it's been over six months since my last post and i figure that i should probably write some more stuff on here, since my buddy john donates his own money to keep the domain name active, i should appreciate that in more ways than just buying him occasional pints.
i've made it to flames' development camp almost every year since 2007 (there may have been a year or two i was unable to attend) and posted my notes each time, so i guess it would be a crying shame if i didn't do so this time around.
i'm tempted to list my thoughts as they appear in the "notes" app on my phone (editor's note: THIS is something i wouldn't have imagined writing in my 2007 summary !!!) but since nobody would be able to make heads or tails of that info, I'll decode them in point-form sentences below. largely, my impressions came through the two scrimmages, coupled with a few sessions of drills.
- marcus granlund. he's quietly solid but on closer examination seems to be doing all of the very best things: skating well, getting into the right areas, puck handling expertly and demonstrating a dirty, snipey wrister.
- jankowski (whom i've since dubbed "junkowski") seemed awkward to me. maybe he's nursing some kind of injury or maybe he's just been way overvalued as a first rounder but, to my eye, he was a lower calibre player all-around compared to some of the other first and second year guys. i'm not, at this point, suggesting he's a nemisz or chucko type throwaway but i'm not convinced he's a future NHLer, either. on the other side of the coin, he appears FAR less lanky and rake-like; i heard he put on upwards of ten lbs and that shows on his frame, to be sure.
- tyler wotherspoon has also filled out physically and has certainly developed the appearance of a pro (ie: a man amongst boys). a note: my phone autocorrected his surname to w'spoon. amazing.
- turner elson (aka: my horse from last summer) looked more skilled than almost anyone else on the ice, which likely proves that development camp is not a litmus test for "real life." i'm not in any way suggesting that turner elson is ever going to be a top 6 NHL forward, but if his goal was to show off his talents to the flames' brass, he succeeded overwhelmingly. he is a pro-level player, without a doubt, and clearly a guy who likes to be on the ice. he pulled a marek malik during a 3-on-3 drill and stayed late to shoot from the hashmarks repeatedly. oh, and he almost got punched out by joni ortio while having a BIT too much fun during free time. i'm excited to see what he does in abbostford.
- kenny agostino really picked up his game towards the end of camp and showed that he's got some slick moves and incredible foot speed. i'm actually looking forward to seeing more of this dude.
- i made a note about josh jooris' impressive puck control, so he was more notable than, say, a morgan klimchuk.
- i made quite a few notes about pat sieloff but not all were positive. i think he has the tools to be a rather impressive defenseman but i'm concerned about his temper. the book on him reads that he's "intense" on the ice but i fear that it might be rene-bourque-style emotion that gets him into trouble, and the high number of penalty minutes he took last year might be an indication of this. during scrimmage/3-on-3 action at camp, i watched him two-hand crosscheck an opponent in front of the net (in an injury way, not a clear-the-net way), and punch the glass in frustration after missing a pass. this is practice, guy. maybe reel that intensity back in just a smidge.
- keenan kanzig looks like a project to me. he's huge (obviously) but his other skills need to catch up. his skating seems awkward ---he has strong but choppy strides for a big dude. he got absolutely schooled by a lightning-fast gaudreau streaking into the offensive zone, causing kent to pronounce, "well, that was inevitable." even if you consider kanzig was not likely, in a development camp scrimmage situation, "allowed" to crush such a player against the boards on the rush, I'm skeptical that he would have been fast enough to catch him. the coaches had him stay late after practice every day for a one-on-one chat. so they're clearly trying to impart some information to the young defender. i will allow this: he has better vertical than any player I've ever witnessed doing simple drills, which makes him THE MOST ADORABLE.
if i had to pick a dreamcrusher out of camp, i think it would be john ramage who has some catching up to do. ....or maybe joni ortio, who seemed thoroughly disinterested in being there.
in other news, going back through the archives to do a little research for this post i found an old quoted finnish tömi mäki interview that ----now years later with "better" translation services on the interwebz--- reads as follows:
Mikä on naisihanteesi ja onko sinulla tyttöystävää?
- Sellanen helmi. Ei oo tyttöä tällä hetkellä.
What is your ideal woman, and do you have a girlfriend?
- Dude gem. There is no escaping the girl at the moment.
can we all start using the term "dude gem" please, immediately.