Joe Gatenby

Aaron Vickers

He is a steady, smart defenseman who doesn’t always stand out on the ice. His skating doesn’t seem to be technically awed, it’s just that he doesn’t play a game through his feet, but rather, becomes fast through quickly moving the puck. A smooth skater, but lacks quickness or explosive power in any aspect of his footwork. Makes simple plays with the puck, hitting open teammates along the wall and making smart, cautious chips off the boards to clear the zone. Displays poise in all areas of the game, never seeming to panic with the puck, but also not being too involved in the offensive rush–more of a first pass puck mover. His gap control on the rush, especially standing guys up at the blue line, really boosts his defensive game as he utilizes a good, quick stick and being in the right position. Displays good defensive awareness by getting down low and taking away options from opposing payers. Solid defensively as he uses his stick well to disrupt the opposition’s rush. To take the next step defensively he will need to keep adding muscle to help him physically challenge guys in battles, strengthen his skating and his decision making will also need to improve. He is still raw and strikes us as a potential late-bloomer type. We see a safe, defensive defenseman, who would need to just keep adding the pounds to handle the pro game. (May 2015)