Scrimmage One: Pettersson Continues to Impress

He didn't score a goal, but that's about the only thing you can hold against Thrashers prospect Fredrik Pettersson. I got a chance to see him for the first time today and came away thoroughly impressed. He was all over the ice skating circles around the rest of the prospects. He also had several good hits. I was watching from the Breakaway Grill within earshot of Rick Dudley and Craig Ramsey. Dudley was frequently making comments about Pettersson, but more telling were his exclamations: "Oh Jesus!" at one point after Pettersson landed a big hit. "Look at this kid!"

Mr. Dudley: I agree. I want to see Pettersson play with the Thrashers on the third line. I'm not sure how the rest of the roster will shake out, but he needs to be there. Honestly, with his speed and forechecking, I'd love to see him on a line with Evander Kane. That's technically our "second line," but since the Thrashers will likely go with three scoring lines this year (at roughly equal time at even-strength), that distinction is not quite as important.

Little - Antropov - Bergfors

Kane - Peverley - Pettersson

Ladd - Burmistrov/Cormier - Modin

If you're thinking the second line is a bit too small, fear not: you've seen how tough Kane plays and Pettersson certainly isn't soft. That third line is pretty tough as well: tougher with Cormier, but much stronger offensively with Burmistrov.

Let's talk Burmistrov for a minute: he was not impressive during the scrimmage. He had a few hits (not including a hip check which missed its target...) and looked solid, but... unimpressive. If you remember last year, the same thing happened with Evander Kane. The assumption was that Kane was asked to tone it down a bit and not dominate the rest of the prospects. It's entirely likely that Burmistrov was asked to do the same. It might not be until the main camp that we see him at full speed...

I thought Paul Postma had a really solid game as well: he scored the first goal, though I didn't actually see it. No idea how I missed it... There was one shift where he had four shots toward net: two - both wide - from the point, the third from the circle (also wide), and then the fourth point-blank and on net. He's always been willing to jump up into play, but today he often looked like a power forward heading toward the goalie at full steam. It was fun to watch.

The second goal of the game was scored by Akim Aliu after beating Kendall McFaull in a footrace and making a few nifty moves to charge to the front of the net. Aliu wasn't a huge factor during much of the game, but he showed some strong flashes. He'll be worth watching over the next couple years.

The third goal was scored by Cody Sol on a penalty shot. Yes, Cody Sol: he beat Ed Pasquale blocker side high.

I wasn't quite as impressed with Andrey Zubarev as I expected to be, though he made several nice plays. He delivered the best open ice hit of the game, a huge hip check that flattened a forward (though I didn't catch his number). He also had a good hit on Danick Paquette; the two of them seemed to get mixed up whenever they were on the ice together.

I've got quite a few positive comments about Ivan Telegin as well: he made a nifty drop-pass to Paquette that led to a shot. On several occasions he used his upper-body strength to out-muscle opposition players. His skating was pretty solid as well, and he was able to cut around defenders to get a shot on goal in a few instances.

Falconer will be at camp tomorrow and I'll be there Thursday, so if you can't make it, make sure to check back in here. If you were at the game, leave your thoughts below.

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