Posts Tagged ‘prospects’

service

Saturday’s Prospect Scrimmage

I arrived early enough to get a good seat around the red line.  It wasn’t overly full when I showed up probably a half hour before the start.   The crowd did fill in heavily though before the start of the scrimmage.  Former Sabre Mike Foligno was in attendance to watch son Marcus headlining the White team.  Dan Catenacci and Gregg Sutch were listed on the team rosters, but didn’t play in the game.  Drew Schiestel also did not play in the game.

 

Teams

Grey Squad

 

Ennis – Adam – Kassian

Henley – Shipley – Tropp

McCarron – Isackson – Jokinen

 

Crawford – Biega

McNabb – Gauther-Leduc

Bailen – Adams

 

Eno

Houser

 

White Squad

 

Foligno – Sundher – Parker

Boychuk – Sundher / Varone / Navin – Szydlowski

Lagace – Varone – Beyers

Wudrick – Navin – Zarbo

 

Brennan – M. MacKenzie

D. MacKenzie – Pysyk

Lepkowski – Fienhage

 

Knapp

Cullen

 

 

The Grey squad started off with Ennis – Adam and Kassian.  For much of the scrimmage, the trio were able to hold the puck well in the offensive zone, occasionally frustrating the D.  Brennan and M. MacKenzie were on D most of the time that the big trio were out there.  Ennis-Adam-Kassian were able to keep pressure going in the White zone, but Brennan and MacKenzie kept them out of the slot for the most part, making the trio keep a “perimeter” game going.

Brennan had a great poke check of the puck when the trio were coming in on a 3-on-1.  T.J. played the play perfectly.  Later on Ennis did score on a 3-on-1 setup from Kassian.  Kassian skated well, kept up with Ennis as well as possible, looked good out there, physical play, tough along the boards.  Kassian can hold the puck well in the offensive zone.  He slows it down but uses his size advantage to ward off defensemen from inside the half-boards to behind the net.

Luke Adam was winning most all of his faceoffs but otherwise was so-so.  His skating was decent.

 

Team White’s Marcus Foligno played a strong game, was in front of the opposing net often.  Scored a goal in the paint.  Kevin Sundher was showing off some wheels for Team White.  Good cycling in his own zone to lead up rushes on a few occasions.  Almost had a breakaway once but was stifled by Nick Crawford.  Sundher’s lack of defensive abilties looked pretty glaring.  He played against the big trio on the other team and couldn’t get the puck away, wasn’t aggressive.  I think Kassian was intimidating some of the Team White players.

Team Grey’s John McCarron was all effort all game.  He was jumping after loose pucks, taking pucks away, doing whatever he could to get a goal (which he did with one second left in the scrimmage).  All effort, quite impressive.  Stood out in a very good way amongst the “no names”.

Team White’s pairing of T.J. Brennan and Matt MacKenzie worked out alright.  They had plenty to contend with dealing with Ennis-Adam-Kassian.  Drew MacKenzie had his ups and downs… some plays good, some not so good, but puts forth a decent effort.

I didn’t notice Team White’s Mark Pysyk too much, which maybe is a good thing.  He took a possible scoring opportunity away from Kassian, wheeled in his own zone and made Kassian chase him up ice.  Quality play there by Pysyk.

Alex Lepkowski played very well, very physical for Team White.  Very rugged along the boards.  Played a simple game, rough on the forwards, get the puck, skate, get it out.  Put a good hit on Kassian on one play.  Better skater than I thought he would be.  Even almost had a near breakaway at one point.

Brayden McNabb seemed semi-invisible, but played alright.  He played a physical game down low.  A few good outlet passes.

Alex Biega played tough, hard checking along the boards, not giving an inch there.  I believe he had one or two not so great giveaways in his own zone, but he is a very good skater with a quick burst out of the defensive zone.

Mark Adams was hit and miss.  He shied away from a Foligno hit once.  In the neutral zone, on more than one occasion he was willing to let the opposition take control of the puck while he skated backwards.

Jerome Gauther-Leduc is all wheels.  Fast, smooth skater, he’ll jump into the offensive zone any chance he can get.  Didn’t see him get to unleash his slapshot.

Corey Fienhage was o.k. at times.  A time or two he couldn’t clear the puck and the Ennis-Adam-Kassian trio kept the puck in the White zone.

Justin Jokinen skated well, skated hard… kept trying to go wide on the defense to fire a shot to the corner of the net.  None of those shots were ever going to go in the net.  Decent effort from him though.  Was skating strong most all of the scrimmage.

Steve Beyers showed some spunk in the scrimmage.  The camp invite scored the first goal of the game off of a feed from Foligno.  Team Grey was either doing a line change or not in position, but he sniped one to get the first goal of the game.  Beyers has some wheels on himself.  Quick skater, nose for the puck / net.

Riley Boychuk is definitely a banger.  He threw some big glass-rattling hits for Team White.  Also came close a few times in the slot to getting a goal.  Big, rangy kid.  Skated well too.

Corey Tropp was alright.  I don’t recall him too much.  Didn’t see any glaring mistakes, but no big plays either.

John Parker can stickhandle like a demon, but he’s a small kid.  He had some offensive chances, but had a bit of difficulty maintaining possession of the puck at times.

Brad Navin played well, ended up getting a goal… pretty much an empty-netter.  He has a nose for the net certainly.   Not afraid to get into the high traffic areas.  His goal came about from a smart play by T.J Brennan in his own end.  Seeing the opposition ready to line change, Brennan fired a pass up to Matt Zarbo??? and that was fed to Navin in the slot for the easy goal.

Phil Varone and the aforementioned Zarbo had some good energy out there, quick skaters.  Didn’t disappoint but didn’t stand out either.

Cedrick Henley struggled mightily.  He looked labored in his skating, wasn’t able to keep up with the play.  He had a few bad turnovers as well.  All in all, not a positive outing.

Geordie Wudrick looked labored in his skating as well… almost winded.  Just couldn’t keep up with the play.

 

As far as the goalies are concerned, both Nick Eno and Connor Knapp played very well, as they were in net for the first half of the game.  Knapp made several solid saves, especially in close as the Ennis-Adam-Kassian were getting the puck to the paint often.  Knapp held his ground well during his time in net.

Eno looked just as solid as Knapp.  He made several very good saves, some screen shots he was getting the pad on.  On one play, Eno had the highlight play of the day with a diving save in front of an open net.  Definite ESPN Top 10 stuff.  Great save and he played very well in the contest.

The other two goalies?  John Cullen was decent… and Michael Houser was getting housed.

 

O.k., that’s enough.  Any questions?  Send them to the Prospect Camp thread.

 

 

 

information

More fireworks

It looks as though the days of the meek and mild Buffalo Sabres are over.  No longer a franchise that doesn’t rock the boat, and skims along as safely as possible, Buffalo made a big splash with the trade acquisition of Robyn Regehr this past weekend.

Regehr gives the Sabres just the kind of shut-down defenseman they have been sorely lacking.  His addition is huge for Buffalo and it will show once the season starts.  Regehr will quickly become a fan favorite.  Buffalo GM Darcy Regier found his bag of “Jedi Mind Tricks” and performed one on Calgary.

The Sabres are now talking about acquiring another veteran defenseman, either through free agency or a trade.  Buffalo would have at least three strong components on the blue line with Tyler Myers, Regehr and a possible near-future acquisition.  Ryan Miller should be sleeping easier.

 

Fireworks should be going off on Friday when free agency begins.  The Sabres are looking to sign a big name scoring center, which is a surprise to no one.  Do they believe that Brad Richards would be a good fit?  Will they go in a different direction?  Would they possibly make a trade to bring in a first-line center?  At the very least, it looks like the Sabres will not be on the sidelines come July 1st.

 

Buffalo’s draft this past weekend looks quite strong as of now.  Things can certainly change over the next 3-4 years but I like a lot of the players they picked.  Maybe Joel Armia pans out as a legit scoring threat as a first-line right wing down the road.  The Sabres took a couple of promising centers (Dan Catenacci and Colin Jacobs) that were projected to go earlier than where they were selected.  I like that they took some chances on players like goalie Nathan Lieuwen in the sixth round and Wisconsin high school center Brad Navin in the seventh round.  Both players are a bit on the “boom or bust” side of things, but why not take some chances like that in the later rounds?

The Sabres re-stocked their cabinet for centers with Catenacci, Jacobs and Navin joining Kevin Sundher, Steve Shipley and “sometimes center” Luke Adam.  Wouldn’t hurt to add a couple more centers in the 2012 draft.

The Sabres now look to be lacking mostly at left wing among the minor pros and juniors.  Marcus Foligno, Jacob Lagace, Riley Boychuk and Cedric Henley make up the LW group.  There needs to be an influx of youngsters at that position over the next couple of years.

Buffalo has a strong grouping of prospects.  Jhonas Enroth heads up the goaltending part of things… Mark Pysyk, Brayden McNabb, Drew Schiestel, T.J. Brennan and Jerome-Gauthier Leduc highlight the blue liners… Armia, Zack Kassian, Adam, Foligno, Catenacci, Sundher, Jacobs and Corey Tropp head up the forwards.  It may not be as talent-rich as some other clubs, but it’s a grouping that has to rank in the top half of the league.

 

 

Remembering Sabres drafts

I saw two days ago that the Eric Lindros draft at the Aud took place 20 years ago.  20 yearrrrrrrrrrrrs.  Seriously, 20?  Seems like yesterday where big, fat Eric stood next to an uncomfortable looking Quebec Nordiques GM Pierre Page, and refused to put on the blue fleur-de-lis adorned jersey.  Lindros was booed by the crowd at the Aud, and for the only time in Pat Falloon’s lackluster NHL career, he received cheers from the spectators as he donned the new aqua-colored San Jose Sharks jersey.

Drafts come and go, but each leaves a memorable mark, good or bad.  Find yourself a copy of the Sabres’ “Decade of Excitement”, the first 10 years of Sabres hockey, and watch Scotty Bowman announce the sage selection of European forward Jiri Dudacek in the first round of the 1981 draft.  The video uses the Dudacek selection as an admirable jump into the 1980s.  Dudacek became the kind of fodder that Sabres fans today reserve for Artem Kryukov.

Speaking of Kryukov, who could forget Buffalo’s horrid selection of the Konkussion King in the first round of the 2000 entry draft.  Artem who?  How much beer was being downed the previous night, Messrs. Benning, Luce and Regier?  That was a darkhorse’s darkhorse pick.  Artem is still fumbling around somewhere in Russia, probably with a placard along the Trans-Siberian railway, “Will play for gruel”.

How about Pierre Turgeon?  Buffalo’s horrid 86-87 campaign allowed them to draft first overall in 1987.  Quickly, comparisons between Turgeon and Gilbert Perreault took hold in the media.  Pierre attempted to quell the excitement some by saying, “I CAN ONLY BE PIERRE, NO CANNOT BE GILBERT!!!”  Those words proved true as #77 spent a few decent years with the Sabres before being traded to the NY Islanders in the fall of 1991.

Joel Savage?  Brad May?   Barely any remembrance there.  For some reason I do remember the Sabres drafting David Cooper in the first round of the 1992 draft.  Cooper was supposed to be a big, offensive defenseman with great skills, fast skates, a hell of a shot and the next power play quarterback for Buffalo.  That didn’t exactly happen.

The Sabres kind of redeemed themselves the following few years with selections like Wayne Primeau, Jay McKee, Marty Biron and Curtis Brown.  Then there’s Erik Rasmussen.  We’ll conveniently skip that.

And let’s conveniently skip a number of years.  Let’s even go beyond the crooked lockout lottery that saw Illuminati favorite Pittsburgh get the first overall pick and draft Sidney Crosby in 2005.  Buffalo, playing the role of NHL Court Jester, settled for Marek Zagrapan… no let’s not dwell on that.

How about the awesomeness of the 2008 draft for the Sabres?  Already receiving great production from the two Tylers, Myers and Ennis… and possibly contributions from Luke Adam (if he isn’t sent packing today in a trade for Calgary’s Robyn Regehr), that’s three big components on the team in one draft.  That harkens back the days of Punch Imlach when he was assembling great talent through the first five drafts in Buffalo’s history.

The Sabres have filled the prospect pipeline quite well over the last few years.  Along with the aforementioned Tylers and Adam are Zack Kassian, Marcus Foligno, Jhonas Enroth, Drew Schiestel, Mark Pysyk, Brayden McNabb, T.J. Brennan, Corey Tropp, Kevin Sundher, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc and Paul Byron… just to name a few.  The depth is there.  Now it’s time for the Sabres to focus on offense, specifically centers.  Who will the Sabres take tonight if they keep the 16th pick?  Mark McNeill, Mark Scheifele, Sven Bartschi, Zack Phillips, Boone Jenner?  Will they consider Jamie Oleksiak?  Go off the board for Rocco Grimaldi?   Will the selection turn out to be a Tyler Myers or a David Cooper?  Time will tell.

 

feedback

2011 Buffalo Sabres Mock Draft

Sabres’ Draft Picks in 2011 NHL Entry Draft

  • 1st round, 16th
  • 2nd round, 46th (traded to St. Louis for Brad Boyes)
  • 3rd round, 77th
  • 4th round, 107th
  • 5th round, 137th
  • 6th round, 167th
  • 7th round, 197th

Sabres’ Mock Draft

1.16 C – Mark Scheifele – Barrie Colts – 66-22-53-75 -22 35                                 6.3 185, shoots right, 3.15.93, CSS ranking (16)

Scheifele’s first season in the OHL was quite successful. He finished second on his team with 75 points. As the season progressed, the Barrie Colts leaned on Scheifele more and more, and he did not disappoint. The Colts were the worst team in the OHL this past season, winning just 15 games out of 68. Their team will be depending on Scheifele heavily for the next couple years. Scheifele possesses a strong work ethic, is a good skater with quick hands, moves well for a big center and is defensively responsible. Scheifele has very good hockey sense and an ability to find the open man in the offensive zone, as can be attested by his 53 assists. Schiefele steadily rose up the ranks as the season went on and now finds himself as a top 20 pick for the draft. There’s a decent chance he won’t be around at #16 when the Sabres pick, but if he is available, it’s probably as good a selection as Buffalo can make at that spot.

3.77 C – Joseph Labate – Holy Angels Academy (MN) – 25-27-22-49 +27 42
6.4 195, shoots left, 4.16.93, CSS ranking (51)

There’s a good chance Labate will be drafted in the second round or early in the third (the draft spots for high school players are often unpredictable), but if he were to fall to the Sabres’ third round selection, Labate’s a player the Sabres should consider. Labate is a big center with good skating ability. He’s offensively geared with a good shot and has no fear of getting into the high-traffic areas and says he models his game after power forwards / centers like Joe Thornton and David Backes. Labate will be playing as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin this fall. He would help fill the prospect pipeline gap at center, especially among the lack of larger centers.

4.107 C – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Gatineau Olympiques – 67-32-47-79 +23 22
5.9 165, shoots right, 11.11.92, CSS ranking (not ranked)

Diminutive center in the Quebec junior league that quickly reminds you of Danny Briere. A very fast skater with a nose for the net, Pageau possesses a nasty wrister and he has pin-point accuracy on the shot. His speed allows him to skate around the defense from the blue line in and go one-on-one with the opposing team’s goalie. Despite being a small player, has no fear going into the slot, to the net, or high-traffic areas. For some reason or another, Pageau was not ranked by the CSS, however he has seen his stock rise dramatically in the past few weeks. Pageau led his team to a surprising run in the Quebec playoffs, leading the way with 13-16-29 in 24 games.

5.137 G – Benjamin Conz – SC Langnau

46 GP / 19 W, 26 L / 2.98 GAA / .906 Sv%
5.11 205, right glove, 9.13.91, CSS ranking (4*) *European Goalies

Conz has gone undrafted the past two seasons, however it looks as though the third time will be the charm for the Swiss goalie. Conz has been the starting goalie for the Swiss U-20 team the past two seasons. He was the named the “All-Tournament” goalie at the 2009-2010 WJC. He made a very good impression at the Buffalo WJC tournament this past winter. He faced more shots than any goalie at the Buffalo junior tournament and registered a 3-3 record along with a 2.97 GAA and .918 save percentage. He made 46 saves on 49 shots in a loss against Team Canada, and played very well in a 2-1 loss against the U.S.A. Draft projections have Conz being selected anywhere between the fourth and seventh rounds. The Sabres do need to draft at least one goalie. Conz would be a good enough fit to challenge or surpass the likes of Connor Knapp.

6.167 C – Thomas Tynan – Notre Dame – 44-23-31-54 +21 36
5.9 170, shoots right, 2.25.92, CSS ranking (not ranked)

Tynan was draft eligible last year but was passed over. He committed to Notre Dame and led the Fighting Irish in scoring in his freshman season. Tynan was tied for third in overall scoring in the CCHA this past season. Tynan was an integral part of a Notre Dame team that ended up making it to the Frozen Four. He has been invited to the U.S. National Evaluation camp as a candidate for the WJC U.S. U-20 team. Tynan’s name has been thrown around as a probable 6th round selection in the NHL draft. The Sabres could make out quite well here in stockpiling more offensive talent at the center position. If they can grab at least four centers in this draft, the cupboard will certainly no longer be empty.

7.197 D – Edward Wittchow – Burnsville H.S. (MN) – 25-9-14-23 +11 28
6.3 190, shoots left, 10.31.92, CSS ranking (111)

Wittchow reached a CSS final ranking of 111 after being left off the mid-term list. The Sabres need to spend at least one pick on a defenseman. Good size, quite a good skater. He’ll round out above 200 pounds down the road… played at a large Minneapolis area high school.  Wittchow was selected 4th overall in May’s USHL draft.  He’s the property of the Waterloo Blackhawks and will likely spend the 2011-12 campaign there.

tools
participate
advertise
Powered by WordPress | Free Best Free WordPress Themes | Thanks to WordPress Themes Free, WordPress Themes and Themes Directory