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Thrashers Prospect Camp: Monday

Monday's Thrasher Prospect Camp featured a mix of drills and a four-on-four scrimmage--which was enjoyed by a decent number of fans and team officials. The red team had the advantage of strong defense (Kulda, Lewis, Kulda and Krug) while the Blue team had more offensive stars (Sterling, Little) and defense easily won the contest. There was one huge hit in the game but unfortunately it was two members of the same team who ran into each other (Fretter and Crabb) and Joey Crabb left the ice at the 1st intermission.

Forwards: Riley Holzapfel had the first goal for the red team as he went around Scott Lehman. It was another solid day for this young 2nd round pick from the 2006 Draft. Bryan Little looked better in terms of using his speed to generate chances but too often his passes were deflected or tipped away. Little had one terrific opportunity in the slot but the goalie made a nice high glove save. Jordan LaValle showed me a bit more today with his no nonsense straight ahead play. While he lacks offensive flair, he could become a NHL checker someday. Sterling was solid but not spectacular, he had a couple of nice passes to teammates and put himself in position to score. Colton Fretter looked great again today. I'm assuming he will take Sterling's place on the top line in Chicago this year. Spencer Machacek continued to display a nice all around game and felt he had scored at one point but the referee disagreed and waved it off. I was just commenting in the stands that Desbiens was invisible but then he drove through the slot for a good scoring chance. (I've always liked Desbiens especially after I purchased one of his sticks at the Gladiators sale last summer and discovered that the lie and curve suited me perfectly.) Miika Tuomainen looked better than on Saturday but he still lacks speed, however he has potential as a power forward if he can keep a handle on the puck and just bulldoze his way to the net. He is such a big guy that smaller defensemen would struggle to control him. For a tough guy Myles Stoesz shows some flashes of skill out there now and again. Mike Hamilton, Andrew Kozek, Rylan Kaip and Chad Painchaud didn't attract my attention all that often. Tomas Pospisil shows me something every now and then but he would need to become much more consistent to have a shot of making it.

Defense: Grant Lewis was strong again today. He did get beat a couple of times (Chad Denny powered by him on the boards) but he also jumped up into the offensive play frequently and helped generate some scoring chances. I thought Tobias Enstrom looked better today. His breakout passes were crisp and he showed some good vision on the ice. Another solid day by Arturs Kulda who kept his game simple with good defensive zone coverage. Chad Denny jumped up into the play more than I expected and had solid positioning. I generally only pay attention to Thrashers draft picks, but Matt Krug an invitee from Wayne State University continues to draw my eye and might be someone the Gladiators should target for the future.

According to Ben Wright there is to be another scrimmage on Thursday evening so you might want to check it out if you're free that evening.