Prospect Ramblings September 26 2015

Zach Hopkins

2015-09-26

Hello and welcome to another edition of Prospect Ramblings! With NHL training camps in full-force, there are prospects galore opening eyes in all 30 big league cities. Let's take a look at a few of those prospects that are turning heads with just a week or so to go before the start of the regular season. 


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Philadelphia Flyers prospect Travis Konecny, the 24th overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft, looked magnificent in camp. His energy and attention to detail in rookie head coach Dave Hakstol's system was contagious amoung his teammates, with veteran Vincent Lecavalier even mentioning how awe-insprining it is to watch him. Although he did about as well as one would have hoped for from an 18-year-old in his first NHL camp, GM Ron Hextall made the decision to send him back to his junior team, the Ottawa 67's, after just two preseason games in Philadelphia. Konecny, who is mature beyond his years, went back to Ottawa on a mission to better his game and development so that he can secure a spot on the Flyers roster in the not-to-near future. In his first game after having already played two games back-to-back with the Flyers, Konecny recorded two goals and was all over the ice in a loss to the Peterborough Petes. There is no doubt that this kid is going to be a player for the orange and black in the National Hockey League. 

{source} <blockquote class="twitter-video" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">First of many for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Flyers?src=hash">#Flyers</a>' Travis Konecny. LAK's Middleton w/ a nice long pass as Konecny deflects it perfectly. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/67s?src=hash">#67s</a> <a href="http://t.co/OF2Mc3lWqt">pic.twitter.com/OF2Mc3lWqt</a></p>&mdash; Kathryn Jean (@msconduct) <a href="https://twitter.com/msconduct/status/647201613333991424">September 25, 2015</a></blockquote>
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{source} <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Konecny's second goal tonight. A one-timer on one knee. Unreal. <a href="http://t.co/2ZyhWcUwez">pic.twitter.com/2ZyhWcUwez</a></p>&mdash; Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) <a href="https://twitter.com/BradyTrett/status/647222773161398272">September 25, 2015</a></blockquote>
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So yeah, we all know this No. 97 for the Edmonton Oilers is pretty good. Not only has he succeeded at every level he's played in his career, he's already playing like a tested veteran in Edmonton's training camp alongside of fellow fan-favorite Taylor Hall. Can the kid find the back of the net? Of course! What's more important to me, is his attention to defense and BACKCHECKING! That's right, here is a budding offensive juggernaut who cares just as much about defending as he does about scoring. That, my friends, is what you call a two-way hockey player. If he keeps it up, he'll be challenging the Crosby's of the world for the title of best overall player. 

{source} <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">McDavid backcheck: <a href="https://t.co/UNfcLhRVVg">https://t.co/UNfcLhRVVg</a></p>&mdash; Emmanuel Perry (@MannyElk) <a href="https://twitter.com/MannyElk/status/644335092597452800">September 17, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk and Zachary Senyshyn, the Boston Bruins three first-round picks in 2015, all failed their initial conditioning tests. Doesn't that seem a litle fishy? Could it be a wake-up call for the prospects in terms of what to expect at this level? Sure. I think it more importantly speaks to the training and development staff of the Bruins who have been skating with these prospects since July. In a first round that was already somewhat outside-of-the-box when you consider the talent still on the board, the reports out of Boston just keep getting stranger. Or, as the young kids say these days – I'm left SMH. To be honest, I still can't believe the gave Philadelphia a third rounder for Zac Rinaldo. For a fringe team, they are on the verge of free-falling in the Eastern Conference. If Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg are not going to be healthy and productive, the team is going to struggle. If anything, I expect to see progression from David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner, both of whom will be relied upon to generate offensive chances this season. 

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Oliver Bjorkstrand and Sonny Milano, two of the Columbus Blue Jackets top prospects, were sent to the AHL as the team begins to finalize it's roster for the regular season. While the moves aren't necessarily unexpected, there were rumblings that a good camp could have taken the decision to send them back until the final days of camp. Columbus, on paper, has a great team and should be a top contender in the Metropolitan Division. With this in mind, extra development time for these young players will only benefit their careers in the long run. A player has never been negatively affected by spending time in the minor leagues. On the flip side, however, tons have been pushed too early and suffered setbacks to their game that were not reversible. The team, in my opinion, is making the right move here. 

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In the last edition of Prospect Ramblings, Austin gave everybody a glimpse into his selections for the Dobber Experts League. With 13 participants, the league will certainly be challenging to say the least. The draft consisted of 25 rounds. Below is my team, which I suspect will be decent but may need a little adjusting to get it just right. Here are my picks by round:

  1. Sidney Crosby
  2. Jonathan Toews
  3. Joe Pavelski
  4. Mark Giordano
  5. Corey Crawford
  6. Ryan Miller
  7. Johnny Gaudreau
  8. Gustav Nyquist
  9. Ryan Kesler
  10. Marian Gaborik
  11. Sami Vatanen
  12. Niklas Kronwall
  13. Ryan Callahan
  14. Antti Niemi
  15. Mike Hoffman
  16. Michael Del Zotto
  17. Mike Fisher 
  18. Sam Bennett
  19. Seth Jones
  20. Justin Williams
  21. Marc-Edouard Vlasic
  22. John Gibson
  23. Nick Bonino
  24. Tyler Bozak
  25. Jay Bouwmeester

I like the squad. My 'pat-yourself-on-the-back pick is Sam Bennett in the 18th round. He's been skating with Jiri Hudler in Calgary's camp and is poised for a real nice season in my estimation for a Flames team that I think can make some serious noise in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

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I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Prospect Ramblings. Arrivederci!

Zach Hopkins is an Associate Editor at Dobber Prospects. You can follow him on twitter @healedbyhockey

 

 

 

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