Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tri-City Camp Report

For Tri-City's All-Star game, they had two 25 minute running time halves. Instead of penalties, players got a penalty shot, and there was a shootout and the end of each half. Here is the roster from the game.

The White team looked to be the stronger of the two teams. White's best line was Wisconsin commit Chris Hickey, Mario Lamoureux, and Yannick Offret from France. Hickey was probably the best player on the ice. He had a goal, and probably would have had a couple others if he was in mid-season form. Jordan Van Guilder and Cameron Cooper were two other returning players that stood out.

White's second best line was a bit of surprise with three pretty young kids. That line had SCSU commit Nick Oliver, another '91 birthdate in Matt Tabrum, and a '90 birthdate named Tyler Johnson.

Oliver really played exceptionally well. His dad is the head coach at Roseau HS and I doubt he'd leave, but he almost looked like he could have made Tri-City's team. He also scored a very nice goal. Tabrum came from the Pikes Peak Miner's AAA program. He looked like he still needs to fill out a lot, but he looks like he has a lot of potential.

I wasn't familiar with Johnson either prior to the camp. He's a speedy forward with pretty good hands. He was drafted by the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. He's an Idaho native that had a great year last season playing in the NPHL. The NPHL(or NORPAC) is a Jr. B league that drew quite a bit of attention last season for a fiasco involving Fort Vancouver's team. Johnson led that league in scoring with an eye-popping 120 points in 39 games.

Oklahoman Josh Berge also played pretty well, but he's probably a little too small for the USHL this year. He was one of the best players in terms of controlling the puck, however.

Mike Cichy wasn't overly impressive. It looked like the speed of the game was a little faster than he was used to.

Black's team had three overage players on it in Sean Wiles and two Omaha recruits: Alex Hudson and Jordan Willert. All three weren't necessarily the slickest players, but they had a big advantage in terms of maturity and strength and were probably the best players for Black.

I was also impressed with Brendan Berquam. He played for the LA Jr. Kings, and prior to that, at Shattuck. He's not a big guy, but showed very good skating and passing ability.

His LA teammate Troy Power was also on the Black team. I continue to be impressed with Power's talent, though the up-and-down loose flowing style of play in the game didn't really suit his talents. I think he could have a nice year in the USHL though.

Colin Smith and David Chaney were two kids from the Belle Tire program that I wasn't familiar with that played pretty well.

Minnesota Tom Kleidon will probably make the jump from the NAHL to the USHL this season. He plays like a solid, dependable defenseman.