It is difficult to assess the quality of these two teams because so many of their top players are still in NHL training camps. For Regina: Jordan Eberle, Colten Teubert, and Matt Delahey. For Brandon: Brayden Schenn, Scott Glennie, Matt Calvert, Tony Rajala, and Alexander Urbom. With the absence of these players, some of the younger players were cast in more important roles than they normally would be.
As far as this game is concerned, it definitely was not high in entertainment value. It is definitely too early in the season to make any generalizations about either team, but I do have some brief thoughts. This was the second game of the regular season for Regina and they have scored only one goal. They did have some quality scoring chances especially from Jordan Weal and Garrett Mitchell. Overall I believe that Regina will not be an under average team offensively this season, especially if Jordan Eberle returns. After watching this game, however, the weakness of the team appears to be the defense. They had problems handling the Brandon forecheck and turned the puck over way too easily.
I focused my attention on two prospects who I identified last season based on their strong performances as under age players, Mark Stone of Brandon and Jordan Weal of Regina. Although it is far too early to provide a detailed prospect evaluation of these two players I will say that they both merit attention for the 2010 NHL entry draft. Thus I will give a brief description of these two prospects.
It seemed to me that Mark's play improved during the course of last season. His offensive production improved last year after Scott Glennie was injured -- therefore he probably some more quality power play ice time. In this game he was used in all situations, including the power play and penalty killing situations. He has good offensive instincts and is willing to go to the net. I will need more time to evaluate his skating ability. He does not possess a smooth stride, but with improved leg strength his balance and agility will improve. Scouts will have plenty of time to see Mark, and his combination of size and skill merit their attention.
There is no question that Jordan is a dynamic offensive player with above average hockey sense and offensive instincts. Although he did not score in the game he did have some quality scoring chances. An area of improvement that Jordan could work on is his ability to finish. When he gets scoring chances he needs to "bury the puck in the back of the net", instead of simply shooting and hoping. It looks to me like his skating is a little smoother. For NHL scouts, Jordan is a player to keep an eye on despite his diminutive stature. After more viewings I will provide a detailed prospect evaluation on this blog.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Brandon Wheat Kings 3 Regina Pats 0