From The Notebook: December Edition

Special To FC2015 Draft Center, From The Notebook

Every season Future Considerations’ scouts spend countless hours in cold rinks across the globe in an effort to gather information on the next wave of NHL talent coming down the pipe.

In this monthly column, we will provide our readers with a few single game snapshots and some early impressions from actual game reports taken by our talented evaluators.

November 22, 2014 – Tri-City @ Sioux City (USHL) – RW Matthew Freytag, 6-1, 190
“Freytag is the type of guy that all teams want to have on their team. He competes for every inch he gets on the ice and is competent in all three zones. He will not blow you away with his skill level in any of the zones, but is very solid in each. In the offensive zone, he battles hard and is not afraid of contact. He shields the puck well under pressure and drives hard to the net. He gets to the front of the net, knows how to screen the goalie and has a great ability to find loose pucks in a ton of skates. He showed a quick release on his shot and the ability to use the defender as a screen and shoot around him. On the forecheck, he is relentless and anticipates the defenders’ every move. He stripped a few pucks and picked off a few passes to create offensive chances on a quick transition. In the defensive zone, he does a great job of supporting his defensemen. It seems like he knows what to do in each defensive situation. Even though he plays the wing, he was able to assume the center’s role if need be without skipping a beat. Matthew has questionable offensive upside at the NHL level but many other qualities NHL team will covet.”

– Colin Mayberry

December 3, 2014 – Blues U20 @ Jokerit U20 – LW Kasper Bjorkquist, 6-1, 185
“Björkquist has had some very good moments in the latest Blues’ games that I have been at. The left wing has very good size and he can really use it to his advantage. He had many very good scoring chances and also scored the game’s first goal for Blues. He also made one excellent net drive but wasn’t able to get the puck past Jokerit goalie Joona Voutilainen. Björkquist works very hard at both ends of the ice and has shown strong determination, he never seems to quit on any play. He showed a good stick and decent positioning in the defensive zone. He’s a well-balanced skater with decent straight-line speed when he gets going. He’s a versatile and responsible two-way forward with fairly good upside. Björkquist probably lacks high-end puck skills but his style of play could fit in well on the North American ice. Still, he has shown signs of developing offensive game. Björkquist plays a pretty simple game, but he’s strong at it and he can create havoc for the opponents in the offensive zone.”

– Marco Bombino

November 14, 2014 – Belleville Bulls @ Ottawa – RW Travis Konecny, 5-10, 171
“This kid has elite tools. He has good hockey smarts and finds ways to get out of trouble by using his skill and speed. I n the first period, I noticed that Konecny was very calm and creative when he had the puck under pressure. He is so smart and has such a variety of moves that he can use under pressure which makes him unpredictable to the opposing team. The biggest thing that you notice is Konecny’s skating, he is an elite skater and can cover so much ice every shift. He has the ability to burn most defensemen wide and his first two strides are very explosive. Konecny also quarterbacks Ottawa’s top power play unit from the right point and was able to let go a couple of very hard one-timers that were good scoring chances. He also makes great outlet passes when breaking out of the zone on the power play and on one occasion he was able to spring a teammate on a breakaway from a pass in his own end. In the third period, Konecny let go a beautiful wrist shot from the point on the power play that found its way through traffic and into the top corner. Overall, Konecny had a strong night and, in my opinion, he should be considered a top 10 pick in this upcoming draft. As with most elite players, the puck just seems to follow him. The only knock on him is his size but he’s a tough kid and his speed and skill will make him hard to track.”

– Nick Butts