Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ryan Yessie's Thoughts on the Plymouth Whalers from November 28

Ryan Yessie brings us a report from the November 28th game between Plymouth and Sarnia. It was a hard fought game that saw Sarnia outshoot the Whalers, yet the Whalers came out on top with a 4-3 victory thanks in part to a two goal effort from Ryan Hayes.

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

Ryan Hayes (NHL: Eligible in 2009), 1989 born
Report: Nov/28/08: I wasn’t aware of his age (19) when I was watching him, so it might be too little, too late, but I did notice this guy had some excellent speed and great moves with the puck, also a solid shot, didn’t notice him on defense much, but fact is he displayed some good speed and skills and his name really isn’t one that is known around the league, and he deserves credit for the way he played tonight. (Hayes got 2G)

Tyler Seguin (NHL: Eligible in 2010)
Report: Nov/28/08: Seguin played fairly well, he created a few scoring chances, displayed great speed especially for a 16 year old, and was effective in all three zones. Seguin is definitely a player to watch over the next 18 months. (Seguin got 1A)

A.J. Jenks (NHL: Florida’s 4th Round - 100th Overall pick in 2008)
Report: Nov/28/08: Jenks looked very improved from last year, he unleashed a huge shot with Spence out of the net to cut down the angle. He doesn’t throw the body as much as you’d expected but he was very effective in all 3 ends. Jenks looks like he could turn into a very effective 3rd liner in the NHL who can do a little bit of everything while using his big frame. His skating requires some improvement.

Matt Hackett (NHL: Eligible in 2009), born in 1990
Report: Nov/28/08: Hackett was passed over in this year’s draft, which must have motivated him as he appears to have taken the starting role away from Jeremy Smith atleast for the time being. His positional play for the most part was very impressive, cuts downt he angles good, doesn’t have standout reflexes but he knows where he needs to be on the ice, his defence broke down late, but he was able to hold off a comeback from Sarnia on this night. (Hackett stopped 30 of 33 shots)

I think that it is interesting that Ryan was incredibly impressed by Ryan Hayes. In the times that I've seen Plymouth play (which has not been a lot in recent years), Hayes has also impressed me. He's an interesting story actually. In 2005-06, he actually outscored James Van Riemsdyk on the US National Under 18 team. He finished second on the team in scoring behind Patrick Kane. He continued his strong play in the 2006-07 season for the Under 18 team, where he averaged just under a point per game again and was among the teams leaders in all offensive categories. He also was a member of the 2006 gold medal winning, and 2007 silver medal winning team USA at the IIHF Under 18 championships. So needless to say he came out of the NDTP with high expectations as he was set to attend Boston College. He played 6 games for BC last season before leaving to sign with Plymouth, with virtually no fan fare. He finished last season with 22 points in 27 games, and it certainly looked like he was setting himself up for a nice breakout season this year. This year so far, he's made minor improvements in the scoring department, but for a guy with his skill set, you have to think he's underachieving slightly, especially considering anyone I know who has seen him play in Plymouth has come away impressed. I still think he's a guy to really watch, as one of these days he could really explode offensively and start hitting the score sheet every night.

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