The first of two development camp scrimmages resulted in a 6-3 Team Lindsay win, followed by a shootout that Team Howe won 3-1.
There were 2 twenty-five minute periods, with the first 15 minutes of each being played 4 on 4, and the final 10 minutes being played 3 on 3. After the 2nd period there was, of course, a shootout
The format of the game made it a little hard to evaluate lines and players because there was a lot of changing up of pairings, and a lot of these guys have never played together before. It felt strange not to see any 5 on 5 play in the scrimmage, but I guess the idea was to have more space for the players to demonstrate their skills. Griffins coach Todd Nelson once again reminded us that the message to all the players during this camp is that they're being instructed, not evaluated; keeping the focus on learning and development rather than trying to impress the coaches or worrying about being judged too much on their current level.
The Red Wings streamed both periods live, and while the video isn't great quality, you can watch the scrimmage in full via facebook links provided by the team.
Since the names can be hard to read, and almost everyone has new numbers, you'll want to have the roster handy.
Teams And Lines
These were the lines as the coaches started the first period with in the 4on4, they of course changed when the game went to 3 on 3, and then changed again in the 2nd period. This at least shows which players were on which team.
|Team Howe (Red)||Team Lindsay (Red)|
|Tyler Bertuzzi||Evgeny Svechnikov||Christoffer Ehn||Dylan Sadowy|
|David Pope||Alex Globke||Luke Kirwan||Justin Brazeau|
|Julius Vahatalo||Kyle Criscuolo||Zach Nastasiuk||Chase Pearson|
|Griffen Molino||Mike Borkowski||Chase Berger||Givani Smith|
|Mattias Elfstrom||Adam Marsh||Mike McKee||Jeff de Wit|
|James de Haas||Vili Saarijarvi||Joe Hicketts||Dennis Cholowski|
|Dan Renouf||Filip Hronek||Mathew Santos||Patrick Holway|
|Alfons Malmstrom||Dylan Coghlan||Patrick McCarron||Jordan Sambrook|
|Matej Machovsky||Chase Perry|
|Filip Larsson||Joren van Pottelberghe|
|Stephen Dhillon HS|
|Connor Hicks HS|
|Axel Holmstrom (inj)|
|Dominic Turgeon (inj)|
Team Lindsay got on the scoreboard first with a power play goal from Chase Pearson (unassisted) on Matej Machovsky. They then went up 2-0 when Dylan Sadowy buried a great feed from Christoffer Ehn at even strength on Machovsky. Before the period ended, Mike Borkowski got Team Howe on the board with a goal on a delayed power play with James deHaas and Griffen Molino picking up the assists, Chase Perry was in net.
In the second half, Team Lindsay kicked off the scoring once again, taking a 3-1 lead when Luke Kirwan scored shorthanded on Filip Larsson, thanks to a steal and nice pass from Zach Nastasiuk. Team Howe fired back when Alex Globke scored on the power play from Dan Renouf and Dylan Coghlan to make it a 3-2 game, Joren van Potterlberghe was in net. Team Lindsay regained their two goal lead when Christoffer Ehn scored an unassisted gorgeous top shelf even strength goal on Larsson. and Dylan Sadowy buried his 2nd of the game unassisted against van Pottelberghe to make it a 5-2 lead for Lindsay. Tyler Bertuzzi fired back for Team Howe when he flipped Dylan Sadowy's stick up into the air, then beat Larsson for a goal that had the crowd oohing and aahing. But the comeback for Howe wasn't to be as Sadowy completed his hat trick with an empty net goal assisted by Givani Smith.
Dylan Sadowy (3 goals) and Chrstoffer Ehn (Goal & Assist) were the only players to have multi point games. Keeping in mind however that scoring was done loosely in the scrimmage.
In the shootout, only Cholowski and Saarijarvi, both defensemen, scored.
|Team Howe||Team Lindsay|
|Dennis Cholowski||☑||Filip Larsson||Evgeny Svechnikov||X||Joren van Pottelberghe|
|Givani Smith||X||Filip Larsson||Tyler Bertuzzi||X||Joren van Pottelberghe|
|Mattias Elfstrom||X||Filip Larsson||Vili Saarijarvi||☑||Joren van Pottelberghe|
|Christoffer Ehn||X||Filip Larsson||Dan Renouf||X||Joren van Pottelberghe|
|Chase Pearson||X||Filip Larsson||Mike Borkowski||X||Joren van Pottelberghe|
It feels strange trying to evaluate individual players based on 4 on 4 and 3 on 3 play, but there were a few guys who I kept noticing over and over again. Here's a quick take on who stood out.
Dylan Sadowy- From the time he stepped onto the ice, I was extremely impressed by this young man. The Wings acquired him in a trade from San Jose back in May, and though he's only 20 and coming out of the OHL, he's obviously ready to head to Grand Rapids. He's fast, strong, and has excellent hockey sense and thinks the game well. He's patient when he should be patient, and quick when he should be quick. He seems to understand and execute at a level that's beyond his years, and among this crop of prospects, he's a standout so far. Scoring a hat trick looked easy peasy for him.
Dennis Cholowski- The Wings used their 1st round draft pick on this kid, and I can see why. He's mobile, calm, had excellent positioning, gap control, and vision. He's smart about his play and I'd bet my hard earned dollars that the game in slower in his head than it looks on the ice. I think the best players have the ability to slow things down so there's no rush or panic, and he seems to be that kind of player. The cerebral part is already there, though he'll of course need more development since he's only 18. There's a lot of potential in this young defenseman and even in scrimmage he was fun to watch.
James deHaas- Since he's in college (Clarkson University) and can't come to the Prospect Tournament nor main Training Camp, this camp is my only opportunity to watch him in action live every year. College has been good for de Haas and I continue to be impressed by both his skating, mobility, skill, and speed. He's put on some weight even since last year and is filling out nicely. His strength is most apparent when he has the puck and is protecting it and skating with it. No longer do I see him getting knocked off the puck by smaller players, he's big, more confident, and has some offensive flair. I still think there's potential for him to become a 2nd pairing NHL defenseman, but we'll have to wait until he finished his final year of college to see him play with and against some NHL'ers in training camp.
Vili Saarijarvi- is the most adorable, fun loving, mischievous kid, and I love him. His skating is so smooth, fluid, and quick that he's entrancing to watch. He was paired with deHaas in both periods at 4 on 4 and he's just so darn skilled, mobile, shifty, deceptive, and fun to watch. He moves the puck like a forward, is deceptive in his movements (double clutching until shooting lanes open up, looking like he's going to pass one way, then passing to a different player, etc), and he, de Haas, Bertuzzi, and Svechnikov were cycling the puck in the offensive zone for nearly a minute without losing possession, and it was honestly beautiful. This kid is going to be a very good NHL'er.
Evgeny Svechnikov- Has a lot of skill, and he's (usually) graceful on the ice, but I can also tell he's coming from the QMJHL and he had the puck taken away from him several times by more experienced players. The tools are there, and playing in Grand Rapids next year will help him sharpen those tools and learn to use them against better players. When he had the puck or had a chance to shoot it, his skill was obvious.
Tyler Bertuzzi- As I mentioned earlier, Bertuzzi is a character, and he's a cheeky fellow during the game as well. He scored a pretty goal that got a rise out of the crowd... Right after he used his stick to flip Dylan Sadowy's stick up into the air and skated in alone on Joren van Pottelberghe. He's taken on a leadership role in camp this year, and that experience and skill translate onto the ice.
Christoffer Ehn- has been a fun player to keep up with in the last couple seasons. His skill set if often easy to underrate because of his usage and role as a defensive center who doesn't get much PP time but is a staple on the PK. Judging based on this one scrimmage, he's been working to develop his offensive skills to compliment his already good defensive skills. It was great to see him get both a goal and assist in the scrimmage, and he looked very good.
Julius Vahatalo- is another player I didn't get to watch much at all because he's playing in the Finnish league. He showed quite a bit of skill and I can see noticeable maturation in his game and he looks stronger on the puck than last year. He still has some filling out to do at 6'5" 198 pounds, but I don't think he'll ever be a bulky player by any means. A little more strength will be a big asset to him for sure.
Dan Renouf- is big, strong, and surprised me with his skill. The 6'3" 209 pound defenseman out of the University Of Maine is surprisingly mobile for his size, and I can tell he's played at the college level (as opposed to juniors). He'll be with the Griffins this upcoming season and I'm really looking forward to seeing him play at that level. I think there's some good potential there.
Mathew Santos- This center signed by the Griffins in May is a big boy at 6'0" 209 pounds, and he struck me because he's big and strong with enough skill that I thought Hmmm, several times. Unfortunately he injured his shoulder tonight laying a hit after his stick broke. It's either a slight sprain that's nothing serious (per Coach Nelson) or a slight shoulder separation (per Dana Wakiji).
Griffen Molino- Of all the camp invites, Molino has been the standout for me so far. He's quick, his skill with the puck made kept making me forget he was an invite and not a draftee.
Mattias Elfstrom- I wanted to get a read on Elfstrom, the draft pick Hakan Andersson was so high on, but he was so invisible to me on the ice that I kept forgetting he was there. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, so for now I'll say it's neutral. When I did seek him out, he seemed quiet, meaning nothing in particular stood out to me. It's only one scrimmage, and often times the new draft picks will have a quiet first camp, so I'll defer to Hakan's expertise. I wanted to have more to say about him, but for now I really don't.
Givani Smith- The energetic, sometimes overzealous forward to loves to hit people, even in scrimmage, made his presence known on the ice. However it was mostly from his physicality and not as much from skill related performance. Often times when players get overzealous, they rush and try to do too much and end up losing the puck or not being very effective. That was my first impression of Smith. Well, that and the fact that he was hitting people left and right in what I'd consider more than scrimmage worthy. The kid loves the physical part of the game, enjoys fighting, and that was evident from this scrimmage. He was a rotating forward after Santos left the game injured so he didn't get as much ice time as he normally would have. After first glance, I'm a little iffy on him, but I'll give him time to turn me around. Maybe it was seeing a Smith jersey out on the ice being overzealous and a bit disorganized that has me uncertain of what to expect from him. ;)
Saturday is more on ice drills and conditioning, and Sunday there's a second scrimmage. Stay tuned for more coverage. Live on location in beautiful Traverse City, I'm Michelle. Thanks for reading!