Saturday camp review

Just got a great review of today’s development camp action from a reader by the name of Sky Felix. Some good insight, for sure. I watched most of the sessions this morning although got distracted by trying to talk to some players and coaches. For a while, all of the staff rink-side headed out to check out what was going on at the roller rink…which was women’s roller derby.

Anyway, a few players have stood out to me. A couple of them fall in the category of, “They might have a chance this year, but we’ll see what happens in training camp.” They, not surprisingly, would be Jonathan Bernier, Drew Doughty, Oscar Moller and Colten Teubert. Other names that stayed in my mind were Geordie Wudrick and, based on the limited time I got to see them today, David Meckler and Wayne Simmonds. Perhaps I focused more on the kids drafted this year because this was my first look at them.

I have interviews with Bernier, Doughty, Teubert and Bill Ranford ready to be transcribed, so I’ll do that ASAP. For now, you can check out one fan’s in-depth analysis of today’s sessions…

———-

A great crowd on hand today, I would say maybe 100 people. I was on one side of the ice so these were the players that were mostly on my side. If you saw a guy with a laptop furiously typing and taking notes that was I.

These are the players I focused on for Team A:

Doughty- He looked very solid in every aspect that you could think of. I can compare him to a Jack Johnson only without the flash. He made everything look effortless. There was one drill where 1 forward and 1 dman lined up facing each other. To start the drill they passed the puck back and forth until the whistle blew and then it was a 1 on 1 with the forward trying to score on net. Doughty was on offense this time and I don’t know who he was up against, but whomever it was they got schooled by Drew. To me it looked like he wasn’t even trying, but he pulled 3 or 4 sick moves to just toy with the dman. Also it’s good to note that he was solid positionally as a defender. Always made the right choice when it came to take the shooter or the open man. Never hesitated to use his stick to poke-check pucks when needed. He has a very deceptive stride, he isn’t technically the best skater but he is very quick on his feet especially in the corners when retrieving pucks. All I can say is that after the first time seeing him I can think of no reason that he would not make the team.

Parse – I saw his name on the roster sheet and thought to myself, “oh that guy, I remember him” He looked pretty good, this being the this first session at this year’s camp. I will say this, when it came to a 2 on 1 and he had a choice between passing or shooting…100% of the time he chose to shoot, sometimes passing up a better shot if he passed it off. He also has a fair amount of speed as well. Looks to maybe need another year to be able to make a push.

Azevedo – Man is he small. But if you have blurry eyes he looks like Cammy out there. Sometimes he would be moving his feet very quickly, but then you would zoom out and you would see that he wasn’t moving fast at all. He showed glimpses of skill but all in all he was muscled off the puck easily. He did however look better than past reports have indicated, not a whole lot better but slightly. I think him and Doughty were the only ones to get the crowd cheering. Justin had one and ONLY ONE nice goal when he took on a defender on the one on one drills and deked to the backhand and roofed it shortside high. All in all he showed quick hands and a lot of skill around the net. He could be a Luc type and could be a solid scorer in front of the net, but he would have to improve a lot of his game for the NHL level.

Wudrick – I really liked this pick from the first interview on draft day. You could tell he had a lot of energy and a lot to say. His play was solid as well. Good skater for his size and he had a wicked shot. It seemed like he placed every shot exactly where he wanted it.

Piskula – Stood out for me mainly because he was against Azevedo in every drill. He looked better than he looked last year. I really didn’t pay close attention to him but I will say that he had some of the hardest passes of anyone.

Czarnick – As other have noted he is a very quick player. Had no problems moving up and down the ice. Didn’t pay much attention to him but will tomorrow.

Campbell – Tall kid, a very good skater as well. We didn’t see any dman shooting the puck unless they were playing a forward for the drill so his shot cannot be commented on. He did look very strong on his feet though. Stick was always in the right position and he was taking the body on the 1 on 1 and 2 on 1 drills. I would rate him among the best dman in the camp along with Doughty and Teubert. Also to note, Westgarth was the first one on the ice and really was the first one to every drill location on the ice. He also led the end of session stretches.

And team B:

Teubert – For a man of his size he is a very strong skater. He has a beautiful stride and can get to top speed rather quickly. Like Doughty he used his stick a lot today in trying to poke check the puck and such. The drills weren’t overly physical so that side of him I cannot comment on. I will say that depending on how you rate them, Teubert would be either number 2 or 3 talent wise in this camp. Also he is a workman on the ice. No joking around, not even a lot of emotion. I can’t wait to see him in the game when his physical game will hopefully emerge.

Voinov – Tough kid. he played every drill hard. One drill he maybe worked for a good 30 seconds trying to take the puck from 2 forwards and he finally won it. He looked like he was still adjusting to the time and didn’t have a lot of interaction with the players. But the coaches were all able to communicate with him with no problems. As with Teubert the physical side of Voinov wasn’t shown today since the drills weren’t that demanding in that area. I think TSN quoted him as “a mean SOB” as with Teubert. Hopefully that side of Voinov will come out in the game.

Martinez – Shows promise in his abilities. Didn’t really stand out as far as skills go. But in every drill he was solid. I would say he’s equal to Voinov.

Meckler – I don’t know what this kid ate or what happened to him. He was very good today. I would say 90% of his shots were goals. He picked literally every corner there was and basically owned Zatkoff. I really liked his play today and I think he will have a shot at the team maybe next year.

Simmonds – Boy oh boy was this kid fun to watch today. I think last season his goal was to be better with the puck, boy has be gotten better in just one year. He by far is not the greatest technical skater but he sure gets to where he wants to go in a hurry. He was very good with and without the puck. He was one of the few who excited the whole crowd. I think he will make a push for a spot on the team. But I think he’s maybe 1 year away at the latest.

Drewinske – I remember him being signed and I didn’t really look into him all that much. He is a big body. He made some solid plays to strip the puck away from the forwards. Also he was a physical force as well.

Moller – DIdn’t really pay that much attention to him since he was on the other side of the ice, but what I did see of him he was very skilled with the puck. Very shifty. Still probably needs to add on a few pounds but all in all is going to be a very good possibly top 6 forward.

Hope you all enjoyed my thoughts.

Sky

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • gumlegs

    Sky Felix- Thank You. Terrific job. Very much appreciated.

  • andre norway

    Since Im living in norway and dont have the possibility to watch this camp its interesting to read all of you guys comments on the new players. You praise that kid for that and the other kid for this but u have to be aware of that they are playing against kids and not veteran nhlers. So you have to think about that. There are just a few kids that are good enough to take a spot on an nhl team at the age of 18 or 19 and then Im talking of kids like sid and malkin and some staahl brothers. I dont think we should have the highest hopes regarding the young guys taking a spot on the team and as things are as they are right now. The only place where players can come in an take a spot is the defense and the players likely to take a spot is hickey, doughty and maybe teubert.That means we are carrying 7 d men this year. Up front only boyle and purcell will see regular playing time and moulson will get some playing time other than that the veteran players will be playing regulary. brown-kopi-sully, fro-handz-purcell, calder-boyle-army, ivans-ellis-moulson.

  • diehrdkingsfan38

    very much appreciated dude, it’s good for us people who don’t have time or dont really care to go to watch the Prospects camp, thanks a lot bro, and i think im speaking for all of us, we appreciate it ALOT!!

  • JDM

    Nice review Sky. I’m glad to hear Meckler impressed, I’ve been concerned he may be a career AHLer a la Matt Ryan. I can’t wait to see for myself… Whcih brings me to the scrimmage game.

    Are tickets first come or can you buy in advance? If they are first come, do you think its going to get sold out quickly? How early should I plan on showing up?

    Thanks. I can’t wait to see it, wish I was able to make some of the practices but I really am excited to see Doughty, Tuebert, Wudrick, Simmonds and Voinov!

  • Chief

    Thank you and great scouting. Much appreciated. Should be fun on Monday.

  • Starlight

    Thank you for the review, much appreciated – especially for those of us who are far away :)

  • Duracell

    Hey Rich, I heard another rumor that loktionov arrived today and will probably participate starting tomorrow or Monday. Any word? Thanks again.

  • old man

    Thank`s Sky Miller, you did a excellent job!

  • BS!

    Rich,

    I just wanted to tell you that there is a great 7-part interview with DL conducted by PE.com posted over at LGK. Here’s the links for the parts.

    Part 1 http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/2008/07/a-conversation-with-dean-lomba.html

    Part 2
    http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/2008/07/dean-lombardi-part-ii.html

    Part 3
    http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/2008/07/dean-lombardi-part-iii.html

    Part 4
    http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/2008/07/dean-lombardi-part-iv.html

    Part 5
    http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/2008/07/dean-lombardi-part-v.html

    Part 6
    http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/2008/07/dean-lombardi-part-vi.html

    Part 7
    http://www.beloblog.com/Pe_Blogs/prosports/2008/07/dean-lombardi-part-vii.html

    Here’s a sample from part 6:

    “And the other thing is, too, I don’t think *[free agents are] coming for the right reasons. I’ve had people call here, pretty good players who want to come, and I say, ‘Why?’ ‘Well, he likes the weather.’ I say, ‘Goodbye.’ I’ve had enough of this crap. There’s too much of this nonsense.”

    *my personal edit

    F- Yeah!!! GO DEAN!

  • Anonymous

    WoW!!. Excellent interview! I had no idea the guy was so intense and so focused. You know…I love that he is staying focused on what he wants to do. If it fails, at least he was committed and believed in the bigger plan. He is so spot on with the beach scene thing…ie..again Rob Fake…..so let’s get some good solid western canadian boys here who are alergic to the sun!
    Right on Deano….keep your chin up and thanks to whomever posted this interview!

  • John

    In DL I Trust. Give me another glass of cool-aid please!

  • Paincorp

    That 7 part interview w/ Deano is PURE GOLD! Thanks BS! for putting it up. What took you 2 hours to transcribe and me 40 minutes to read, probably only took Dean about 5 minutes to say. I’ve never seenh a guy use so many words in such a short period of time…

    Awesome read…Thanks again!

  • SuperSonic420

    Thanks for re-posting that thread BS! I put a link for it up in the Norstrom thread but I dont think a lot of people caught it. It is definately a required read for everybody here! I cant say for sure if DL’s plan will work or not, but you cannot say the man wont stand behind his convictions. Exactly the kind of hockey man we need at the top, and its very encouraging for the future of this franchise.

  • Cup B4 I Die

    Nice review. Thanks!!

    I was impressed with Parse yesterday. Very fast and nice shot.

    Others that impressed me:
    Moller
    Simmonds
    Meckler
    Roe (seemed to be vocal+interactive with all of the other players)
    Teubert (Very focused during every drill)
    Doughty (doing what a #2 pick should do)

  • Losesomemore

    Great job by all! Thanks!

  • Quisp

    good to hear about parse. maybe this will be his year. and lewis? …

    can’t wait to find out who the surprises will be this season…

  • Andrew

    I know this has been said by many who read this blog regularly, but this blog has now far surpassed any other media outlet (ever, that I know of) for Kings coverage. Awesome job Rich and co.

  • Anonymous

    So, Ted Nolan Just stepped down from coaching the NYI (Monday morning).

    Any chance…

  • Daniel
  • brianguy

    part V of Dean interview… quite an interesting read. he reveals a lot but it’s still fun to try to read between the lines. a guess, but I’m thinking that the missing piece from the six “good as any” defensemen is Brad Stuart.

    the only downside is if any one of his projected “6″ two or three years away gets injured or does not pan out. obviously you have to have a Plan B at that point to fix it, but I wonder how much weight as a GM he really puts into that. any one of these guys could easily go south at any time…

    also he says yeah it doesn’t mean we’re not freakin’ looking at FA’s. window shopping and conversation is nice but you’d think they have ability to grab at least one. I understand the price was not right for any available guys and fit is difficult. I know the big plan and definitely on board. but that’s what seems most troubling / disconcerting for fans right NOW.

  • anthony

    Ted Nolan just became available.
    Would he work out as a coach suitable for DL’s taste.

  • Anonymous

    Even though this isn’t on topic, but did anyone else notice that the Isles canned Ted Nolan? At least there’s another team without a coach in the NHL…

  • diehrdkingsfan38

    TED NOLAN FIRED, DL GET HIM NOW!

  • Daniel

    Brianguy, you make a good point re: defense. At one point, Mr. Lombardi talks about projections 2-3 years down the road. Then he talks about what happened to the Islanders when they tried to go all-in with youth. Being that we really only have the young guys right now, what are his options? Stoll and Greene effectively replace Cammi and Vis and that is fine. But no one is replacing Stuart or Blake. Say what you will about eithers talent but having a veteran presence, to guide younger players through unchartered waters, is invaluable.

    The other glaring quote from that series was when Lombardi said ownership told him to keep the payroll low and basically get rid of Vis’ contract and the possibility of Cammi’s contract. This contradicts his earlier assertions that he passed his plan by ownership for approval, just to make sure they were on the same page, that HE was managing THEIR expectations. Dont get me wrong, I love the young talent here. I have gone on record saying I like this team better than last years team. But I believe both ownership and Mr. Lombardi have put the team in a position to risk stunting the growth of the talented youngsters (i.e. the toll of extended losing streaks, being physically under-developed) by AEGs financial agenda.

  • MartinRW

    Exactly, get Nolan.

  • JDM

    Erm,

    “Nolan and Snow have reportedly been at odds for more than a season. Nolan apparently was interested in adding more veterans to the lineup, while Snow wanted his team to have more of a younger feel on the ice.” – thefourthperiod.com

    Why would DL hire somebody who just got fired for fighting a GM who is trying to do the same thing he is trying to do?

    Dineen is still the man people! Just a gut feeling I have. Now I just hope Snow doesn’t snatch him up first. The intersting thing will be if this rushes DL at all, because before one of the reasons he could take his time was he was the only guy who had an opening as an NHL head coach.

  • SuperSonic420

    diehrdkingsfan38 said:
    TED NOLAN FIRED, DL GET HIM NOW!

    Everybody knows Nolan will be black balled by the league for the next ten years, so there is no way we can hire him now! Or maybe its because he is just overated…Guess this GM was smart enough to let him go before Teddy got him axed as well.

    My guess is Torts is now on his way to Long Island.

  • SuperSonic420

    diehrdkingsfan38 said:
    TED NOLAN FIRED, DL GET HIM NOW!

    Everybody knows Nolan will be black balled by the league for the next ten years, so there is no way we can hire him now! Or maybe its because he is just overated…Guess this GM was smart enough to let him go before Teddy got him axed as well.

    My guess is Torts is now on his way to Long Island.

  • PowrrrPlay

    brianguy: Read page V again and you should find that Stuart is eliminated from that picture because
    a) he has found a home in Detroit
    b) he is not younger than 26 and
    c) he is left handed

    You should be able to narrow it down to a guy that is under 26 and right handed.

    Cheers

  • nykingfan

    I don’t think Nolan’s a good fit for the Kings. As JDM said…Nolan is looking to win now and the Islanders are trying to rebuild. The Snow/Nolan marriage was doomed from the start. Wang was knowledge (Nolan). The guy is a really good coach.

    The problem with the Islanders is they’re a mess of an organization. They hire Garth Snow who has no experience as a GM and he has shown he’s clueless in personnel decisions. What was their thinking at the draft not taking Filatov? They traded down and still had no idea who they wanted, sothey traded down again to get a guy who isn’t really a top rated prospect. They gave the impression that they didn’t do their homework before the draft.

    The owner Charles Wang is a nut. He kept the incompetent Milbury around until he completely burned the organization down to the ground..and even after that, still gave him a job in the organization.

    It’s a really bad situation with that organization and Dineen would be crazy to take that job. I would be surprised if anyone with a name takes that job.

  • anthony

    Nykingsfan,
    I couldn’t agree with you more.
    That Wang is an idiot of an owner.
    Hiring a ZERO like Garth Snow to run your team, is embarassing.
    BTW, that ZERO Snow passed up Filatov and Luke Schenn. I mean what a complete idiot.

    That organization is as bad this one.
    Both the islanders and the Kings need a major overhaul of their front ofiice.

  • Paul

    The whole coaching circus around the Kings is gonna be a mess any way you slice it.

    Nolan wants to win now, so he’d probably turn the Kings down. Although I think he’s a good coach and the book on him is he’s good with young talent.

    And Tortorella supposedly sucks at coaching young teams and doesn’t have the patience for it.

    So that leaves the Kings with some retread that nobody else wants, or a coach with no NHL experience.

    Another pile of Kings manure for the fans to digest. No defense. No goalie. No coach. No contracts for our RFAs. And like $20M under the salary floor. When was the last time a pro sports team was forced to forfeit games?

    But at least we’re a lock for John Tavares. ;)

  • Not Impressed

    What’s wrong with a FA player wanting to sign with the Kings because of the nice weather? Why do we live here instead of Edmonton? A FA player isn’t going to want to sign with the Kings because they like loosing are they? If we have something, anything, that is appealing to some of the FAs we should be exploiting it, and maybe, just maybe, they will want to stay here inspite of the rebuilding process. They may even be willing to take a little less cash than Edmonton or whomever else is willing to pay.

  • KingFan4ever

    Mark Morris was just on Kings Vision for the Developmental scrimmage today. He keeps impressing me the more I hear him speak. I know DL shut the door on the possibility of Morris moving up to the NHL to coach the big club. But If he changes his mind, I think Morris might be the right man to coach a team full of young blood, most of whom he has already tutored in Manchester.

  • AmaysnKingsfan

    Does any one no where Rich is? he said he would have those interviews asap and that was 3 days ago. It’s not like him to go 3 days with out saying anything especially when he promised us something I just hope he is alright but I’m starting to get worried

  • Kevco

    just got home from the scrimage, very fun but not a whole lot of NHL talent there. It was cool to see Dustin Brown watching and looking at the young guys play, he is our next cap for sure!
    I didn’t get a line up card so I had no idea who anybody was.

  • JDM

    Went to the scrimmage, as I’m sure many of you did. Definately a fun game… Man Simmonds is one mean and feisty SOB! Andrei Loktionov was also there and playing so those visa issues got straightened out.

    I was really impressed with Roe, he hussles and takes the body without hesitation.

    Lewis shows promise as well, good skater.

    Man oh man Mollers hands, such soft pretty hands.

    Bernier is just going to be insanely good, he follows and reads the play so well. The goalies overall impressed me the most. Rowat is quick and Quick is solid, kind of a weak looking glove side. Zatkoff is sound, but didn’t face too many shots. Taylor is decent but doesn’t see to have the potential ceiling of the rest.
    Doughty is a great skater and seems like an intense competitor although its true, he’s deceptive in that he doesn’t look like he’s doing much.

    Tuebert is just a friggin tree. He also never stopped yelling at his teammates, extremely vocal, which I loved.

    I didn’t really notice Wudrick much, but then again its really hard to pay attention while constantly referring to the roster trying to learn 30 new numbers.

    Westgarth is going to be a solid 4th liner bruiser and will either make for one of the scariest 4th lines with Ivanans, or be a perfectly good replacement for him. Huge body and a solid skater.
    I liked Meckler and Rankel as well. Always hustling and on the puck.

    The main thing that I loved though was how overall GIANT our prospects are. Sure, Azevedo is hilariously tiny, and Roe is puny too, but for the most part there are a ton of mean looking mofos out there.

    I can only see Doughty and Simmonds making the team based on what I saw today, but you never know how they were today compared with the rest of their game and how much they may improve before training camp. I just really enjoyed watching the kids play, there is a lot of heart out there.

  • JDM

    Oh, and Bud Holloway is a talent, but looks a little like a deer in headlights.

    And speaking of faces, Roe may have to replace Ivans as ‘rat boy’, and Andrew Campell, who is a really good passer, has one of the funniest, goofiest faces and body frames I’ve ever seen. His ugliest gives me the supersticious feeling he will enjoy much NHL success in 2-3 years.

  • nykingfan

    Nice update JDM thanks
    1 minor thing:
    “Man oh man Mollers hands, such soft pretty hands”
    Not in hockey dude LOL

    Great to hear that Bernier is showing everyone what he can do. He’s the key to this franchises immediate future. As much as I liked Ersberg, our future depends on Bernier. If he is what everyone says he should be, That could be our Patrick Roy for years to come.
    I don’t know about anyone else, but since we’re not going to win this year, I’d like to see the kids win jobs in training camp and watch them develop. Bernier included.

    Anthony,
    we agreed on everything.I nearly fell over my computer..except you had to ruin it with the last line. I still think the Kings front office is in good hands with DL.

  • JDM

    nykingsfan,
    hah, it may not be for hockey but I wanted to convey how good they were. You immediately see all the potential we always hear about when he handles the puck. I only mentioned his hands because he doesn’t pass much, shoots a fair bit, plays ok defensively, but aside from his stick/puck handling he is really not NHL ready it seems. He’s not bad, but he does have to work on his toughness and defensive play.

    Here’s a review of the scrimmage I found that you may or not have already seen, but she covers a lot of what I forgot to say and is specific about plays that were made. Also offers a non-kings fan perspective.

    http://my.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=5776&user_id=45376

    One quote I really like and agree with –

    “Of the two d-men picked up by the Kings in the first round of the Draft this year, I would say Teubert is the guy to watch out for. He is quite the beast, as I’ve heard people refer to him. What impressed me most was his ability to read the play and make plays where he not only renders the player on the puck useless, but also takes away the passing lanes. He is another one that like to hit hard and was difficult for the other team to get around. I say he’s ready now.”

    That part about him reading the play is dead on. Several times I was focused on him and watched his eyes roam around the ice, and then he’d dart to a place and 3 seconds later his was stealing or blocking a pass.

    Anyways, enjoy… or don’t.