Monday, September 12, 2005

Rookie camp round-up

The Ottawa Senators rookie camp/tournament came to an end over the weekend. The Senators went 1-2-1 overall, and as a team, did not look good on most nights, outplayed three of the four games.

As far as individual players, some thoughts:

- The consensus on Andrej Meszaros seems to be that he's NHL ready. He certainly looked like it in the game I saw, and having spoken with people who watched all four Sens games, that is the belief all around. But looking like a top defencemen against other rookies is one thing, doing so against NHLers is another. He'll likely have the opportunity to win an NHL job at the main camp in a few days. There are still some holes in his game that would need to be worked on, but I saw nothing alarming.

- Everyone who spoke on Neil Komadoski said the same thing: solid but very unspectacular. He wore the "C" for the Sens, which says something about how the organization views him, but he never stepped up the way I would think. Skating was said to be the major issue with him.

- Tomas Kudelka, by all accounts, had a rough tournament, as he did not look good according to basically everyone and was said to look completely out of place a lot of the time. Seems to need A LOT of work.

- Patrick Eaves has gotten similar responses. I was very impressed with his overall game, and it seems as though that didn't drop off in any of the other games the team played. His style of play is condusive to a third or fourth line job, which is where there are some jobs to be won, so unlike a junior sniper like a Roman Wick, it wouldn't be counter-productive to his development to place him in such a role. His size didn't seem to affect his play in the rookie tournament as far as taking the body, but again, we'll see how he does against the big boys and if the same can be said then.

- Cody Bass seems to have been the most consistent forward through the tournament, as in every game, I spoke with somebody who said they were most taken by his play. He didn't put up much offense throughout the games, but was always a factor as far as his play down low and defensively, as well as his crazy speed. Based on this one camp, I'd say his future with the team is bright, but not for a few years.

- Roman Wick seemed to have been the opposite of Bass in that he was inconsistent. In the game I saw, he was not a factor at all, as I barely noticed him, but according to others who saw him in the rest of the tourney, there were many instances where he would turn it on and make excellent plays in the opponents end of the ice. Unfortunately, they were only instances, as he would come and go in that area. Based on his junior career, it's pretty clear he's very gifted offensively, but needs to work on the rest of his game. Especially the physical aspect because he was said to be very timid.

- Jeff Wikner lived up to his reputation of being a gritty, scrappy player, but on the flipside, also reaffirmed his rep as being dirty and prone to taking bad penalties. There were a few questionable hits in the game I saw, and apparently that was the theme throughout the tournament. Even though Muckler has said he wants toughness, I'm not sure he wants this kind of it. Part of it could be attributed to overextending himself in order to make an impact and get noticed, but that's not the way to do it.

- Of the rest of the forwards, Danny Bois impressed the most.

- As far as the goalies, it depends on who you speak with as far as which is closer to being an NHL goalie. Though he didn't stink, I was overly impressed with Kelly Guard in the game against the Leafs. As I said then, his fundementals seemed to be off to be, positionally. But apparently stepped it up in the other game and more than a few people were speaking highly of him. Jeff Glass didn't wow anyone in his first game against the 'Canes, but was said to have been the reason the team did not get blown out Saturday at the Corel Centre vs. the Canadiens. Everyone was glowing about his play. We'll see how each do in the main camp.

The main camp starts on Wednesday, and most of the players involved last week will be there. The majority for just the experience, but it will be interesting to see who stands up well in a tougher environment.


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At 9:16 AM, Blogger just'cuz said...

From the games I saw; I think Meszaros, Eaves and Bass deserve a long look at the main camp. I wasn't impressed with Komadoski.

If Emery is inconsistent in the camp, then Guard should also get a long look.


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