Thursday, September 16, 2010

Remember That Hockey Thing? It's Right Around the Corner

That's right, the newest version of the Ottawa Senators will open their pre-season on the 21 of September against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

That's only five days away.

This has me, well, decidedly more excited than just about anything else in the world right now. For serious.

Pre-season is a fun time of year for me, because historically I've been someone who gets really excited about young players, and I like that they get mixed into the games along side veterans and give us a taste of what it will be like when they finally make it to the show.

Now for every Erik Karlsson, who had his highlight reel assist, banked off the boards from two zones away against the Bruins last year (which I couldn't find on youtube), there is a Brandon Bochenski. But at the end of the day, after watching the final game of the rookie tournament, I'm interested in seeing how those kids do on a line with Jason Spezza, or in a pairing with Chris Phillips.

The obvious ones that we will all be watching of course are Butler, Wick, Hoffman, Gryba, Weircoch and Cowen. But even a kid like Jakob Culek intrigues me, and I'd love to see how far off he is from being a professional, or if he will end up a professional at all.

Because the fact is, this is a league that has been taken over by young players. Every year the top 4 or 5 scorers are not over thirty, and many of them are closer to 25. This has become a league where one year you are playing major junior, and the next you are counted on to be a top contributor on a professional NHL team (like Tavares and Duchene of last year).

So watching how these young players fit in with the existing group of veterans and existing systems at the NHL level, even in pre-season is both interesting and important.

Me? I'm intrigued most by Roman Wick, so that's who I will be watching closest.

Who do you have your eye on in training camp?

No comments: