Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Training Camp Notes: September 22nd

Kyle Turris (C), PHX - The 3rd overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft has been sent down to San Antonio for more seasoning. While highly skilled, the knock on Turris has always been his wirey frame and inability to play against NHL-sized Defenceman. The Yotes apparently believe he is not quite there yet as he becomes one of the early surprise demotions to the AHL. After 20 points in 63 NHL games last year, Phoenix may keep Turris in San Antonio and hope he can dominate there before another promotion. Hold on to him in keeper leagues but cut bait in standard leagues.

Evgeni Grachev (C), NYR - Grachev, a 3rd round pick from the 2008 draft, was one of the most dominant players in junior hockey last year. The big Russian put up 80 points in 60 games with the Brampton Battalion, making a smooth transition to North American ice. The 19 year-old has been turning heads at Rangers camp and had an impressive game playing with Anisimov and Callahan last night. Grachev's play may get him an extended look to start the year, however the Rangers will probably send him back to Brampton or down to Hartford (as a European skater, he is eligible to play in the AHL). Watch Grachev's play over the next few weeks and grab him in a keeper league.

Matt Gilroy (D), NYR - The highly sought-after free agent signing is getting lots of pre-season ice-time. Gilroy played 21:34 last night, including 4:51 on the Powerplay. The Rangers are also giving young Defenceman Michael Del Zotto and Bobby Sanguinetti a long look as their PP quarterback, however it is Gilroy who is signed to a large, 1-way contract. Gilroy has looked good this pre-season but I'm not sure he is worth the hype. Watch his minutes in the first 10-15 games as Tortorella may quickly lose patience with Gilroy's run-and-gun defensive play.

Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta & Michael Cammaleri, MON - Watched some of the Penguins/Habs game last night and this newly acquired top line was all over the ice. The three pnit-sized forwards have shown instant chemistry and dynamic speed. Expect all three to have strong years - bouncebacks for both Gomez and Gionta. Draft any of the three pint-sized producers and expect to be rewarded.

Theoren Fleury (RW), CGY- OK, I go out a few days ago and say that Fleury won't do much more then score the shootout winner in his first pre-season game. How does he respond? One goal and two assists over the next two games. Fleury is starting to find his niche in Calgary as a secondary scorer and may actually force Sutter's hand to stay on this roster. At 41, Fleury could be a magical story and provide the Flames with something they have been lacking for years...a scoring threat on the 2nd line. I am still betting against Fleury, but get your popcorn...this is getting interesting.


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