He was one of the better and more consistent forwards in the game, creating chances on offense with his speed and quickness with the puck, and returning on defense to support his defensemen. He showed-off his quick first-few steps and the ability to carry the puck around the offensive zone. He made smart, heads-up decisions with the puck and didn’t really try to do too much. He did a very good job getting back into the play and helping in the slot and below the goal-line on defense.
Larkin picked up a goal and an assist in the game. His goal came off a steal in the slot and he got off a quick shot five-hole for the goal. His assist came in the third period, when he kept a puck in the zone at the point and put the puck toward the net where linemate Keegan Iverson was waiting to put it home. The USNDP forward could make some noise at a possible top-60 pick in June.
As the game moved intensified, so did his play. He wasn’t great in the first-period but he really showed up in periods 2 and 3, displaying a hard effort on the forecheck and making some heavy-contact along the boards. He would score a late, well-deserved, empty-net goal in the game, but Eiserman easily could have produced a few more points. He did a very good job using his strong skating-ability and strength to control and protect the puck.
He made smart passing plays and created several chances off of feeds toward the net or to an open defenseman at the point. His hard work on one-on-one battles paid off, as he played the puck strong and looked good in puck battles as well as puck races. His physical game picked up late, and he made a few nice hits along the boards. The most noticeable hit, and quite possibly the hit of the night, came in the third frame where he smashed Team Mullen forward Shane Gersich into the boards on the forecheck. The Dubuque Fighting Saints winger could make a case for top-30 come June.
He was by far the most active forward on Team Mullen. He created several chances in the opening period using his speed and puck skills to bust down the wing and get to the net for chances. He was all over the puck during the game, playing strong and aggressively and trying hard to gain possession of the puck. He moved the puck off his stick quickly and made good decisions to beat the Team Johnson defense. His three-zone effort was consistent and impressive.
He didn’t let up as the game moved along and he remained one of the better players in the game until his final shift of the night. The USNDP forward deserved to get on the board on several occasions, but could not. He did, however, show that he could be amongst the elite USHL prospects entering the 2014 draft.
One of the more surprisingly impressive players was late-add, Pavelek from the USNDP. What was most impressive with his game was his deceptive quickness. He’d carry the puck down the right-side, and out of nowhere, use a burst of speed to get into shooting position, and rifle off a very hard shot from the wing. He hit two posts in the game, and really showed-off a good shot.
He isn’t huge but showed some nice strength with the puck coming down the wing and fending off defenders to balance himself with the puck on his stick. He played an aggressive game and didn’t give up on the puck, attacking the boards and going hard for possession. Again, he was a surprising standout, but this game could generate some interest from NHL clubs, and put him on some watch lists for the season.
|1. C Sam Reinhart||Kootenay Ice|
|2. D Aaron Ekblad||Barrie Colts|
|3. C Michael Dal Colle||Oshawa Generals|
|4. C Leon Draisaitl||Prince Albert Raiders|
|5. C William Nylander||Rogle|
|6. LW Nick Ritchie||Peterborough Petes|
|7. D Haydn Fleury||Red Deer Rebels|
|8. D Roland McKeown||Kingston Frontenacs|
|9. LW Sam Bennett||Kingston Frontenacs|
|10. C Jared McCann||Soo Greyhounds|