Friday, July 8, 2011

Oilers Development Camp Observations:

My viewing of the Oilers development camp today presents a small sample size but I've tried to make good use of it.  I focused in on Colten Teubert, Anton Lander and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.  I made only a few observations on the other players but I'll share what I have.

  • Lander separates himself from most of the other prospects.  He is more polished, has good foot work, strong strides, decent puck skills and a good shot and good release.  He drives the hard areas but exercises some elusiveness getting there, using head fakes and other deking skills to make his defender believe he's going wide and is going to try to beat you with his speed.  He has a confident look and doesn't shy away from a larger opponent.  You can tell he has a developed pro body from the strength he showed in all areas. 
  • Teubert is pretty confident with the puck and makes hard crisp passes and takes the like well.  He makes good use of his size to angle players into spots where he can use his strength to separate the puck from the attacking forward.  Uses his body more than his stick but will play the opposition players stick hard with his own.  This could lead to some broken stick and slashing penalties in the future but few, if any, of the forwards from this group could compete behind the net for the puck from Teubert.  He is not fleet footed ( still needs to work on his backward skating, maybe more than anything else ) but as long as he keeps the play in from of him he is fairly reliable defending the rush. 
  • Nugent -Hopkins undeniably has the best puck skills of the group and probably the best footwork.  I'm not sure his speed will be his bread and butter.  He slows down the rush so he can beat defenders with his lateral quickness and allows time for a pass to possibly open.  In front of the net he is a hound for rebounds and likes to try to create deflections.  He wasn't ever outworked and if all he could manage was a weak shot, he'd make sure to get it off.    One-on-one, however, I found he was somewhat over-matched at times by the size and strength exercised by some of the defensive prospects. 
  • Martin Marincin looked solid.  He skated well (still looks slightly awkward in his step ) but his cuts were smooth and graceful.  Accurate passes but maybe looks like he needs more strength all around.  Seemed to have a decent stick and I noticed he did a good job boxing out forwards from rebounds and keeping his body in the shooting lane.  His reach and speed make getting around him a tough task. 
  • Wes Vannieuwenhuizen showed well imo.  He kept catching my eye for his strong defensive work.  Big guy with a good defensive stick.
  • Curtis Hamilton is a top shelf kinda shooter.  I like that :D . 
  • Hunter Tremblay has some polished stick skills too ( maybe they're not flashy but they have a refined pro look ).

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