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Rookies Zubarev and Petterson Make Positive Impression

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I checked in on the first day of official scrimmages at the Duluth Ice Forum. As is usually the case for me, I find it hard to just sit back and let players stand out because I'm eager to evaluate the new guys. So I was mostly watching Zubarev and Pettersson two European players who are in camp for the first time.

Zubarev is not overly large, but his skating a outstanding. He is very agile and modulate his speed while skating backwards with ease. His skating looks effortless to be honest. However, he did get beat wide by a few guys and might need some time to adjust his gap control to NHL-level quickness. He made a few passes into the skates of other forwards--so I'm not ready to pencil him into the starting lineup just yet. But with his skating he possesses fundamental building block of a NHL player. It will fun to watch him compete against experienced NHL players next week.

Pettersson is a water bug who loves to hit (not on display yesterday), but who also has some puck skills. He scored one goal on the 3>2 drills and then distracted the defense and screened the goalie while a teammate scored. I liked what I saw out of him today.

One random note: Ed Pasquale appears to have adopted Lehtonen's #32 this year.

Remember that there will be 4>4 scrimmages on Tues, Wed and Thu this week (all free and open to the public). Full NHL camp will start on Saturday.  I expect a decent turnout, bring a jacket, it was chilly.