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USHL Player of the Year, highest point totals in a decade? Sounds like a solid pick to me... how was this guy available in the third round? Is the USHL that bad of a league? His point totals were comparable to Vanek and he went in the first round of '03... I don't get it.

He is 19 so he appears to be a little bit of late bloomer passed over once. Seems like a decent risk for the Devils to take.

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My Future Considerations draft guide had Boucher ranked 60th and had this to say about him:





BORN: September 8, 1993

VITALS: 5’-9.5” / 190 Lbs

STATS: 49 GP 24 G 19 A 43 PTS 25 PIM N/A

SCOUTING REPORT: A smallish deceptive goal scoring forward. Skates fine but lacks high end speed and first step acceleration. Is a tad undersized but doesn’t let that stop him from competing all over the ice. Makes smart decisions, gets to open ice and sees the game different than everyone else. Wants the puck on his stick at crucial times. Can get a quick and hard wrister off from anywhere and make it dangerous. His anticipation is elite as he always seems to be in the right place to step into a shot at key moments of the game. Has great hands, good drive and is an underrated playmaker. Needs to improve his skating and add some more strength but this kid has the natural finishing instincts to play in the NHL next year. Future Michigan Spartan (or Sarnia Sting) is likely this seasons Jeff Skinner in that he just scores goals no matter the other warts in his game.

NHL POTENTIAL: Top six goal scoring forward.

Edited by thefiestygoat
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McKeens interview with Blake Pietila.

McKeen's: For those who have not seen you play, what would you say is the style you play and also the strengths of your game?

Pietila: Style of play? I'd say power forward. I like to get in and forecheck and hits guys and keep my feet moving. I think I'm playing at my best when I'm doing that and playing a physical game.

McKeen's: In my personal opinion, of the 1993s as a group, from the beginning of last year and the course of this year, you're probably the most improved player over that course of time. So, in what areas do you feel you've developed the most in your time at The Program and what's helped you pick it up?

Pietila: I think it all started in the summer. I worked out with a guy named Chris Ramberg, where I live in Brighton, Michigan. He helped me a lot with my speed and conditioning. I think that was a weakness last year, my conditioning. I would get tired toward the end of the games. This year, I think that's been a lot better. From Cedar Rapids until now? I guess that comes down to it getting down to the end of the year and trying to make the team for the World Under-18 Championships. That's been a huge motivation to step my game up and play a lot better.

McKeen's: As you mentioned, you've gotten faster with your top speed, you're more explosive, and you have more quickness. Going into college hockey, what areas of your game do you feel you need to focus on improving to help find success at the next level?

Pietila: I think it's still my speed and quickness, getting that extra half step to beat d-men wide and keep my feet moving in the offensive zone. I think my strength is there, it's just the speed and quickness.

McKeen's: At first, it looked like you'd be going to Northern Michigan, where your brother [Chad Pietila] was playing at the time. He has since left the team and now you're committed to Michigan Tech, where your cousin [Aaron Pietila] plays, if I remember right.

Pietila: Yep. Actually, my brother has transferred up there. That was a huge motivation to transfer up there. I always wanted to play with him. With him transferring, I'll still play a year and a half with him. And, my cousin Aaron, he's a sophomore. Well, he'll be a junior next year. So, that should be fun to play with those two.

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I'm hoping for that.

I am also. At first I didnt think so but the more I watch him play on youtube and everything and how hes talking himself up a little, I can see it happening. Realistically, who is in the line up as far as d goes? Tallinder, Volchenkov, White, Taormina, Fayne, Fraser, Greene (if he resigns), Salvador (Who knows what his situation will be), and Salmela.

Id have to see him play at the NHL level, but at this point I may consider him over Fayne, Salmela. Taormina I think is going to be STRONG for us this season. We didnt really get the chance to see him play last season but from what he did play, I was impressed.

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McKeens interview with Scarlett.

McKeen's: What is the strongest part of your game, and what are the things you want to work on?

Scarlett: I believe I'm a strong playmaking defenseman with good puck support. I think I have to work on my strength in the corners and my physical play.

McKeen's: How important is it to get that first pass out of your own zone to your teammates on a consistent basis?

Scarlett: I take pride in making sure that my outlet passes are crisp and on the tape of my forwards. It's something I work hard on.

McKeen's: You're a gifted, offensive defenseman, but you mentioned earlier you wanted to work harder on defense and become a complete player?

Scarlett: Yes, I mean, as a defenseman, I want to get better in all areas of the game. As I said, being more physical, knocking opposing players off the puck and clearing the front of the net and blocking shots are part of consistent, and playing better defense.

McKeen's: Are you a student of the game, and how important a role does having good hockey sense play out in game situations?

Scarlett: Yes, it's something I've always taken pride in, the mental part of the game and my natural skills that I've worked hard on to get where I am today.

McKeen's: Have you been working on your back skating cross-over steps, as I noticed you are very quick?

Scarlett: Yes, skating has always been a strong suit of mine; I take power skating practically every summer, so the improvements are finally coming home to roost.

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How many of you think Larsson will go through camp, impress everyone, and be in the line up next season?

I'm hoping not. I'd like him to get some more seasoning as an 18/19 year old. Hedman in TB spent about a year and half of serious growing pains before he became a solid NHL dman, I would expect Larsson would have similar issues, and I'd want him to get those kinks out before coming to NJ.

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My Future Considerations draft guide had Scarlett ranked 97th.




TEAM: Swift Current (WHL)

BORN: March 31, 1993

VITALS: 6’-0.5” / 165 Lbs

STATS: 72 GP 6 G 18 A 24 PTS 59 PIM -37

SCOUTING REPORT: An averaged size defensive defenseman. Skates well with good speed and excellent four-way mobility. Has a quick jump but could use some extra leg strength going forward. Very under developed physically and needs lots of gym time. Has good defensive awareness and reads the play well. Uses a long reach to close off lanes and has the ability to make short range passes effectively. At his best when he plays it safe and simple. His vision seems to be lacking as does not have any form of offensive creativity. Has some good potential as a smart defensive defenseman but teams should not expect much in the way of an offensive contribution at the next level.

NHL POTENTIAL: Bottom pairing defensive defenseman.

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