Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kamloops Blazers 5 Regina Pats 4

Prospect Watch: Brendan Ranford/Kamloops Blazers
The fact that this is my first and only viewing of Brendan must be taken into consideration. In terms of his overall skating ability I would say that he is quick, but not necessarily fast. In other words, he has good acceleration and can change gears quickly, yet I can't say that he possesses elite level speed. It appears that he derives the power in his stride completely from his legs -- he looks like he doesn't rotate his hips -- similar to a Peter Mueller in his draft year. On one of his first shifts in this game he was forechecking aggressively and made a big hit on a Regina defenseman for which he received a penalty. From my perspective, Brendan demonstrated strength and balance and a willingness to be involved physically on that particular play. Later in the game he set up a nice goal by making a pass from behind the net to a teammate in the slot -- demonstrating good vision and patience with the puck. Overall, it should be noted that Brendan is a positive contributor on a good/winning hockey team. Based on this one game I would hesitate drafting Brendan in the top three rounds. Depending on the strength of this overall draft class, Brendan would likely be a middle round consideration as of right now.

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