Kessel scouting report, Pens picks on TV tonight

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Postby FallenHero96 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:11 am

I can verify it, I saw it lol.... anyways.. make that 4 assists for Kessel tonight, and I never said that they were the best passes I ever seen, but the guy makes good passes. And it wasn't just the one play with Goligoski, I think he was on the ice for 3 or 4 goals against in that second period.

whoever has the rights to potulny should be happy... 4 goal game, hes on fire

7-7 going into overtime... awesome game
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Postby Ron` on Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:12 am

Potulny, second round pick for flyers I think.
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Postby FallenHero96 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:19 am

3rd round, 87th overall.... man... wake up cp
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Postby FallenHero96 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:36 am

ouch the gophers lose it in overtime.... goalie Frazee gave up a super weak goal...

and Kessel with 3 assists tonight not 4
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Postby jmh70 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:43 am

Hopefully Goligoski will reach his potential. His passing ability combined with Whitney's will be quite special.

I think Kessel only had one good scoring opportunity. He had a clear shot on goal from ~20ft and he scuffed it, didn't even get it off the ice. Based on what I have seen of him this year I just don't feel he fits the bill as the Pens' goal scoring savior.
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Postby FallenHero96 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:51 am

I can think of 3 quality scoring chances he had. His best one was probably in the 1st when he tried to go 5 hole, another great one was with about 6 min left and he rifled it wide, very hard shot went all the way around and out of the zone...
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Postby NIN on Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:59 am

I got a few Kessel questions if yunz don't be mindin'.

1. Any good at faceoffs?

2. Does he try to draw penalties and does he complain about non-calls?

3. Does he hit?

4. Does he hustle on the backcheck or just take a few strides and glide?
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Postby jmh70 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:01 am

IMO he wasn't trying to go five hole. The shot was weak and flat along the ice, so I think he scuffed it.
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Postby jmh70 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:17 am

1. Any good at faceoffs?
Average. If the Pens draft him he will be playing wing, so it is a moot point anyway.

2. Does he try to draw penalties and does he complain about non-calls?
There is so much hooking and holding in college hockey, so this is difficult comment on.

3. Does he hit?
He fights for the puck well and is strong on the boards. Not much hitting, but that's not really an issue.

4. Does he hustle on the backcheck or just take a few strides and glide.
He does what's required of him in this regard. He's not a floater (most of the time).
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Postby Ron` on Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:10 am

I still am not impressed enough to use a top 3 Pens pick on this guy. His speed creates some oppurtunities. He still shines with the puck driving. Though I think he will be neutralized as a pro. I know he has a good shot, though it wasn't seen much tonight. I didn't see him moving to open ice in the zone to get that shot off either ala Hull. If anything he seemed to be too deep in the traffic, hence not many good shots.

Kessel got two assists tonight (out of 3) that were not in my opinion intentional setups. Plays where he appears to be shooting and the puck inadvertently ends up where someone else puts it in. The cross box PP pass for the assist was nice and crisp.

This team is loaded with draft picks. Overall I was disappointed in their passing last night. Maybe there is just too many individual effort players on the team. Other than the top line and the one PP with Kessel, there was little tic-tac-toe passing action. IMHO it was not a good game to scout. It often looked more like random chaos than organized hockey. Lots of hooking and taking people down. Kudos to both sides though for not giving up.

The biggest question I have is why is this guy playing third line center if he is projected as a top 5 scoring winger? Is this an effort to force him to make plays? Maybe playing at center is what makes him look semi-ordinary.

Game stats link

http://www.collegehockeystats.net/0506/ ... instc1.m17
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Postby Reilly on Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:50 am

Ron` wrote:The biggest question I have is why is this guy playing third line center if he is projected as a top 5 scoring winger?


Because Minnesota has a good team.
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Postby Ron` on Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:52 am

So having a good team means he centers the third line? This is supposed to be the Number 1 or 2 pick in the draft. He should at least be on second line.
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Postby Draftnik on Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:21 pm

Very entertaining game last night. I actually switched over from hoops around the 13 minute mark of the 2nd period and stayed with it most of the night. I watched it again Tivo style this morning.

Kessel showed me things I had not seen in his game before. He sees the ice much better than I thought. He has a great sense of anticipating where his teammates will be, especially Potulny on the PP. His assist on the 3rd Minn goal was a play most NHLers can't make. He took a pass from Goligoski and one timed across the box to Potulny. The puck was barely even on his stick. He took the pass and flawlessly tapped it across the ice in one swift motion. It happened so fast that Potulny fumbled the puck a bit before shooting and Goepfert still didn't get across to stop the shot. He had a beautiful behind the back backhand assist to Potulny on the 5th goal where he had his back to the play behind the net and still knew where Potulny was going. He softly backhanded the pass with his back to the play and put it right on Potulny's stick for the tap in. The ref missed his assist on the 4th Minn goal as Kessel was the last Gopher player to touch the puck before Potulny scored, but it looked like Kessel might have been shooting. It wasn't a classic pass.

Kessel also had a couple of nice plays in the 1st period where he dummied the play on a cross ice pass ala Lemieux in the 02 Olympics. It was nothing quite as dramatic as allowing the puck to go between his skates, but he did know where his teammate would be on the other side of the ice. He fought through checks, played extremely well along the boards especially down low in the offensive zone. He came back into his own zone down low, won a majority of the draws he took, and effortlessly rushed the puck into the offensive zone to help set up the Gopher PP. He also had a great play in the 1st period where he knocked a puck down out of the air and managed to drag it around a defender for a backhand scoring chance all in one motion. This was the first game where I actually saw Kessel excelling at a lot of the stuff a center is supposed to do besides skate and shoot.

Goepfert did not look great, but it was his 5th game in 9 nights. The announcers said the St. Cloud game plan was to score 3 goals and let Goepfert win the game. They showed some clips of the game from Thurs night where Goepfert was awesome versus Minn-Dul. He saved ~ 38 of 39 shots. The Gopher plan was clearly to set up Potulny on cross ice one timers. I thought Goepfert was kind of slow getting over a few times. He isn't a classic technique goalie. He basically scrambled the whole game. He did an excellent job with rebound control. I won't read too much into one game, but with his lack of size and technique he probably isn't a potential starter at the NHL level.

I thought Goligoski looked very bad defensively last night. St. Cloud was very aggressive and closed off the time and space for Goligoski and all the Gophers. He fumbled a puck when pressured that led to his defensive partner making a bad pass right up the middle of the ice. He lost control of his man down low and allowed him to feed the puck from behind the goal line to the high slot for a one timer. By my estimation he was on the ice for at least 3 or 4 of the St. Cloud goals. On the other hand he did shoot the puck very accurately.

Jensen had a few assists but didn't seem to do much IMO. The Gophers were matching their checking line against his, so he was part of the top St. Cloud line. The announcers said he got off to a great start this season but suffered a knee injury and hasn't played nearly as well since then.

Sertich didn't do anything. I've seen him play ~ 20-25 times and never noticed him excelling in any phase of the game. He is an ECHL guy at best IMO.
Last edited by Draftnik on Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby netwolf on Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:31 pm

Thanks to everyone who relayed what they saw. Those of us without access to the telecast appreiciate it.
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Postby FallenHero96 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:33 pm

Draftnik wrote:Very entertaining game last night. I actually switched over from hoops around the 13 minute mark of the 2nd period and stayed with it most of the night. I watched it again Tivo style this morning.

Kessel showed me things I had not seen in his game before. He sees the ice much better than I thought. he has a great sense of anticipating where his teammates will be, especially Potulny on the PP. His assist on the 3rd Minn goal was a play most NHLers can't make. He tool a pass from Goligoski and one timed across the box to Potulny. The puck was barely even on his stick. He took the pass and flawlessly tapped it across the ice in one swift motion. It happened so fast that Potulny fumbled the puck a bit before shooting and Goepfert still didn't get across to stop the shot. He had a beautiful behind the back backhand assist to Potulny on the 5th goal where he had his back to the play behind the net and still knew where Potulny was going. He softly backhanded the pass with his back to the play and put it right on Potulny's stick for the tap in. The ref missed his assist on the 4th Minn goal as Kessel was the last Gopher player to touch the puck before Potulny scored, but it looked like Kessel might have been shooting. It wasn't a classic pass.

Kessel also had a couple of nice plays in the 1st period where he dummied the play on a cross ice pass ala Lemieux in the 02 Olympics. It was nothing quite as dramatic as allowing the puck to go between his skates, but he did know where his teammate would be on the other side of the ice. He fought through checks, played extremely well along the boards especially down low in the offensive zone. He came back into his own zone down low, won a majority of the draws he took, and effortlessly rushed the puck into the offensive zone to help set up the Gopher PP. he also had a great play in the 1st period where he knocked a puck down out of the air and managed to drag it around a defender for a backhand scoring chance all in one motion. This was the first game where I actually saw Kessel excelling at a lot of the stuff a center is supposed to do besides skate and shoot.

Goepfert did not look great, but it was his 5th game in 9 nights. The announcers said the St. Cloud game plan was to score 3 goals and let Goepfert win the game. They showed some clips of the game from Thurs night where Goepfert was awesome versus Minn-Dul. He saved ~ 38 of 39 shots. The Gopher plan was clearly to set up Potulny on cross ice one timers. I thought Goepfert was kind of slow getting over a few times. He isn't a classic technique goalie. He basically scrambled the whole game. He did an excellent job with rebound control. I won't read too much into one game, but with his lack of size and technique he probably isn't a potential starter at the NHL level.

I thought Goligoski looked very bad defensively last night. St. Cloud was very aggressive and closed off the time and space for Goligoski and all the Gophers. He fumbled a puck when pressured that led to his defensive partner making a bad pass right up the middle of the ice. He lost control of his man down low and allowed him to feed the puck from behind the goal line to the high slot for a one timer. By my estimation he was on the ice for at least 3 or 4 of the St. Cloud goals. On the other hand he did shoot the puck very accurately.

Jensen had a few assists but didn't seem to do much IMO. The Gophers were matching their checking line against his, so he was part of the top St. Cloud line. The announcers said he got off to a great start this season but suffered a knee injury and hasn't played nearly as well since then.

Sertich didn't do anything. I've seen him play ~ 20-25 times and never noticed him excelling in any phase of the game. He is an ECHL guy at best IMO.


Hey ron, does this sound more like your take of the game, or mine? lol...... Draftnik you pretty much saw the same game I did, and we had many of the same observations. One I left out was faceoffs... you are right he did win the majority of his draws, including two important ones that I remember while on the PP in offensive zone.

Overall I had a favorable impression of Kessel. As far as why he was playing 3rd line, it's because he is a freshman, and he plays with 2 other freshman on his line. Keep that in mind... Kessel is only a freshman. Potulny looked awesome, but he is also a Senior. Kessel will continue to improve, and put up even bigger numbers next year.
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Postby Draftnik on Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:43 pm

FallenHero96 wrote:Hey ron, does this sound more like your take of the game, or mine? lol...... Draftnik you pretty much saw the same game I did, and we had many of the same observations. One I left out was faceoffs... you are right he did win the majority of his draws, including two important ones that I remember while on the PP in offensive zone.

Overall I had a favorable impression of Kessel. As far as why he was playing 3rd line, it's because he is a freshman, and he plays with 2 other freshman on his line. Keep that in mind... Kessel is only a freshman. Potulny looked awesome, but he is also a Senior. Kessel will continue to improve, and put up even bigger numbers next year.


I can only speculate why he is on the 3rd line with all frosh. I'd guess it is for chemistry purposes so that the SRs do not feel displaced and resent the superstar frosh. The Gophers have played very well this season, at least until last night. Kessel has a sixth sense to know where Potulny is and how to set him up, so I would not be surprised to see them paired if Minn gets in a backs to the wall elimination situation in the NCAA tourney.

The kid should still be a SR in HS. All he did is lead the WJC in scoring as an 18 year old, win frosh of the year in a great conference the WCHA, lead all NCAA frosh in scoring (at least from the real schools), and help his team to the #1 regular season ranking with a conference title. His assists to goals ratio is 180 degrees from what it was with the NTDP. He is hardly the bust haters claim or in a free fall as others speculate. RLR went out of their way to make this clear after they elevated Johnson to #1, but the haters want to ignore the facts.
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Postby mnpensfan on Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:26 pm

FallenHero96 wrote:Keep that in mind... Kessel is only a freshman. Potulny looked awesome, but he is also a Senior. Kessel will continue to improve, and put up even bigger numbers next year.


Potulny is a Junior this year. Although if he wins the Hobey (which I think he will) and the Gophers win the title, I think he will bolt. He isn't as a good of a pro prospect as Vanek was, but I still think he might be tempted to leave.

I was at that game last night and pretty muched keyed on only Kessel and Goligoski since it was the first time I've seen them play in person. I was impressed some of Kessel's passes, but there were a few odd-man breaks where it looked like the pass was a better option and he took the shot instead. He is blazing fast though....

I like Goligoski's passing and vision, but work in his own end needs some work.

If the Gophers would have won that game last night in OT, it would have been the best college hockey game I've ever been too. As it was, it was very entertaining (even for me who is a Minnesota-Duluth fan 1st)
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Postby Reilly on Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:39 pm

Ron` wrote:So having a good team means he centers the third line? This is supposed to be the Number 1 or 2 pick in the draft. He should at least be on second line.


Yeah, hes on the third line and guess what? He won ROTY and lead his team in assists and was the second leading scorer. I guess the Pens shoudln't draft someone because the coach doesn't give him top minutes. :roll:
Last edited by Reilly on Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jmh70 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:55 pm

It is good to see Kessel display playmaking ability as he did in this game and in the last WJHC. My concern is that the Pens need goal scorers, and Kessel, for me, has not shown great goal scoring ability this season. It is a tough call: on one hand, he will surely improve; on the other, he has not done enough to warrant being selected first overall IMO.
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Postby Reilly on Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:45 pm

jmh70 wrote: It is a tough call: on one hand, he will surely improve; on the other, he has not done enough to warrant being selected first overall IMO.


who in this draft has then?
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Postby Ron` on Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:56 pm

Fallen Hero I just don't see what you keep insisting is different. You see a nice pass from a college freshman. I see a kid who has played with elite company for at least three years now. He's making some progress in this area, but should be jumping forward the programs he's been involved with. At no time did I say the kid was horrible. I also credited him with the perfect cross box PP pass.

Maybe, you are looking at him like a college freshman projecting him to a top line college player. I am trying to projecting him to the topline NHL winger. Its a far stretch right now. I still don't like him as a number one pick overall. Good prospect, but not "wow" great.

I realize you have a problem with my opinion and I will let that personal jab go. Only he can change my mind.
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Postby Erin on Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:00 pm

I just wanted to put in my two cents about Jensen and Goepfert. That was not one of the better games for either of the two...but give them credit for how many games both have endured in so many days. No, Goepfert was not as sharp as I've seen him but he has made some of the most incredible saves this season. You should have seen him against North Dakota during the season. The problem with Goepfert is he is really on his game or he is really off. I hope he stays on the college track for his senior year to get some more experience under his belt. I think when he comes to training camp then he'll be worth the wait. He's a sharp goaltender and he's had times this season when he's looked like Fluery in net making some of those saves and you don't understand how it was humanly possible.

Don't leave Jensen out either. No, he's not a Kessel but he's a big reason why St. Cloud is where they are at. He hasn't been quite the same since he hurt his knee earlier in the season but he's not a player you can keep down for long. He is a gut that truly loves the game and will do whatever it takes. He's kind of an "in your face" type of player and he's someone that can be counted on. I think he'd make a great fit in the AHL club. Not to say he'll never make the NHL level....but given the major young talent we've aquired the past few years he'll really have to step up.

Yes, Kessel is a good player (one that would be nice to add to the resume of the Pens) and the Gophers do have a superb team but don't count the Huskies out...sometimes heart can take you just as far as skill/talent.
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Postby ville5 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:15 pm

Ron` wrote:I still am not impressed enough to use a top 3 Pens pick on this guy. His speed creates some oppurtunities. He still shines with the puck driving. Though I think he will be neutralized as a pro. I know he has a good shot, though it wasn't seen much tonight. I didn't see him moving to open ice in the zone to get that shot off either ala Hull. If anything he seemed to be too deep in the traffic, hence not many good shots.

Kessel got two assists tonight (out of 3) that were not in my opinion intentional setups. Plays where he appears to be shooting and the puck inadvertently ends up where someone else puts it in. The cross box PP pass for the assist was nice and crisp.

This team is loaded with draft picks. Overall I was disappointed in their passing last night. Maybe there is just too many individual effort players on the team. Other than the top line and the one PP with Kessel, there was little tic-tac-toe passing action. IMHO it was not a good game to scout. It often looked more like random chaos than organized hockey. Lots of hooking and taking people down. Kudos to both sides though for not giving up.

The biggest question I have is why is this guy playing third line center if he is projected as a top 5 scoring winger? Is this an effort to force him to make plays? Maybe playing at center is what makes him look semi-ordinary.

Game stats link

http://www.collegehockeystats.net/0506/ ... instc1.m17

Dude, your looking at this from the wrong angle. It's not what Kessel can do by himself or his passing. That's not what we need. What we need is someone with Kessel's speed, shot, hockey sense and hustle. Someone to throw on a line with Crosby and Army. Or if Rita continues to flourish on that line, someone to wing for Malkin. I envision 40-50 goals outta Kessel. And if his middle initial were A., we could call him AK 47.
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Postby ville5 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:22 pm

Does anyone have a scouting report on Backstrom? Or a link? Tanx in advance.
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Postby Ron` on Sat Mar 18, 2006 10:04 pm

I'm not missing your point per say. I just think he will not be the pro player you envision. If we pick him I hope it's to trade him period.

I honestly feel he's one play away from a career ending injury. The kid has guts and speed, but someone is going to lay him out in the pros. I watched at least two plays last night where he tries to go around the d, but hes deep already inside the dots. That's a Dman's cue to just engage and ride him wide. All it takes is a solid chuck to spin him out of control into the back boards. Feet first at best, head first at worst. Wreckless is what I'd call his passion, and cringe when I see him make those moves.

I've watched too many young players to risk what is likely the Pens last top pick on Kessel. This draft is weak IMHO and we would do better by stocking up on D prospects, which is always a bluechip trading commodity.
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