Thursday, November 27, 2008

GB Gamblers Scouting Report

I made it to Green Bay last night for the Gamblers hosting the Chicago Steel. Gamblers won 5-1.

It was a nice opportunity to see Jefferson Dahl again, and it was a nice surprise to see Sean Little back in the lineup.

I hadn't seen Jefferson play since the state semi-final against Superior last March. He played on the 3rd EV line, the 2nd PP unit and was part of the 3rd PK group onto the ice. He saw a lot of playing time. The main thing that impressed me about Jefferson was that it appears that he has quickly adjusted to the play in the USHL. I would think that is a big step coming right from WI HS hockey, even w/ his success in the HS Hockey Elite League last year. Jefferson is a good skater, w/ good speed, who always seemed to be gravitating toward the puck. Prehaps this is due to some excellent vision on the ice and awareness of what is going on. On the 3rd goal of the night for the Gamblers, Jefferson had a beautiful feed to a teammate for a nice goal, notching his 3rd assist of the season. My only major knock on Jefferson was that he needs to get stronger, which isn't much of a knock because it will happen. Several times he'd be along the boards working for the puck and was easily bumped off by an opponent. Overall, I was impressed and I think Badger fans will really enjoy seeing Mr. Hockey 2008 in Cardinal and White in the future.

Sean Little skated w/ the 4th line for the Gamblers. For being the 4th line, his unit spent a decent amount of time working to generate some offense in the opponents end, though they didn't see a ton of ice time. Like Jefferson, Sean is a good skater w/ some speed. He's only 17 so still plenty of room to grow. Like his brother Ryan, he handed out a few big hits. The only major mistake Sean made was a big one, handing Chicago their only goal. He was at the bottom of the left faceoff circle and attempted a pass across the front of the crease, which was deflected by a charging Steel player right over Reid Ellingson's shoulder (Gambler goalie). He has a lot of potential overall.

A couple players who impressed me besides Badger recruits were Reid Ellingson and CJ Lee. Lee is committed to attend RPI, and I think they have themselves a very nice player. Lee scored two goals on the night and always seemed to be part of the action. Ellingson was strong in net and is a huge part of why the Gamblers are so much better this year. Its incredible to see the turnaround that the new coaching staff has done there so far. Ellingson played last year w/ N. Michigan, not sure where he'll be headed to next, but wherever he does land they'll be happy to have him.

Dean Chelios is a RW for the Chicago Steel. Didn't notice him much, though he did throw down the gloves in the 3rd period. He had the upper hand until late when his Gambler opponent landed a few lefts to his head.

Amazing all the fans who cheer harded for fights than goals at the Resch.