Saturday, December 28, 2013

Up way past my bedtime

Brady Skjei (USA Hockey)
Yikes it is 3 AM Saturday morning getting ready for Brady Skjei and Team USA to face Slovakia in their 2nd game of the World Under-20 Championships over in Malmo Sweden. Oh it is not like I am ignoring Pavel Buchnevich (NYR 2013 3rd) but rather I am waiting until Russia faces Sweden and Finland in their group to gauge Buchnevich since both of those teams have many a player who is on the roster of a CHL team that I get to see play on a regular basis.

Here for your reading pleasure is a feature on Team USA's blueline.

For now Brady Skjei (NYR 2012 1st) and Canada's Adam Pelech (NYI 2012 3rd) who gets the majority of the attention until New Year's Eve when Griffin Reinhart's (NYI 2012 1st) suspension ends. Yesterday at this time Matt Trevor of USA Hockey was able to set up a telephone interview with Skjei and for a while I have been thinking Ryan McDonagh when it came to comparing Skjei as a prospect at this stage of his development.

After 30 minutes I am sure Brady Skjei also has a future as both a coach and TV commentator when his playing days are over. How can one not like someone who breaks down the game to it's simplest form and yet still isn't 20 years old? And if you are a Ranger fan worried about Skjei's development because he is playing college hockey then don't be.

As we were kids, we too had dreams of our future; well Skjei being from Minnesota included playing for the Golden Gophers in his. And his logic is flawless when you come right down to it from his college coach Don Lucia (who just so happens to be Team USA's coach) to playing on one of college hockey's traditional powers, Skjei has everything very well planned.

Welcome Back Prospects

The holiday break for those not playing in the various tournaments ended Friday night with Ranger and Islander prospects returning to a mixed bag of results. 3rd ranked Michigan with Cristoval Nieves (NYR 2012 2nd) were taking part in the annual "Great Lakes Tournament" which features 4 of the hockey programs playing college hockey in Michigan. Michigan was missing a couple of key players but that will not cut it as an excuse as Michigan falls to Western Michigan on a power play goal scored at the 5 minute mark of overtime.

Despite the loss I liked what I saw from an "Active" Cristoval Nieves who may not have scored but he was on the attack with 4 shots including a heartbreaking post that looked to have hit the inside of the post but did not cross the goal line. I would rather see the win but if Nieves is going to play like this then I want that even more.

Mackenzie Skapski (NYR 2013 6th) should go check his bags to see if he wound up leaving his game behind. Skapski got the yank after the game's 1st 2 periods as his Kootenay Ice lost to the Spokane Chiefs 6-4. Skapski gave up 5 goals on 31 shots in just 40 minutes before getting the yank for his efforts.

Skapski is 9-0-2-1 on the season with a 2.95 goals against and a 0.907 save percentage.

Kyle Burroughs (NYI 2012 12) returned to game action after missing just about all of the entire winter break due to suffering from concussion related issues as the Regina Pat captain could not prevent the implosions from his teammates from his teammates. Burroughs and his Regina Pats were squashed by the Ryan Pulock led Brandon Wheat Kings 8-0. Pulock scored the 6th Brandon Wheat Kings goal to improve his stats to improve his own numbers to 11-17-28 for the season.

Eamon McAdams (NYI 2013 3rd) was DNP for his Penn State Nittany Lions.

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