Personal thoughts…

Tech, Hockey, and random thoughts…

NHL Entry Draft Prospects Pt. 2

Continuing my brief synopsis of players that may be around when the Leafs pick 21st overall:

Marek Zagrapan- I wouldn't mind looking at him if he drops… he could potentially develop into a 1st line in time, a little raw and he'll need to play with more intensity but he may be worth consideration. He'll probably go before we select however.

Kenneth McArdle-I don't see him ever being an impact player, and I'm not fond of taking the "Safe" picks in the first round…. but if the Leafs did go that route Kenndal McArdle's a decent selection. I don't feel he has a ton of upside but he plays hard, and is an excellent skater and supposedly has some leadership abilities. I see him as a very solid two-way second pairing D-Man in time. I'd figure him as a late 1st rounder.

Niklas Bergfors- Has been getting a lot of talk….I'm not sure what to think of him. He's a touch undersized and doesn't own an exceptional skill set. He's seems to have a good head for the game, and always plays hard.
He's obviously managed to put up very respectable numbers whatever his skill level.
I'm not sure what to think of him, he could end up never coming close to the NHL or developing into an excellent 2nd liner with a ton of heart. Not sure where he'll go though, anywhere from mid 1st round to mid 2nd round wouldn't shock me.

Jakub Kindl- Always a thought… his status has been on a freefall for quite awhile now, but he was once considered a top tier prospect. He's still got a great skill set… but he's been all but invisible for Kitchener. The skills of a top5 draftee, but does he have the mental aptitude for the game?
After his disappearing act in Kitchener one has to question his ability to read the play and anticipation.
Someone'll definitely take a chance on him in the 1st round, I'd prefer it weren't the Leafs though.

Martin Hanzal-Big and tough, a solid skater with a hell of a shot. Definite top 10 talent. No one else seems to agree with me on this, but he also has absolutely no heart. The work ethic of Brendl, and a distinct tendency to dive.
A boom or bust prospect, and one I don't want to touch.

Marek Zagrapan- A very heady player with an almost uncanncy ability to anticipate where the defence will be. He's got good hands and fantastic agility that along with his anticipation enabled him to elude even the best defencemen despite his merely average spped. His smooth strid shows potential developing in his skating though. Doesn't always play very physically, and occasionally subject to being knocked off his game in more physical contests.
Some doubts about his ability to handle the physically intense North American game because of that.
Could be a top 10 pick, could drop to the late 1st round.
I'd love to see him as a Leaf, and firmly believe he should one day become a 80pt 1st line Center.

Guillaume Latendresse-A burgeoning power forward. Plays the game hard and doesn't back down from anybody. A solid all around ofnsive game with a good shot and passing skills, and a smart player. Seldom has an off game, consistent and plays hard every night.
Very questionable skating skills, a large turning radius, poor agility and mediocre top speed will see him drop despite his skills.
If his skating comes around he could easily become a star, if not… he may never even sniff the NHL, especially given rule changes designed open up space on the ice.
Could go 10-15'th, could drop out of the 1st round.
His poor skating would lead me to pass on on him given the direction the NHL appears to be heading.

Matt Lashoff-Strong on his skates, and hard to knock off the puck. Not the swiftest skater, but that should come in time. He's strong and has size. Could develop into a solid two-way D-Man, or merely a good stay at home D-Man.
Has had an inconsistent and injury plauged season, which will likely see him drop much further then his abilities would merit. I worry about his lack of development over the last year, even when he was on the ice he didn't always look as good as he has in the past.
I see him going somewhere around 20'th overall, though it wouldn't shock me if he slipped into the top 15.
Could become a borderline 1st pairing NHL D-Man, or bust completely… hard to say. Even one more year should reveal much.

Tuukka Rask-Don't know much about him, beyond the fact that he's the consensus 2nd best goalie in the draft and expected to go in the late 1st round. His senior team in Finland didn't give him much ice time, but kept him on the roster all season so scouts probably haven't seen much of him this year.
Goalies are simply WAY to difficult to judge and typically take longer to develop, so I'm VERY tenuous about ever picking one in the 1st round. 3 are slotted to go in the first round this year, and personally I wouldn't take any of them in the first round. Short of the truly incredible, I favor taking the big and talented but fundamentally raw goalies in the mid rounds.

Devin Setoguchi- High upside, high risk. Another boom or bust guy IMHO.
A swift skater, with some extremelt flashy moves. Definitely a guy that can bring the fans to their feet. Has a great shot, deadly accurate, without sacrificing strength on the shot. Has a very quick release point on his slapshot.
Plays a tough physical game, and doesn what's needed to get the goal.
Mr. Inconsistency, he can look incredible for a month then go missing altogether the next month. Sometimes I swear he's the love child of Bryan McCabe, you never know whether he'll dominate the game or be a complete nonfactor.
Could be an elite st liner a goal scoring 2nd liner (That's the best bet IMHO), or an elite AHL winger with a ton of skills but never quite pans out in the NHL. He desperately needs to show vague hint of consistency to fulfill his potential.
A definite late 1st rounder.

Andrew Cogliano, Alex Bourret, Scott Jackson, Ondrej Pavelec, and Ryan Stoa are all possibilities as well.

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July 29, 2005 Posted by | NHL Entry Draft | 1 Comment

Wherefore=why

A small pet peeve, why do so many people think "wherefore" means where?
In Shakespearian english wherefore means "Why".

I was reading an english critics synopsis of the much famous Romeo and Juliet, and he mentioned the now well known statement "Wherefore art thou Romeo?"
What that comment is made, she is not asking where Romeo was… she is asking asking why he was Romeo, why he was born into the only family into which she could not wed, not where he was.

It's seems simple and straightforward to me, and one would hope it's common knowledge. I find it rather disturbing that an author that proffers himself a critic of 19th century literature is evidently unaware of that. (Why a critic of 19th century literature is critiquing Shakespeare in the first place I don't know)

July 26, 2005 Posted by | Literature/Poetry | Leave a comment

Gilbert Brule 2005 NHL Draft

I'm still throughly convinced Brule should go 2nd overall.
For whatever reason, Brule has been downgraded in CSS, ISS, and McKeen’s rankings and is seldom considered to go any better then 4th overall.

I'm very high on brule. He's tough, strong (despite his size), extremely competitive, a strong skater and a hell of a shot.

He may be a touch undisciplined but that should ease up with time, and it's a necessary hazard with players that play so hard.
He's pretty bad defensively… but how many elite forwards aren't? Defence can be taught in any case.

Questions about his selfishness are overstated IMHO. He shoots alot, yes but that's b/c he's got such a damn good shot. He works well and sets up players nicely as a pointman on the PP though… not exactly the hallmark of a supposedly selfish player.

Only guy I might take 2nd over him would be Johnson, for teams that badly need defensive help.

July 26, 2005 Posted by | NHL Entry Draft | Leave a comment

NHL Entry Draft Prospects

With all the talk of from Leafs fans of grabbing Hanzal should he drop to 21st overall….

Am I the only one that doesn't want to touch Martin Hanzal in the 1st round?

He's got size and toughness, plus he's got the hands of Brendl… sadly he also inherits Brendl's work ethic and complete disregard disdain for trying more then .02 seconds per year.
I have bo doubt about his raw talent, or about his suitability to play in the physical North Aermican style, he's just got to put it all together and work for it.
He's the definition of a boom or bust player.

Worth a flyer in the 2nd round perhaps, or later… but in the 1st round there are players with very near his upside and 50X the desire.

In other news, I think we've found McCabe's long lost brother- Devin Setoguchi.
Incredible one month, invisible the next month.
Only difference is McCabe plays a different position and does his fantastic/invisible routine every other year rather then Setoguchi's monthy cycles.

A few potential players….

Marek Zagrapan- I wouldn't mind looking at him if he drops… he could potentially develop into a 1st line in time, a little raw and he'll need to play with more intensity but he may be worth consideration. He'll probably go before we select however.

Kenneth McArdle-I don't see him ever being an impact player, and I'm not fond of taking the "Safe" picks in the first round…. but if the Leafs did go that route Kenndal McArdle's a decent selection. I think he has a ton of upside but he plays hard and supposedly has some leadership abilities. I see him as a very solid two-way second pairing D-Man in time. I'd figure him as a late 1st rounder he should be available for us.

Niklas Bergfors has been getting a lot of talk….I'm not sure what to think of him. He's a touch undersized and doesn't own an exceptional skill set. He's seems to have a good head for the game, and always plays hard.
He's obviously managed to put up very respectable numbers whatever his skill level.
I'm not sure what to think of him, he could end up never coming close to the NHL or developing into an excellent 2nd liner with a ton of heart. Not sure where he'll go though, anywhere from mid 1st round to mid 2nd round wouldn't shock me.

Jakub Kindl is always a thought… is status has been on a freefall for quite awhile now, but he was once considered a top tier prospect. He's still got a great skill set… but he's been all but invisible for Kitchener.
Someone'll definitely take a chance on him in the 1st round, I'd prefer it weren't the Leafs though.

July 24, 2005 Posted by | NHL Entry Draft | Leave a comment

A quick description of my brush with the hurricane that struck Mexico.

My plane took off just in time it seems, as my plane was the very last one to leave Mexico before Hurricane Emily struck.

Apparently all the flights after mine were cancelled b/c of the hurricane. My flights out was reasonably nondescript, a bit of turbulance at times but that was it.

Nice timing eh?
Even 15min later and I'd be one of the deluge of tourists stuck in Mexico for the next week or so. They've evacuated the entirety of the state of Quintana Roo.
I do wonder where I'd be right now had my plane been a bit later then it was, as the resort I was staying at was part of the area where the Hurricane hit.
I feel sorry for the people that stayed at the same resort as I.
They paid good money for a nice all inclusive resort…. and they end up being evacuated. Kinda kills ones vacation I'd imagine… and I doubt the resort is going to be in pristince condition again for a while yet.

So, by some fluke of luck I'm out of Mexico safe and sound just in time.

Anyone that cares to hear about my time in Mexico can email me, b/c I don't feel like typing about it right now.

July 18, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Leafs developing chefs

Leafs Rookie Camp

The two-week prospects camp, which begins Sunday, is once more being organized by Leafs player development coach Paul Dennis. On-ice activities will include power skating and skills' enhancement, while the players also will be attending seminars on character development, media awareness (with mock interviews) and cooking, as well as attending a Blue Jays game.

Anyone see anything wrong with the above quote?
Their attending a seminar on cooking… uh, okay. Exactly why are the Leafs concerned about the culinary abilities of their prospects?

July 7, 2005 Posted by | Amusement, Toronto Maple Leafs | Leave a comment