I have really enjoyed camp this year and I'm not totally sure why. I don't know if it's the enthusiasm for the upcoming season, or what it is but I have really enjoyed camp. I never really kept score just jotted down some notes about some of the players and just focused on watching hockey (and it helped having the numbers to go with the names.... thanks Greg!)
Saturday morning: White 6 Blue 2 and Grey 3 Red 1
Saturday night (I tried to catch the goal scorers, there may be errors):
Blue 8 White 4
Blue - Devon Allenby (4), Dyson Stevenson, Ryan Baskerville, Bryn MacNab, Aidan Crowther; White - Joel Harnden (3), Michael Benson (note: Taylor Balog may have scored one of the goals I credited to Allenby as it was a mad scramble in front)
Red 4 Grey 1
Red - Mitch Czibere (2), Brett Leffler, Brandon Davidson; Grey - Tomas Hricina
I will post my thoughts for the Rookies that I scribbled in my notebook.
Well the goaltending wasn't what I expected. Both Darrin Robinson and Cory Nygaard had up and down scrimmages, neither was bad nor were they great. I think Robinson has a huge upside and Nygaard needs more seasoning. Taran Kozun had a decent camp and whatever team he plays for this year will have themselves a good starter. Colton Pankiw is tiny and I can honestly laughed when I seen him between the pipes.... I called him the Pats "Timbit" goalie.... that is until I seen him play for his size he plays huge, has a great glove hand and I give him credit; he is a good goalie. Michael Brown is another smaller goalie; but plays bigger than he is. Like Kozun wherever Brown plays they will have themselves a quality netminder.
For the rookie defencemen I had trouble really following them all so I'm not going to feed you a lot of garbage info or anything like that so I just have a few points on a few players. In my opinion Tyler Pavkovich could have a realistic chance of cracking a WHL lineup, but I just don't know if he has a legit chance in Regina (16 d in main camp). He's got good size, plays extremly physical and is really good in the defensive zone. I was told to keep an eye on Hudson Friesen and he really didn't disappoint, he has decent speed and is a really good defender and makes good decisions. Ryan Leonzio, Landon Peel and Jesse Roden in my opinion are very similar players..... not very big but can skate and can move the puck really well, and they are a year away so they will have lots of time to develop. Levi Schwab was on my radar on Friday night as he seemed to be everywhere.... hitting, passing, rushing the puck, etc. but I'm not sure if he tuckered out or if they caught on to his skill set but he all but disappeared of my radar by Sat. evening's scrimmage. Sorry but that's all I have for the D.
I paid a little extra attention to the forwards once I knew who each of them was. Chandler Stephenson is as advertised..... small-ish, fast, can stickhandle, has a wicked shot and can play defence.... he was everywhere for all 3 scrimmages. Tayler Balog is a big power forward that has a real nose for the net has pretty decent touch, can skate and can hit. Dyson Stevenson is one of those players that I really don't know what to say about him other than I like him.... I think he could be and should be a WHLer one day. Ryan Baskerville is a big bodied power forward that can bang and crash with the best of them (the rooks) and seems to have a little touch around the net too. Aidan Crowther is another fairly big bodied power forward type.... very similar to Baskerville. Joel Harnden never really stood out to me much but any time I noticed him he was taking the puck one-on-one with a d-man and finding ways around them and can score. The theme seems to be bang and crash type players for the rookies and it continues on with Devon Allenby.... For the first 2 scrimmages I noticed him hitting and skating and hitting some more; then what seemed to be out of nowhere he sniped and sniped and sniped (had 5 points [4g-1a I believe] in the 8-4 win). Dayton Reinboldt, Michael Benson, Garrett Lockeridge and Logan Saworski are all crash and bang energy type players. One last player I will mention is Matthew Hildebrandt..... I really enjoy his style.... he has really good speed, seems like he could be the "greasy" type player that could be part agitator, speedster and eventually a goal scorer.
Sorry, I know I missed some players but like I said earlier I was more just watching than focusing on making notes for the rookies. I do think that the rookie crop is a decent crew that need to get bigger and everything will fall into place. Good luck to all the rookies wherever they may just happen to end up.
It's getting late so I will get to the "Vets" tomorrow morning (hopefully). These ones I paid a little more attention to and will probably have a bit to say about all of them.
I am eagerly anticipating the roster moves..... There are some tough decisions that will have to be made.