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Thoughts On July 7th Day At Development Camp

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The usual power skating drills were done in the morning with the skill development process being 2 periods of 4 on 4 hockey with some work on PP and PK drills as well. Dave Lowry and Craig Conroy coached either side and it was fun to watch. Intial thoughts are that I havn't seen this much skating ability and skill at a development camp in the last 5 or 6 that i've been to.

Goalies

Dan Bakala: Actually liked Bakala. Flashed some good all around skills and for the most part was pretty sound. Not sure there is a lot of potential there but for a training camp try out wasn’t bad.

Laurent Brossoit – Very good size and looks big in the net. Definitely raw and isn’t the most athletic guy so his technique could use improving to make sure he covers side to side better. Having said that, he did make some good saves side to side and with the glove.

Joni Ortio – Looked about as composed as I’ve seen him. Didn’t blow me away by any means, but you can tell he has made progress refining his game specifically his positioning.

Defence:

Chris Breen – Look much smoother than the last development camp in terms of skating. His edge to edge and turnaround specifically both have improved. I don’t think there is high upside with Breen, but its looking like he is a legitimate NHL prospect.

TJ Brodie – He didn’t “wow” like he has at other camps, but he brought more substance to his game. I personally don’t believe Brodie is ever going to have a good defensive game, but he showed a greater willingness to back check hard and be in the right position from what I’ve seen in the past.

Dallas Ehrhardt – One of the invites. There were some times I saw good things but far too often I saw slow foot speed and average at best skating.

Joey Leach – Safe and steady is the easiest way to describe it. Not flashy and there is not a part of his game I could tell you that is great, but I don’t have a lot of weakness’ either. I do think he could get a little more mobile and a little more offense to really crack into the NHL.

James Martin – Much like Ehrhardt there were times he impressed and I like him better than Ehrhardt as I felt he was the better skater of the two. He could be worth another look at training camp, or at least stay on the Flames radar.

John Negrin – As always, was probably the best overall skater today. He is just so smooth it’s a pleasure to watch, but for Negrin skill and skating is not the problem staying healthy is. I have no doubt that if Negrin stays healthy he will be in the NHL.

Michael Quinn – did not even notice.

John Ramage – Ramage is the type of player any fan would like because he has such a willingness to be involved in everything. Much like Leach there is not a lot in his game that stands out but he is feisty. Much like Leach I’d like to see him just get a little faster and hopefully some offensive punch, especially with his RH shot.

Keith Seabrook – There are such highs and lows with Seabrook. One minute he is splitting the D and deeking someone out to get a shot on goal and the other he is making a dumb pass trying to hold the line. If he could find some consistency I think he would be very, very close to the NHL. However, right now there is just too much inconsistency on a shift to shift basis and he was like that with the Hitmen too.

Tyler Wotherspoon – Not present

Forwards:

Bill Arnold – He is a faster skater than I thought he was, but having said that his stride is too ‘busy” and it takes away from his acceleration. Once he gets to top speed he is fine but getting there is an issue, but if he cleaned that up he is a very good looking prospect who can dominate along the boards.

Scott Arnold – Another player I just didn’t see much out of. Was focussing mainly on the Flames prospects

Sven Baertschi – Has NHL skill right now and is easily the most talented prospect in the organization bar none. Stick handling, passing, and shooting are very advanced and I would say are all NHL calibre. Good, but not great, skater but can get to open areas quick enough although quicker wouldn’t be a bad thing. Away from the puck, he needs work before he can crack an NHL roster.

Carter Bancks – didn’t have the same high energy game I’ve seen from him before. Without that his upside is very limited.

Lance Bouma – Played with a lot of confidence and ended up netting a hat trick in the game mainly just from always being in the right spot. He looks like he is ready to push very hard for a spot on the team and was one of the best players in the game.

Paul Bryon – Byron showed me a lot of what I was expecting to see. He is small, although pretty thick, and a very good although not amazing skater. Very quick feet and good acceleration, but he didn’t flash the “high end” skill we heard about when he was acquired. His willingness to engage was certainly there though.

Bryan Cameron – Cameron has made some progress since first joining the Flames. His skating has improved as well as his confidence which allows his skill to be demonstrated. He is not there yet and I’d like him to be further along but I could see him having a solid year in Abbotsford.

Justin Dowling – Was actually quite impressed with Dowling as he showed very good jump and pretty good hands. There were a couple of occasions where he was able to get around defenders with good moves, but unfortunately could not bury. This was a theme for him both in terms of offence, checks and battles, he just never seemed to be able to finish.

Turner Elson – Again, limited viewing

Michael Ferland – Very disappointed in Ferland. If he wasn’t standing 4 or 5 feet from the net he was next to useless. Skating did not look very good, and it looks like his attitude and conditioning could be question marks.

John Gaudreau – No question, this kid has skill. Gaudreau with the puck was probably the best prospects out there. However, without it you would forget he was playing. Defensively he didn’t know where to be but also had trouble finding open ice to accept a pass. Once he gets it he is fine, but without it needs a ton of work. He is also extremely small out there and although I was expecting it, it still surprised me.

Markus Grandlund – I did not come away impressed with Grandlund. You can tell he has talent, and has very good vision but he really struggled with it. I would call his skating below average mainly because his stride needs work. He is too wild with his body and it takes away from his acceleration and top speed. He also look a little out of place in the sense he was trying moves that you are not going to pull on decent AHL or NHL dmen. Very, very raw at this point.

Ryley Grantham – Grantham is never going to play in the NHL unless you support having someone can only play less than 5 minutes and fight.

Patrick Holland – Was very impressed with Holland. Had great jump and came through the seem several times for scoring opportunities. Shows a willingness to get involved physically and is not very small like I had heard he was. Hopefully he can increase his offensive output in junior and if he does you are looking at a legitimate prospect.

Roman Horak – I was very impressed with Horak as a skater and he was one of the smoothest skaters there. He is very compact and with a quick stride that gets him around the ice quickly. However, did not see the vision or offence that was talked about and he often was not able to create anything off of a decent rush.

Ryan Howse – another player I was disappointed in. It looks to me, and sounds like by reading the paper, that Howse may have some conditioning problems. Too often late in a shift he was too tired to do anything at all and these were not long shifts. He also did not appear to have more jump than I’ve seen in previous camps.

Nick Larson – Nick Larson in the offensive zone is impressive. He is a Thomas Holmstrom around the net and does have a very good wrist shot and passing skills. However, he is only an avg skater and does not show the same type of skills in the other zones.

Logan MacMillan – I was very happy with MacMillan’s skating and his defensive work. He did next to nothing offensively, and if he could improve this he could be in the NHL picture in the next couple seasons.

Greg Nemisz – the most impressive prospect of the day. Nemisz looked much faster and far more confident than I have ever seen him. Scored two very nice goals and almost had another in the shootout. Flew around a dman, and was all over the ice. If he skates like this in camp he’ll start some conversations.

Gaelan Patterson – Continues to build and build himself as a hockey player. Skating and confidence were better this year, but he still hasn’t shown that he is capable of providing even a hint of an offensive game.

Max Reinhart – An interesting prospect to watch in the sense that at first I walked away disappointed. Reinhart is not a great skater, but he can get by dman, not high end offensively but he did manage to make some nice plays. However, given that I think there is more skill there to be offered you just don’t see it consistently. He looked behind players he should be ahead of, and at this point that seems to be the biggest con in his game. I would like to see him get some drive and consistency to tap into that skill.

CJ Severyn – Another player I came away very impressed with. CJ has always been a great skater but this time around he showed an offensive touch he has not before. However, those numbers don’t translate to the NCAA so I am anxious to see him try and improve the numbers.

Mitch Wahl – another guy I was very impressed with. He put on a passing clinic on one PP and was amazing to watch. There is really nothing that Wahl can’t do and at this point all he needs to do is prove he can transition that to the AHL level.

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