It's interesting how we are judging the prospects after watching them only for an hour at day one in the camp. But as bloggers, that is what we do. I hesitate to judge the prospects too harshly as they go through the motions for the coaches. I sat there watching some of the players this afternoon, trying to figure out which ones to pick out for my blog. I cannot go through every player, but if you want to hear about one player, let me know and I will see what I can do.
I was generally very pleased with all four goalies. The only major concern was in controlling the rebounds. I did find it interesting that the two more well-known goalies, Irving and Orttio, were together. The two less-known goalies are J.P. Lamoureux and Cam Lanigan. For now, I'm going to keep the report to Leland and Joni.
Leland was terrific today, making the best glove save of the afternoon. I'm really encouraged by the way he has improved control of his rebounds. Obviously, his best asset is his glove. He has also improved how quick he is from side to side. He uses his size to his advantage, making himself look big to the shooter.
Joni has really improved with his stick. He made quite a few poke checks from the forwards. He has improved immensely from last year. He has gotten faster from side to side as well. I suspect he will continue to improve with coaching. I'm looking forward to seeing this kid's growth through the years.
The forwards are having trouble with the puck tonight. The Flames coaching staff kept on stopping the drill, telling them to make sure they were quick with the passes and to keep the puck flat from stick to stick. I thought I would mention forwards other than the top two, Backland and Neimisz. I figured you'd like to know some of the other prospects the team has.
Nick was excellent with the puck today, showing some great promise for being an skilled forward. He is great with puck and has a quick release. He may need some help with the accuracy of his shot, but that can be easily overcome in time.
Jon was the most pleasant surprise of the day. This young forward really dazzled me with his speed. He has a quick terrific release on his shot. Jon has some great puck moving skills, and is able to think three moves ahead. I love this kid. He has the potential to becoming a stud. The scouting staff deserves a gold star for picking this kid out.
The defense is the Flames' strength. We have a solid core who are highly skilled. I could have made a report on all six of them. They are that good, and I was that impressed with them.
Most of us came to this camp to to see two players: Backlund and Tim Erixon. Tim has very good speed and more importantly, he has great puck moving skills. That is great news for the Flames, as they are a little thin on offensive. I'm really excited about Tim's offensive skills. He will help fill the void left by Dion.
This kid is going to be a stud. He is a monster on the blue line. I love his size, which will help him clean up in front of the net. He did the spinorama in the shoot out, and scored on it, which was awesome. He has really improved on his offensive skills. He has really improved since last season. He is going to be a stud defenseman.