pens20 wrote:Could you post some (or all if it's not that much) of his article? I'm at work and his site is blocked for some reason. Thanks.
From the last few days of the Blog - some excerpts:
I'm starting to come around a bit on Keven Veilleux. First off, he looked dynamite around the net in drills today. Quick hands. Second, he worked hard to improve his English over the summer. That doesn't sound like much -- after all, you don't need to know English to speak hockey -- but it shows that he's serious about making the most he can out of this training camp. It's hard to imagine a scenario where he doesn't go back to juniors at the end of camp, but I think more highly of his prospect status now than I did at the end of last season.
I also asked Fletcher about Casey Pierro-Zabotel, who because he turns 20 in November, could turn pro or go back to juniors at the end of camp. Fletcher said that in order for Pierro-Zabotel to turn pro, he has to prove he could be a regular in WBS this season. A contributor, not a fifth-liner. Pierro-Zabotel has only played one season in major junior, so an extra season in Vancouver wouldn't be spinning his wheels. It might be beneficial, especially because Fletcher thinks highly of Don Hay, his junior coach in Vancouver.
As far as hockey goes today, the most accomplished player at this rookie camp is obviously Alex Goligoski. I talked to Goligoski after practice today about something we didn't really get into in any detail last year at this time. He had shoulder surgery right after his junior season at Minnesota ended and his rehab was supposed to take six to eight months. He hit the six-month mark during NHL camp last season and wasn't cleared for contact until exhibition games had started. The upper body work he could do in the weight room last summer was severely limited, and on top of that, he was worried about how his shoulder would hold up at a time when he didn't need another thing to worry about -- while he was taking part in his first NHL training camp.
My point in that whole rambling paragraph is this: Goligoski wasn't bad out of the gate last season, but he should be even better this year. He's eighth on the defense depth chart at this point, but if he has a big-time camp, it wouldn't shock me if one of the top seven got moved to make room for him.
Luca Caputi is the most intriguing because his ceiling is really high. Say Caputi comes in and has a Jordan Staal 2006 camp (i.e. awesome every time he steps on the ice). Tell me Pens brass wouldn't be doing backflips about the idea of a homegrown power forward claiming a spot on Sidney Crosby's wing. They'd love nothing more than that.
I'm not predicting Caputi's going to start the season in the NHL or anything. I'm just saying his upside is very interesting.