August 15 2012 12:33PM
Speed kills. In a high-tempo puck possession system, like the one the Canucks employ, having top end speed means everything. It means you will be first to the puck, and that you can pull away from defenders.
One thing stands out from any discussion about Billy Sweatt’s skill set: his speed.
Since even before he was drafted, his willingness to compete and the pace at which he’s played the game have stood out for scouts, coaches and fans alike. As a freshman at Colorado College, Sweatt quickly became a key player, and his production down the stretch spoke to his effectiveness: 15 points in the final 17 games of the ‘06-’07 season.
Read on past the jump.
August 14 2012 03:43PM
We don't yet know who will come out on top in the ongoing battle between the billionaires and the millionaires, and undoubtedly there will be winners and losers on both sides. But I'm pretty sure I know who the biggest losers will be.
Today marks the next milestone in the "negotiations" as Donald Fehr and the NHLPA outline their "alternative view" on the NHL's internal economic system. I'm sure that will go over well.
So to prepare you for the inevitable onslaught of analysis and reaction to today's developments, here's a double dose of Graphic Comments on the topic...
August 14 2012 10:40AM
To the disappointment of Örnsköldsvik hockey fans and presumably Modo General Manager and former Canucks captain Markus Naslund, the Sedin twins have decided that they probably won't play in the SEL next season in the event of a lockout.
Read past the jump.
August 14 2012 07:42AM
The Canucks used their first pick in the 2010 NHL Draft (115th overall) on American defenseman Patrick McNally. The selection was a bit of a curious one, as McNally still had a year of prep school to play before even joining the college ranks (he had committed to the Harvard Crimson for the fall of 2011). It's accurate to say that McNally was selected as a longer term "project."
McNally’s freshman season for Harvard was a rousing success. He established himself as one of the best offensive defensemen in the country, and was a big part of a dominant Crimson power play. McNally’s defensive game is still a work-in-progress, but he is learning to make better decisions with and without the puck.
August 13 2012 12:30PM
In some ways, Alex Grenier is the prototypical Mike Gillis prospect. Or, at least he's got several traits that the Canucks have trended towards favouring when selecting prospects at the draft. Grenier is a "late-bloomer" who was drafted as an overager, out of the QMJHL, and he possesses a big body.
While Grenier has a power-forward's frame (6,5, 200 pounds) he doesn't exaclty have a reputation for pugilism, rather he's usually described as a skilled player. When you consider that Grenier didn't even break into Major Junior hockey until he was 19 years old, that he ultimately became a third round NHL draft pick and a point per game player in the Q is startling.
Grenier appears at #15 on our consensus list, but I had him in my top-10. For what it's worth the prospect writers and QMJHL media types whom I asked, had a high-regard for Grenier's skill set and potential. He'll be playing in Austria with EC Salzburg this upcoming season and worth tracking closely. At the very least Grenier's future development should make for an interesting "test-case" for the Canucks' recent "late bloomer" drafting obsession.
Read on past the jump.