This past weekend I took in a couple OHL games. Here are some notes on what I saw. I'll be writing Q&A's or features on three of them in the next week or so.
Calvin de Haan (09) -- Skates beautifully and is extremely patient with the puck, carrying it through two or three forecheckers like it's nothing. Doesn't look like he's putting out that much effort, but guys who are better than everyone else often look that way in junior (thought the same of Rick Nash). I would've liked to see more grittiness out of de Haan, but he doesn't have the body for it yet. He's confident that he's still growing though, since he grew a lot in the past year. Nice kid, though quite naive about the whole draft process still.
Kory Nagy (NJ) -- Loved him. Turns on a dime, scrappy as all heck. Has a decent wrist shot. He's like Derek Dorsett (CLB) maybe. Good pick by New Jersey. Can definitely picture him in the NHL on a fourth line.
James DeLory (FLA) -- He was sent back to junior to learn to play F, but is back playing D right now since the Tavares trade. He's bigger than most juniors, but not necessarily more effective. Pinched up a lot when they were down. Was in bad mood after the game when I asked him about the F/D thing.
Michael Zador (09) -- DND due to them still carrying three goalies since the trade.
Ryan O'Reilly (09) - He seemed to play as hard as the game necessitated. In the 8-2 win, he wandered around avoiding traffic (which is his brother Cal's downfall as well). But the next game when it was tied, he was digging in the corners, making things happen. Seemed nice when I talked to him before the second game.
Brett Cook (09) - He's not rated very high, but I thought he was solid defensively. Gets pucks on net and hits people. May be worth a late pick.
Mitch Gaulton (NYR) - Good defensively, but passing skills and shot placement are lacking.
Tyler Hostetter (09) -- He has a very hard shot. That's probably his best asset.
Jaroslav Janus (09) -- He made a lot of stops, but not with the best form. He was leaning to one side when he should have been square to the shooter for example. Was beaten by bad-angle shots a couple times.
Zach Torquato (DET) -- His game doesn't seem likely to carry over to the pros. He seems to cut corners.
Luke Gazdic (DAL) -- Has a pro body but didn't stand out even as a good checker.
Peter Holland (09) -- a disappointment for someone rated so high. He has nice size and vision, but doesn't have a good all-around package. Almost never saw him carry puck, and he's a center. Stickhandling overall seemed to be lacking as he bobbled the puck several times.
Michael Latta (09) -- Another disappointment. Only saw him when looking for him. His stickhandling is too deliberate and he's not strong on the puck.
Taylor Beck (09) -- I liked him much more as a player, maybe the most of anyone except O'Reilly. Creative without being a puckhog, hard on the forecheck, backchecks hard. He's very developed for his age, as far as his body and game go.
Ben Chiarot (09) - He's strong and his skating isn't horrible, but he's bad defensively and doesn't score.
Corey Syvret (FLA) - So good defensively, he really slowed down the game. Underrated player.