Early returns: Rating the rookies and prospects

Posted: 09/20/2011 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Eight forwards will leave camp on our Ducks roster. Those players are Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Andrew Cogliano, Jason Blake and George Parros.  This leaves six roster spots up for grabs at the forward positions. Two of those spots will go to guys who can handle being a healthy scratch. Additionally, you have to consider guys whose development won’t be hurt by a lack of ice time.

Click through for a look at how this blog rates the players after 3 days of camp.

Position: Center (2) 3rd – 4th line.

Description: Production from this spot usually dictates a team’s success or failure. Whether it’s in a secondary scoring or shut down role the 3rd line pivot has to be a difference maker.

Mark Bell is the default selection if sophomore Branden McMillan or the rookies, Nick Bonino, Peter Holland and Rick Schofield fail to impress. Don’t go all aphib if you see Jason Blake land one of these spots as well. Blake came up as a center and was moved to the wing with the Islanders.

Best bets: McMillan & Bonino.

Position: RW – 3rd line

Description: Third line players usually play ES unless there’s an injury among the top six forwards.  The third is where you put your role players. It is often a combination of vets and kids. Guys on their up way and guys on their way out.

Contenders: Jason Blake, the wily vet is on his way out. Blake is a guy who needs TOI to be effective. It’s unlikely he’ll produce much as depth role player. He fits the role player mold as Blakey is a guy you can move up the depth chart. He’s still a serviceable top six player. RC has said Blake’s best position is RW. A $4million cap hit on a $3million salary, Blake is guaranteed a roster spot even if others might be more deserving.

1st runner up: Kyle Palmieri is doing all the right things. RC says players are graded on heart, intelligence and conditioning. KP is aces in each department. Don’t be shocked if Kyle passes Blake on the depth chart.

Andrew Gordon set the bar with 2 goals in the first scrimmage. He did it on the very day Coach Carlyle cautioned, “You can’t too excited about a player who shines early. You want to decide if that player has the skills to maintain that early success.” Gordon looks to land somewhere between depth forward and career minor leaguer.  If a rookie needs TOI to develop, Gordon could be a short-term serviceable solution.

Miss Congeniality goes to Big Sexy, Dan Sexton. Sure seems like a such a long time ago that Dan racked up 18 points in 29 games skating alongside Saku Koivu and Bobby Ryan. Sexton needs to show he can do that again in order to stay in the show.

Devante Smith-Pelley was the early pre-camp favorite to win this spot. Maybe he’s a game and not a practice player. You impress Randy Carlyle by working up a good sweat. So far Smith-Pelley is a fail in the heart department

Sheldon Brookbank showed himself well in a depth forward role last season. We could see that again, especially if Parros is injured.

Position: LW (2) 3rd & 4th line.

Description: 3rd line descriptions have been covered. I like grinders on the  4th line. Guys who go over the boards, keep it simple and bash, crash, smash and trash the opposition into looking over their shoulders.

The guy to beat right now is Emerson Etem. Double E is impressing all with his heart. This kid has battle written all over him.

1st runner-up goes to Branden McMillan who we know well from last season.

Both are being pushed by Patrick Maroon. Power forwards like Maroon usually take a year or two longer to develop. Look for “Rooney” to start in Syracuse but if he dominates in the ‘A’ he’ll get a quick call up if anyone falters.

Mark Bell is again the default talent if the young guys struggle.

Of the above the following get a look against Phoenix tonight. At center Mark Bell, Nick Bonino and Peter Holland; skating on the RW are Dan Sexton, Kyle Palmieri, Emerson Etem; lining up at LW will be Branden McMillan and Patrick Maroon.

  1. czhokej says:

    It was interesting reading for me, because I do not have enough info about several young players. Sexton could be again more productive, if used properly. The way they use the youngsters will be a good test for our coaching staff (referring to the previous post).

  2. BackCheck says:

    Big Sexy had that great start but has seemed snakebit since. Last season he had some great opportunities but just couldn’t finish. His move on Derek Boogaard is still a classic. Initially, I was hoping Big Sexy would grow into another Martin St. Louis. Truth be known I still hold that hope for the guy. I’m such a sucker for a good underdog story. Maybe that’s why we get along cz 😉

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