he will come around as an 18?

TH: Well the question really comes down to whether his development is better off being here or playing in more games somewhere else. I know people always assume that game experience matters but sometimes being around the coaching staff and playing against tougher players in practice every day. So I guess I would reluctantly say that even if he might be the odd man out that he is probably better off sticking around. You never know when a guy is going to get hurt and you need him in the lineup. On the other hand, if a few guys pass him and he finds himself more like 10th or 11th on the depth chart I think it might be better for him to play somewhere else.

You think Wardley gets traded? I’m really high on Wardley eventually being an intimidating, punishing defender and I thought he really stepped up his game in the playoffs.

JW: About the first thought you had on ice time vs. practice.  Russ Farwell once told me that for players from certain provinces, it was better for them to practice at the WHL level, then going back and completely dominating where they are from.  That led to a BC player being kept, and an Alberta player being sent back.  Now, I think the province's levels have changed, so that might have changed now.

I will agree Wardley stepped it up at the end of the season.  I personally think he is already the intimidating player.  But, I think he also can be punishing, but also misses on the punishment far too often.  When he makes the hit, it is usually the open ice type, and it gets thing going, no arguing there, but when he is close to the net, or playing a 2 on 2, he can’t step up with that type of hit.  Also, if you are placing players in order, I would argue that he could land as a 5/6 player.  Is that where you want a 19 year old?  Now maybe you can say he is 3/4, and that makes him “keepable”.  Now with the new assistant coach being a tough physical type, maybe he would fit really well.  I also bring up special teams.  Since Wardly is not offensive, not sure you can play him on the PP.  And is he too physical to play on the PK?

It appears you may keep up to 5 16's (Barzal, Kolesar, Bear, possibly Pederson, possibly Holowko).  If it is true that you have to play 16's 30 games, can you really get that much ice time for all those?

TH: I think if you have visions of being a really good team you absolutely can and should keep a 19 year old as a 5/6 defender and I would argue that he may even be as high as #3 if he became more responsible. I think Forsberg and Theodore are your clear 1 and 2 (for different reasons) but I don’t think Hauf, Smith or Foulk are clearly ahead of him.

Playing time for 16’s is clearly an issue. Barzal and Kolesar won’t have problems and I don’t think Pederson winds up with an issue because the team is so short on Centers. That leads me to Holowko and Bear. Bear probably has the inside edge towards the 6 spot in the lineup, so he is probably ok. That leaves Holowko…. He probably doesn’t make the team. However, if he doesn’t that makes Folk more of a lock as a 17… or… a wildcard.

Are you comfortable with the goaltending situation? I forget that Myles is actually an 18 year old now, so maybe he is ready to step up and step in if he can stay healthy. I have to imagine Mumaugh makes the team regardless because of his commitment. I wouldn’t be very worried about this if it was 2011 and you knew the team was rebuilding but considering the goals for 2013-14 this situation scares me.

JW: I have said from the end of last season that Seattle needed an older goalie.  I was shocked they didn’t get Cheveldave from Kamloops (but Kamloops got a great offer), or Boes from Brandon (and Brandon got a great offer).  I will not comment about Fordyce, since I have never seen him play.  I am worried that since he couldn’t make it in PG last year, he can't make it as a starter here.  Myles worries me since he has been hurt each of the last two years.  Take one hit this season, and he could be done.  Mumaugh worries me, he got better as the season went on, but even by the end I think he looked over his head.  Right now on the roster, they will have 8 19's.  So they lose quite a bit at the end of the year.  I know you don’t look forward a year when you haven't even started the current year, but man, that is a lot.

TH: Yeah I agree with you. It isn’t that I don’t think they can get it done… I just have my doubts. Maybe Fordyce just needed an adjustment and he’ll be better than his numbers in PG. It will certainly be interesting to see how the goalies look in training camp and in the first few weeks of the season. What does Farwell do if the team is scoring plenty of goals but the goaltending just isn’t where it needs to be? How quickly do you pull the trigger? I think that has to be the most interesting battle in camp.


Mr Tell13 said...

I thought the rula was that the 16's needed to play 40 games?

Thunnex said...

It might be 40, it might be 30. I don't think it is actually stated anywhere officially. If someone knows, point me in that direction.

Mr Tell13 said...

Really interesting conversation btw.
Here is my 2cents (clearly overvalued)
( opinions are subject to change )
Lets give Myles and Mumaugh a shot at battling it out to be #1. Start 50/50 and get the competition going.

This group is packed, my top 5 is pretty much the same as you guys. I want to keep Wolf and Douglas though. Bear as the primary 6th d-man. Ultimatly, I would keep my options open to trade Forsberg and Folk. I like their play, but to many "Schappert size" d-man might hurt against some bigger wingers in the playoffs.

I need to see guys play to comment on Forwards at this point

Anonymous said...

You really should do this more often, I really enjoy listening to in-depth t-bird coverage!

One thing that is bothering me about the goaltending (and maybe I am getting ahead of myself here)is that in a best case scenario where some combination of Myles and Mumaugh gets us through the regular season, into a 4th place western conference finish, we still in my opinion don't have the tools to win a first round matchup.
Goaltending is always the most important part of the game but in the playoffs that becomes so much more apparent and so much more true. I don't see either of those guys stepping up against Lotz, Comrie, Williams, Kozun, Burke, Polivaka/Vollrath, Lee, or Cooke/Whistle. Heck I would even take Engel over our guys.
So what if we have a great team that somehow masks serious goaltending issues all year? I don't see this team advancing with those guys between the pipes.

Maybe I am being too harsh on these two, I don't know. But how many teams in the league this year are playing with so little experience at the goaltending position?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the trade of Forsberg and Foulk idea.. I love it but I would support it only if it immediately fixes the two gaping holes in the roster, which could be one and the same.. Get a playoff caliber goaltender in here and get the goon out of the 20 spot. Do those two things and is poised for a deep run. I hope the fans aren't the only ones who can see it.

Thunnex said...

I don't really care whether you call Forsberg a goon or not, that's up to you.

I will however assume you saw how he played in the playoffs last year. So I'd have to ask... you don't want a guy like that on your roster? Who played his best hockey when it mattered?

Anonymous said...

Went to the first session.
My opinion, there is more talent than last year.

I liked
1 Elder (probably the best young player on the ice)
2 Peterson
3 Khaira
4 Griffin
5 Barzal (of course)
6 and a small guy Williamson (played both ways)
7 Fabbro

Unknown said...

I think Anonymous2:17 is regarding Mitch Elliot as the goon

Kodi said...

I still don't see how you keep Elliot. Some people say you do it to protect Barzal but I wouldn't put the two on the same line.

Why would I want a forward who has played 4 years (263 games) with only 10 goals and 16 assists when I can keep a 20 year old defender with 14 goals and 57 assists or a 19 year old defender with 4 goals 9 assists who can do the same thing and is more likely to be on the ice at the same time.

I would either replace Elliott with a 20 year old goaltender or look for an upgrade at that position (I would also look at possibly skating with two 20's to get more of the younger talent in).

Kodi said...

Something I always look for every year is which 16 year old players are wearing T-Bird gear (Helmets and shorts). Usually the kids bring there own socks, shorts, and lids. It's usually a pretty good indicator that they are on the team.

This scrimmage had the following people in T-Bird gear:

Lane Pederson
Ethan Bear
Mathew Barzal
Keegan Kolesar

Anonymous said...

James is correct, Elliot is the goon. Just being honest, my two prerequisites for a player taking a 20 y.o. spot are: Must be a significant contributer to the outcome of the games and must have the skills to play hockey somewhere else beyond WHL at the completion of the season. I just don't know if #7 qualifies in either category.

I also completely agree that Forsberg was an amazing piece to the playoff roster last year, right behind Lockhart as MVP of the Kelowna series for the T-Birds. Forsberg also brings that 'offensive D' factor to the team.. Replacing the offensive production of Lockhart, Sanvido, and Kambeitz may not go as planned right away with the young forwards, so having a D-man who can score goals would be nice. So no, I would not want to part with Jesse at all unless it means getting a solid every day starter in net in return.

Anonymous said...

Seems like it shouldn't take losing both Forsberg and Foulk to get a goalie. Maybe one of those two and a draft pick but I think the strategy at this point for getting a goalie is to wait until the market is friendly. This team could probably grab a 19 year old starter for cheap in December or November, when the really bad teams sink to the bottom and start to sell off parts.

Thunnex said...

Yeah, my bad. I thought he was talking about Forsberg.

Anonymous said...

Lane Pederson will be a good addition. Kolesar is already a first round bust. Can't skate. Doesn't see the ice. Doesn't use his team mates. He looks horrible out there

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the previous comment. There are better skaters than Kolesar in the camp.
I don't know who picked the players for the last two bantam drafts, but the talent is "far better" that the previous years.
Was there a scouting change?

Anonymous said...

Are we really calling a 16 yo a bust after a couple of scrimmages? Feels a bit premature.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised to see no mention of Kolesar from the guys over at 710 for their stories on day 1 and 2 of camp.

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