First off…I hope everyone had a great weekend. I suppose a lot of you spent at least some of it at prospect camp in Duluth. If so, I look forward to reading your thoughts and observations. As for me…well, after spending Thursday and Friday out there I dealt with a few issues at home. Older son’s car had a water pump go out on it Friday night, and while that was being replaced we were out with the younger son looking for a car for him.
Ah…the joys of having teenage sons.
Anyway, here are a couple of quick remarks/comments about a few of the players that I was looking at during prospect camp.
I was impressed with the raw skills and talent possessed by Alexander Burmistrov. Very fast, smooth skater who seems to have good vision on the ice…head up and quick reactions.
However, I have to admit that I still feel the same way as I did before in regards to him playing in a Thrashers uniform this fall. Simply put, I don’t think he’s as far along as Evander Kane was this time last summer. When I first saw Kane at camp last year, there was this “something” about how he conducted himself on ice that just struck me…told me he had no business going back to Vancouver of the WHL. And since he could not go to Chicago because of that league’s age policy, it was all but certain he’d be in Atlanta.
I didn’t get that same vibe from Burmistrov.
JLH…a frequent contributor of this bog…pointed out to me that he though the number-eight overall draft pick appeared to be “trying too hard” out there. It was, he said, almost as if he were trying to work his way onto the team as opposed to just allowing his skills to do all the talking.
That may or not be so…but if the biggest knock against an 18-year old kid is that he’s trying too hard, that’s a forgivable sin in my book. Let’s see what he looks like with the bib boys at training camp.
Speaking of working and trying hard…that’s exactly how I would describe John Albert, the 5’-10”, 180-pound center who was the Thrashers 6th round pick in 2007, 175th overall. Albert was all hustle all the time out there and others had to work hard to keep up with him.
In the past three years at Ohio State he’s scored 21 goals and 69 assists in 122 total games. However, Hockey’s Future describes him as a “playmaking center with sufficient quickness. Has a better shot than his statistics show”. I have to say that I can see what they mean, so keep an eye on this kid.
In between the pipes…I went to camp looking at goalie Ed Pasquale, but I must admit that Chris Carrozzi caught my eye while there. This guy is a competitor who you could tell expects a lot from himself…very sharp and focused while on the ice.
Last season with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the OHL, Carrozzi was 19-10-5 with a 2.36 GAA and .916 SV%.
Patrice Cormier really impressed me with his play. Depending on whatever moves Rick Dudley makes between now and September, there very well could be a spot on the roster for him. I still think we could see a 4th line made up of him, Eager and Boulton/Thorburn.
Not surprisingly, Carl Kingberg was very impressive as well…great skills. Another year and we should be talking about whether or not he could make serious bit to play in Atlanta. As C-Viv reports, he’s looking for more ice time…either in Sweden or over here at the AHL level.
On defense, the best player in my opinion was Paul Postma, the Thrashers 205th overall selection in ’07. His 6’-3” frame brings with it a big presence on the blueline. Last season he had 29 overall points, was a +5 with only 24 PIM in 63 regular season games with the Wolves.
While there’s no room for him at Thrasherville’s Blueline Inn this season, look for him in the next coming seasons to make a serious push for the NHL.
And finally…I saw Angelo Esposito workout between sessions Friday. He looked good on the ice, no favoring the knee that has suffered injuries over the past two seasons. But then, he’s not participating in prospect camp because it’s still not 100% yet, I’m told.
This will be a very big year for him in Chicago. Whether or not he can make it through the season injury-free could very well determine his future hopes at the NHL level.