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Develpment Camp Final Scrimmage Recap And Player Notes

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Hugs And Handshakes All Around As The 2016 Red Wings Development Camp Comes To A Close
Hugs And Handshakes All Around As The 2016 Red Wings Development Camp Comes To A Close
Michelle T.

The Red Wings 2016 Development Camp came to a close today with one final scrimmage. After a 2-2 regulation tie, team Howe pulled out the win 3-2 in the shootout.

From the first puck drop, this scrimmage was fast, exciting, and more intense than the first one. There was less hitting, more focus on skill, and it was obvious the players were more used to each other. Guys were starting to develop some chemistry together, talking to each other more on the ice, and just generally looking more comfortable and in their element.

Tyler Bertuzzi didn't participate in scrimmage today, nor the skating test yesterday due to a sore groin, and Adam Marsh practiced lightly with the healthy scratch goalies this morning and didn't play in the scrimmage. At the end of the skating test on Saturday, he was taking a huge ace bandage wrap off his leg/hip area and I'm assuming he's nursing an injury or soreness. Alfons Malmstrom also didn't scrimmage today and I'm not sure why. Those three players joined Axel Holmstrom (torn ACL), Dominic Turgeon (shoulder surgery), and Matthew Santos (separated shoulder) on the injured list. At this point the staff aren't going to push any players who are sore or injured, since there's no reason to. They'll let them heal up and be ready for the Prospect Tournament, Training Camp, and whatever other camps and training the players have going on with their other teams.

If you're curious about what Dylan Sadowy's nickname is, apparently it's "sads", which doesn't seem to fit his smiling personality at all.

It's been a blast covering camp, as always, and I can't wait until the Prospect Tournament in September. Who says there's an offseason for hockey?

Format

We saw the same format in this scrimmage as in the first one.

Two 25 minute periods, with the first 15 minutes being played 4 on 4 and the remaining 10 minutes being played 3 on 3. There was a 10 round shootout scheduled already, but as it turned out, there was a regulation tie so the shootout determined the winner.

I find the choice to have no 5 on 5 in either scrimmage an interesting one. The coaches seemed to like the 4 on 4 and 3 on 3 probably because there's so much open ice that it gives the skaters more space to show off their skill, as well as their conditioning. One thing it does complicate however, is the role of the center. Some forward pairings had a center while others didn't. Wingers got to take faceoffs and "fill in" for the role of the center. I think of 5 on 5 as more of a unit game, but formating the scrimmages this way probably gives the coaches more of a look at the individual player and some of the skill sets they've been teaching in the camp.

I called out both Christoffer Ehn and Julius Vahatalo after the first scrimmage because I've been pleasantly surprised with both their performances; today, those two players accounted for 3 of the 4 goals scored in the scrimmage.

Here's the document with the roster and teams for reference.

Teams And Lines

I thought it was challenging to track 4 on 4 and 3 on 3 pairings through their juggling in the first scrimmage. Take out three more injured players form the lineup and trying to chart rotating pairings was a nightmare. So once again here are the starting pairings so you can see who was on which team. Just keep in mind that there was juggling going on regularly to get the uneven number of players their ice time.


Scrimmage #2 4 on 4 starting lines

Team Howe (White)

Team Lindsay (Red)


Forwards

Forwards

Evgeny Svechnikov

Alex Globke

Givani Smith

Luke Kirwan

Mike Borkowski

Griffen Molino

Zach Nastasiuk

Chase Pearson

David Pope

Mike McKee

Christoffer Ehn

Chase Berger

Kyle Criscuolo

Julius Vahatalo

Mattias Elfstrom

Justin Brazeau

Jeff de Wit


Dylan Sadowy






Defense

Defense

James deHaas

Vili Saarijarvi

Dennis Cholowski

Patrick McCarron

Dan Renouf

Filip Hronek

Joe Hicketts

Jordan Sambrook

Dylan Coghlan


Patrick Holway






Goalies

Goalies

Filip Larsson


Joren van Pottelberghe


Matej Machovsky


Chase Perry






Didn't Play




Stephen Dhillon HS




Connor Hicks HS




Axel Holmstrom (inj) Knee




Dominic Turgeon (inj) Shoulder




Adam Marsh (inj) leg/hip




Tyler Bertuzzi (inj) Sore Groin




Alfons Malmstrom (inj)





Scoring

Team Lindsay opened the scoring eight minutes into the first period when Dylan Sadowy beat Filip Larsson at 4 on 4 to put his team up 1-0, and the Wings 1st round pick this year, Dennis Cholowski assisted on Sadowy's goal. Two minute later team Howe struck back when Julius Vahatalo scored his first goal of the game at 3 on 3, beating Joren van Pottelberghe, assists went to James deHaas and Mike Borkowski. Both Larsson and van Pottelberghe stopped 16 of 17 shots they faced in the first period.

Julius Vahatalo was having himself a great game, and just over a minute into the 2nd period, he struck again, this time beating Chase Perry in net to put team Howe up 2-1 and newly signed Griffin Mike Borkowski also assisted on this goal.

With 2:33 left in the 2nd half, Christoffer Ehn beat Matej Machovsky, assisted by Dylan Sadowy and Joe Hicketts, to tie the game. Machovsky made 12 saves in the period and Chase Perry made 12


Shootout

As I mentioned earlier, there was a 10 round shootout scheduled regardless of the results of regulation, but a tied game gave this shootout a little more meaning. The first few guys for each team were legitimately trying to score (at least it looked like they were). By the last few for each team, the guys were trying silly things to try and score, shooting without looking, deHaas tried the Forsberg shootout move, things like that. It was nice to see them having fun, because having fun and loving your "job" is what makes you able to do it for a long time and love it. Here are the shootout results. Patrick Holway hit the post, possibly the inside but I couldn't tell for sure so I gave him a no goal. Dennis Cholowski was stopped on his attempt, but then put the puck in on his second shot; it's a clear no goal, but the guys (including the goalie) got a laugh out of it.

Team Howe

Team Lindsay

Skater


Goalie

Skater


Goalie

Julius Vahatalo

Matej Machovsky

Joe Hicketts

X

Chase Perry

Alex Globke

X

Matej Machovsky

Jordan Sambrook

X

Chase Perry

Kyle Criscuolo

Matej Machovsky

Patrick Holway

X

Chase Perry

Griffen Molino

X

Matej Machovsky

Patrick McCarron

X

Chase Perry

Filip Hronek

X

Matej Machovsky

Zach Nastasiuk

X

Chase Perry

David Pope

Filip Larsson

Justin Brazeau

X

Joren van Pottelberghe

James de Haas

X

Filip Larsson

Luke Kirwan

Joren van Pottelberghe

Mike McKee

X

Filip Larsson

Chase Berger

X

Joren van Pottelberghe

Evgeny Svechnikov

X

Filip Larsson

Dylan Sadowy

Joren van Pottelberghe

Mike Borkowski

X

Filip Larsson

Dennis Cholowski

X

Joren van Pottelberghe


Player Impressions

Sometimes I'm conflicted when writing up my player notes for this camp. It's such a tiny glimpse at 40 different players, in very limited situations. Some things I see are very useful in analyzing a player, their skills, and potential. While on a larger scale it means very little and sometimes nothing of significance at all. Jeff Blashill commented during camp that there are players on the Red Wings now, he wouldn't name names, who had a terrible camp, but they're on the team now and the camp meant little in the long run. That context is important to remember, and I never want to give a "bad" impression of a player because they didn't have a great camp. This camp is a chance to get a closer look at just some of the puzzle pieces that make up the hockey player. Keeping that in mind, here were my in came observations and notes of a few players who grabbed my attention.

Vili Saarijarvi- Vili was fast, smooth, confident, and as smart as he usually is. He was carrying the puck up ice, taking shots, making some slick passes, sprawling out on the ice to take away a 2 on 1, and skating like the wind. Many of these guys in camp this weekend are big, much bigger than Vili, yet the bubbly Fin is never timid or afraid. He doesn't seek out physicality or lay many hits, but he's never afraid to go up against much bigger and strong players. If he can't move you, he'll dart around you and get to the puck or spot on the ice he wants anyway.

Givani Smith- While Smith was mostly focused on hitting as many people as he could in the first scrimmage, there was much less of that and more of his skill on display today. There were a few times where his slick stick work was on display, and on one particular shift with Dylan Sadowy, those two put on a show of skill. I got glimpses of the Wings newest 2nd round pick, and I'll be watching him in the OHL this year as he continues his development.

Dylan Sadowy- Sadowy has received a lot of praise so far in the last week, and it's all well deserved. He was once again one of the best players in the scrimmage and his speed and skill are great assets. It's still early and we haven't seen him play a game in Grand Rapids yet, but the Wings picking him up from San Jose for a third round pick looks even more like a great deal.

Filip Larsson- I talked in greater length about the goalies in the Saturday practice post, but in today's scrimmage I could see a visible improvement for Filip Larsson. As far as I know, this was his first experience on the smaller ice surface, and that change is tough for goalies. The 17 year old netminder made several huge saves, including a point blank scoring chance and both rebounds that came at him from the side. I'm very encouraged by the improvement I saw in just a few days. The ice size difference can be a big challenge for the European players who aren't familiar with it and don't play on it often. Newly drafted defenseman Filip Hronek struggled with it early on as well in his first experience on the smaller ice surface. The speed, angles, and timing are all different and for a goalie, those things make up a huge part of your game.

Joren van Pottelberghe-I wanted to make sure and mention that I also saw some improvement in JvP's game from the beginning of camp. A little better anticipation, control, and positioning made a difference in the scrimmage and I'd bet working with the goalie coaches more this year helped a lot.

Evgeny Svechnikov- A couple people have asked me about how Chev's been in camp. I haven't mentioned him much at all and there are a couple reasons. First, I've been trying to focus more on the newcomers, so I haven't been able to watch him a ton this week. Forty skaters in two different rinks for a short amount of time has been challenging to watch and evaluate. But I also haven't mentioned him much because he hasn't made a big impression. This isn't a bad thing or a knock on Svechnikov, but I don't think this camp is the atmosphere where he's ever going to shine or stand out. I think the intense atmosphere of the Prospect Tournament, where it's not "friendly" competition is more suited to his skill set and style of play. He's on top of him game when he's able to play with a bit of an edge and I didn't see him do much of that this week. There were a couple times in the scrimmage that I saw him make moves that would have been pretty and looked great had they worked. But this isn't the QMJHL and when he made a move that probably would have been great in the Q, he got the puck taken away from him by bigger and better players. This is an adjustment that's natural for him to have to make. Get ready kid, you're headed to Grand Rapids this season.

Julius Vahatalo- The 6'5" 192 pound center/left winger only put up 9 goals and 13 points in 49 games last season with TPS in the Finnish Liiga, but that was playing against an older, more experienced league. One of the frustrations when trying to gauge the success of prospects in Europe is figuring out how to compare scoring in leagues that are vastly different. Because of this, I jump on the opportunity to see these guys when they come over for this development camp, because it's my only real chance to try and compare apples to apples, or at least as close as possible. I'm impressed by his speed and skating (he was a standout in Jiri Fischer's skating drills) and he has a quick release on his shot and his offensive instincts and skill are much greater than his TPS stats would lead us to believe.

Christoffer Ehn- Ehn scored the game tying goal with two and a half minutes left in regulation, and it was a beautiful snipe shot. But what he did a few seconds before scoring the goal makes it even better. His goal came during 3 on 3 play, and in that situation whoever can get back to play defense does it. One of Ehn's great strengths is his defensive skill and reliability. It's a big reason why he's such an important part of the his Frolunda team despite not putting up much offense. Before Ehn's goal today, there was a rush heading back into Ehn's defensive zone, he used those long powerful strides to hustle back and harass the puck carrier just over the blue line. Ehn was responsible for the other team losing possession of the puck, and his threesome then headed back up ice. Sadowy and Hicketts helped get the puck there and fed Ehn for the tying goal. Ehn hounded the puck carrier in a defensive position and it let to an important goal. With both Ehn and Vahatalo, and Holmstrom too, these guys are used to playing against older, more experienced players in the over 20 leagues in Europe and I think their development over there versus kids in juniors and the AHL over here is very interesting. Needless to say, I'm glad I got to see them in this camp because I'm very pleased with what I saw.

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Thanks for following along this week, and don't forget to mark your calendars for the NHL Prospect Tournament September 16-20 in Traverse City for more prospect action.