I limited my viewing to the afternoon session today, so I won’t be commenting on the morning power skating stuff.
The guys participated in a number of drills today, mostly end-to-end rushes, break-out formations and cycling drills. Aside from one drill to end the practice (4-on-2’s in split ice) there wasn’t a lot of competition exercises so my ability to really differentiate between players was again limited.
My thoughts after the jump:
– GIFFEN NYREN looked a bit more comfortable in the puck drills as opposed to the pure power skating. In fact, Chris Breen looked like the more awkward defender.
– For the second straight day, none of the newly drafted guys stood out one way or the other to me. I had to seek out Reinhart, Leach, Ferland and Arnold in order to notice them and even when I was watching I wouldn’t rate them as either above or below average.
– Mikael Backlund was especially noticable during full ice skating/shooting drills. Fast and smooth with the puck on his stick.
– TJ Brodie really stood out in a similar fashion during those exercises. Very quick with an accurate shot.
– I noticed Lance Bouma more than I expected. Nothing outrageous, but his hands and skating were better than I would have predicted.
– A guy I expected to notice more was Ryan Howse. Hasn’t caught my eye once in the last two days. Ditto Tim Erixon.
– Mitch Wahl was excellent all around. Hayley noticed he had trouble hitting the net yesterday, but he managed more than one top corner snipe this afternoon. I noticed he completed almost every drill without incident.
– Greg Nemisz ran both hot and cold for me today. He fired an absolute laser beam to the top shelf from the top of the circle during one sequence – and then tripped over his own feet while mishandling a pass soon after. His skating and foot quickness still strike me as a concern, but there’s no doubt that the dude can shoot the puck.