Sunday, July 13, 2014

Some Thoughts From Development Camp

The Predators capped off their Development Camp with their Blue vs. Silver scrimmage yesterday. Here are some thoughts from the contest.

  • The boys have some wheels. Most everyone that was on the ice can fly, and those that stood out to me were Brendan Leipsic, Kevin Fiala, and Filip Forsberg. Those three especially used their speed to create some space and some opportunities around the net.

  • Speaking of Forsberg, he plays with a "casual virtuosity". He is adept at finding the soft spots in the offensive zone and has a deceptively good shot. Forsberg seems stronger and skating better than last season (which wasn't bad) and possesses a very good hockey sense. His ability to handle the puck in traffic was very good. I would expect to see him make the roster this season for the NHL club.

  • Tommy Veilleux showed that he is not afraid to go to the high traffic areas and scored twice from the slot with a good snap shot.

  • I liked the play of Leipsic and Fiala. Both used their speed to their advantage to create offensively and neither shies away from contact. Leipsic in particular used his speed and shiftiness to avoid the big hit but wasn't afraid to mix it up when necessary.

  • Fiala had a beautiful move in the shootout, faking left and dragging the puck back to the right side of the net for the score.

  • The goal of the shootout belonged to Viktor Arvidsson with a spin-o-rama back to the forehand and lifting it under the crossbar. That goal brought everyone to their feet.

  • Jonathan-Ismael Diaby is huge and skates fairly well for a big man (6'5", 223 pounds). I expect he will be in Milwaukee next season to continue to develop his game. Diaby showed that he has the ability to use his size well, especially down low and clearing the front of the net.

  • Pontus Aberg, the first pick of the 2012 draft, did not show me much. He possesses good speed and hands but did not show a desire to drive the net and get in the tough scoring areas.

  • Colton Sissons looks as if he is going to challenge for a spot on the opening night roster. he played with intensity and has a sound overall game. The door is certainly open for Sissons with the injury to Mike Fisher.

  • I thought Jaynen Rissling, acquired from the Capitals, looked good on the blue line. Again, I would expect him to be in Milwaukee to open the season, but he could be a call up if the Predators experience injuries on the blue line.

  • The Predators game ops experimented with a new goal song, the Black Keys "Gold on the Ceiling" I like the song as a goal song, but it is kinda clunky with the "I like It, I love It" lead in. perhaps it is time to retire Tim McGraw's part of the goal celebration.
There is a lot of talent with these young guys. But potential is just potential. It will be up to Scott Nichol, Director of Player Development and the coaching staff to continue to develop the talent and make it NHL ready. That is a formula for long term success, and it is good to see that the Predators have filled the pipeline with young players that have tons of potential.

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