Thursday, June 26, 2008

Preds Prospect Camp

Colin Wilson, Chet Pickard & Roman Jusi


Wow! I can see why David Poile and his team wanted center Colin Wilson. This kid is going to be with the big club sooner rather than later. Speaking of David Poile, Edward Fraser of THN had this to say: "Mix all of Poile’s off-season ingredients, stick ‘em in the oven and out pops a cake worthy of (very) early 2008-09 THN Executive of the Year consideration". I agree. Our first round pick in the just-completed draft (#7 overall) will have to eventually put Boston U. on hold for awhile. The player TSN said was comparable to Ron Francis certainly lived up to his billing for the brief time I was able to watch him.

Just returned from observing a bit of the first day of prospect camp. (The Preds have made two one-hour slots available to the public today and tomorrow.) After 45 minutes or so of various drills, the 20 or so prospects from recent drafts played a bit of cross-ice 3 on 2 that was all-out. A lot of fun for us, no doubt. The highlight was Mr. Colin Wilson with a behind the back pass, a deke move, another pass, and then a slick score as he took an elbow to the head. He is a tough athlete with excellent skills. He has good hands, sees the ice and those around him well, can pass, skate and shoot the puck. Plus, I saw early signs of someone that won't be afraid to get in front of the net.

Moving on, Cody Franson is awesome. He has filled out considerably since last year and is skating and shooting the puck with conviction. He exhibited a strong wrister and good eyes for the net. This 6' 5" 205 lbs defenseman won't be in the AHL much longer. He is becoming the young stud so many have predicted.

While not everyone looked great and NHL-ready today, the energy was good and the excitement in these players is palpable. Each one wants to make it to the NHL team, although unfortunately not all will.

Of note, I was most impressed with another of this year's picks, Swiss-born defenseman Roman Josi, a seccond-round pick (#38 overall). He will be an effective NHL player in the not-to-distant future. Great skating and stick handling skills. I had no idea he would be that accomplished. Also impressive was 2006 pick Blake Geoffrion who looked solid and confident. The Preds continue to amass great depth in D. Our tradition of wealth of future high quality NHL blueliners will not be broken anytime soon.

And then there are the goalies. Chet Pickard (another 1st round pick for us this year) was Carey Price's understudy for two years and is going to be a great one, I think. A friend who has watched him develop since he was a kid stated that he was a gem and would ultimately be better than Price, Giguere, and Toskala. Pretty strong endorsement. And we still have two more high-quality prospect goalies in Jeremy Smith and Mark Dekanich who the have potential to be starters in the NHL someday. They too looked sharp today.

Also of note were the skating of brothers Mike and Mark Santorelli, Nick Spaling, and a supercharged Andreas Thuresson, all forwards who are looking to make upward moves in their careers.

Enough glowing praises. All I'll say is that it was great seeing all of these up and coming skaters on the ice working to succeed in the game they love.

1 comment:

Scotty said...

Love the article Pickard and Wilson should turn out AMAZING!

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