We are nearing the end of training camp, which means the season is right around the corner. Here are my impressions on some of the youngsters and newbies at camp.
Taylor Beck: Good skater, but looked really nervous. On the power play he really didn't seem to know where to go. He sort of floated around. He also couldn't get shots off fast enough. Not ready for the big show yet.
Jonathan Blum - For me, one of the more disappointing prospects at camp. I had high hopes for him, but he looked really out of his league. Slow to the puck, confused on making passes and had way to many turnovers. Thought he would be ready this year, but I guess not.
Matt Halischuk - Gritty game with a scoring touch. Willing to take the body and dig in the corners. Good speed and backchecking. Also showed a scoring touch. Has a good chance of making the club.
Sergei Kostitsyn - Ok not a youngster but still a question mark. At first blush his game looks very similar to Marty Erat. He can pass very well and seems to really be hustling. Showed good defensive backchecking, which he was criticized for in Montreal. If he can keep this up, he will be a steal for the Preds.
Ryan Ellis - You can tell he will be the real deal, in the future. Just not ready yet. Has a great shot from the point (slapper and wrist shot). Gets the puck on goal to create chances. He will be the quarterback of the PP in the near future. Made way to many turnovers though in his own end and his lack of size showed against bigger forwards. He will have to wait another year and get sent back to juniors.
Ryan Parent - Again not someone who is a youngster but still people were interested in following. He has been really steady. I think of him like a ref. If you don't notice him then that is a good thing. He is a stay at home defenseman who won't get on the scoresheet much but makes it really hard for the other team to get pucks into the net. He has locked in his spot in the top 4 D pairing.
Alexander Sulzer - Not at all ready for the big club. He always seemed out of his league. Turnovers, slow to the puck and bad decision making. Didn't shoot when he had the chances.
Mark Dekanich - Solid camp. Nothing in my mind made him be a lock for the #2 job. A little slow sometimes from post to post. Very solid positionally though.
Anders Lindback - Really good camp. Only allowing 1 goal. Heard Rinne didn't think he should get the #2 job. Well he might just get it. He is actually taller than Rinne at 6-6. Good puck control and didn't let in any easy goals.