With very little good happening at the NHL level, it’s time to see how the kids are doing elsewhere. The Marlies dropped a 5-3 decision this afternoon against Rockford, falling to 2-1 on the young season. Jiri Tlusty scored a pair of goals, bringing his totals up to 3 goals and 4 points in 3 games played. It’s looking like Jiri is picking up right where he left off after last season’s dominance of the AHL with a point-a-game campaign. Despite looking overwhelmed during the short preseason stretch, I maintain that this is a quality young player who will be an impact forward in this league.
Meanwhile, Christian Hanson has a pair of assists while Tyler Bozak has but a single point thus far. It’s not for lack of effort because both players are still maintaining their high level of play so far, but are just lacking a few couple lucky bounces to get them going. It’s also quite obvious that as a natural playmaker, Bozak is having a tough time without a natural finisher like he had with Stalberg tapping in his centering passes during the preseason.
As for Kadri, he’s off to quite the eventful start thus far for the London Knights. The talented young pivot isn’t quite putting up the gaudy numbers you’d expect quite yet, but has still produced 3 goals and 5 points through the first 6 games played. A few nights ago, he showed off his tremendous stickhandling ability by scoring a highlight reel goal and making a pair of Plymouth players look silly in the process.
In tonight’s game against the Majors, Kadri recorded a pretty assist and was handed a 10 minute misconduct for chirping. According to fans attending the game, Kadri told a Majors’ player something along the lines of “watch your back next time” and when he was sent off, Nazem added “you better hope they don’t let me back on”. Man, Morrisonn (Leafs Amateur Scouting Director) and Burke weren’t kidding when they said Kadri was a tough little SOB. That added snarl and extra “edge” should really help endear him to the World Junior coaches and will facilitate his successful transition to the NHL. The lack of that right there is exactly what is preventing Tlusty from asserting himself full-time at the NHL level so far.
In other news:
Maple Leafs’ 2009 6th round pick Jerry D’Amigo scored his first career NCAA goal the other night for RPI.
Tyler Ruegsegger, a 2006 draft selection of the Leafs who has been struggling the last two years, has gotten off to a strong start with 2 goals and 3 points through the first 2 games played.
Mikhail Stefanovich has been held pointless through his first 2 games back with the Remparts in the QMJHL.
Joel Champagne has 2 goals and 8 points through 10 games played to go along with a 59.2 faceoff win percentage. There is some potential as a shutdown 4th line centre with Champagne if he can continue to improve his skating.