I attended the Traverse City Tournament this year and was able to catch most of all four Thrasher games. If one had traveled all that way just to see the Thrashers, there wouldn't have been much reward, as the team had just spotty talent. They finished seventh out of eight, but had to go to a shootout to do it.
Let's start with the two best players: Evander Kane and Eric O'Dell. O'Dell doesn't get a lot of publicity, but he's quite good. Not flashy, but solid and effective. The only question is how he'll fit in at the NHL level. But I think he'll make it somehow. Originally drafted by Anaheim.
I talked a lot about Kane in my Day 4 game summary, so you can read that for more detail, but basically he played well, one of the top 5 or 10 guys in the tournament I'd say, but looks like a very good junior player, not an NHLer quite yet because he hasn't filled out. Here's a picture of him talking to his dad outside the rink that shows how thin he is:
Also solid was Levko Koper. Plays a very simple game, but it's effective. Not sure he's a player, but don't see any huge flaws. A checker in any case.
Next we have two goats: Jeremy Morin and Jimmy Bubnick. I didn't like Morin at the U18s in April, and liked him even less after seeing him this week. His puck skills are bad for someone with such a good shot -- a demonstration that when he has the puck he shoots it, no matter what. Doesn't matter if there's a better play to be made. Poor hockey sense in that way, and many other ways too. He also doesn't do the little things correctly, or more to the point, doesn't know what he should be doing. He had to be screamed off the ice by the bench for lining up on a faceoff making it too many men. A faceoff! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. He's going to the OHL because he didn't qualify academically for college. It's all related.
Jimmy Bubnick didn't do anything, but it wasn't for lack of trying, it was for lack of skill. Not much to see here.
On Ben Chiarot, I was writing in my notebook "Effort? Doesn't skate hard," when the two scouts behind me said "that Chiarot is lazy." So there you go.
Others: Postma and Paquette played pretty much as expected. Mike Forney had to be searched for, which isn't good. Cody Sol was fine, for what he is. I'm not sure how Andrew Kozek managed to get all those points. That's a head scratcher. Tryout Philip Paquet seemed unreliable on the blue line. Tryout Josh Unice wasn't great in goal, but neither was draftee Chris Carrozzi.
Here's some video footage I shot from Game 2 and Game 3.