U.S. under 18 vs Soo Indians

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by VOB, Mar 12, 2005.

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  1. VOB

    VOB Registered User

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    Had an opportunity to watch the U-18 team last night. Many thought that they would simply dominate the Soo Indians (a Junior A team in the NAHL), considering how they have been faring against NCAA competition, and while they did control the play the Indians acquitted themselves quite well and made a game of it, losing 4-1 with the last goal being an empty netter. The Indians certainly had nowhere near the talent of the NTDP but they are a well-coached team who played a sound positional game. I will not comment on all the players on the NTDP but I will give a brief synopsis on the more top rated prospects.


    Jack Johnson - easily the best player on the ice last night and its not hard to see why he ranked only behind Crosby for this year's draft. An absolute rock in terms of strength and physical play. Threw thunderous body checks with reckless abandon causing many Indian turn overs in both ends. His physical play alone will get him into the NHL but coupled with a good skating stride and an ability to handle the puck on the rush and the PP will make him a number 1 Dman and a potential franchise player. The only problem may be that he is too aggressive and while this may be a problem in the NCAA next year, it won't in the NHL.

    Phil Kessel - elite speed, great hands, slick passer, wicked shot ect ect. Made a beautiful pass on a two on one to Stoa who roofed it top corner. Was a threat from the blue line in all night. Play in his own end was a bit lacsidasical, however, and its seems that he does not enjoy the physical play all that much as he rarely ventured into the corners and was neutralized along the boards on more than one occasion. He strives to find open ice, which he has an uncanny ability to do so, and is a huge threat when given even a 1/2 foot of space.


    Mark Mitera - man oh man is Michigan going to have quite the D men with both Johnson and Mitera suiting up next year. A solid Dman who did not make a mistake the whole night. He must have grew 3 inches and added 20 pounds from the time I saw him last and he uses his size quite well. Does not have the vision or offensive upside as Johnson but is steady and dependable as they come. Has a good low shot and good skating abilities. Was used on both the pp and pk. A sure fire top 4 NHL Dman and a first round pick in the 06 entry draft.


    Peter Mueller - an 88 born player who was one of the better forwards on perhaps the best U-18 team yet assembled. Has all the attributes to be a great pro; size, skating, skill and shows a willingness to get his nose dirty. Perhaps his most impressive attribute is vision. He sees the ice real well and turns a no play into something. Many are saying he will pass Kessel in the rankings and while he is not as flashy as Kessel, his size and physical play may be the reason he moves ahead of Phil.


    Ryan Stoa - tall and lanky player who has a good combination of skating and stick skills. Makes good on his chances, as evident by his two goals. A good skating stride and long reach will ensure his success at Minnesota next year. Not a very physical player and his strength may be called into question next year but will be a solid contributor from the get go.


    Jack Skille - somewhat of a disappointment. Has good speed and can handle the puck but seemed stymied by the Indians style of play. Had a great opportunity on a mini break away but couldn't burry it.


    Jimmy Fraser - not considered a high ranking prospect but was quite impressive none the less. Did not figure in the scoring but was a buzz saw the whole night. Incredible work ethic, his feet never stop moving. A real heart and soul type of player.
     
  2. Frenzy31

    Frenzy31 Registered User

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    USNT is a lot of fun to watch. How did MacVoy Play? When I have had the chance to see him, he seems to play w/ a physical edge and will hit anything and everything - though he doesn't have the scoring ability. Also, what was your impression of Strait. He was called up from the U 17 team, and when I saw him play w/ the U 17, he was the Best D man on the ice - how is he playing against better competition?

    Thanks.
     
  3. bigd

    bigd Registered User

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    I believe Strait was sent back down and they are now looking at Erick Johnson.
    They are looking to add a D-man for the U18 World Championships.
     
  4. bruins4777*

    bruins4777* Guest

    how bout frazee?
     
  5. PuckFan01

    PuckFan01 Registered User

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    Erik Johnson would be the best choice out of the under 17 defenseman. The kid can do it all.

    Nice to see all the future Gopher players kicking butt last night. :amazed:
     
  6. bigd

    bigd Registered User

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    Erick is a great player with great potential. He has done a good job on the U17 team but i'm not sure he is ready for the U18 World Championships. I think they are trying to get Chourney. QUOTE=PuckFan01]Erik Johnson would be the best choice out of the under 17 defenseman. The kid can do it all.

    Nice to see all the future Gopher players kicking butt last night. :amazed:[/QUOTE]
     
  7. PuckFan01

    PuckFan01 Registered User

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    I believe that would be a mistake. Chorney has been playing less talented players all year in midget hockey and hasn't been great. It would be like Brian Lee was at Worlds. A fish out of water.

    They may as well give the spot to Johnson or one of the other under 17 players so they have more experience for next year.
     
  8. ndhockey21

    ndhockey21 Registered User

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    Zach Jones?
     
  9. VOB

    VOB Registered User

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    Frazee made the saves that he had to but he was not tested all that much, so it was hard to get a good read on him. Jones and MacVoy did not stand out. I was hoping to see Bailey but they did not dress him.

    Eric Johnson saw limited ice time but his skating (not that it is bad) would be a concern and I just don't see him participating in the U-18 World Championship.
     
  10. bigd

    bigd Registered User

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    Bailey is injured. Jones is perhaps the most dependable D-man on the team. He's not a offensive threat but he can be counted on to do the job in his oun end. Erick will be a great player. He just needs more time!
     
  11. VernonForrest

    VernonForrest Registered User

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    I have heard Jones gave out quite the butt kickin on saturday night from a parent of one of the U-18 kids.
     
  12. jake1

    jake1 Registered User

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    Lee WAS out of place at the WJC, having just played high schoolers to prepare. What was Goligoski's excuse?

    I have no idea which player would be the best addition for the U18s, but I can say that Chorney's preparation for the tournament would be better than Lee's (for the WJC) by a step on each end. Chorney has played better competition in midgets than Lee in HS, and on the other end, the U18 is a less competitive tournament than the WJC. The US team probably has a good idea what they would be getting in Chorney, having added him last month for the 4-nations tournament.
     
  13. Funkymoses

    Funkymoses Registered User

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    Frazee was awful, awful, awful against Michigan. Let in unscreened shots (from Jeff Tambellini, which is mitigating, but still), had mediocre positioning, and absolutely could not cleanly handle anything. There were shots hitting him dead center in the chest that he was managing to turn into fat rebounds.

    Plus, after blowing the game (Michigan scored with 3 seconds left to turn a 5-3 deficit into a 6-5 win) in the third, he threw his helmet against the glass, broke his stick, and generally threw a tantrum. Not a banner day.
     
  14. ndhockey21

    ndhockey21 Registered User

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    Lee is playing in the USHL right now. So he is playing at a much faster pace than high school.
     
  15. PuckFan01

    PuckFan01 Registered User

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    He won't have much game experience in that league though. He got smoked a handful of times at the state tournament. He is going to have some big growing pains in the next year or two.
     
  16. Brad Coccimiglio

    Brad Coccimiglio Registered User

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    You heard right. He pretty well dominated the fight.

    I was really impressed with the overall play of the Under-18 team, as I was at both games on the weekend. I was really impressed with Kessel. I remembered him being solid from watching him last year, but I think he's improved even more, which is kind of scary.

    For anyone interested, I covered the game for a local website that I work for. If anyone is interested in the article, just send me a PM and I'll send you back the link.

    EDIT: Just a note, the article is pretty well a recap of the weekend, with some notes on the Under-18 team added in, as well as quotes from both coaches and Kessel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2005
  17. Brad Coccimiglio

    Brad Coccimiglio Registered User

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    You're right on about the Indians. I've been covering the team all season and they can definitely hold their own against a team like the Under-18's. In fact, the Indians are the only junior team to have beaten them this season.


    Couldn't agree more with this assesment. I was pretty disappointed that he didn't get to dress on Saturday night though. After seeing him on the weekend, I can really understand why he's so highly ranked.

    The puck skills that Kessel has are something to watch. There were a few plays in both games that had me impressed. There's no doubt that he needs work, but then again, what player this age doesn't have things to work on?
     
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