Saturday, September 19, 2009

PK: Ducklings Returning To The Nest

This is Anaheim Calling to the Hockey world...

According to Curtis Zupke of the OC Register, the Ducks have sent 6 prospects back to Juniors. Because I have become enamored with the list format, I will rank these prospects in order of who I think stood out the most in camp, and I'll predict where they are going.

1) Matt Clark, Brampton/OHL- Arthur went on about this kid, and I can do a little more. He's built like a hockey player, and he's only 19. He sees the game perfectly, and he doesn't make bad decisions. A year in Juniors working on getting more mobile and building a hard and accurate shot, and he'll be NHL ready. I expect him to be a permanent member of the Ducks blue line for years to come.

2) Nicolas Deschamps, Chicoutimi QMJHL- This kid has so many offensive tools. He can operate in tight spaces, and he makes some of the most daring passes. Even more surprising is the amount of those passes that get through. He still seems to have a problem with the speed of the NHL game, especially when it comes to transition-- I just don't think he recognizes how quickly the puck ends up going the other way. Also, the kid can't dump the puck. When he hashes out the mundane parts of his game (dumping, chasing, transition defense), I expect him to be back here full time. Probably filling the void left by Selanne.

3) Peter Holland, Guelph OHL- I can see why scouts in the organization were so high on Holland. This guy plays better than his skill set. After finally watching Holland play in a game, I think he has terrific hockey sense. I'm not even sure he knows he has it. A lot of Holland's problems seem to stem from the fact that he doesn't trust how good he is. Once, he realizes that playing to his full potential is a good thing, he will find a home on an NHL roster. I still think he's about two years away.

4) Stefan Warg, Seattle WHL- Carlyle was impressed with Warg's competitiveness and thought he played well during the exhibition. I agree with Carlyle. I didn't see anything very brilliant about Warg, but Sean O'Donnell wasn't brilliant either. I like this guy's game. It's beautiful in all of its normalcy. Look to see him in the NHL in another 2 years.

5) Josh Brittain, Barrie OHL- Josh actually hurt himself during camp. There were times when I thought he didn't know how to play like a big guy, and that's never good. His work along the boards was decent, and I could see him as a solid Bottom 6. There were just times when he didn't look like he knew what he wanted to do.

6) Marco Cousineau, Drummondville QMJHL- I don't know what to say except you're probably the number 5 goalie in the system right now. It was a tough camp for goalies. No one is going to unseat Hiller or Giguere, but Cousineau looked like he had some skill. It was hard to get a good read on him, but nothing about him really impressed me. He might prove to be a valuable back up someday, but he won't pass Pogge or Pielmeier. This guy will get moved. Hope it works out for him.

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