As we start one other yr of draft evaluation and prospect evaluations, I look to present extra perception into the method of how I monitor draft-eligible gamers all year long. By quite a few views, each reside and in individual, I do my finest to guage what I see on the ice with gamers from their large flashy performs and spotlight reel targets or assists, to minor particulars akin to board play or off-puck monitoring.
On this new bi-weekly collection, I’ll open up my pocket book to present you a peek behind the scenes. All through the season, I preserve a “pocket book” with scouting stories on gamers all year long. Whereas I don’t write a recreation report for each recreation I watch of a participant, I try to take action for almost all of the views I’ve on a participant. This supplies me with a great opportunity to trace a participant’s improvement all through the season and observe enhancements or shortcomings of their play.
Within the first pocket book of the yr, we are going to take a look at London Knights’ defenseman Sam Dickinson, Czech defender Tomas Galvas, and Oshawa Generals’ winger Beckett Sennecke.
Sam Dickinson, LHD, London (OHL), 6-foot-3, 194 kilos
September 30, 2023 – Dickinson was a drive at each ends of the ice on this recreation, placing up a aim and two assists offensively and thwarting nearly each probability defensively. He was on the ice for a aim towards whereas on the penalty kill however it was a bit fluky. He had his man tied up on the again facet and an opponent shot the puck off of the London goalie’s again from the aim line on the other facet of the crease.
His hole management was wonderful when defending the push, utilizing his keep on with dislodge the puck and bounce onto it shortly to maneuver it up ice. His skating was merely improbable. Dickinson was unshakable for the opposing attackers, staying with them every time they tried to evade or cease and begin in an effort to lose him. He used his edges successfully to evade strain with the puck on his stick. His elusiveness when coping with a forecheck was spectacular as properly, studying the place they have been attacking and sneaking out into area. Dickinson’s transition means and velocity have been evident all through the sport. He attacked downhill, pushing defenders again onto their heels whereas overwhelming them together with his agility at prime speeds. Dickinson’s shot was an enormous presence on this recreation as he was greater than keen to ship a booming slap shot on internet now and again, setting himself as much as pretend it with a windup after which transfer laterally earlier than firing a snapshot from a greater spot. His lateral mobility allowed him to open capturing and passing lanes all through the offensive zone, attacking down the wall or penetrating the slot. On a few events, he stared down the goaltender to attract within the consideration and eyes of defenders and the netminder alike earlier than sending an east-west cross throughout the slot. One help got here on a play like this. His different help got here as he joined the offensive play late with velocity, attacking down the slot after which sending a hook cross again to a lone teammate in entrance of the web. Dickinson was merely a drive of nature on this recreation. He was the most effective participant on the ice and it actually wasn’t shut.
Tomas Galvas, LHD, Liberec (Czech), 5-foot-10, 148 kilos
September 27, 2023 – It was instantly obvious on this recreation that Galvas performs the sport at a better tempo than most gamers within the Czech league. His skating is higher echelon and he used it so successfully in all sides of the sport. Galvas closed gaps shortly, bought into the physique of the attacking gamers when defending transition and compelled errors recurrently. Galvas was so fast to leap on a unfastened puck within the defensive and impartial zones.
Galvas’ complete recreation is constructed upon his spectacular skating. In transition, Galvas is a slick passer and a greater than keen puck provider. He has the puck ability and dealing with means that permit him to evade site visitors and make area for himself. Within the offensive zone, he’s slick and agile. He strikes extremely properly laterally and understands spacing within the attacking zone at a excessive degree. He jumps into skating lanes and prompts down the wall. Galvas has exact passing and he seems to be to search out teammates in excessive hazard. He reads the very properly, exploiting seams and penetrating the slot. Galvas scored a aim by becoming a member of the push, getting behind defenders, and receiving a cross to get in on his personal earlier than burying the puck from in tight. Galvas was buzzing all around the ice on this recreation and it kicks off his scouting protection at a big-time excessive.
Beckett Sennecke, RW, Oshawa (OHL), 6-foot-2, 181 kilos
October 1, 2023 – The Oshawa Generals are counting on Sennecke to be an vital a part of the squad proper now and he’s displaying properly within the expanded position. His means to layer his abilities is spectacular contemplating none of his particular person abilities are overly spectacular in their very own proper. This permits Sennecke to generate extra of an impression total. His two assists on this recreation got here from sustaining a excessive compete degree whereas utilizing his passing ability to advance play. His second help particularly was spectacular even when it was a secondary help. Gathering the puck within the offensive zone, he bought tripped to his knees. He steadied himself by extending one leg as he corralled the puck after which handed to his teammate within the excessive slot whereas down on his knee.
Sennecke’s intelligence was proven all through the sport as he would arrive to his spots on time, on the best facet of the puck, and supply his teammates with assist when wanted. He was persistently offering his defenseman with an outlet for the breakout, staying low alongside the boards or slicing into open area for a cross. Sennecke understood the necessity to search out unfastened pucks, preserve possession, and drive opponents into errors as properly. There have been quite a few occasions when his impartial zone strain would result in a puck being dumped in with out assist or a turnover that may be turned up ice shortly. General, Sennecke put collectively a pleasant displaying early within the draft season.
- 2024 NHL Draft Pocket book: Sam Dickinson, Tomas Galvas, and Beckett Sennecke
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