Yesterday I finally got a chance to head on over to watch the final day of the Jets Development Camp. The day mainly consisted of a 3 on 3 “tournament” that had all 42 Jets prospects on the ice at once, giving me a good chance to see who would be able to really stand out from the crowd.
Here were my thoughts on some individual players:
- Mark Scheifele looked like the guy who has been through all of this before. He was very strong with the puck and created chances with almost every possession. There was a point in time that he and his line mates held their opponents in the zone for a good 2-3 minute shift, creating chance after chance before finally putting one into the net. There were a couple times he looked a little shaky defensively, but he did not disappoint. I still think starting the season in the AHL would be the right choice for Scheifele, but I can’t wait to see what he will do once he grows into an every day NHLer.
- Eric Comrie just happened to be the goalie Scheifele & Co. were facing on the elongated shift, and he put on quite the show throughout it. A 3 on 3 situation isn’t exactly the best place to evaluate goaltending talent, but Comrie certainly held his own yesterday. He made a countless number of skillful saves, and looked pretty solid while doing so.
- Defenseman Cody Sol stood out to me simply because of his aggression. He really made sure to finish guys off, knock them down, get in their faces, and just looked like a real pest out there. At this point I’m not exactly sure if that’s a good or a bad thing as at times it did leave his teammates out to dry, but he looked like he was really getting under some of the guys nerves.
- Julian Melchiori is a large looking fellow. He too looked like a guy who had already played a year against men, as he was able to really knock the puck off of most players stick when he wanted to. The problem is, he didn’t always look like he wanted to. There were times throughout the morning that he looked like he already knew where he stood with the club, and allowed himself to become a bit of a pylon out there. He’ll be with the Ice Caps once again this year, but if he can become able to use his 6’4” frame more consistently, in a few years he may be looking to compete for a spot with the big club.
- Trouba and Morrissey didn’t stand out as much as I was expecting them to. Granted, 3 on 3 drills aren’t exactly a defenseman’s bread and butter, and Morrissey did have a beauty of a snipe to start one of the sessions, so I’m okay with what I saw. When I did make a point to watch Trouba he looked like he was quite comfortable shutting guys down and not letting them move around, which left me quite pleased. I also took note of how smooth Morrissey was on his feet. Turning, spinning, and gliding around guys quite smoothly whenever he was in trouble.
- Nic Petan is a small small guy. But what the guy lacks in size, he makes up in with pure skill and speed. Time after time he dangled and danced around anyone and everyone, setting up opportunities for both himself and his teammates. The Jets really do seem to have stolen him at number 43 in this years draft. He will clearly be back in the juniors next year, but watching his moves really had me smiling.
- Adam Lowry. What a show he put on yesterday. Try to get around him? Knocked off the puck. Try to stop him? Not happening. Far and away Adam Lowry stood out to me above any other Jet prospect yesterday. His combination of skill and physicality went unmatched all day, leaving him looking more like a player who had spent a lot of time in the AHL. About mid-way through the session, Lowry started having shifts with J.C. Lipon, and the two of them made everything look easy. They moved the puck back and forth with amazing ease and simplicity, and ended up leading their team to the “championship” for the day.
Overall, the day was really one for the big names. A lot of the mid-level, lesser-known prospects were around, but in my opinion not many truly stood out. Which is perfectly alright at this point, considering the fact that guys like Lowry, Lipon, Petan, Scheifele, Trouba, and Morrissey are starting to really make that push in the right direction.
It was pretty cool to see guys like Trouba and Morrissey out there together, almost like a brief glimpse into what the future will hold. That’s the point of these camps though I guess. Most of these guys won’t really be pushing for roster spots with the Jets in the immediate future, but from the look of things the “talent and skill” aspect of things may be on the way back up with players like Nic Petan. Lowry and Scheifele will make their respective cases to make the squad this season and despite all odds, and what may be best, one or both might just make it.