The more I look at the Pats 2011/12 defence the more I’m becoming worried about it. According to Greg Harder, Myles Bell will not be at camp. Both Brandon Davidson and Art Bidlevskii are overages and BOTH could be gone by the time the regular season starts. So that basically takes 3 of the teams top 4 defencemen out of the lineup. I’m hoping that Davidson and Bidlevskii will be back as they would definitely shore up the defence and help out the kids.
So if those three are gone....We could be in for a reallllly long season.
Honestly I think the defence will be a work in progress. Ricard Blidstrand will be better as he improved leaps and bounds last season. The dash 30 (-30 +/-) doesn’t look good but I’m certain that it will improve. Recently acquired Brandon Underwood (from Kamloops) will definitely help out steadying the defence and giving it more bite. I’m hoping he can step in like Art did last year and help guide the kids. With Tyler Pavkovich’s status still not certain (due to injuries last year) it hurts the depth of the Pats d as he was turning out to be a decent shutdown defender. Tyler Borstmayer has the size and the reach to play at this level but with an extremely up and down season last year I think his status is unclear with the Pats. Where does this leave the Pats? Oh yeah the rookies.
Well here goes nothing (Rookie defenders):
Kyle Burroughs – played well in a short stint with the Pats and looked like he fit in well and seems to have the inside track as to a spot on the blueline.
Eric Donald – Prospect (2011 Bantam Draft)
Rhett Holland – Prospect (leading towards the NCAA route)
Nikolas Koberstein – Prospect (2011 Bantam Draft)
Mason Logan – Prospect (was re-acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers)
Alec McCrea – Prospect (going to play in the USHL, Pats are really high on him)
Tyler Mueller – Prospect (wanting to pursue his NCAA options)
Griffin Mumby – Prospect (2011 Bantam Draft)
Kenny Nordstrom – Prospect (2011 Bantam Draft)
Landon Peel – Will this be the year he makes it on the squad full time? I really hope so, as I think he will do good. May not have size but I believe he has the ability.
Brady Skjei – American Prospect (most likely will be leaning towards the NCAA)
Sean Whelan – Prospect
Colby Williams – played decent in his short 2 game call up last season and may push for a spot on the Pats blueline this year. He’s 16 so it might be a harder climb.
Alex Pym – was listed in an earlier PPL but would be an overager that has been playing Junior A in Ontario. I would be surprised to see him anywhere around the Brandt Centre this time.
Brody Luhning – Was mentioned on Gregg Drinnan’s blog that he was coming to the Pats camp could be a good veteran presence. Had 12 goals in the SJHL last year but you never know may be a surprise.