Monday, June 14, 2010

Looking Ahead: Forwards (The Older Guys)

Well looking at the older guys of the group the Pats 1990 group is anything but fantastic (on paper at least).... I guess I can’t really say that because Jordan Eberle is still on the Pats list as an overager. He won’t be back so that leaves the rest and the group lacks goal scoring and point producing. I’m not saying that they can’t be point producers given the opportunity but I really just don’t see it.

Well I guess I will go in alphabetical order as I don’t know how else I can separate them to be fair. First up is Tomas Hricina.... yes that Tomas Hricina he is still listed. I never got him, shift by shift his game changed. One shift he looked like he was a world beater and the next he looked as though he was not interested and the next shift he sat then the next game he sat. If I’m not mistaken he went home late last season and I don’t expect him back.

Up next is Cass Mappin he is another player I just didn’t get last year. I wasn’t really impressed with his play but I gave him the benefit of the doubt..... new team, new surroundings, new coaches, etc. but he never seemed to get going. I really do think he could be a power forward that can score goals but I just don’t know if he is willing to do such a thing. Was he hurt last season? At times it looked like he was a hurting dude, but from the stands I couldn’t say. Will he be here for his overage season? I just don’t know.

Craig Orfino came in as a big defensive forward that was great on the penalty kill and was a big team player. Unfortunately we never really got to see him in any role like that. There were times where he hardly even played and rarely killed penalties. I would have loved to see him play a more key role defensively as I think it could have helped out our special teams. I just don’t know if he has what it takes to be an overager on this years’ squad. Time will tell.

Last but not least is Shawn Ostrow (5.10, 175) who has been on the Pats list for the last couple of seasons on the college list. He played last season for the University of Denver collecting 2-1-3 in 24 games while adding 10 penalty minutes. I highly doubt that he will ever make an appearance in a Pats uniform, but one never knows.

Now onto the 1991 group; the one I think is the Pats most important age group for them to be successful.

First up is Carter Ashton.... At times he showed signs that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with. Man for a guy this size he can move and has some very slick moves. He seemed to be a bit snake bitten for most of his time in a Pats uniform. I think with a bigger role he will produce and turn into a definite top line centre (or winger, depends on what the coaches do with Weal). The invite to the Canada World Junior camp should give him something to play for. He will be a legit threat.

Hampus Gustafsson was a true surprise last year. Being only the second Swedish born player to ever don a Pats sweater (the other was Niklas Barklund) I really never had too many expectations and that’s not a knock against him or Swedish players but for some reason they hardly ever work out in the WHL. I have to say as the season progressed and as he got more of a role his play improved a lot and I expect him to come back and be that much better.

Killian Hutt is another one of the kids that I never got a real good read on him. A small extremely skilled forward that looked like he missed the first few weeks of the season and hadn’t skated hard for a while.... oh wait.... he missed time due to a surgery and I think he never really recovered from that. Went home to have another surgery from the same issue and missed the remainder of the season. I’m hoping that he can come in healthy and in shape because I think he can be a very talented top 6 forward that could take some of the pressure off of Weal/Ashton.

The Pats next captain (my assumption) Garrett Mitchell is next on the list. Man I’m hoping he has a big season this year. He gives it all every shift.... blocks shots, scores goals (I’m sure he wishes he can pot more goals, as do a lot of fans) and is out in most important situations. I’ve been predicting that he will have a breakout season for the last 2 years.... Maybe this year? I hope so.

Kyle Mulder is a player that I think doesn’t get enough ice time. I think this kid could be a great player for the second or third line as a checker or the faceoff specialist that has a lot of skill but never has the chance to show it. When he plays he’s good but he sits on the bench too much. I hope he’s given a chance to play a lot this year.

Finally one list player to add is Seth Ronsberg. He has never played a game for the Pats nor has he been at any camp or anything. He’s a 6’2, 205 lbs. right winger from Lake Elmo, Minnesota. He played last season for the Winkler Flyers of the MJHL playing 61 games adding 22-28-50 with 85 penalty minutes.

The 1992 group in my opinion has the most question marks.... except Jordan Weal who is a star.

Dominick Favreau is first on the list. I don’t know what to say about him. He plays hard, when he plays but rarely plays. I hate the word ‘bust’ but many people have labelled him as such..... first round pick with 3 goals.... just doesn’t cut it. If he’s given a chance to make people change their minds I hope he takes the opportunity because people are getting frustrated with his play. Maybe he’s a late bloomer?

Mikael Jung (I still have a hard time getting his first name right.... I think I will have every chance to get it this year) has SPEED to burn; something the Pats really need. I don’t know what kind of scoring touch he has but I think he has top six forward written all over him.

I don’t think Tyler Parker got a fair shake last year. I don’t think this kid will be a scorer by any means but is a true crash and banger. He is fairly quick and hits.... something the Pats need. Hmmm.... maybe he will get a fair shot this year.

Andrew Rieder is another decently quick player that hits and can skate (he’s far from a fancy player) but sat on the bench waaaay too much last year. I think he could have benefitted from increased ice time. He was a good penalty killer but seemed to lose out in the ice battle to the Pats “top guns” and I thought he never improved because he never really had the chance.

Jordan Weal. What do I need to say?

Last but not least is list player Logan Sceviour (5.10, 155) from Red Deer who played last season in Canmore of the AJHL. His numbers 7-17-24 in 50games with 21 penalty minutes. I’m thinking he’s related to former WHLer Colton Sceviour but I can’t find anything to officially confirm. I know nothing about him so I have no comment.

So the Older Forwards look like this:
Jordan Eberle (1990) – will NOT be back
Tomas Hircina (1990) – will Not be back especially as a two-spotter
Cass Mappin (1990)
Craig Orfino (1990)
Shawn Ostrow (1990)
Carter Ashton (1991)
Hampus Gustafsson (1991)
Killian Hutt (1991)
Garrett Mitchell (1991)
Kyle Mulder (1991)
Seth Ronsberg (1991)
Dominick Favreau (1992)
Mikael Jung (1992)
Tyler Parker (1992)
Andrew Rieder (1992)
Logan Sceviour (1992)
Jordan Weal (1992)

K

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