Nelson Gadoury put his skills on full display in a recent matchup between the Camrose Kodiaks and Calgary Mustangs. Despite being held off the scoresheet, it’s very evident that the 16-year-old Calahoo, Alta. native is making a name for himself. After being one of the last cuts for Edmonton, Gadoury already has 9 points as an AJHL rookie this season. Here’s a recap off Gadoury’s play, along with some of the other standout players in the game.
#26 Nelson Gadoury – Gadoury was sent to the Kodiaks after a tough Edmonton Oil Kings camp; which saw him almost make the team as a 16-year-old. The time with the Oil Kings has really shown early in the AJHL season because he looks like one of the best players on the ice. There are very few holes in his game and that’s a good thing as he gets older. You can see that he has patience with the puck and nice puck control. The biggest thing that stuck out to me is how good his hockey sense was. This really stuck out the way he used his frame to shield the puck and also a couple times where he would cover for a pinching defenseman.
#15 Ty Clay (1 goal) – Clay isn’t a player that stands out to the average fan, but he’s a coach’s type of player because he does a lot of little things right. He plays a smart game by going to the open areas and giving an outlet for passes. He scored a goal in the game by using the cycle effectively and being alone in the slot. He also competed for the full 200-feet of ice, at even strength and on the penalty kill. Clay broke up a 2-on-1 coming back because of his play, but the goaltender let in a bad goal by a bad bounce. His speed is just average, but because of his strong positioning on the ice, it isn’t as noticeable.
#21 Adam deChamplain (6 PIM) – Adam’s role on the team seems to be the agitator type. He plays a solid game when its on the edge and finishing his checks, but he has to learn to stay within that. In this game, he took too many penalties and that has to change in the coming weeks. His skating is above average and he skates very low to the ice.
#2 Jeff Wildeman – Wildeman didn’t get a ton of ice time during this game, so it was tough to get a solid read on how he plays. Unfortunately, the times that I did see him he was having a tough time getting out of his own zone. He has to be stronger getting the puck off the boards and needs to be more aware of his defensive responsibilities. Although he had a tough time defensively, his offensive skill was impressive because of how smooth of a skater he is.
#3 Jared Van Ree (2 PIM) – Again, Van Ree continues to impress me with how has play has developed. The biggest point to me is how he takes a hit to make the play at multiple times during the game. That was the biggest issue when I watched him play last year. His decision making has done a complete 360 degree turn from last year as well. Now he takes more time with the puck and uses his vision of the ice to make plays. The one thing going forward that caused him some grief in this game is getting his feet moving through the neutral zone. He got walked around pretty easy at one point.
#6 Aaron Archer – Archer is another young Mustangs defenseman and didn’t get a lot of ice time during this game. He was limited to just 1 shift during the 2nd period. It was tough to get a full read on how he plays.
#8 Connor Sutton – Sutton got a good chance to play lots of minutes during this game. He plays a pretty safe game, but needs to more cautious. He tends to wander a lot in his own end instead of playing positionally. He does make a ton of huge hits during the game and is responsible with making the 1st pass out of the zone.
# 10 Adam Danyluk (6 PIM) – The 6-foot-6 Danyluk has the size to dominate the game and his cycle work down low and it showed early in the game. He also uses his size to complete big hits and uses his body to take a hit to make a play. He made a couple of questionable passes/blind passes and also needs to not take penalties by running at a guy.
#27 Chase McMurphy (1 assist, 6PIM) – It was a tale of 2 halves for McMurphy in this game. It took him a while to get going, but in the 3rd period it looked like he shifted into high gear. In the third period he was doing a lot of the small things better and competing higher. He chipped pucks out of the zone and took a hit to make the play, made nice passes and his board work was better. In the 1st period he took a retaliation penalty and it seemed like he was floating around instead of stopping and starting. His top end speed is still impressive as he did a full end to end rush to go by everyone and set up the powerplay.