USHL/USDP Forward Prospects

 

Here are the top point producing forwards from the USHL / US national development program.

Player League PTS/G
Clayton Keller (C) USDP 1.68519
Rem Pitlick (C) USHL 1.58929
Kieffer Bellows (C/LW) USDP 1.33333
Cameron Morrison (C/LW) USHL 1.1
Collin Adams (LW) USHL 1.0339
Grant Jozefek (RW) USHL 0.94643
Hugh McGing (C) USHL 0.85
Wade Allison (RW) USHL 0.83929
Joey Anderson (RW) USDP 0.82143
Matt Filipe (C/LW) USHL 0.64286
Max Zimmer (LW) USHL 0.62963
Trent Frederic (C) USDP 0.62264
Walker Duehr (F) USHL 0.60526
David Keefer (RW) USHL 0.56897
William Knierim (RW) USHL 0.50943

I listed out my top

Clayton Keller (Projection Top 15 Pick)

  • POS: C / Shoots: Left / H: 5’10’’ / DOB: 1998-07-29
  • Last Word on Sports: Clayton Keller has the skill to be a top notch forward, if he can overcome his size issues. Those make him a bit of a risky pick, but with more and small players succeeding in the NHL, we don’t see this as a huge issue. He will need some time to gain the weight necessary to stand up to the rigors of the pro game though. Keller’s style is reminiscent of Doug Gilmour, though this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on talent.
  • Draft Site: Smaller with a high skill set. A high speed player who acquires pucks and can generate chances for linemates almost instantaneously. Has seen time of the PK besides the PP. he is agile and the high level at which he can control the puck at top speed is a joy to watch. On his carries, he can go from the perimeter to the greasy areas and see his options and make plays. Has an excellent release and shot. Both confident and patient with the biscuit.
    Fours S’s apply to this St. Louis area-Illinois born prospect: Speed, smarts, skill and small. There is no question that playing along side Kieffer Bellows (and Joey Anderson) has given him more room to improve as a player. Needs to get much stronger in his climb up the ladder rungs. Committed to Boston University. —Bill Placzek—
  • Clayton Keller is a high end offensive player with a late birthday. Keller’s closets comparision from the last 10 years are Milano (1.56), Roslovic (1.52) from the US National Development team & USHL offensive stars Jaden Schwartz (1.38) & Kyle Connor (1.42).

 

Kiefer Bellows (Projected Top 30)

  • POS: C/LW / Shoots: Left / H: 6’1’’ / W: 194 lbs /DOB: June, 10, 1998
  • Elite Prospects: Kieffer Bellows is a skilled power forward that can dominate games. Possesses high end puckhandling ability as well as a crisp, accurate release on his shot. Proficient forechecker and loves to win puck battles, which stands out as a consistent part of his game. Strong skater that can bull through the opposition or go around them. Drives the net hard and is a decisive finisher. All-in-all, a competitor that punishes the opposition physically, as well as on the scoreboard. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
  • Scouting Post: Fine skater with ability to separate in the open ice with rapid acceleration. Wicked shot and high-level hockey sense combine to make him a danger to score on every shift. He drifts into open seams in the offensive zone and puts himself into prime scoring areas.
  • The Hockey Writers: Bellows possesses a rocket of a shot, very powerful and accurate. His elite shot was the best of the (5 Nations) tournament, his net presence too. He had a nose for the net, was very hard to move away and defenders didn’t manage to prevent him from executing rebounds. He is a strong skater, showed good balance on the skates and played with drive to the net.

Cameron Morrison (2nd Round)

  • POS: LW / Shoots: Left / H: 6’2 / DOB: Aug, 27, 1998
  • Redline Report: Big winger Cameron Morrison first caught our attention in early August at Team Canada’s U-18 evaluation camp. We loved the way he moved so fluidly and his shot … move(d) to Youngstown in the United States Hockey League, and has been lighting up the scoresheet.
  • Youngstown Phantoms: Assistant General Manager Jason Koehler Says: “Morrison is the top goal scorer I saw this season while scouting. He has the ability to be a standout top-six scoring line winger, and has outstanding size, sense, and goal scoring ability. In my opinion, he has the chance to be a top-three round NHL Draft selection in the 2016 draft.”
  • Cameron Morrison is likely to be chosen in the middle of the second round pick. He’s one of the youngest players in the draft and has put up point per game totals similar too Brock Boesner (1.19), Zemgus Girgensons (1.12) & Jordan Greenway (.91).

Joey Anderson (2nd Round)

  • POS: RW / Shoots: Right / 5’11 / DOB: June, 19, 1998
  • Chris Dilks from SB Nation: The thing I love about Anderson though is that he plays with such a high motor. He competes really hard, and has some nice skill to back that up. He’s not a guy that drives possession, but is very good in the right role.
  • I worry about Anderson’s offense given that he’s not a big player and has spent time with Keller and. I think high-end he’s likely a 2nd line complementary player with a more realistic shot at being a 3rd line player. His scouting reports looks like a player in the mold of Ryan Callahan.

Trent Frederic (2nd – 3rd Round)

  • POS: C / Shoots: L / H: 6’2 / DOB: Feb, 11, 1998
  • Draft Site: Centre with good size who plays strong on the puck and good puckhandling skills. More of a North-South straight line skater with little lateral mobility. Displays a very good shot, with nice release. He might project as a future left wing, but he really needs to add to his offensive game and add more creativeness to his attacking skills.
  • Frederic is rated as a second round pick or early third round. He’s has good size with high upside and drawn comparison to James Van Riemsdyk.

Matt Filipe (3rd Round)

  • POS: C-LW / Shoots: L / H: 6’2 / DOB: Dec, 31, 1997
  • Filipe is rated as a 3rd round pick by NHL scouting. He has good size, but the offense is a little shy. He was compared to Erik Foley (drafted 2015), but Foley put up nearly a point per game in his draft year. Add to that that Filipe is a late birthday, I’d caution taking him inside the top 100 picks. If he was in the 4th – 5th round I would take a chance on him.   USHL.com: “He’s a good player,” one Western Conference scout said. “His game has started to come on. I like his skating and probably his whole skill set. He’s starting to put up some good numbers.”

Wade Allison  (5 – 6th round)

  • POS: RW / Shoots: Right / H: 6’2 / DOB: Oct, 14, 1997
  • Allison is rated as a 6th or 7th round pick right now. “Wade is a prototypical power forward that is big, physical and skates well,” said head coach Bill Muckalt. “Those are all important attributes.”

Max Zimmer (5 – 6th round)

  • POS: LW / H: 5’11 / DOB: Oct. 29, 1997
  • Zimmer is rated as a 3rd – 4th round pick. Zimmer had a strong World Junior A Challenge with 8 points in 5 games. In league play he was a little shy offensively but has been projected a little better. “I like how he projects,” one NHL Western Conference scout “He’s a smart player with a real good skill set. He can really skate.”

Walker Duehr

  • POS: RW / H: 6’2’’ / DOB:
  • Considering Duehr had knee surgery in July he’s had a fairly good impact this season. He looks like a strong buy low candidate with a good work ethic. Prior to his injury OTB on HFboards stated; His skating mechanics are strong and will only improve with added strength, Duehr plays with frenetic intensity at times and can be the definition of disruptive.

William Knierim (6th – 7th Round)

  • POS: RW / Shoots: Right / H: 6’3 / DOB: Jan, 22, 1998
  • com: Knierim is a big guy that has some real upside. “He possesses real good size,” an opposing GM said. “He gets up and down the ice well for a big man. He has a physical element to his game.” “Knierim isn’t afraid to play physical. “He plays hard and likes traffic,” one scout said.

Rem Pitlick (6th – 7th Round)

  • POS: Center / Shoots: Left / H: 5’9’’ / W: 190 lbs /DOB: Apr, 2, 1997
  • USA Hockey: “The returns he’s getting on his work ethic; he’s understanding that the harder he works, the more returns he’s going to get,” Todd Krygier (Head Coach) said. “Other guys will be gone, and an hour after practice he’s still shooting pucks at our shooting station. … He does a lot of extra work that people don’t see or know. … This stuff just doesn’t happen by mistake.”
  • Rem Pitlick, son of former NHLer Lance Pitlick, had bulked up putting on 20+ pounds of muscle and a move to center helped with his sudden spike in point production this past season., A point comparison would be Kevin Roy who was also drafted as an overager (like Pitlick) and scored 1.76 Pts/G. Roy, the former 4th round pick of Anahiem, just signed a two-year deal with the Ducks.

 

Matt Gosiewski (6th – 7th Round)

  • POS: C / Shoots: Left / H: 6’4 / DOB: May, 10, 1998.
  • Over the Boards: Gosiewski’s size and ability to make plays are impressive for a skater any age in prep school – it becomes unignorable once you note his age. Vision, puck patience and deceptive plays in the zone highlight his offensive faculties, but his stride is smooth, he gets to a nice speed and can be a force surging up the ice.
  • Gosiewski is likely a 7th round pick if he get selected at all.       Although he doesn’t deliver high end offense (.33 Pts/G) he has excellent size and the ablity to play center. He will spend next season in USHL and then is committed to Harvard. He would be a good draft and follow player with a late round pick.

US National Development

These are additional USND program forwards that are on the draft radar.

  1. William Lockwood – POS: RW / H: 5’10 / DOB: June, 20, 1998 / PTS/G: .5
  2. Keenan Suthers – POS: LW / H: 6’7 / DOB: Apr, 27, 1998 / PTS/G: .22
  3. Graham McPhee – POS: LW / H: 5’11 / DOB: July, 24, 1998 / PTS/G: .25
  4. Nick Pastujov – POS: LW / H: 6’ / DOB: Jan, 21, 1998 / PTS/G: .32
  5. James Sanchez – POS: LW / H: 6’2 / DOB: Feb, 25, 1998 / PTS/G: .28
  6. Zach Zalker – POS: F / H: 6’ / DOB: Aug, 2, 1998 / PTS: .16

Smaller Forwards

Players that are on the smaller side (6’ and under) with good but not great offensive production, are likely not worth a draft pick. This player type can most likely be signed as a free agent after four years of college than an NHL draft pick. You can sign players like these every March/April. So perhaps they are worth a 7th round pick but more often than note they go undrafted.

  1. Tanner Laczynski – POS: RW / Shoots: R / H: 6’ / DOB: June, 1, 1997: PTS: 1.21
  2. Collin Adams (POS: C / Shoots: L / H: 5’9 / DOB: Apr, 24, 1998): PTS/G 1.03
  3. Grant Jozefek (POS: RW / Shoots: L / H: 5’10 / DOB: Oct., 25, 1997): PTS/G .94
  4. Hugh McGing (POS: C Shoots: L / H: 5’8 DOB: July, 7, 1998): PTS/G – .85
  5. David Keefer (POS: RW / H: 5’9 / DOB: Oct, 21, 1997

 

Junior A Defenseman

Player (POS) League GP PTS pts/g
Dante Fabbro (D) BCHL 45 67 1.4889
Brinson Pasichnuk (D) AJHL 52 65 1.25
Dennis Cholowski (D) BCHL 50 40 0.8
Matthew Cairns (D) OJHL 46 33 0.71739
Derek Topatigh (D) OJHL 49 34 0.69388
Sam Dunn (D) OJHL 47 19 0.40426
Owen Grant (D) CCHL 57 23 0.40351

 

 

Dante Fabbro

  • POS: Defense / Shoots: R / H: 6’1 W: 185 / DOB June, 20, 1998
  • The Draft Analyst: Fabbro likes to play an up-tempo game, breaking out of his zone with either short bursts of speed or a hard, accurate head man. He can identify and exploit gaps, including ones with a closing window of opportunity. He has above-average balance and the type of coast-to-coast ability to thwart tight-checking schemes. Crossing the red line is rarely an adventure, as he will either slow down the pace or take the puck wide and into the opposing zone. He has very good hands and can handle a tough pass during the back-and-forth nature of a power play. Fabbro possesses a very good shot and an early-season issue with accuracy seems to have been rectified.
  • Elite Prospects: Dante Fabbro is a dependable two-way defenseman with high offensive upside. He plays with poise and makes mature, high-percentage decisions under pressure. In his own end, he is proactive with both his body and stick, and does everything right to interrupt passing lanes and win back possession. With the puck on his stick, he is mobile at an elite level and can direct plays like a quarterback. He possesses a hard and accurate release on his shot, that he gets off quickly and on-net. All-in-all, a complete defenseman that plays a refined game at both ends of the ice. (Curtis Joe, EP 2015) – See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=247041#sthash.jD8KTkiD.dpuf
  • Dobbers Prospects: March 2016 – Dante Fabbro is gifted offensive defenseman who has shown to be capable of dominating puck possession in his two seasons with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. Fabbro combines agile skating, lateral mobility, and near elite speed when evading defenders as he rushes the puck up ice into the attacking zone. Deadly efficient on the powerplay, Dante is best when he has the puck on his stick as he can spot team mates with breakout passes and release a strong, accurate point shot from the blue line. Though tabbed as an offensive d-man, Fabbro is also effective in the defensive zone as he is extremely effective in puck retrieval, even under pressure, and is strong in transition. Fabbro is committed to attending Boston University in the NCAA next season. – Aynsley Scott

 

Brinson Pasichnuk

  • POS: Defense / Shoots: Left / H: 6’ / W: 190 lbs /DOB: Nov, 11, 1997
  • Bonnyville Nouvelle: “What people focus on with Brinson’s game is his offensive statistics, however it is important to recognize that he plays the game the right way and plays in all key defensive situations,” said Rick Swan, head coach and GM of the Bonnyville Pontiacs. “The honor is well deserved and we only expect him to be better as the season progresses.”

 

Dennis Cholowski

  • POS: Defense / Shoots: Left / H: 6’1 / W: 170 lbs /DOB: Feb. 15, 1998
  • com: Four way skating defender who has seemed to go from a tiny midget defenseman into a six foot elite skating offenseman. Calm, confident and aware from his end all the way up to the attack zone. Plays on both the PK and the PP where his vision and elusiveness already make him a strong competitor. He will continue to work on strengthening his shot and over all physicality in the weight room. He started at 5’ 8” and projects to be 6’ 3”.
    Committed to St. Cloud State University. –Bill Placzek—
  • The Hockey House: Dennis Cholowski, D (West):The lone NHL Central Scouting B-rated prospect from the CJHL, Chilliwack Chiefs defenseman Dennis Cholowski is quickly making a name for himself in his sophomore BCHL campaign. An early 1998-born blueliner, Cholowski is a great skater that isn’t afraid to pinch in offensively, something he does very effectively. A year ago, the then-16-year-old defender made the decision to commit to St. Cloud State University in the NCAA, a huge accomplishment for a defenseman still years away from actually making the transition. Cholowski already sees time on the powerplay, and after growing five inches since his first BCHL game back in 2013, size could become another asset of his once he learns to use it. With some strong defenseman gracing Canada’s West blue line at the WJAC, Cholowski will likely be one of the most dominant forces on a team that features potential top ten NHL draft pick Dante Fabbro.

Matthew Cairns

  • POS: Defense / Shoots: Left / H: 6’2 W: 190 / DOB: April, 27, 1998
  • Penalty Box Radio: A big-bodied, big-minute blue line cruncher, Cairns has the ability to quarter-back a power-play and put up solid offensive numbers, mostly in the assist column. However, he’s much more effective acting as a quiet, shutdown defenseman, so he isn’t the guy you’d rely on to score a big goal from the point in the final game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Instead, the reigning OJHL champion can move the puck around in any zone without losing focus and never seems to get rattled, despite being physical at times.

Derek Topatigh

 

  • POS: Defense / Shoots: Right / H: 5’11 W: 175 / March, 3, 1997
  • The Draft Analyst: Defenseman Derek Topatigh, a Princeton recruit, was excellent in generating offense from the blueline, displaying a quick first step, aggressive pinches and a patient outlook when controlling the play. He only had one assist in four games, but he nonetheless left a good impression on us.

Sam Dunn

  • POS: Defense / Shoots: Right / H: 6’2 W: 195 / March, 11, 1998
  • Draft Site: Big defender with great wheels and lateral mobility, who projects as top four player. –Bill Placzek

Owen Grant

  • POS: Defense / Shoots: Right / H: 5’11 W: 185 /       Jan, 22, 1998
  • The Draft Analyst: As far as first-year draft eligibles for 2016, offensive defenseman Owen Grant (Vermont) was impressive in all three zones.

 

10 Thoughts

  • Dante Fabbro’s 1.49 Pts/G is the highest a defenseman since 2005.       The previous highest in the past 10 years was Michael Prapavessis’s 1.15 Pts/G in the OJHL. The previous highest Pts/G by a BCHL defenseman was Josh Manson’s .8 Pts/G.
  • Fabbro’s scouting report has him listed as a two-way defender and has drawn comparison to Tyson Barrie and Ryan McDonagh. Fabbro or his teammate Jost will likely be the highest Canadian junior player drafted since Kyle Turris. Fabbro will likely be the highest defenseman drafted this century.
  • One player that was missing from this list is Dean Stewart.       A 6’2 defenseman from the MJHL that’s committed to the U of Nebraska-Omaha. Stewart is a late birthday (June, 12, 1998) and averaged .52 pts/g this past year. He then put up 12 points in 8 games in the playoffs. Stewart was ranked No. 125 among North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting Service midterm ranking of the top prospects for 2016 NHL Draft.
  • Derek Topatigh is in his second draft class. The year before he had averaged .5 Pts/G.
  • There were 16 Players scored .70+ Pts/G during their draft year.       Five of the defenseman played in the NHL; Brendan Smith, Josh Manson, Colton Parayko, Ben Hutton & Justin Schultz. All 5 look to be on target to play 100+ games.   That’s a strong number and doesn’t include several prospects still developing most notably – Jake Walman.
  • There were 24 players drafted below .7 Pts/G. Four defenseman played in an NHL game; Julian Melchiori, Andrew MacWilliam , Mark Borowiecki, Dylan Olsen.   Two of the defenseman have played 100+ games.       Dylan Olsen is former first round pick that is a long shot to play more than 200 games. The chances of playing 100+ games drops by roughly 20%.
  • There were five defenseman who averaged .6 Pts/G over their NCAA career. Four of the five defenseman went onto play in the NHL – Justin Schultz, Brendan Smith, Jake Walman, Colton Parayko & Ben Hutton. Jake Walman has yet to sign in with his NHL team. All 5 scored above .7 Pts/60 in their Junior A draft year.
  • Brinson Pasichnuk is a defenseman that is intriguing. Outside of Fabbro he has the highest Pts/G total of any previously drafted Canadian Junior defenseman in the past 10 years. He’s also a good skating, physical defenseman. Brinson was in on roughly 30% of all goals the Bonnyville Pontiacs played in this past season. For comparison Fabbro was in on roughly 32% of his teams offensve for games that he played in.  My main concern is, I believe, he’s committed to Arizona State which is not a strong program.
  • Here are the top 5 players that I consider drafting;
    1. Dante Fabbro – Top 15 Pick
    2. Dennis Cholowski – Top 60 Pick – Good two-way defender.
    3. Brinson Pasichnuk – 5th Round or later
    4. Matt Cairns – 5th Round or later – Good size can move the puck.
    5. Dean Stewart – 5th Round or later – Good size right hand shot.
  • I would be concerned that Derek Topatigh, Sam Dunn & Owen Grant do not bring enough offense.  Although they are all Right-hand shot defenders.

NHL – Leaked Emails

Where are people reading the leaked emails?

I read the Bettman, Daley & Shannahan exchange and don’t really see anything out of place.  Bettman talked like a lawyer, because he is a lawyer.  Shannahan & Daley seemed to essentially get the ball rolling on improving the safety of the game. Hockey has actually done things to prevent concussions with regards to the blind-side hits and making the equipment safer.

I think that outside of the Berland-Meagher exchange there wasn’t too much that seemed crazy.  Personally, I don’t disagree with what he said but it comes across as arogant.

This is no way as bad as Colin Campbell’s email that was released late last year.  Campbell wrote: “Let’s face it Mike… we sell rivalries, we sell and promote hate…”

The game at a certain level is never going to be safe and there is too much love internally (from the players, coaches, owners) to simply ‘get rid of fighting’.

Bobby Smith penned an article earlier this month that was supporting fighting in hockey and how it prevents concussions.

There can/should be a way to limit fighting, and their has been.  But as Gary stated, and I believe him, the biggest roadblock is the players (PA) themselves.   Bettman stated in an email, “The current head of the union spent a decade in baseball protecting steroid users over what was best for the vast majority of his players and the game.”  I think that the PA has a huge responsibility in this and essentially getting a free pass.  Why aren’t the players going after their own PA?  When does the PA have safety as their first priority, any other union would.

The NHL has to determine how guilty they are in this lawsuit.  Look at Rypien, for example, he had nearly 50 fights prior to playing in the NHL and 36 while playing in the NHL.  How much damage was his brain subject too prior to the NHL?   How much damage was due to mental health?  How much damage was due to as Shannahan put it ‘pills’?

Remember, you are only looking at emails that are taken from the players POV and then essentially publicized by the media to get clicks on their articles.  IMHO, if this is the ‘worst’ that the NHL has said then I’m not sure what the uproar is about.

Oiler’s Prospect: Evan Campbell

When the Oiler’s drafted Evan Campbell there was a segment of fans that had wondered whether the Oiler’s wasted a draft pick.  But I think almost two years after the selection Campbell might be turning out better than what we would have estimated.

Here is a list of NHL drafted (signed) players born in 93 – 94 in the Hockey East with their points / game.

Player DOB Draft GP PTS PTS/G
Kevin Roy 20-May-93 4th #97 2012 35 44 1.257143
Daniel O’Regan 30-Jan-94 5th #138 2012 37 45 1.216216
Devin Shore 19-Jul-94 2nd #61 2012 39 35 0.897436
Evan Campbell 1-Mar-93 5th #128 2013 34 27 0.794118
Frankie Vatrano 14-Mar-94 Undrafted Signed with Bruins 36 28 0.777778
Mario Lucia 25-Aug-93 2nd #60 2011 42 32 0.761905
Thomas DiPauli 29-Apr-94 2th #100 2012 41 29 0.707317
Adam Gilmour 29-Jan-94 4th #98 2012 37 26 0.702703
Mark Jankowski 13-Sep-94 1st #21 2012 33 23 0.69697
Ryan Fitzgerald 19-Oct-94 4th #120 2013 37 24 0.648649
Zach Sanford 9-Nov-94 2nd #61 2013 37 23 0.621622
Robbie Baillargeon 26-Nov-93 5th #136 2012 26 15 0.576923
Steven Fogarty 19-Apr-93 3rd #72 2011 39 21 0.538462

Campbell doesn’t seem so far off after comparing to similar players.  He is ahead of a couple of high picks, notably Jankowski & Lucia and is in the range with similar 5th round picks.  Kevin Roy and O’Regan are well ahead of the field.  Although, I believe, O’Regan was a linemate of Eichel and his scoring doubled from the previous year.  Still an interesting prospect nonetheless.

Here is a scouting report from Tyler Thomson (Dobber Sports) Campbell has adequate size and hockey sense to go along with a strong work ethic. While his scoring has never impressed over his young career, it appears Campbell’s value comes from a strong two-way game. He will continue to grind away with U-Mass until he is pro-ready.

Jeff Cox from SBNation had the following scouting report after taking in a UMass game.  “This was my first viewing of the River Hawks this season and it comes as no surprise that the Port Moody, British Columbia native has significantly picked up his production this season compared to his rookie campaign. He was held scoreless on the night, but he made several strong, powerful moves to the net. He uses his speed and size to leverage defenders from the puck. He was phenomenal at the faceoff dot, going 17-6. Overall, it seems as if Campbell has really elevated his game to start his sophomore year.”

Hockey’s Future has this too say about Campbell; “He is a big powerhouse center with a gritty playing style. Campbell is the first player drafted directly from the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen. His technical skills and skating ability are considered average but his package of size, determination and work ethic attracted the attention of Edmonton scouts.

When I looked to see how Campbell was tracking versus a player like Riley Nash (Nash was well ahead of Campbell by the way) I noticed a teammate on Nash’s collegate team that had a similar route too Campbell.  The player was drafted in his +2 draft year in the BCHL and had moderate success in NCAA.

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts
2005-06 Nanaimo Clippers BCHL 56 27 35 62
2006-07 Cornell University ECAC 31 11 8 19
2007-08 Cornell University ECAC 36 14 19 33
2008-09 Cornell University ECAC 36 15 16 31
2009-10 Cornell University ECAC 34 15 20 35

The player in question – Colin Greening.

If you want to look at the downside here they are;

  • Campbell, although tracking fine, is still a long shot to play in the NHL.
  • He likely doesn’t have much in the way of offensive upside
  • He’s likely a bottom six player at best.
  • Acquiring these types of players is easier than acquiring the top end players.

If you want to look at the positives here they are;

  • When he was drafted the Oiler fans did not like the selection.  He is on par with similar players drafted by other organizations.
  • Offense will likely not be his calling card but he has proven that he can chip in a bit with that regard.
  • Campbell is playing in a good division and is playing top line minutes.
  • Although acquiring ‘bottom six’ players are easier than acquiring top 6 players.  Developing your own players prevents potentially overpaying for this type of player on the open market.  The H-G-K line next year will make over 5 million.
  • Campbell plays in all situations; he’s gritty, good defensively and a good faceoff man.
  • He sounds a little bit like a former NCAA currently with the Oiler’s Matt Hendricks.

So a couple of years after the draft Campbell is drafting on par with his peers and has two more development years left.  I think he’s doing alright.

 

Weekly Thoughts

Eric Lindros Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Former NHL Ref

  • Eric Lindros has filed a defamation against former NHL referee Paul Stewart for an article he wrote on the Huffington Post.
  • The article is about his time as a ref and relationships with the players, coaches and even fans.
  • He mentioned an interaction he had with a fan (who had an attractive wife) in which; Stewart replied with “Hey, lady, is THAT the only way you can get to a Leafs game? You know, I could get you better seats.”  (I hope when he said ‘hey lady’ that he did an impression of Jerry Lewis.)
  • I don’t know Stewart but the article depicts him as a petty guy taking shots at; Chris Gratton, Ray Ferraro and of course Eric Lindros.
  • Here’s the details from the Lindros story.
    • Based on the comments I assume it was after a back-back (Feb. 13/14 in 1993) with the New Jersey Devils
    • He said Lindros was in a bad mood because the team was playing poorly and dealing with legal issues.
    • Stewart asked Lindros, ‘Hey, Eric. How are things going? How’s your dad?’  Now we know Lindros has well documented concerns with his parents involvement in his hockey career.  So Lindros’s alleged response is, ‘[Bleep] you. Just drop the [bleeping] puck already.’  He’s a 19-year old pissed off kid, who cares what he said?
    • Anyways Lindros & Reechi are suppose to sign posters for a charity Stewart is involved with but, according to Stewart, ‘when Eric found out they were for you, he tore every one of them up.”
    • And then a grudge was born!
  • Lindros doesn’t like the things written about him and I can understand.  He doesn’t come out of this looking like a great person.
  • So Lindros files a lawsuit for defamation of character and Eric Macramella from TSN breaks it down

Congrats to Joey Moss going into the Edmonton sports Hall of Fame.  

Jays Outfielders

  • Michael Saunders was reported to be out til the All-Star game earlier in the week.  Surgery went well so it’s possible he’ll be back in early April.
  • The depth chart Bautista, Pompey and Pillar is paper thin, so AA brought in 25-year-old Cuban Dayan Viciedo.
  • The weird thing is in a line-up that is right hitter heavy, Viciedo is a right-handed hitter.  He is also not a defensively strong player.
  • Viciedo
    • His numbers went down from 260 BA /360 OBP /436 SLG/97 OPS+ (On average of his two first full seasons)
    • Too 231 BA / 281 OBP / 405 SLG / 92 OPS+ & DWAR -2.4
    • But he killed pitching at the Skydome – .381 BA / .422 OBP / .738 SLG / 4 HR – in 45 Plate Appearances

Russell Wilson talks about the Call on The Players Tribune

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