The 2009 edition of Prospect Camp came to a close on Wednesday with a final scrimmage. As I noted here, my personal opinion is that the talent was probably the best we have ever seen at one of these. Another plus from my perspective was the opportunity to talk to all nine 2009 Draft picks either at the NHL Draft or at Prospect Camp. In the next few days I'll post Q&As with Jimmy Bubnik, Levko Koper and Jordan Samuels-Thomas and a bonus one with Eric O'Dell who was added at the trade deadline. Once those are all up I intend to put out a Thrashers Top 25 Prospect Ranking. Stay tuned as they say.
The first two scrimmages each ended in ties with Team Blue prevailing in the shootout both times. Scrimmage #3 was a decisive win for Team White, and if you use combined Goal Differential they actually outscored Team Blue in the three matches. Here are the goals.
Goal #1: Doug Jones received a pass from Paul Postma and made a lateral move from right to left above the circles and then he reversed direction to open a seam for the scoring chance.
Goal #2: Eric O'Dell with the help of Bubnick and Koper.
Goal #3 Carl Klingberg had another jaw dropper as he carried the puck from one end to the other cut towards the left harsh marks and just ripped one to the far post. A thing of beauty. I had him pegged as plus 3rd liner, but he has really shown some nice puck skills and great speed each scrimmage. When he gets going he is extremely hard to stop.
Goal #4 Bubnick buried a goal mouth rebound.
Goal #5 A bad break for Team Blue as Andrew Kozek had his stick snap in half allowing Team White to bust up ice. Jimmy Bubnick scored again on a freed from Zach Redmond. Bubnick's skating is far from NHL level, but his finishing abilities around the net are undeniable. Could he develop into a PP specialist like a Holmstrom?
Goal #6 Eric O'Dell again from Levko Koper who did a nice job of drawing the defense and then moving the puck from left side of the net to the right side where O'Dell took care of business.
Goal #7 Daultan Leveille was tripped on a partial breakaway--which in 4 on 4 hockey earned him a Penalty Shot which he converted with a nice forehand fake and a backhand roof shot.
Goal #8 Evander Kane. I missed seeing the play developed but they were congratulating him.
Shootout (they did one despite Team White's 6-2 win). Goalies stopped everyone except the final shooter Evander Kane who showed off his great shot. Kane started camp a little bit rusty from not being on skates but looked much sharper by the end of it.
Other good stuff: John Albert was buzzing all game and had three good scoring chances by my count. Chris Carrozzi absolutely robbed Evander Kane on two point blank chances. Jordan Samuels-Thomas was extremely active but just couldn't quite finish off his multiple quality chances. Levko Koper showed his strong backchecking for the third straight games helping out his defensemen and stealing pucks--I like his chances of becoming a PK guy in the NHL--if he plays like this all the time teams will regret letting him fall to the 7th round. Jeremy Morin had two really hard shots but no goals. Danick Paquette had his best game with a few hits and shots on goal. Vinny Saponari and Andrew Kozek had some great chemistry and generated quite a few chances together. Carl Klingberg had a highlight reel shift in which he had a clean cut breakaway, followed by a big hit (a little from behind) in the corner and then he stole the puck and dished it over to John Albert for a point blank back door scoring chance. Klingberg had shifts where he simply dominated--his two year contract in Sweden can't expire soon enough for this observer. Evander Kane showed his competitiveness--he had his pocket picked--but went all out and stole the puck back. Mike Looby made good plays all game long.
And with that Team White celebrated their win with wild enthusiasm and everyone went back home. More interviews and the Top 25 Prospect Ranking in coming days.
Final Prospect Camp Scrimmage Goal Scoring Standings
5 Jimmy Bubnick
3 Klingberg, Kane
2 Holzapfel, Machacek, Leveille
1 Albert, Kozek, Morin, Paris, Jones, Saponari, V