What are NHL scouts saying about several draft eligible players for the Kelowna Rockets? I spoke to three of them, all anonymous, so they could give me an honest, unbiased opinion of the players in question.
Scout #1: "Brett Bulmer has improved tremendously from the beginning of the year. His skating has improved, but the thing that we really like is he is being very creative. He is using his size more, he is using his stick skills. He can tease a player...he can tease a d-man with the puck and then pull it away. He has a quick shot and he is not afraid to go one-on-one with the d-man. He is still as weak as a noodle, but he has a great frame and once he gets bigger and stronger, that's going to come. The way he thinks the game and the way he's able to see the ice so well..he has a lot of upside to him."
Scout #2: "He has really impressed me. He has great hands. He is a tall, slender kid, but the moment he gets stronger he is going to be a real affective player. His skating is fine. Everybody may knock it a little bit at this point but I think it's fine. It's going to improve once he gets more powerful and stronger he is going to be a real good player".
Scout #3: "He just has to develop strength. He has to be a little more consistent with his effort. You will notice in the first period he was kinda non existent and then in the second period he was a lot better. So obviously he has to learn that. He has to do that himself. As time goes on and experience he will start to do that and learn how to do that. He just has to get stronger because he just about has everything else. He's smart..he positions himself well and he has a great stick. Really good hands. I see him possibly going in the third round."
Scout #1 "In today's game,if you are a smaller player at any position, you have to be dynamic. Goaltenders especially. These big guys are parked in front of the net and you have to fight your way through that traffic. You have to see the puck. You have to make sure the upper sides of the goal are covered, and that's even tough for a big goaltender. The thing I like about Adam Brown is that he competes...I mean he competes every game..he grinds it out and grinds it out".
Scout #2 "He doesn't let a bad goal get to him. He will have a goal go against him and then boom he makes two big saves. He works hard. I see him down the road as an invite. Will he get drafted? Who knows. But he does have a future somewhere if he keeps grinding it out the way he is."
Scout #3: "I saw him earlier in the year and I was disappointed. Now I am seeing him...it looks like his game has really come around a bit. Before he was reaching for him to make saves. Now he is kinda out, the puck was hitting him and he's in a pretty good position. Before he panicked a bit in the net. He isn't doing that anymore. When I first saw him he was flopping around too much. He competes hard. Obviously he has figured it out. Maybe Kim Dillabaugh has gotten to him a little bit and gotten him going in the right direction, because it looks like he is improving."
Scout #1: "Chapman is a guy that is very good defensively. He has to start thinking more about what he is going to do with the puck. He has to keep it simple. If he gets any points, that's bonus. But he is a good d-man to have in a situation where he is in his own end. Get the puck and get it out. Make the quick pass and just keep it simple."
Scout#2 "When I put down on my report that a player isn't a prospect at this time, maybe next year he jumps out? I still think we do draft too young. There are a lot of players that mature so much quicker and their are some guys that are late bloomers. It's those late bloomers that stand out a year from now and you say, look at him play. Where the hell was he two years ago? Two years ago he just wasn't ready. So any player not drafted in his draft year should keep his head high and work that much harder."
Scout #3: "He's got something. He looks a little rough. I saw him fight and he did ok. When he plays with that physical edge he's got a chance, but he has to bring that all the time. When he plays with that physical edge he will get more room and he will have more time to make his plays. Right now he is a little rough with that, but he's got good size, he's a big kid and he's willing, so he has a chance to be a prospect".
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