The forwards are a whole new gamut this year with no Eberle, Leffler or Strueby in the mix it opens up the competition that much further. I will only comment on the kids I recognized and really paid attention to. I didn’t find out who a few were until it was too late and I couldn’t focus on their play. I will mention the top few forwards that I think will make up the top 6 or at least be part of it.
Jordan Weal – his time is now. He’s got all the tools to be an amazing talent. Even though he’s so undersized he’s going to put up a bunch of points no matter who his line mates are. 102 points as a 17 year old is amazing.
Carter Ashton – I’m not sure how he’s going to fit into the top 6 but he’s going to be there and with a vengeance. He could easily top 40 goals this year if his mindset is right and gives it hard every shift he could be one of the top power forwards in the conference.
Garrett Mitchell – Captain Regina. I’m not exactly sure what his role is going to be yet again. He’s a hard checking player that has a nose for the net. I think he could (should) top his career high in goals and fit into a role on the wing on the 2nd line. I did notice that they had him playing some centre during camp.... Stay tuned I guess.
Hampus Gustafsson – so much skill. He just needs to channel it. He has an amazing shot and is shifty with the puck and is easily 1st or 2nd line LW.
I think now is where it gets a bit blurry and players that think they may have made the team are going to be disappointed. There are some talented kids in camp that didn’t don a Pats jersey last year that could easily unseat many of the vets. I will go in alphabetical order as I really have no idea as to which way they will be leaning with a lot of the guys.
Devin Balness has looked good. Hasn’t done anything spectacular but looks like a good team player that can fill any role asked of him. He has decent speed.
Dominick Favreau is the same. I really don’t think he has improved but with that being said he hasn’t regressed any. I really think that his time with the Pats is coming to an end.
Jesse Hall is a very similar player to Favreau and a year older. He’s looked okay but hasn’t impressed me with anything outstanding. Would probably be a role player if he were to make it.
Killian Hutt is a special player. He’s gifted offensively and has improved his speed. The only knock is that he’s tiny. I think he should be a top 6 forward.
Mikael Jung is speed. I just hope the puck can catch up to him. He’s got some real ability but just needs to finish more often.
Cass Mappin is in tough. I’m not sure if there is animosity between the players and Mappin but man they have been after him all camp. To fire him up? Or do they genuinely not like him?
Bryton Mills has been a surprise to me. He’s got some size and decent speed. He would be a real nice addition as a checker and grinder.
Dane Muench is another tiny skilled forward that has fit in good alongside Weal and Gustafsson. But from what I’ve read he’s either hit or miss but in this camp he’s looked pretty good.
Tyler Parker is still a crash and banger that may be in tough to crack the line-up especially with the emergence of Mills and Dyson Stevenson. I don’t know if he’s done enough.
Andrew Rieder has been alright and I think he’s reserved his spot on the checking line.
Jack Rodewald had a really good camp and played well with Stephenson. I don’t know if he’ll make the team but he’s improved a lot.
Michael Sagen has had a good camp but where would he fit on this club? Stephenson and he would be a deadly combo but will it happen?
Chandler Stephenson is as advertised. He’s another small skilled forward that will put up some good numbers. I don’t know what role he will have with the club but I hope they use him wisely.
Dyson Stevenson should make this team. If he does he will be a fan favourite. He’s got some good wheels and hits and fights. He even has some touch around the net.
I have no comment on Tanner Dusyk, Branden Halbgewachs, TJ Reeve and Logan Sceviour. This doesn’t mean that they had a bad camp or anything but not having roster numbers really put a kibosh on some of my thoughts.
With our fifteen year olds I’m extremely impressed! Morgan Klimchuk is money. He is so good it’s almost unbelievable. Ty McLean is a small and plucky forward that can skate with the big boys and will turn some heads once he makes the big club. Dryden Hunt is another mini forward in the Pats system. He too has tons of skill and is pretty quick; I hope he signs on with the Pats.
I would have to say that the not too distant future is looking very good for the Pats.