Monday, September 24, 2007

NAHL Showcase/Midget Showcase '92 Birthdates

Jon Merrill, Defenseman, Little Caesar’s U18(Mich. Commit)-Some people thought he might play in the USHL this year. I think it was a good choice that he stayed at the Midget Major level. Even though the level of play is a little lower, I think there is something to be said for getting experience being one of the best players on the ice, and getting experience playing special teams and leading a team. Merrill scored a nice goal on a slapper from the slot, but also gave up a goal on a weird turnover. Overall, I thought he looked excellent, especially considering that he’s still playing up a year. He is one of the best I’ve seen at pinching in on the powerplay. He also sees the ice well and can make great outlet passes.

Garrett Clarke, Defenseman, Russell Stover U18-Scored a natural hat trick on Thursday night. I watched him play on Friday, and while he was talented, I don’t think he played his best game. He’s a very calm, relaxed player, though sometimes I think he holds on to the puck a little too long. He’s amazing offensively, but could use a little work defensively. Reportedly already has some scholarship offers.

Brandon Saad, Forward, Pittsburgh Hornets U18-Didn’t blow me away, but it’s important to remember that he’s a ’92 birthday playing against ‘91s, ‘90s, and ‘89s, and I think it’s harder for an underage forward to stand out than an underage defenseman. He should be very good in the future.

Stephen Johns, Defenseman, Pittsburgh Hornets U18-Very impressive. A big guy that moves well, can contribute some offense, and plays pretty good defenseman. Definitely should make the NTDP team.

Kevin Liss, Defenseman, Pittsburgh Hornets U18-Not huge for a defenseman, but played very reliable defense.

Evan Accettura, Defenseman, Victory Honda U18-Big defenseman. Could improve his skating a little, but that should come when he grows into his body.

Cody Von Reuben, Defenseman, Chicago Young Americans U16-Very strong defenseman.

Steven Phillips, Forward, Chicago Young Americans U16-Young kid that looks pretty talented.

Cody Campbell, Goalie, Pikes Peak Miners U16-Talented goalie. Great glove. Struggled when the other team had the puck behind his net, but otherwise was solid. Should get some NTDP consideration.

Colton Hargrove, Forward, Texas Attack U16-Big power forward that can skate pretty well, and creates havoc in front of the net.

Jacob Fallon, Forward, Texas Attack U16-Very fast forward that isn’t afraid to drive hard to the net.

Jeff McMinimy, Forward, Texas Attack U16-Stood out more here than he did at this summer’s Select 15s. Showed really nice speed.

Jay Llewellyn, Forward, Victory Honda U16-Very big power forward, that has decent hands for his size. He should be a nice college prospect if he continues to develop.