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Member Since 04 Nov 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 03:47 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Devils 2014-2015 Off Season Thread

Today, 10:33 AM

Wonder if we'll dip into the Undrafted UFA market at all, I was very surprised to see Denis Godla out of Slovakia go undrafted. Guy won Top Goaltender and Tournament MVP at the WJC's, maybe bring this guy on so your 1-2 in Albany can be Wedge and Godla? In 2 years when Blackwood is ready to step into the AHL, Wedge won't be there (either moved on or backup in NHL) and the 1-2 at that point can be Blackwood-Godla. Never a bad idea to stock the cupboards in youth at any position, I think a signing like that would be beneficial. Same scenario would work for Veini Vehvilainen out of Finland.

One guy I had my eye on was Eetu Laurikainen but he signed with Edmonton in May. I don't have my full list in front of me but one guy I'd have some interest in is Ken Appleby who just helped Oshawa to a Memorial Cup. He is 6'4", 205 lbs. and was just passed over in his 3rd draft year. He has solid numbers though with a .918 SV% in 92 OHL games. This past season he had a .924 SV% with a Goals Saved Above Average of 33.24 which was 3rd among OHL goalies. In 2013-14 he had a .920 SV% with a GSAA of 12.26 which put him 9th among OHL goalies.

In Topic: Devils Prospects Camp: July 13-18

Yesterday, 03:06 PM

We can also add D Jacob Sweeney (Moncton - QMJHL). Source

In Topic: Devils pick Goalie Blackwood with 2nd round pick

27 June 2015 - 05:02 PM

I'm not thrilled with taking a goaltender in 2nd round but I'll try not to complain too much about it. I'd rather target goalies late in the draft or UDFA but what is done is done. Here's the really quick post I threw together on him for ILWT.

I like to use stats like Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA) to get a general idea of how a guy performed relative to his peers. Blackwood was 11th among OHL goalies with a 10.81 GSAA mark. So he seems to have the size that scouts love and ok enough numbers (at least last year). He's apparently a workhorse too. I'm not saying this is a good pick but I'm trying to be a little bit positive.

Craig Button of TSN:

Blackwood possesses a very good base of goaltending skill. His mobility and lateral agility is good and he moves well around his net in reading the play and utilizing his size to his advantage. At times he gets caught deep in the net, creating unnecessary vulnerability but is certainly an aspect that can be developed and allow him to be a very good goalie.

Greg Balloch of InGoal Magazine:

He has fantastic size at 6-foot-4, and long, long legs that he uses to seal the ice very effectively. He’s still learning to play into his size a bit more, having recently grown quite a bit (as much as 3 inches in the past year, by some reports), but he’s surprisingly quick. Even though he’s capable, he doesn’t usually make a lot of flashy cross-crease saves because his positioning is solid.
Another thing that Blackwood does exceptionally well is recover to a standing position, or stay on his skates when the situation calls for it. With a frame that large, he’s an intimidating figure for shooters to come down on when he’s standing up. He’s not a typical “blocking” goaltender. He’s very smart about when he goes down into the butterfly, and it gives his positioning a sense of maturity beyond his years.

In Topic: 67th Overall pick: Blake Speers (center)

27 June 2015 - 04:44 PM

I really like the Speers pick. Here's a post I put together really quickly for ILWT on him. You can also check out the ILWT prospect profile on him from May.

Craig Button of TSN:

Speers is a very determined and purposeful player. He gets involved in all areas of the game, from the offensive parts to the defensive parts, and has a real determination to contribute whatever it may be. Always in the play and on the puck. Improving the explosive elements in his skating will allow him an even greater influence on the game.

Future Considerations:

A solid two-way winger…elite level speed with a very efficient skating stride…good lateral agility…lacks strength and can get knocked off the puck by bigger opponents…handles the puck well and has some deceptively good hands…makes crisp, accurate passes to teammates…has a decent shot…does all the little things to succeed…can kill penalties, work the power play, lead the rush or bring a strong forecheck…has good leadership qualities and possesses the intangibles that make pro aspirations a possibility in his future.

Brock Otten of OHL Prospects:

Kind of up and down this year, but some of that had to do with circumstances beyond his control. He started off the year on fire, but following the deadline, he struggled a bit to stand out with decreased ice time (thanks to the acquisitions of Ritchie and Bailey). To quantify that, he had only 6 goals in his final 25 regular season games. I think the second half of the year saw him trying to do a little too much with the puck, feeling like he had to stand out in comparison to the other high profile guys on the Hounds. He reverted a bit back to the perimeter game that he played at times during his rookie year. Speers may not be large (5'11), but he's at his best when he's using his speed to drive the net. He is very dynamic off the rush and he's got great vision and poise. But without the puck, he has to get his nose dirty more consistently. Speers has such a quick release, and he should be a great goal scorer in this league (especially when you factor in his quickness to scoring lanes). But he needs to attack the middle of the ice. Defensively, he's adequate and his hustle is admirable. With his speed and skill level, his potential is quite high as long as he continues to round out his game and plays more aggressive (with consistency).

The Projection Project gives him about a 60% chance to become a regular NHL player. The players in his cohort range a bit all over the place but he really seems to have a chance to become a solid 2nd/3rd line RW. Great value pick considering where the Devils got him.

In Topic: Devils acquire Kyle Palmieri

27 June 2015 - 12:03 AM

I'm pretty happy with this move. 24 years old, RW, still has a few years left before being a UFA. 0.93 G/60 over the last 3 years at 5v5 play, let's see how he does when he gets more than 12-14 minutes a night. Apparently he's good in the transition game too.