As stated in my earlier post on some musing of the NHL Rookie Tournament involving the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Chicago Black Hawks I was in attendance of the game last night and took the time to go over some observations and general feel of the game. Here is a recap:
–Nazem Kadri didn’t look that hot, he never got into the flow of the game and tried to do to much at times. Most of my section was generally unimpressed with him not even hoping for highlite reel plays but to just play even an effective simple game with solid passing and positional play. It wasn’t his night as he didn’t win draws or make much of an impact outside a nice hit or two.
**UPDATE: Nazem Kadri suffered a minor injury in last night’s game, which makes some sense to me given how he didn’t look like himself at all. His body is likely going through hell right now with his first real off-season dedicated to conditioning and weight lifting to add some much needed strength and size to survive the rigors of a full NHL season.
Let him rest and come back strong for camp, this is a huge adjustment for him physically.
–Sondre Olden looked unreal, flashing great speed and skill to go along with great size. He could be a keeper going forward, possible steal?
–Jerry D’Amigo is still a ways off, no chance he cracks the Leafs roster this season, who’s spot would he realistically take?
–Brayden Irwin looked improved, slightly better skating (could it get worse?) and he won nearly every draw he took. Still a long shot to ever play in the NHL though in a meaningful role, a possible 4th line centre?
–Greg McKegg looked fundamentally sound (as advertised) but he has more flash and dash than I expected, definitely looks like a possible second liner scoring winger for the future. Could McKegg be a more effective pro than Kadri, that was the talk making the rounds with some excellent and knowledgeable fans.
–Jussi Rynnas looked shaky at best in the first period but settled down after that and made a few good saves as the Leafs were outshot and outplayed. The Hawks goalie looked terrible all night and gave up a few questionable first period goals.
–Jesse Blacker moved the puck nicely (no Keith Aullie tonight, who I really wanted to see!)
–Korbinian Holzer had my entire section in awe, always in position and used his size and strength all night and was never beat one on one. Good debut, could be a solid 5-6 d’man.
-Nobody from the Hawks wanted anything to do with tough guy Jamie Devane, he tried to get a couple things going with some opposing forwards, all for not.
-Marcel Mueller looked impressive, he used his size and strength and big frame to his advantage.
-No Mike Liambas tonight (player suspended from the OHL for hit in 2010) as he wasn’t dressed, there was a lot of discussion surrounding him and his reputation.
Here is the entire roster as given by the JLC crew to each fan in attendance:
G – Andrew Engelage, 6’5″ – 206 AGE 22, Jussi Rynnas, 6’5″ – 205 AGE 23, Ben Scrivens, 6’2″ – 192, AGE 24
D – Keith Aullie, 6’5″ – 217 AGE 21, Jesse Blacker, 6’1″ – 190 AGE 19, Erik Burgdoerfer, 6’2″ 210 AGE 21, Dave Cowan, 6’4, 205 AGE 24, Marc-Andre Dorian, 5’11” – 172 AGE 23, Simon Gysbers, 6’4″ – 200 AGE 23, Korbinian Holzer 6’3″ – 205 AGE 22, Dallas Jackson 6’2″, 188 AGE 21, Drew Paris 6’4″, 200 AGE 22, Barron Smith, 6’5″ – 205 AGE 19
F – Sam Carrick, 6’0″ – 188 AGE 18, Andrew Crescenzi, 6’4″ – 195 AGE 19, Jerry D’Amigo, 5’11” – 208 AGE 19, Jamie Devane, 6’5″ 217 AGE 19, Brayden Irwin, 6’5″ 215 AGE 23, Nazem Kadri 6’0″? – 188 AGE 19, Mike Liambas, 5’9″ – 204 AGE 21, Greg McKegg 6’0″ – 190 AGE 18, Dale Mitchell 5’9″ – 200 AGE 21.