Team USA: National Junior Evaluation Camp – Lake Placid

Patrick Sieloff
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USA vs. Canada – Saturday, August, 10, 2013 @ 1pm EST

#1 Jon Gillies – G: Played very, very solid all game. He was tracking pucks well, limiting rebounds, and sound positioning. He challenged shooters, cut down angles, and mentally was on track for 60 minutes. Sure the USA played strong in front of him and blocked shots, though he made timely saves. Made a nice kick save low on Horvat in tight on the crease in the 2nd period along with another highlight reel save on Dumba. The big Canadian D-man walked in and blasted one high with Gillies getting a piece off shoulder, glove side. As the puck went up and over and about to go in, Gillies quickly turned and snagged with his glove at the goal line. He was only beat once on a nice, quick release by Reinhart in the 3rd period over the blocker. Otherwise, it was his day leading Americans to victory. He showed that he wanted that #1 spot today.

#2 Matt Grzelyck – D: He was skating smooth at both ends of the ice. He likes to wheel the puck and distribute as created some offensive chances, but was also taking care of his own end by pinching opposition off puck, utilizing his body even though his stature is average for the pro ranks. He made solid decisions moving the puck. Grzelyck laid a nice pass from the top of the point on a 5-on-3 PP for McCoshen to walk into for the 1-timer goal to make it 2-0. He also showed an active stick at the offensive blue line, chipping puck away from Canadian forward and keeping play in zone that quickly lead to USA’s 4th goal of the game.

#4 Steve Santini – D: He isn’t going to wow you with offensive wizardry, but he will play a solid defensive game shift after shift. He likes to play physical and use an active stick in D-zone to break plays up. He nailed Canadian underage sensation, McDavid, in the 3rd period as he crossed the blue line with nice open ice hit. He also muscled the young 16-year in the corner on a play, showing some intimidation. I describe his game as using the KISS Method…He Keeps It Simple Stupid. He is very good at challenging opposing forwards and cornering them into mistakes with good mobility and stick checks.

#5 Connor Carrick – D: He was one of the best defenseman on the ice all week at camp and showed his elite vision, stick handling skills, and puck poise all game. He quarterbacked the PP well and nicely broke the puck out each time. He received secondary assist on 1st American goal with the man advantage by settling play down and simply moving the puck. His defensive game has improved in the last year and he also isn’t afraid to make some nice open ice pops. Liked his game last summer at the 2012 NJEC and liked it again this year, so wasn’t a surprise to me his skill sets. He played strong at both ends.[sociallocker]

#6 Brady Skjei – D: He skates well and played defensively solid. He played on the PK as mobile D-man that can challenge and create mistakes. He didn’t really didn’t impress nor unimpress, but played middle of the row game. Played physical and broke plays up in own end.

#7 Ian McCoshen – D: He seemed to show some more offensive spunk in his game since last live viewing in the Fall 2012. Scored a nice one-timer from the left dot on a 5-on-3 PP to give USA 2-0 lead late in 1st period. He walked the puck at the blue getting opposition moving and then received a feed back after couple of quick passes between USA teammates for the goal. The skating is solid and he won’t back away from the hitting game either. He then followed up with good puck outlets and shut-down of Canadian offense. Has good size with mobility.

#8 Hudson Fasching – D: He is one of those players whose name was big before the draft and has slowly gone south. He doesn’t do anything offensively to “wow” you, but nor is he a defensive liability either. He made one attempt in 1st period to wrap puck in from behind net in trying to create offense that was non-existent at that point for Team USA. He ended up getting assist on SH goal by Shore. He just simply beat made to puck along the wall to clear and Shore outhustled Canadian D-man to score. But also saw a weak clearing attempt by Fasching on a previous PK as he went up the middle but with no power. Luckily the play didn’t develop. Uses his big body at times but not in over powering way, you would just like to see more in his game.

# 9 Brett Pesce – D: Another player with not many notes. Made some steady defensive plays but didn’t impress with any offensive game.

#10 Dan O’Regan – F: He isn’t big in size and does not have electrifying speed either, but he is nifty and nimble on his skates and with that he creates opportunity. There were a few rushes were O’Regan made some slippery moves in the offensive zone and got pucks to the net. He is not a high-end talent but certainly crafty with his hands and thoughts.

#11 Dom Toninato – F: I didn’t really come away with much in Toninato’s game. He can play a solid two-way game and does fairly well on the face-offs, but other than that he really didn’t so much on this day.

#13 Andrew Copp– F: Another USA forward that took care of his own end first though offensively lacked anything to catch my eye. He plays a hard-nosed game and shows some skill. He looked to be more of a grinder, shut-down man.

#14 Quentin Shore – F: He certainly had one of the better games for the Americans. On his 1st goal, he simply just showed pure hustle and determination as he beat Pouliot to the puck shorthanded on a Fasching clear in the Canadian slot. He then put the breaks on and seemed to handcuff Paterson as the puck went off post and in. Good hockey sense to read the play and jump on opportunity. His second tally and 4th USA goal came off Canadian turnover at the blue line. Shore saw play develop and quickly went to net and received the across crease pass from Erne for the tally. He also assisted on the 2nd USA goal on the PP by sending puck up top and receiving secondary assist. He showed some jump in his step and looked mentally prepared as performed solidly. He has decent overall skill but just seemed to have a little more punch on this day compared to the rest. It obviously helped he had Kerdiles and Erne on his line. Overall, he has a solid two-way game here.

#15 Stefan Matteau – F: He played a relatively quiet game. You really didn’t notice him until he potted the last USA goal in the 3rd period. He received a chip pass in own end that quickly became a 2-on-1. He came into zone pretty much uncontested and decided to keep it rather than pass and beat a cheating Paterson who was thinking pass on a pretty good snap shot.

#16 Cristoval “Boo” Nieves – F: He is one of those players that you think could break out and tear up the score sheet as he has explosive speed and some decent skills. But then when it’s time to make move and finish the game never comes around. He needs to elevate game to next level. He seems to lack confidence in his offensive side. Nieves will play a solid defensive game as will get stick in passing lanes and hustle with stops-n-starts. Although he is one of those players you think could do more and leaves you hanging.

#18 Thomas DiPauli – F: He does not show a lot of offensive upside but will shut the opponent down well on the PK or going aggressively of the forecheck. He is just difficult player to play against. He actually showed some muscle too after a scrum in zone. He got matched up against the bigger D-man Nurse form Canada but actually ragged him to the ice with ease. He is a very dependable defensive forward.

#19 Riley Barber – F: He really didn’t do an awful lot in this game, but got things started for Team USA on the 5-on-3 PP as took a feed on the off-wing and blasted the one-timer past Paterson, who never got into position.

#23 Nic Kerdiles – F: He plays a solid overall game. He shows good offensive thoughts and trying to be a playmaker that also takes care of things defensively. He protects the puck well and moves around the ice good too. He received 2nd assist on USA’s 4th goal as he saw the turnover at the offensive blue line as he quickly swopped in and grabbed puck and then threw it down low to Erne that lead to Shore tally. He has an overall game you like.

#25 Henrik Samuelsson – F: I’m trying to figure this kid out as a 1st rounder. His game this year didn’t really seem any better from last summer at NJEC. His skating stride is choppy and really don’t see the high-end stick skills. He still seems a step behind the pace and you wonder about his last name getting him to where he is today. He can fire it but on this day really didn’t display any offensive prowess. He wasn’t engaged on the physical side either, so just wondering about this prospect.

#26 Zach Stepan – F: He looked like an average forward out there. He did not persuade my thoughts on his game one way or another.

#27 Adam Erne – F: I liked Erne’s game last summer at Select 17s Camp as I thought he was one of the better players all week. Today vs. Canada he had flashes of good happenings. He was seeming quiet for most of game but then created some opportunity in the last period. He set-up Shore for his 2nd goal after receiving a pass from Kerdiles. With Erne down low near goal line on his backhand, it looked like he was going to elect to shoot first but slightly mishandled the puck it appeared then quickly made a nice across crease pass to a breaking Shore. He skates well and very solid on his boots for sure. He can play great offensive game just needs to do time in and time again.

#28 Will Butcher – F: Like the majority of Team USA, this wasn’t my first live viewing of Butcher. He is a good puck moving D-man who excels on the PP as well. He nicely set-up Barber on the first USA goal as he back pedaled at the top of the circle on the 5-on-3 PP and sent tape-to-tape pass for the 1-timing goal. His defensive game seemed honest today as he didn’t get himself into trouble as made good puck moving decisions.

#29 Patrick Sieloff – D: He seemed to be the on-ice leader for Team USA from his body actions. He is not a top D-man but played his role very well today by blocking shots, being physical, and standing up to the opposition. I knew he liked to intimidate and play the body after watching last summer, but his game was average at best then. He seemed to move the puck quicker and make better decisions. One shift actually joined the play too and tried to get involved offensively bringing puck into zone down wing. He could evolve into a bottom pair in the NHL with his mobility, size, and physicality.