Monday, December 8, 2008

Ryan Yessie's Thoughts on the Mississauga Majors from December 4

Ryan Yessie brings us another report from the December 4 game between Mississauga and Sarnia. Mississauga defeated Sarnia in a shootout 3-2, thanks to some solid goaltending by Carrozzi. Sarnia managed to escape with a point thanks to a fluke goal by Arniel with 6 seconds left.

Here are Ryan's thoughts on a few of the Majors...

Brett Flemming - YOB: 1991 - 5’11” - 175lbs. NHL: Eligible in 2009
Report: Dec/4/08: Flemming looked fairly impressive out there. He looks smaller than his 5’11” 175 frame listing suggests, but he showed off amazing speed. He had be the second fastest skater on the ice this night besides Mark Katic, he actually beat Katic near the end of Mark’s shift which created a scoring chance, later in the game he was able to put one in on a breakout play. He showed good offensive instincts and a nice shot to put his first of the season past Spence. This is certainly a guy I‘d list as a player to watch as he‘s only 17. (Flemming had 1G)

Tim Billingsley - YOB: 1990 - 6’1” - 185 lbs. NHL: 7th Round - 189th Overall by Phoenix in 2008
Report: Dec/4/08: I hear a lot about Billingsley being a sleeper pick for the Coyotes, but to put it simple he was invisible out there to me tonight, certainly did not play like a top 4 defenseman for the Majors with physical edge on this night. Unfortunately I can’t give much of a report on him.

Michael Pelech - YOB: 1989 - 6’2” - 212 lbs. NHL: Eligible in 2009
Report: Dec/4/08: Pelech has put on some weight since the last time I saw him play, but he put it to good use. I think Pelech could turn into a very effective pro hockey player if he continues to get stronger and becomes more willing to use his body. Pelech skated better than I’ve seen him before which was nice to see. He showed off his ability to thread the needle with a few pinpoint passes tonight, both of which sprung breakaways for the two respective goal scorer’s for Mississauga tonight. If Pelech continues to improve 29 teams out there will wind up disappointed in not drafting him last year. (Pelech had 2A)

Zac Rinaldo - YOB: 1990 - 5’11” - 180 lbs. NHL: 6th Round - 178th Overall by Philadelphia in 2008
Report: Dec/4/08: How can anyone not love this guy’s game. He plays with a lot of heart, speed, and he’s just going every single shift, banging and crashing every chance he had tonight. He’s not very big but he was willing to drive to the net a few times and pay the price to no avail. Rinaldo plays a gritty game but may be looked at as a project by Philadelphia as he is only 180 lbs. If he can add 15-20lbs and still play his game, he will be a valueable 3rd liner on any NHL team. This guy reminds me of Steve Downie, you know.. without quite as much scoring touch, or mental instability. (Rinaldo had 2 PIM)

Devante Smith-Pelly - YOB: 1992 - 5’11” - 180 lbs. NHL: Eligible in 2010
Report: Dec/4/08: I was really impressed with Devante’s play. He showed off good speed, and yet another Mississauga player willing to drive to the net, which is exactly how he scored his goal. He received a breakout pass from Pelech and drove to the net, which forced Spence to back up alittle too much and picked the top corner; a sniper’s goal. Smith-Pelly showed a willingness to engage physically. Being only 16 this kid could still grow to 6’1”-6’2” and about 200-210lbs. As he gains confidence in his game he could become a dangerous goal scorer in the OHL. He’s got 18 months to go before he gets drafted (and he will get drafted) he isn’t someone you need to watch right away, but keep him on your radar for next year. (Smith-Pelly got 1G)

Cameron Gaunce - YOB: 1990 - 6’1” - 203 lbs. NHL: 2nd Round - 50th Overall by Colorado in 2008
Report: Dec/4/08: Gaunce played a solid game tonight for the Majors. Gaunce is not a flashy defenceman and he won’t overwhelm you with his speed. But he plays the position well. He reminds me a lot of Josh Godfrey with the way you don’t even notice him sometimes, and then he’ll make a great play look easy simply by being in the right place at the right time. Gaunce’s meal ticket will be that positioning, he shows great awareness and anticipation. Once again his skills aren’t flashy, he’s steady in his own end, he moves the puck well, and rarely gets beat in transition (no one got close to beating him tonight). He has the makings of a steady #4 defenceman in the NHL one day. To reach his full potentail Gaunce needs to work on his skating, and can improve on his his willingness to play more physically, as he has a close to an NHL ready frame at 6’1” - 203 he needs to use it just alittle more without putting himself out of position, which will make him that much more effective.

Chris Carrozzi - YOB: 1990 - 6’2” - 185 lbs. NHL: 6th Round - 154th Overall in 2008
Report: Dec/4/08: Carrozzi played fairly well for Mississauga tonight. Carrozzi had great positioning as he was always in the right spot for the shot, although it was more of the side to side movement that was really the only thing that caused him trouble, he made a couple good looking saves throughout the evening. Carrozzi really only got beat once, as the second goal was an absolute miracle fluke. Carrozzi still looks very raw, the talents are there, but hopefully Mississauga will play him the majority of the games this year because he can only benefit from a lot of action. (Carrozzi stopped 38 of 40 shots and was 3 for 3 in the shootout)

Jamie Arniel - YOB: 1989 - 6’0” - 190 lbs. NHL: 4th Round - 97th Overall in 2008
Report: Dec/4/08: Well Sting fans have been waiting almost a year to find out what all the hype has been about Arniel. They found out earlier this season when Arniel scored 8 goals in 9 games. He scored an absolute fluke of a goal with 6 seconds left to tie the game and send it to overtime, he whacked his stick at a lose puck the same time as the defenceman, their sticks came together shooting the puck in the air, everyone lost sight of in including Carrozzi, it came down on the goal line and took a Sarnia bounce to sneak over the goal line. Arniel was credited with the goal which gave him a goal in each of his last 3 games. Arniel would score the lone goal for Sarnia the following night in Niagara to extend his streak to 4. Arniel is the tale of two players On the one hand Arniel has great speed, and would have to be the second fastest skater on the ice for the Sting next to Katic. He has a willingness to drive to the net and has a great shot with a quick release, and great accuracy. Arniel is also one of the best face-off men in the OHL and is almost always the guy taking the draw in key situations. Whats the knock on this guy? One word gets thrown around. Soft. Arniel has shown a tendency to skate away when a scrum is occurring, or unwilling to engage physically. Star players aren’t required to show toughness, but atleast push them back? Also he isn’t exactly known for his expertise in the defensive end. Finally he has a tendency to shoot at horrible angles, or shots that won’t even get through, instead of choosing to pass to the open man who would in turn create a scoring chance. What it comes down to for Arniel is he needs to be willing to engage more physically, and with his speed he should have no problem working on his defensive game. As far as moving the puck, you expect your sniper to shoot, but he needs to become better at choosing when to shoot and when he should pass. If Arniel can complete these he has a great shot at having a very successful NHL career. (Arniel had 1G, 1A)

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