(F): DOB: 5/06/96. 5’9, 160 lbs. Shoots left. Gritty two-way player with an outstanding offensive punch. Is explosive with the puck and his vision. Makes those around him better. His drive with the puck is commanding and forceful, yet his hands own a soft, delicate touch. Deceptive and crafty – can shake pressure and open up lanes for a fast feed or a quick shot. Is a powerful half-board catalyst on the power play. A quick and mobile skater with outside speed. Can burst in coming wide but needs to work on his strength to gain ground on the inside. Great hockey sense and has an uncanny ability to find the open ice, and to make himself available for the puck at all times. Strong defensive support. Owns a high compete level and is more than willing to get his nose dirty. Needs to work on his focus and intensity when taking draws. Has the skills and smarts to excel at a higher level. Will be a scary prospect when he finds more strength. Two more years to develop before becoming NHL Draft eligible in 2014. Is eligible for the OHL Draft this coming spring, and as of right now, we fully anticipate him to be selected in the fifth to sixth round.
Author Archives: Ike Rhodes
(F): DOB: 7/19/96. 6’1, 170 lbs. Shoots left. An intelligent, skilled and strong power forward with exceptional skating ability. Owns mobility, balance and excellent hockey sense. Is dynamic on both sides of the puck and has an uncanny sense for reading and anticipating the play. An aggressive and physical presence that finishes his checks and uses his size well to protect the puck and win battles in the trenches. His hands are soft and crafty, and he possesses a great deal of vision. Is incredibly patient with the puck and is especially effective in fighting off pressure along the boards and in the corners, and nailing an open mate with an urgent, and accurate pass. Mature ice presence for his age and displays great communication skills. Sizeable now and will only be getting bigger. Needs to quicken his first steps and become more engaged and effective with the face-offs he squares up for. Is eligible for the OHL Entry Draft in 2012 and we fully expect him to be chosen within the second round. Serious potential for future professional play.
(D): DOB: 10/08/93. 6’3, 182 lbs. Shoots right. Has been referred to as the Nick Lidstrom of the USHL. Was the USHL’s highest scoring defenseman last season with forty-four points (13 goals and 31 assists) in fifty-three games played. Is an instinctive and smooth puck mover with seamless skating ability. Strong, all directions skater with a wide base and a long reach. Tremendous offensive skill and vision, especially from atop the blue line. Has NHL touch and polish with the puck and can feed the puck crisply, smartly and with purpose. Keeps his head up on retrieval, and when working the puck, which makes his play with the puck unpredictable and hard to read. Keen defensive anticipation and relies heavily on his mobility, positioning and stick-work to complete his defensive responsibilities. Has great size and is still quite upgradeable. However, he is not known for physicality or grit, and this will be something he must address in the future, especially deep in his own zone and in front of his net. Is North Dakota committed for next season and is eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, where he will most likely be selected in the first round.
(D): DOB: 4/05/96. 5’11, 182 lbs. Shoots right. Average sized rearguard with a gritty bite. Fluid north/south skater with serviceable agility. Needs to develop more lateral strength and quickness. Extremely effective when playing physical and keeping his game simple. Decent hands and vision. Had a hard time here giving or receiving passes, let alone working the puck. Was prone to give aways with the puck when under pressure and was not very strong on his stick. For some reason he stopped moving his feet when defending and started lunging and reaching with his stick, which left him stationary, vulnerable and a non-factor in the play. Is a raw project with good skating ability, physical upside and limited, yet useful offensive potential. Is best served as a physical, support defenseman that is tough in his own zone and that can pitch in offensively from the point.
(F): DOB: 2/16/97. 6’2, 185 lbs. Shoots left. Pro sized at fourteen years of age! Possesses the rare combination of size, strength and skill. Uses his frame and muscle to clear a work space, protect the puck and bang bodies. Has an edgy, abrasive stance on the ice and is not afraid to stir things up. Strong and balanced skater that eats up the ice quickly with his powerful stride and long reach. Owns a willingness to head to the net, with or without the puck. Sees the ice extremely well and is adept at keeping his offensive attacks varied. Has a soft touch with the puck and can finesse his way across the ice, through traffic and within tight of the net. Extremely crafty and creative and can put eyes on the puck with the pass. Much more developed than his peers and there is absolutely no reason why he should not be playing Midget Minor this year.
(D): DOB: 2/26/94. 6’2, 191 lbs. Shoots right. His second year with the USNTDP. Committed to Michigan and was drafted by Kitchener in the third round of the 2010 OHL Draft. Is a fantastic rearguard with size, smarts and spectacular skating ability. Sharp defensive anticipation and hockey sense. Possesses a calculating, aggressive stance on the ice and shows flashes of toughness and physicality. Calm under pressure, gritty in front of his net and can absolutely rifle the puck out of the zone and onto a teammate’s stick. Owns vision and can skate the puck up ice very well. Will join the rush, work the puck down-low and report back to his defensive post before the opposition has had time to march out of their zone. Has great hands but could use development with his in tight skills to give him that extra offensive punch. Outstanding feet – extremely mobile and is smothering down low and against the rush. Commands respect from up top along the blue line with his patience, agility and booming shot. Is eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and we fully expect him to be chosen in the first round.
(D): DOB: 5/26/94. 6’3, 206 lbs. Shoots right. The type of defender that players hate to be squared up against: Big and mean. Hits to hurt and to make a lasting impression. Aggressive and will seek out opportunities to use his size. Intimidating in front of his own net and makes it a grueling place to dwell. Takes care of business in his own zone with size and stick-work. Extremely strong and powerful skater for his size and has a surprisingly quick first set of steps. Great communicator on the ice and is effective at getting the puck out of his zone. Occasionally activates on offense but is normally the stay-at-home type. Has a relentless shot that is heavy and hard. At times can be overzealous with his pinching instincts. Has already committed to Penn State’s Hockey Program and was drafted by the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League back in 2010. At some point in time, a difficult decision will have to be made between playing college hockey and getting an education or playing Major Junior while developing his professional game and sharpening his edge. Is NHL Draft eligible in 2012. Look for him to be drafted in the late rounds.
(C): DOB: 1/05/94. 6’1, 185 lbs. Shoots left. A Latvian import playing his second season with the Fighting Saints of the USHL. An extraordinary competitor with excellent hockey sense. Highly talented and powerful – intimidates with skill and strength. Strong skater with a smooth and long stride. Possesses great footwork and agility. Can escape pressure and tear his way thru traffic with his tight stop-and-starts and seamless ability to change directions while still in flight. Protects the puck very well with his body and reach. Tough physical presence in that he cannot be removed from the puck and has the tenacity, desire and grit to come get when he wants it. Attacks the net often and owns a soft touch which allows him to work magic with the puck. Can absolutely rifle a booming shot to the net. Has an outstanding work ethic, both on and off the ice. Zemgus is a bona fide player – has all the physical tools and skills to become a pro player. It will be no surprise to hear his name called during the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
(D): An offensive defenseman that is strong on her skates and well-balanced. Healthy stride with a good bit of mobility. Digs in and is difficult to dislodge from the action or separate from the puck. Can move the puck end-to-end in a bullish, puck protection fashion but has limited hands when it comes to working it through traffic, or being crafty. Extremely strong up top and does a great job sealing off the blue and keeping the play alive. Excellent hockey sense. Her instinctive and aggressive pinches help resuscitate the offensive punch and a lot of the time she will stay immersed deep within the offensive zone for as long as the play will allow. Likes to head to the net and act as a fourth forward, but will report back to her defensive post once the play looks to have turned sour. Has a habit of exhausting herself with the offensive play though and is often times left with nothing but fumes for the return to her defensive post. Positionally smart – angles off the puck and forces the play. Sometimes lacks defensive urgency in her own zone and fails to engage with as much jump as she shows while playing at the other end of the rink. Can play with a snarl when she gets angry and does a good job protecting the front of her net.
(D): DOB: 6/7/96. 5’7, 135 lbs. Shoots left. Lacks size but his hockey sense, offensive skills and smooth skating cannot be ignored. Top notch puck skills and creativity. Keeps the puck on a string. Can shake pressure and make plays simultaneously. Confident and poised. Sees the ice and can find the open man. A seamless and agile skater that picks up speed out of his turns. Secures the blue up top very well and can orchestrate the play with the man advantage. Will jump into the offensive play down-low and drift towards the net. Adept at popping into open ice at just the right time. Has no physical presence per se but still gets into the thick of things and is more than willing to battle for puck possession. Is more of a stick on puck defender though and at times gives up far too much time and space in his own zone. Has all the tools to play at the next level. Hopefully some size will end up finding him along the way.