You don’t get to see this that much in hockey but Chad Krys, a defenseman, dominated the game. So much that Mario from Second City Hockey compared his style to former Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators because of how Krys liked to skate up the puck. I knew Krys came from a good program at Boston University, but I didn’t expect the 2016 2nd round pick to flourish so quickly.
Krys had a good day Thursday when I noticed his skating ability. Where others would blow a tire skating backwards, Krys would glide. Where younger defenseman would turn the puck over, Krys would be patient. It was clear on Friday that he came to play. Krys had several breakups, he made the break out lightning fast, and he also carried the puck into the offensive zone creating tons of space for the forwards. I know Quenneville isn’t fond of defenseman that skate the puck up, but his passing was also second to none during the game.
Due for a much better season at Boston University, Krys will return for his second season with the Terriers and probably take on a much larger role. He looks much more aggressive and wants the control the game from his stick than when I saw him play in Denver against the Pioneers. I was very impressed with his poise and ability to make others around him better.
Holy bleep this kid can play. See below:
Oh, and this one too:
There were guys with different skill sets throughout camp, but Sikura brought determination. I thought he made smart plays cycling the puck, back-peddling into the the defensive zone to reset, but I didn’t see anything like I did today. He was an absolute beast. There was an opportunity to be seized Friday and he took it. I can’t wait to see if he makes any noise come training camp.
For me there wasn’t super high expectations for guys drafted this year, especially 1st round pick Henri Jokiharju. Joki looked good, but super young as well. He has a nice wrist shot from the point and makes good decisions in his own end, but is still raw and needing time to develop in Portland.
Mitchell however took the prospect camp bull by the horns. This kid was barking out communication to his linemates, calling for the puck, and play-making. I had some excitement for him because I’m a Denver Pioneers season ticket holder so I wanted to pay special attention to what I’ll get to see next year. And boy was I pleased.
Besides Chad Krys who has a year of college hockey under his belt, Mitchell was one of the best passers out of all the defensemen at camp. He would often retrieve the puck behind the net and hit his centerman in stride making a worry free breakout. He did have a couple turnovers in his own end but just due to over-aggressiveness. Mitchell wanted to make an impact and he did in my eyes. In drills he went toe to toe with OHL standout Alex DeBrincat and often won puck battles. He went into corners with guys much bigger than he and came out with the puck ready to go the other way. Mitchell also has great vision in the offensive zone. He should have a great season at Denver playing alongside defenseman like Tariq Hammond and Adam Plant.
The first couple days of camp, the two guys that really caught my eye were Jack Ramsey and Roy Radke. Why? These were hockey players. They did all the right things that coaches want to see. They went hard to the net, they finished checks, they chipped the puck in deep, and so on. It was clear they were grinders but also had skill.
I went home Wednesday night and looked up Ramsey’s stats and was floored. One goal in two years at the University of Minnesota? I thought to myself that there must be some kind of mistake, but it wasn’t. His high school stats were similar to his college output. Now, I’m no genius but I know hockey in Minnesota is no joke–especially Gophers hockey. Instead of thinking Ramsey isn’t productive enough, I read between the numbers and saw that he is just a special player. There are more ways to contribute to a hockey team that just putting up points. Leadership, work ethic, teamwork, persistence, and selflessness are all things that can’t be seen based on points. And I think everyone knows these are the types of qualities Ramsey brings in his game.
Blackhawks analysts always say the Hawks don’t have enough guys to get to the “dirty areas.” Well, this guy lives there. Ramsey scored two goals in the scrimmage Friday cleaning up trash in front of the net. He made some great passes and frankly was all over the ice especially early on. There were a lot of skilled guys at camp this year which made a player like Ramsey stick out to me. You can never have enough high motor guys who want to just want to win and do everything they can do to so.
- Collin Delia will hopefully get a contract with the Blackhawks organization. He played his heart out and was the best goalie in camp
- Radovan Bondra is making good strides and looked pretty solid
- Anthony Louis will be great for Rockford this year and will hopefully get a shot in the next couple years at the NHL
- Tim Soderlund, Luc Snuggerud, Robin Press, & Matt Iacopelli all had great camps
- Beau Starrett also looked like he’s developing quite well
- All week we were waiting for Alex DeBrincat to show us something but to no avail
- Graham Knott struggled in the faceoff circle during the scrimmage, something we didn’t want to see
- Dennis Gilbert wasn’t noticeable when he should have been
- Wouter Peters looks a few years away
- Not sure why NHL teams were lined up for Darren Raddysh but hopefully he can develop in the AHL next year