Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Three fresh faces stand out on day one

Veteran Justin  Kirkland attempting to win a draw.
  • An impressive first day of main camp scrimmages for the Kelowna Rockets. I attended the morning session which featured two goaltenders that could arguably make up the tandem this season. Veteran Jackson Whistle started at one end with 16 year-old Jake Morrissey at the other. Whistle is sporting new white Vaughn pads with teal and red trim. As an added touch, 'Whis' was etched on the side of both pads and gloves. The number one goaltending duties are for Whistle to lose. The back up spot is WIDE open.
  • I am no expert, but the best goaltender in the morning session was 1998 born Brodan Salmond. I thought Salmond was forced to make some nice saves for Team Orange. Salmond, from Calgary, was the Rockets 10th round pick in 2013.
  • Dillon Dube is just 16 but looks like a veteran out there. Small but skilled, the Rockets first round pick in 2013 is the real deal. You can't have a enough high end skill on your team.
  • I thought rookie Cal Foote had a real good debut in his first on-ice session at main camp. Still 15, Foote played a simple game and did absolutely nothing to get his team in trouble in the d-zone. Foote isn't flashy but makes smart plays with the puck. I sure like his size. When you are 6'2 and 180 pounds and you don't turn 16 until December, Foote has a lot going for him. Again, one ice session does not make a solid WHL career, but what I saw from the Denver Colorado resident tells me he could definitely play at the WHL level this season if he indeed chooses major junior hockey.
  • Defenceman Lucas Johansen also showed some good things in the opening session. The brother of Columbus Blue Jackets Ryan Johansen, Lucas was smart with the puck and was often seen in good areas attempting to generate offense. I thought the 6'2, 170 pound d-man had a good start to camp by not doing to much and playing a relatively simple game.
  • Veteran Ryan Olsen is in camp with the Rockets. The 20 year-old is signed by Winnipeg but is still participating in all aspects of main camp. The only player that isn't at camp that technically could be is Damon Severson. Severson could play as an overager this season but is signed by New Jersey and will likely play either in the NHL or AHL this season.
  • It is only main camp, but it looks like Carter Rigby is showing he wants to be one of three 20 year-old's on the roster this season. As one of the oldest players on the ice he should dominate, which he did physically on day one. Rigby was hitting people and winning board battles. The Penticton resident looks like he is in better shape too. It is a clear sign to the management and his teammates that he isn't going down without a fight.


bigkev said...

Where is Goulboune and Merkley, didn't see them out there???

Shootmaster44 said...

How did Chris Tai look?

Regan Bartel said...

Bigkev: Goulbourne was out there today. Merkley is getting time off during camp. He has nothing to prove.

Shootmaster44: He has been good. I don't think he has been heads and tails better though. He will get a shake in pre-season I am sure.