The game had a fast pace with chances going both ways for the most part. There was a lot of sloppiness, nerves and dumb penalties by both teams, but overall it was great to see hockey played again. The first period was predominately dictated by the Jets, but as penalties started to roll in, the Jets got a little more sloppy and allowed the Sharks some more chances.
In case you missed the game the Jets went with the following lineup (in no particular line order):
Sutter - Scheifele - Kosmachuk
Theoret - Petan - Lipon
Blomqvist - Lowry - Verrier
Telegin - Olsen - Brassard
Morrissey - Trouba
Stanton - Kichton
Sol - Kostalek
Lukas Sutter (0 G, 0 A, -1, 1 SOG, 9 PIM)
Watching Sutter play can bring up mixed feelings. It's hard to support the ideology of using second round picks on third line upside players who may bust, when most proven third line players can be had for similar or less. On the other hand, Sutter is an asset and therefor one should hope for the best.
Sutter was given some top minutes with the Scheifele and Kosmachuk and didn't make much of it. His foot speed is not where you'd want it to be at this point. He often gets caught behind the play, causing him to take a "lazy" penalty (ie: stick infraction or holding). This occurred twice in the game and was a common theme in the WHL for Sutter last season. He also got manhandled in the one fight he engaged in. I will however give respect where it's due; he is very solid along the boards. His board work even resulted in a decent scoring chance at one point.
Mark Scheifele (0 G, 0 A, 0, 6 SOG, 0 PIM)
Seems that management is focusing their evaluation on players other than Scheifele. Makes sense, as we already know he's going to at least making camp. Scheifele didn't see much power play time but received a lot of PK usage and was playing mostly between Sutter and Kosmachuk. Still Scheifele directed a team high shots towards the net and finished with 6 shots on goal, two times more than any other player. He had multiple scoring chances, but was flat out robbed unfortunately. Scheifele's skating and balance has come a long ways since the last Penticton tournament. His vision and IQ is well beyond average. For once I will let my guard down and assume that Mark is NHL ready.
Scott Kosmachuk (1 G, 0 A, +1, 2 SOG, 4 PIM)
Some up and down moments for Scott. He predominately played well and seemed to be more comfortable as the game went on. His skating, board work and defensive game has seemingly improved. He showed some nice offensive instincts driving to the net quite a few times. Kosmachuk was rewarded with a goal from a nice give-and-go play with Brassard. He did have a bit of a slip up with a cross checking penalty. Scott was standing one player up at the blue line but continued being aggressive long after the puck was out of dangers way.
Mitchell Theoret (1 G, 1 A, +1, 2 SOG, 0 PIM) (nondrafted)
Overall a solid game by the UFA. He came and played his game exactly as advertised. He was physical, strong on the puck and showed some decent offensive instincts. If he continues like this, Michtell very well may earn himself a deeper look in camp and a chance for a contract. Theoret had a huge neutral zone hit early which helped set the tone and drove to the net well.
Nicolas Petan (0 G, 1 A, +1, 1 SOG, 0 PIM)
Wow. The kid can fly and has ginormous hockey IQ. In the offensive zone Petan was potent in establishing the cycle and keeping possession. His board work despite his size is very impressive. He moved effortlessly around and through defenders when in the offensive zone without the puck, always seeming to get to the right areas at the right time. Meanwhile at the defensive end, he seemed too composed to be eighteen. Management spoke about feeling like they found a first round caliber player in the second round, which very well seems to be true.
J.C. Lipon (0 G, 0 A, +1, 1 SOG, 9 PIM)
Lipon played a solid well-rounded game. In his fight he surprised his opponent by switching up from throwing rights to left. He assisted Petan well in the cycle and puck possession. JC displayed his mix of tenacity and offense, although it would be nice to see him not tied with Sol and Sutter for minutes in the penalty box. Regardless he looks very promising and should at least be a solid depth player at St. John's.
Axel Blomqvist (0 G, 0 A, +1, 2 SOG, 0 PIM) (nondrafted)
A very raw player. The big swede definitely has the size Kevin Chevaldayoff covets. Like Lowry at the same age, his skating is not that bad considering the height, but he needs to grow into his frame. While not as strong of game as Theoret, he still played a decent game. With being so raw and likely being a long term project, it is unlikely that the Jets sign him out of camp; however, they may keep a close eye on him for next years draft.
Adam Lowry (0 G, 0 A, +1, 1 SOG, 0 PIM)
Lowry did all the little things you'd want and expect from a player graduating to pro this season. He was unspectacular but overall played a solid game and shows some promise. He is new to playing centre and Jets' management seem set on developing Adam in the position. While this likely pushes Lowry's NHL ETA back, long term it is in the best interest for the Jets. You can never have too many centres... especially good ones.
Jarome Verrier (0 G, 0 A, +1, 0 SOG, 0 PIM) (nondrafted)
Verrier was difficult to notice most of the time, and I was trying hard to notice him. The nineteen year old had a solid offensive outing in the QMJHL while also racking up quite a few fighting majors. Unfortunately that offense seemed absent for most of last night. There was one exception; Verrier did have one nice saucer pass on a 3-on-2 rush to Blomqvist, setting up a decent scoring chance.
Ivan Telegin (0 G, 0 A, -1, 1 SOG, 0 PIM)
He's back! After being absent for most of last year with injuries, Telegin had a very solid outing last night. Not only does he possess high end speed, but Ivan has an innate sense on how to use his speed in well planned bursts, thus catching defensemen off guard. In the game Telegin had a few nice hits (with one being huge), a great set up to Scheifele, and a few nice cross passes on the power play. He did scare me at one point when he crashed hard against the boards. It would be great to see what he could do in this tournament beside Scheifele.
Ryan Olsen (0 G, 0 A, +0, 3 SOG, 2 PIM)
Ryan played limited minutes but did pretty well. He got some pucks to the net and was a big body presence in front of the goalie... including once barreling over the goaltender Troy Grosenick. I would not be surprised if Olsen one day becomes what True North originally visioned with in Sutter.
Austen Brassard ( G, A, +, SOG, PIM)
At the start things were not looking like there would be anything to say about Brassard other than he showed he can face-punch with the best of them. Eventually that changed. He had some flashes of offense, including a nice set up for Kosmachuk on the go-ahead goal. Hopefully Brassard can put last season behind him and develop his offensive game further.
Josh Morrissey (1 G, 0 A, +0, 1 SOG, 0 PIM)
Morrissey showed some reasons why he deserved to be a top ten draft pick. Josh plays a very cerebral game. His combination of vision and high hockey IQ allows him to push the play forward without much risk. He plays a two-way game where his defensive abilities are underrated since he is so dynamic offensively and his defensive plays are more reliant on positioning and smarts. I said when Josh Morrissey was drafted that he reminded me of a Tobias Enstrom with a bit more height and edge (speaking stylistically, not projecting impact). I also said when Trouba was drafted that he reminded me much of Zach Bogosian. Speaking of Trouba...
Jacob Trouba (0 G, 0 A, -1, 2 SOG, 2 PIM)
Watching Morrisey and Trouba as a pair is a treat, and maybe even be a glimpse of the future. Trouba had some flashes of brilliance. He moved the puck well, both skating and passing, and he "Scott Stevens'd" a Shark forward that came into the zone with his head down. He plays with an edge although was a tad reckless at times, but overall Trouba played a good game.
Ty Stanton (0 G, 0 A, +2, 2 SOG, 0 PIM) (nondrafted)
"Who?" Stanton didn't really standout much at all, which isn't necessarily a negative thing. He was at one time ranked 78th for NA skaters but had a tough season after consistently battling injuries. He seemed solid, but don't read too much into that +2. Like Blomqvist, he is unlikely candidate for contract this season, so he is most likely being watched for future considerations.
Brenden Kichton (2 G, 1 A, +3, 3 SOG, 0 PIM)
Welcome to Winnipeg! Kichton showed poise with the puck that only comes from three back-to-back-to-back seasons dominating his competition offensively. Brenden's first goal really displayed his patience in waiting for the right opportunity. His second goal came from a blast from the back end. He should give the IceCaps some much needed assistance in the power play, generating some offense from the back end with his natural instincts.
Cody Sol (0 G, 0 A, +1, 0 SOG, 9 PIM)
Not exactly what you'd hope from a 2009 draft class prospect. Cody Sol does have NHL desirable size and a decently hard shot. With those two aspects, he could have NHL bottom pair potential, but his terrible foot speed combined with poor positioning make it tough to see him even succeeding in the AHL. He had one nice play when he swept the puck from the crease in a very dangerous scoring chance situation. There also was a large minus in his play when he failed to support his D-partner when Kostalek whiffed the puck to the forechecking Shark. Sol was out of position and essentially skated by the forechecking player, who by then had the puck.
Jan Kostalek (0 G, 0 A, -1, 0 SOG, 0 PIM)
Early in the first period Kostalek was creating some excitement. He had a huge open ice hit, was moving the puck up well, safely defending, and even did some decent work on the power play when forming an umbrella with Kichton and Petan. Unfortunately Kostalek had a terrible giveaway when he blew a breakout pass. The opposing player on the Sharks scored their first goal and Kostalek never really recovered. Kostalek has high potential in being a great late round pick, as shown a very large international resume over in Europe where he was promoted twice from U17 to U18 to the Czech pro league. Hopefully he gets back in the zone for the next game.
Juho Olkinuora (24 SA, 3 GA, 0.875 Sv%)
Jussi displayed some solid positioning and good puck handling skills but it didn't come together for him. It was his first game situation since April so hopefully he is just rusty. Olkinuora was one of the top 15 in the NCAA for Sv% so we do know he has the ability to put it together.
Today, September 6, 9:30pm.