Saturday, March 7, 2009

Regina Pats 4 Medicine Hat Tigers 3

Game Notes:
In the first period Sean Ringrose scored two goals to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead, and it appeared they were well on their way to an easy victory. The turning point in the game came late in the second period with Medicine Hat leading 3-1, when Matt Strueby scored a goal to close the gap to one. The Pats played their best hockey in the third period, scoring two goals to secure the well-deserved 4-3 victory.

Prospect Notes:
In the game I focused my attention on Linden Vey and Matthew Konan of the Tigers, who are both prospects for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Linden Vey (Medicine Hat Tigers, #108 CSB)
This is my first viewing of Linden this season, which is inadequate to give a proper evaluation. Linden is averaging one point per game in his draft season, which is substantial considering the Western Hockey League is not a high-scoring league. His overall skating ability is average. It would be nice to see him lengthen his stride. He currently lacks an extra gear to give him the speed necessary to let him improve. Linden is a maximum effort skater, who works hard on the forecheck and while backchecking. He would benefit if he would change gears in stride in order to give his attack more variety -- he seems to be skating the same speed constantly. His overall offensive skill level is advanced by his puck handling and passing skills. Linden sees the ice well and passes the puck to the right person at the right time. His coach obviously has confidence in him as he is used on the power play -- and even played on the point on a couple of occasions. Linden distributes the puck well. In one-on-one situations while battling for the puck he has a tendency to get knocked off balance -- needs to improve his overall strength. There are no obvious shortcomings in his defensive zone awareness, as he maintains proper positioning for the most part. Linden does not have the size or strength currently to give him a physical presence in the game. He does compete and appears to have a strong work ethic. The coach uses Linden in key situations, as he played in the final minute while trailing the game by one goal. If an NHL team is looking for a skilled player with hockey sense in the late rounds they could consider drafting Linden. To me, he would be drafted higher if his skating improved. Right now he would be a late round consideration.

MatthewKonan (Medicine Hat Tigers, #197 CSB)
Matthew is in his second year in the Western Hockey League. The first thing you notice about Matthew is that he has good size. His skating stride is underdeveloped but has potential. He has a slight bowlegged style, but his balance needs to improve. At times he can look slightly awkward during turns, pivots, etc. He does use his considerable reach to his advantage. Matthew's ice time fluctuated somewhat in this game because he does not play the power play. However, he is used in penalty killing situations and uses his stick effectively to break up opposing scoring chances. In terms of offensive skill , Matthew does not contribute much. For the most part he makes a good first pass and does not over handle the puck. Despite his size I would not say that Matthew looks to initiate physical contact. In the defensive zone Matthew is disciplined and does not get out of position. As of right now I would not consider drafting Matthew. However, with his size and with the potential for his skating to improve I would continue to monitor his development closely.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How did Kale Kessy look (92) for the Tigers?