Prospect Watch: Charles Inglis/Saskatoon Blades
Last year I watched Charles play a few games as an underage, and I was impressed with his grit, determination, and potential leadership qualities. Although he did not possess an elite level of skill, I did look forward to evaluating Charles as a prospect this season.
This is my first viewing of Charles this year, and my overall impression was slightly disappointing -- perhaps because of my own expectations and hopes for him. He does play a significant role on a good team, as he is the second line left winger. Charles possesses a solid skating form with good return on his stride -- although perhaps he could have a little more leg extension in order to lengthen his stride. I would describe his stride as compact, which provides him good strength and balance along with agility. His coach has enough confidence in Charles to play him in penalty killing and power-play situations. On the power play, Charles seems content to stand in front of the net and look for deflections on shots from the point. There is no question that he is willing to battle for the puck in front of the net, or anywhere else for that matter -- the kid will compete. However, on the power play it would have been nice to see more from him in terms of handling the puck and getting in position to score. He did not demonstrate much versatility in terms of offensive creativity and imagination. Other than consistently forechecking and battling for the puck, Charles did not contribute much in the offensive zone. He did contribute one assist when he made a pass from behind the net to a teammate a few feet away -- a pass that was partially deflected by the goaltender.
Although it is difficult to tell at times, it seemed to me that Charles became fatigued at the end of a shift -- I'm not sure if this is a conditioning issue or if he was not feeling 100% as of yet. I will continue to monitor Charles this season but for now his play merits mid-round consideration at best.