Ryan Strome may have gotten the notoriety for his highlight reel shootout goal (#4 Sportscenter highlight...da na na, da na na), but there were several other prospects in last nights game that looked equally as deadly or more. Strome's Blue team lost the actual game 6-5 after a late rally came up short, but won the skills competition. The online stream kept referring to a 9-8 victory for Blue, however, today the skills competition isn't factoring in to the reporting. Strome also had a fantastic slapshot snipe goal. Great all around game by him.
While little can really be gleaned from an intrasquad prospect scrimmage, there were some players that were really impressive. Anders Lee was everywhere. He and Brock Nelson were a dominant force for the majority of their shifts. Rhett Rakhshani controlled the puck well, was quick and avoided contact throughout the night (think Martin St. Louis, not Rob Schremp) Calvin deHaan skated gracfully with the puck and played well defensively, although he did make some plays that he will certainly not get away with at the NHL level. Other notable performances turned in by Kirill Kabanov (distributing the puck mostly), Johan Sundstrom and I personally thought Mitchell Theoret looked good and had softer hands than I expected. (He's been soaking in Palmolive) Aaron Ness also had a fantastic backhand of justice type goal.
DiBenedetto do what he do in being a pain in the ass...think Jon Sim last year, and David Ullstrom played well also. There was some debate in the game thread about Nino Niederreiter not looking so umm, visible. Whether that was because his game is too strong for a prospect scrimmage, or because he is invited to real camp, or because he was out of shape are all speculative, but if you watch coach Jack Capuano's halftime interview (halftime???), some of us thought there was some veiled criticism of Nino's conditioning/thought process. Again, it was a prospect scrimmage, so it means little, but there were a bunch of guys that looked very good...If any of them challenge for a roster spot, if could be trouble for Nino down the line. I personally wasn't expecting to see a lot of these guys play as well as they did. Tough choices are good!
(H/T to BobbyNystromOwnsYou for the GIF)
And also, this little tidbit:
SlavaMalamud Slava Malamud
As always, feel free to contribute links in the comment section as they emerge. Enjoy your Sunday everyone, Islander hockey is in good shape!