CHL Prospects Game

This is Marc Pouliot, who used to be an Oilers prospect. Many moons ago when his career arrows were pointed in the right direction, Pouliot played in the CHL top prospects game.

Dion Phaneuf “saw him good” and derailed the kid from the Q with a stunning hit that caused a concussion.

Tonight in Edmonton the CHL Prospects Game comes to Rexall and through the kindness of others I’m going to the game.

I’m no scout and that’s for sure, but have decided to focus on Luke Schenn and a kid named Mikkel Boedker. One can play the game without the puck and the other is (from reports) somewhat similar to Ales Hemsky.

I’ll pass along my info tonight, and if you are going to the game please post your thoughts when you get the time.

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18 Responses to "CHL Prospects Game"

  1. Bruce says:

    Yeah, I’m going tonight. I too will be watching with interest Luke Schenn, who captured my attention throughout the not-so-super-series and the World Jrs. Everything about this guy screams “STUD”.

    Went to the skills competition last night (the tix were part of the package) and it was fun, esp. the 20-minute 3-on-3 scrimmage. That’s an exciting manpower situation which has been virtually legislated out of the game by the morons who run the NHL. (Total goals scored 3-on-3 since the lockout: five)

    At the time the Oilers drafted Pouliot the only thing I could remember about him was how he got clocked by Phaneuf in the Prospects game. Given Calgary had already drafted DP earlier that day it seemed right from the get-go to be a star-crossed selection. And that’s without invoking the names “Parise” or “Getzlaf”.

  2. grease trap says:

    Beauty pic

  3. Lord Bob says:

    Beauty pic

    It is rather “the career of Marc-Antoine Pouliot in one image”, isn’t it?

  4. Julian says:

    Boedker plays for the Kitchener Rangers right? I saw them when I was back in Canada in Dec, but he was at the WJCs at the time. I saw 5 OHL games in that month, but a lot of the big stars (inc. Tavares) were in the Czech Rep.

  5. Showerhead says:

    I’m very glad you’ve decided to have a look at Boedker – he’s a guy who looked really good at the WJHC’s when I watched him over the holidays.

  6. doritogrande says:

    I see the last Staal’s playing. Had him pegged as an automatic first rounder based on family ties alone earlier on, but I’ve heard nothing from him this year.

    Agree with LT and Bruce on the rise of Luke Schenn. He’s going to be somebody in the NHL. And from what I’ve followed of my local Brandon Wheat Kings this year, his kid brother, Brayden’s going places also. 3rd in rookie scoring in the Dub behind two 88 and 89 born players, Brayden’s an August 91 baby. Definitely someone I’ll be following closely leading up to his draft year. What’s the cutoff date usually? I’m pretty sure he’ll be in the Tavares/Hedman draft, but I could be wrong.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Fun game to watch. A lot of excpetional defensemen with a wide range of skills, the Oilers might want to get an early 2nd rd pick to pick up one of those guys.

    I promised to watch Schenn and Boedker.

    Schenn is way ahead of the curve as of now, the WJC experience must have given him a big edge over most of the players on the ice. I can’t imagine this guy going lower than Alzner did last season. He’s terrific.

    I don’t know how it translated on TV, but Boedker has ridiculous skill. Plays with authority and makes people miss, he competed against those big boys on D and never backed down. Based on tonight I’d be thrilled with the guy as an Oiler.

    Some other quick hits:

    Stamkos: Nice player, didn’t dominate like I thought he would. That may be overhype or maybe I didn’t notice him due to focusing on Boedker.

    Del Zotto: One of many defensemen on the night that impressed on a lot of levels. I honestly had a hard time telling who was who because they were all solid.

    Boychuk: A real nice player. He’ll be long gone by the time EDM drafts which is too bad but he’s going to be fun to watch.

    Ennis: Looked small and was outmuscled quite a bit but you can see the skill. He’s a guy who might actually fall to Edmonton.

    Maxime Sauve: A born Oiler. Involved, aggressive and had about 10 chances without scoring. I’d like to know more about him.

    Jared Staal: For some reason I didn’t expect much. I’d read he was not as skilled as his brothers but I think we should probably say he doesn’t play the same style. Scored a beauty goal.

    Bogosian: Very impressed with him, smart player, terrific shot and has a wide range of skills. These defensemen are going to dominate the first round.

    Robak: Made a sweet pass and played a strong defensive game.

    These kinds of games are hard to judge goalies on and I have no clue what works and what doesn’t anyway.

    Drank beer, ate a hotdog (lordy they’re good, worth the heart attack that’s sure to follow) and sat beside a pretty girl the entire evening.

    :-)

  8. Julian says:

    That’s the most perfect evening any reasonable guy could ask for.

    Thanks for the notes LT.

  9. Bruce says:

    Nice report, LT. I enjoyed the game tonight, beauty seats low in the Team White defensive left corner, Row 6. Really got a sense of the speed of these guys, how quickly the holes open up and are closed down, the exquisite timing required to get a shot through traffic. Sat next to an ugly guy the entire evening. :(

    Team White:
    —————
    Luke Schenn: To my eyes the best player on the ice by a lot. Scored the first goal by pinching in to the hash marks and letting go a quick low shot, otherwsie stood out for his play in his own end. Hit with authority, at least three crunching checks, very solid defensively, competed hard, good with the puck on the breakout. One play he slid to break up a 2-on-1, scrambled to his feet to win the race to the puck in the corner, stood up to a solid hit and basically bounced the guy who ran him, and moved the puck safely out of the zone. Definitely a Stud. Depending on who’s picking, it wouldn’t surprise me to see this guy go #1.

    Tyler Myers: Schenn’s Kelowna teammate is huge, 6′ 7 and a quarter according to the press notes, although still a bit gangly at “just” 204 lbs. (5 inches taller than Schenn but 12 pounds lighter at this point.) Showed some pretty surprising dexterity, really used his reach to advantage.

    Zach Bogosian: Scored the winner on a wicked point shot, perfectly timed and placed.

    Yann Sauve: I really liked his play on the point, moved the puck sharply, always looking to shoot but made real solid decisions as to when to let fire and when to pass off cuz the shooting lanes were blocked.

    Colby Robak: Made a dynamite headman pass to spring Jamie Arniel for a shorthanded breakaway goal.

    Nick Deschamps: Part of an effective Q line with Maxime Sauve and Joel Champagne. This threesome forechecked effectively. Deschamps made one outstanding play to control the puck in his skates and kick it up while driving to the net.

    Joel Champagne: Big boy (6’3+, 210), was involved in one of the biggest hits of the game. Had the puck in his feet and was in theory the “hittee”, but he never moved and the other guy just bounced right off him. Very strong on the puck.

    Cody Hodgson: Terrific playmaker on a dynamite line with Bailey and Boychuk.

    Josh Bailey: Very good finish around the net (two goals I think), opportunist. Great release on his second goal, reacting to a deflected pass and still getting it upstairs.

    Zack Boychuk: Made a great rush to beat two defenders and very nearly the goalie, getting a well-deserved assist when Bailey cleaned up the rebound. Finished with 1-2-3 and player of the game award, tho’ I would’ve picked Schenn.
    ***

    Team Red:
    ————-
    Drew Doughty: I can honestly say the guy didn’t do one thing that made me notice him.

    Alex Pietrangelo: Big and mobile, strong with the puck.

    Mikael Boedker: Very opportunistic, really sees the holes and hits them at the right moment. Goal scorer.

    Brandon McMillian: Scored the last goal in the dying seconds on a Gretzky-like move cutting into the centre and then releasing a low shot against the grain just inside the post.

    Steve Stamkos: Had his moments, impressed with his speed and puck control, but I don’t think it was his A game tonight. Showed his frustration at the end by starting an unnecessary fight with Y.Sauve, completing the Gordie Howe hat trick, but didn’t appear to be in his element.
    ***

    Fun game. Could have lived without the two-minute TV timeouts. Nice bonus to see no fewer than four World Junior champions in the to-be-drafted class, and that doesn’t even include Tavares. Three of them will potentially go 1-2-3 in June, and it seems likely that all 40 guys in the game will go in the first three rounds. Nice preview.

  10. Bruce says:

    Brayden’s an August 91 baby. Definitely someone I’ll be following closely leading up to his draft year. What’s the cutoff date usually? I’m pretty sure he’ll be in the Tavares/Hedman draft, but I could be wrong.

    Cutoff date is Sept. 15, the idea being that kids can qualify for an NHL paycheque once they turn 18. If it was Dec. 31 like it is for the age classifications (e.g. peewee, bantam, midget, international tournaments) there’d likely be class action. That’s why some guys have only one World Jr. after they’re drafted and some have two.

    Tavares is a Sept. 20 baby so just misses qualifying in 2008, in fact there was some talk he might take some action to get in since he will indeed be 18 by the time the season starts, but I think that’s been nipped in the bud. In ’09 he’ll be ~11 months older than Brayden Schenn, at opposite ends of the draft pool.

    BTW, I noticed with some interest tonight that only two of the 40 prospects had birthdays in 1990 July, August, or (the first half of) Sept. Jared Staal (Aug 21) was the youngest guy on the ice by more than a month. Not exactly a random distribution, but maybe it’s a this-year fluke. Or maybe there’s a maturity bias in the selection process.

    I do know that my kid having a December birthday really hurt his development in minor hockey; he was always being tiered below kids that were 8 or 10 months more mature. Every second year he’d be the youngest player on the team, and the next year he would still be just middle of the pack. It’s really quite unfair. So I watch these age cut-offs with some interest.

    Which reminds me, Sam Gagner (1989 August 10) was one of the youngest guys in last year’s prospects game, or in the entry draft for that matter. Six weeks younger and he would’ve been playing tonight. Which makes his making the NHL this year particularly impressive, or crazy depending on your point of view.

  11. HBomb says:

    I had the fortune to attend the game last night too, and here’s some quick-hit thoughts:

    - If I was drafting third overall and the consensus 1/2 (Doughty/Stamkos) were gone, I’d gladly select Schenn and like my chances of in 10 years being able to say I got the best player out of the 2008 draft. From where I sat, by FAR the best player on the ice. Legitimately scared I am that Burke picks him.

    - Zach Boychuk created a lot offensively last night. Very shifty. Kind of a Daniel Briere-type player from what I saw.

    - Doughty was fairly invisible last night. Not necessarily a knock (sometimes noticing a d-man is not a good thing), but for a guy with his skill level (shown at the WJC’s), I expected more visibility in a positive sense.

    - Stamkos is pretty damn impressive, and has some grit about his game too.

    - If he’s there when the Oilers go to the podium late in the 1st round, I wouldn’t be upset if the Oilers went for Jared Staal. He showed enough last night to impress me, and you can’t argue with the pedigree. Plus, it would be humorous to listed to Rod Phillips if he had to deal with the Jared Staal/Jarret Stoll combination on the powerplay.

    - At one time, Colton Teubert was touted as a top-ten pick. I don’t think he’s even a first rounder. Simply put, the mobility is not where it needs to be for this guy.

    - You can see why lots of scouts are high on Alex Pietrangelo. Great physical tools. Doughty/Pietrangelo/Schenn could be analagous to Suter/Coburn/Phaneuf in more ways than one.

    - Cody Hodgson showed that he’s top-ten worthy for sure.

    Overall, lots of good things coming down the pipe for the draft in June. I’ll be watching with extra anticipation this year, despite the fact that the fat arrogant bastard is going to be the one picking one of these gems in the top-ten, and not Kevin Lowe.

    Let’s all hope Burke deals the pick to Toronto for Sundin, the Ducks don’t go anywhere in the playoffs, and the Leafs manage to pick someone who doesn’t pan out. That, right now, is what I call a “best case scenario”…..

  12. Dennis says:

    HB, I’m thinking Sundin to Ana’s a pretty good bet myself but then it would hurt me if they got a true talent with our pick that somehow helped them regroup;)

    If Burke’s drafting for need, he has to pick up a dman if he’s still holding onto the pick.

  13. Bruce says:

    Legitimately scared I am that Burke picks him.

    No shit. I like Penner but the “prospect” of a guy like Schenn in a Ducks uni for the next 15 years is depressing.

    If Burke was to trade a first rounder and other future assets (somebody suggested Bobby Ryan?) to Toronto for help now, wouldn’t that fuel the speculation that Burke himself will ultimately take the Toronto job? In trading future-for-present he could be helping himself both ways.

  14. Matt says:

    Hi LT, I don’t know if you do requests, but speaking of Getzlaf and the ’03 draft: I’d love it if someday you revisited why he went so late.

    My recollection — as a guy who read nothing about prospects, but listened to 10-15 Hitmen games a year — is that there was huge concern that he had a 10-cent head, and quite possibly didn’t have the desire to become an impact (or even career) NHL player. Is that about right, or were there also doubts about his talent?

  15. Dennis says:

    Matt, I’m not a big draft guy either but when Parise started to blow up and then the Pronger trade was made, I remember reading a discussion about the ’03 draft class and how there were questions about Getzlaf’s maturity.

    The only thing I can say is you look at the guy’s grin and he seems like a total goofball. Someone that would say come from the Jason Chimera School Of Intelligence.

    Of course there was a guy from Banff who didn’t have a sweet clue but was a helluva hockey player:)

  16. Lowetide says:

    Matt: I recall that Getzlaf’s issue was footspeed. Central Scouting Loved him (#5NA) and the Hockey News had him #9.

    They quoted a scout as saying “I give him good marks for being smart and for his competitiveness, but skating is an issue.”

    HN said that some compared him to a poor man’s Patrick Marleau, others suggested he was more Brad Isbister.

    Redline had him 9th among forwards in 2003, here’s the list:

    1. Nathan Horton 6-3/195 R 5-29-85 Oshawa (OHL) First round
    2. Nikolai Zherdev 6-0/176 R 11-5-84 Elemash/CSKA First
    3. Andrei Kastsitsyn 6-0/189 L 2-3-85 CSKA Moscow First
    4. Milan Michalek 6-2/204 L 12-7-84 Budejovice (Czech) First
    5. Tomas Vanek 6-1/207 R 1-17-84 Univ. of Minnesota First
    6. Eric Staal 6-2/183 L 10-29-84 Peterborough (OHL) First
    7. Anthony Stewart 6-2/235 R 1-5-85 Kingston (OHL) First
    8. Hugh Jessiman 6-5/207 R 3-28-84 Dartmouth College First
    9. Ryan Getzlaf 6-3/183 R 5-10-85 Calgary (WHL) First
    10. Petr Vrana 5-10/170 L 3-29-85 Halifax (QMJHL) First

  17. Matt says:

    Interesting how since then, he’s gained an inch and 25 pounds… and footspeed is no longer an issue. Thanks for that, LT.

  18. Lowetide says:

    The draft would have gone down way differently if they’d picked these kids at 20 that’s for sure.

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