Then I asked Ducks assistant coach Newell Brown, who was leading the drills all week, who impressed him during the week.
“Jake Gardiner looks like a really good prospect,” Brown said of the team’s 2008 first-round pick. “When he steps on the ice, you can see he’s a passionate player. Just having a little scrimmage today, he’s playing to win. He appears to have a tremendous amount of skill with the puck, with his feet. He’s impressive.”
Asked to single out a returning player – not a 2008 draftee – Brown said: “Eric Tangradi’s making some strides. He had a successful season with his junior team, played in the Memorial Cup, looks like he’s a lot more confident than he was last year at the same time and has a lot more maturity about him.”
Also worth noting from rookie conditioning:
– Josh Brittain (2008, 3rd round) is the skinniest hockey player I’ve ever seen.
– Bobby Bolt (2005, 5th round) is enormous.
– Jake Gardiner (2008, 1st round) is an extremely smooth skater. Keep an eye on him during next year’s college ice hockey playoffs if/when Wisconsin makes it.