Prospect evaluation: Cliche

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Marc-Andre Cliche
Forward
DOB – 3-23-87
Stats:
Manchester (AHL)
- Reg season: 11 goals, 10 assists (21 points/52 games played), 25 PIM
- Post season: 1 assist, 9 SOG (4 games)

Manchester coach Mark Morris on Marc-Andre Cliche:

“Marc is a steady, reliable depth forward right now. He is extremely coachable, very mature and he’s very responsible. His confidence grew when he returned from the injury, and strangely enough it has worked to his favor because he gave us a real boast with added goal scoring that we didn’t know he had along with his ability to shut down the opposition. He’s a key penalty killer and we just got better in that area when he returned to the lineup.”

“His defensive game is pretty sound. His reaction time is improving. He is a strong guy on the face-offs, and he also is good at positioning himself to block passing lanes. He is a real character guy who is willing to do what it takes, especially in responsible roles, the kind that most guys aren’t willing to pay a price for, he is willing to do it. He’ll block shots and take a hit to make a play. He is accountable.”

Development areas:

Speed?

“He surprises us with his speed sometimes, when goes after a loose puck. He finds a way to get there. He won’t wow you at first glance with his speed, but he is a strong kid and I think his desire is going to negate any shortcomings he may have.”

“I think he has made some huge strides and I can see him being a responsible third or fourth line guy in a few years.”

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Prospect evaluation: Bernier

Following up on the player evaluations from a couple weeks back, Don volunteered to do prospect evaluations as well, and did a ton of great leg work to track down information and get fresh quotes directly from coaches. Don compiled 10 top prospects and I’ll start posting them in alphabetical order, along with, in maybe cases, a quick YouTube video to show what these guys look like…

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Jonathan Bernier
Goaltender
DOB – 8-7-88
Records/Stats:
Kings: 1-3-0, 4.03, .864
Lewiston (QMJHL): 18-15-0, 2.73, .908
Manchester (AHL):
- Reg season: 1-1-1, 1.63, .946
- Post season: 0-3, 2.76, .908

Manchester Coach Mark Morris on Jonathan Bernier:

“I’ve been sold on the kid since the very first time I saw him in development camp a couple of summers ago. I was blown away by his calm demeanor in net, his quickness, and he is very calculated in his movements, but positionally he is sound. He gives off an air of sure-handedness and calmness when there are mad scrambles in front of the net. There’s no panic. He’s got a high threshold for just holding his position and he doesn’t seem to give up a lot of rebounds. The puck seems to stick to him like velcro.”

Development areas:

“There aren’t a whole lot of major things that I can talk about when it comes to his weaknesses. I just think that over the course of time he will learn how to be a better puck handler and just seasoning. I don’t see a whole lot of holes in his game.”

Mental aspects of the game (following demotion):

“I think most guys who come our of Junior think they should be in the National Hockey League, and I’m not saying this about Jonathan in particular, but some guys that are drafted high just don’t have a clear understanding of the hockey that is played in the American League and the purpose of the league, which is to get these guys quality minutes and learning at a rate to get them ready for the NHL. You just don’t want to see a guy get in over his head and I think it is something that he is starting to appreciate now with the quality of shots and level of proficiency in the American League.”

Lewiston coach Ed Harding on Bernier:

“Jonathan is a very mature 19 year old. He is a professional with very good leadership qualities. Over his years in Lewiston, he has learned to compete hard every minute and his practice habits have developed tremendously.”

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Hickey update

Thomas Hickey sat out part of the WHL playoffs because of a concussion, but that wasn’t his biggest problem. Hickey had surgery this week to repair a torn ligament in his ankle and will be off the ice for 6 to 8 weeks. It’s not known when exactly the injury happened, but Hickey definitely played for a while, knowing he was hurt bad. If you’re the Kings, that’s both admirable and terrifying. Hickey should be skating by the time the Kings have their prospects camp in July.

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Brian Boyle interview

Don Fulton tracked down Brian Boyle in Manchester and got an exclusive interview. He also talked to Teddy Purcell, so I’ll have that up later, along with a report from today’s morning skate.

The stories about skating in Southern California are great. I learned to skate at the tiny little rink inside the mall in Palos Verdes. It’s not even full-size, but it sure felt like it. The mall has changed, almost completely, but the little rink is still there.

Here’s Boyle…
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