Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thoughts on Barrie from November 6 vs. Niagara

Tonight the Barrie Colts came to St. Catharines to take on the Ice Dogs. The Colts came back from being down 2-0 to win in overtime, 3-2.


Alex Hutchings (2009 NHL Draft Eligible)

Was alright tonight. I've seen him better. He had a few really good shifts, but was all in all fairly invisible and was held off the score sheet. When he's on, he uses his great skating and extra gear to fly down the wing and head toward the net. In one particular play tonight, Hutchings did just that and put a nice one on one move on Dogs defenseman Reggie Tracitto to earn a scoring chance in close. He looked pretty good on the powerplay too and has great vision on the ice and made a few passes that could have easily been converted to goals or scoring attempts by more talented offensive players. He's slightly undersized a 5'10, but he doesn't shy from physical contact and will work in the corners and go to the net. He doesn't necessarily initiate the contact though. All in all a solid prospect who's a good bet for the NHL first round. Just would have liked to have seen him more consistently involved offensively tonight. His line was definitely carried by the hardwork put in by Della Rovere.

Stefan Della Rovere (Drafted 2008 by Washington/204th)

This guy is a player. All hustle on the ice. He drives hard to the net and has a solid extra gear as he skates down the wing. He's a horse down low and in the corners. Was rarely taken off the puck tonight and worked the cycle to perfection. He sets himself up for scoring opportunities by using his physicality to seperate himself from his defenders. While he failed to pot a goal, he was easily Barrie's most dangerous offensive player tonight. He also was a big factor on Barrie's penalty kill. While he didn't really have one tonight, Rovere is also one of the league's most dangerous and feared body checkers. Reminds me a lot of when Cal Clutterbuck used to play for Oshawa. Constantly involved in the play in some capacity. Doubt he has anything more than 3rd line potential in the NHL, but he'll be a fan favourite.

Peter Di Salvo (2009 NHL Draft Eligible)

Was really hoping Di Salvo would get the start tonight because I've seen Hutchinson enough to know he's a stud. I believe this is the first time I've actually seen Di Salvo play, or at least remember seing him play. He was fairly solid, although was somewhat outshined by Dogs goaltender (also draft eligible) John Cullen who was outstanding. The thing that stood out most for Di Salvo for me tonight was his rebound control. It was outstanding for a young goalie. While he wasn't tested a whole lot really, the perimeter shots he faced, he managed to prevent big rebounds from escaping off them. The two goals he let in, he didn't really have a chance on. On the negative side, one thing I noticed about Di Salvo is how far back in his crease he plays. Sometimes you see this with bigger/taller goalies who can afford to do this, but not with goalies pushing 6'0. I think someone needs to get him to come out and challenge shooters more, especially if he wants to find success at the next level.

Brian Lashoff (Signed by Detroit/2008)

Lashoff earned himself a contract from the Detroit Red Wings this offseason after going undrafted, but putting on a good show at the Wings prospect camp. He was fairly impressive tonight, although didn't play nearly as much as I expected him too. He showed a good ability to move the puck out of the zone, making the smart and easy plays. He also showed good puck skills and made a couple real nice passes, particularily on the powerplay where he saw the majority of his icetime. I would have liked to have seen him take a larger role in rushing the puck up ice, as he seemed more interested in keeping it safe. Defensively, I never really noticed him, which I guess is a good thing because it means he stayed with his man and didn't make any stupid mistakes. Definitely reminds me a lot of his brother Matt, a former Kitchener Ranger and Bruins first rounder. Looks like a good signing by the Wings.

Mitch Lebar (2009 NHL Draft Eligible)

Was looking forward to seing Lebar play tonight as a 1991 who's put up some half decent offensive stats this season. He was the Colts second line center tonight, and was completely invisible. The only time he was noticeable tonight was when he made a defensive error in the first, leaving his man uncovered leading to the first Dogs goal. Maybe I'll see him again and see something different.

Ryan O'Connor (2010 NHL Draft Eligible)

O'Connor was the Colts best defenseman tonight and saw a boat load of playing time. Not knowing he was a 1992 until after the game, I've found myself even more impressed by his play. He was solid at both ends of the ice, and scored a really nice goal top shelf after sneaking into the slot. He showed an ability to rush the puck up the ice, but was smart and only made one really bad play when he tried to force the puck up ice leading to a turnover and scoring chance. But as 1992 born defenseman in the OHL, color me impressed. I'd say he's definitely one of the best OHL defenseman I've seen for 2010.

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