Saturday, May 3, 2008

Junior review done

Just finished the review of the Thrasher prospects who played junior this year. Here are a few notes that didn't make it in.

If he weren't still with the Chicago Wolves, Arturs Kulda would have been a candidate for the Latvian senior national team, now playing in the World Championships. He's a veteran of the national junior team.

Spencer Machacek and Riley Holzapfel were born only two months apart, though they fell into different draft years. That's important when comparing them.

I came across an article in the Regina Leader-Post that bemoans the lack of offense in the WHL. It's noteworthy that Holzapfel was mentioned as an exciting player to watch.

"It's not as exciting to watch a defensive struggle as it is to see an offensive game,'' [Regina Pats general manager Brent] Parker continued. "That probably goes without saying. But the players who are exciting and fun to watch -- like Tyler Ennis and Zach Boychuk and Zach Hamill and Jordan Eberle and Riley Holzapfel -- because of the way our game is played, they don't get the opportunity to show the skills that they've got.''

Statistics show that it is harder to score in the WHL than the QMJHL (the OHL falls in between). It's important to keep this in mind when comparing the numbers of two prospects across leagues. The WHL is generally thought to best model the pro game. So it is always more likely that a WHL can make an easy transition than someone out of the Q.

Listening to the inteviews again, it struck me how funny Kulda is. It's mostly intentional, but partly a function of his struggle with the language too. The humor doesn't translate to paper -- er, screen -- that well though.

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