Sunday, 9 September 2007

Oilers - Rookie Camp - Yellowknife 2007 - Part 2

Ah crapola. The math works like so:

One major house reno + one political campaign + one crazy work week + one upcoming vacation (an actual week off!) = one truncated, and (now VERY) late, rookie camp post.


I was there for all 3 days. Typical set-up was to have one-vs-one drills until 10:00am (or so) followed by half-ice line-up drills (forwards vs. defense) until 10:30. After that the ice was cleaned off and the scrimmage would take place.

Day One

Bisaillon - A cut above most of these guys when it comes to skating, passing and puck possession.

Cogliano - Speed advantage is obvious but he didn't do much with it. A lot of solo work in his game but it isn't like Reddox and Rohlfs were giving him much to work with.

Kyntar - Spending a lot of time thinking the game. Not a floater by any means, you just hope he starts to think less and do more at some point.

O'Marra - Like Cogliano you can tell he is more skilled than most here. Also, like Cogliano, he really didn't get anything done today imo. My notes do say he had a good last 5 mins.

Peckham - Strong guy, never saw anyone outmuscle him really (also liked how he stood Kyntar up at the line on one one his shifts). All higher end skills need work (passing, positioning, etc).

Quist - Big Swede has game. Really. Like Kyntar he took a bit to get his bearings but once he did he was fine. Will dish a hit and will take one. Not afraid to shoot but not a puck-hog either. Has a knack for making himself available for a pass without being a floater. Handles the rough stuff well.

Reddox - Invisible all game except for a great shift right near the end of the game.

Spurgeon - Best player on the day. Outstanding hustle. Thoreson's Canadian clone. Opportunistic on offense and first guy back on defense. Great on the boards and buzzes the net. Leads his line. Scored both goals. Everything I hoped O'Marra would be.

Young - Best board control I have ever seen at any level below that of NHL calibre play. Skating was better than I thought it would be and he played a simple, effective game through-out.

Day Two

Almtorp - I think this guy has been winning a LOT of face-offs.

Bisaillon - Laid out some nice hits today. Nice surprise for me given I saw none of that yesterday. Really wiffed one clearing attempt.

Contois - Won't have a big league career but let it be noted here that he works his butt off out there AND he knows when to cut in front of the net (not his own) and make chaos.

Cogliano - Still has the speed and still not doing much BUT he is starting to use what he does have more effectively to my mind. Broke up a couple of plays going the other way (nice to see he knows how to play defense).

Huxley - This guy was hilarious. Had a horrible, HORRIBLE practice but then had a pretty good game and THEN had a GREAT shoot-out goal at the end. He was entertainment writ large all morning.

Kyntar - Began to show better the second day. Being less tentative really does help. Who knew? Nothing else of note to note.

McDonald - Showed some real patience (as opposed to indecisiveness) with the puck in the offensive zone. Took part in a nice 2 on 1 break (with #37) but no one scored.

Karamnov - Showed a nice shot and some great puck control skills. Invisible otherwise.

Peckham - Some nice board work but some guy blew right by him when there is no way he should have so that worries me. Strength needs speed.

Quist - Finishing his hits and I liked that he didn't back down when challenged.

Spurgeon - Continues to impress with his speed and hustle. Has not backed down from anything. Ever. Nice.

Young - Steadiest hand out there by a mile. Has started to general the other players. Guy is oozing leadership.

Day Three

Bisaillon - Love this guys skating. Sweet check of Quist over the boards and into the bench. Some nice puck carrying out of the defensive zone.

Cogliano - Couple of assists but more importantly... I think he won a face-off. Accomplished nothing while on the PP.

Dubnyk - Great stop on Almtorp and a really nice save on a Kronschnabel tip.

Karamnov - Nice little chip-in for one goal but lost another because his wind-up was so overdone he lost the shot altogether. Best flash on the ice though - his passing and puck control skills are obvious.

McDonald - Had one REALLY nice pass out from the sideboards. Showed some hustle, some grit and some brains on the penalty kill. Had a great day.

O'Marra - Some great PK work. Pretty feisty all day.

Quist - Finishing his checks and really starting to make his presence known BUT he also seems to try to play a bit of a floater's game - waiting for loose pucks, etc. The problem is that he should be physical FIRST and then opportunistic. Not the other way around. He just doesn't appear to have the speed, puckhandling or shot for that kind of game.

Reddox - Glad he decided to join us. Scores twice and was buzzing all game.

Spurgeon - Breaks up one play and is first into the offensive zone to follow up. Other team gets it out but Spurgeon is there to break it up again; this time he carries it out himself, drives the net and is stopped by #76 (Young). GREAT sequence of play to watch.

Trukhno - Passes to Almtorp on the breakout... too bad Almtorp was surrounded by opposing players and entire cast of 'Lost' at the time. Bad. Bad. Bad.


I would be remiss if I didn't report that one day there was a lady, just a row down from me, who:

a) had a hell of a rooster tail going on,
b) had passed the 'bad hair' gene onto her kids, and
c) needed to cut those nails of hers 'cuz they made me and the buffalo nervous

Between her and the 'Splooging Oil Zamboni Of Doom' they drove out on the ice at the half-time mark of the scrimmage I was REALLY missing my camera. Cute and fluffy bunny she ain't.


Final notes (a summary of sorts) are posted in part 3.

Have a great evening everyone.

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