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McKeen's Penguin Prospect Report....


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Since there is so many Penguin fans here, and you guys add so much knowledge to the site, I thought I'd throw you guys a bone and expand my annual MeKeens prospect report to the Penguins. It's one thing to have a few prospect reports, quite another to have a Mckeens report. I basically just re-type their info word for word...so here goes...they list 6 prospects for the Pens, a few more than other teams, not surprisingly...4 of the 5 are D-men....and the first 5 are 3 out of 5 stars and the last is 2.5 stars out of 5.

1)Olli Maata Defensemen 18 yrs 6'1 200 lbs London Knights OHL 3 out of 5 stars

Progerssed exponentially in an outstanding North American debut, highlighted by an eye opening playoff breakout and a Memorial Cup appearance.....tied for the team lead with 23 postseason points in 19 games including 6 goals, one more than his regular season output...started to emerge after returning from a concussion suffered in the opening game of the World Juniors....played in 2011 as a 16 year old, the youngest ever to represent Sweden at the Under 18 World Juniors....a smart competitive workhorse with deceiving strengthand skill....impacts all areas with a keen hockey sense and a powerful engine...proactive and resourceful...blossomed as a puck mover, creative and elusive on breakouts, complementing his sound first pass ability...times his offense attacks expertly....solid one on one defender positional awareness....backed by a strong, rangy body featuring an extended wingspan...efficient in possession and a heads up shooter....not the smoothest or quickest, feet are on the mushy side...transition and footwork are solid though....misses some lateral agility and quickness...which leaves him more prone to outside speed at times, but more critically can hinder his ability to avoid crushing hits....durability will be a key.

2)Derrick Pouliot Defensemen 18 yrs 5'11 190 lbs Portland Winterhawks WHL 3 out of 5 stars

Delivered a breakout second WHL term and a strong playoff, tying for the lead among WHL defensemen with 17 points in Portland's run to the finals (22-3-14-17)....smooth puckmover with poise, skill and awareness...propelled by a comfortable stride that has natural grace and power...rapidly reaches a fast top gear....quick to identify offensive opportunities, meshes into the attack effortlessly...calm under pressure, skilled and fluid in possession....more slick, stealth-like than outwardly flashy....boats clever one on one feints plaus a natural escapability...senses hoe to create time and space for outlets....fuels quick transition when sticking to simple early plays-but overextends himself at times and shows to much of the puck....not overly big or hostile, but brings a fairly steady compete level....striving to add more jam as a defende, complementing his mobility and skilled stickwork...can labour to back up and contain a fast, aggressive rush...looked increasigly more comfortable adsorbing pressure on retrievals, bolstered by upgrades in body of strength, albieit needs to get stronger....could be rushed.

3) Joe Morrow Defensemen 19 yrs 6'0 195 lbs Portland Winterhawks WHL 3 out of 5 stars

Soared to a breakout 17 goals and finishing a second in scoring among WHL blueliners with a career high 64 points...tied for the playoff scoring lead among defensemen, helping Portland reach the finals (22-4-13-17)...named the WHL first all star team...moblie hard shooting rearguard..pure effortless skater with a fast top gear and quick startup...stride is elegant and powerful...an end to end threat, though still learning to be selective and tone down a "riverboat gambler" side....puckhandling and passing skills need work....packs a very heavy point shot....not overly tall, but strong for his size....will drop the gloves and protect his patch...still a work in progress defensively...reactive at times, will overcommit and takes inefficient angles...fast in recovery though, aided by liberal stickwork...nastiness level and physical involvement are steadily improving, as are the PIM's....drew a 2 game February suspension for a hitting from behind major, and also took a lot of aggression penalties in the playoffs

4) Simon Despres Defensemen 21 yrs 6'3 215 lbs Wilkes-Barrie AHL 3 out of 5 stars

Recovered from a shaky camp to be among the youngest selections for the AHL all star game...made a bright NHL debut in December, prior to suffering a January knee sprain that cost him 6 weeks...big mobile rearguard with deceptive skill and dexterity..more assertive as a puckmover...surprises with his passing and stickhandling prowess, aided by a wide wingspan...gets caught in possession overhandling the puck...must continue to increase his tempo, make quicker and better decisions...finishes checks powered by an imposing frame and developing strength...slowly refining his game reading abilities, but still prone to weak positioning and threat assessment...needs to stay square and sustain steady gaps defending the rush...fuses himslef into the attack well, and contributes in the clutch...his first 3 AHL goals were game winners, and he added another in the playoffs...competed hard, seeing spot duty in his NHL playoff debut, but also showed to be quite raw in parts.

5)Beau Bennet Right Wing 20 yrs 6'1 190 lbs Denver WCHA 3 out of 5 stars

Turned pro this past spring after undergoing wrist surgery in December and ending what was shaping up to be a breakout sophomore year...made history at the 2010 NHL draft when the Pens selected him 20th overall, the highest ever for a nataive Californian, born in Gardena....slick skating winger with soft finely skilled hands....well rounded offensively, proficient as a passer or shooter....smooth and silky skater...has an elegance to his footwork and overall movement...sustains steady momentum with slight edge cuts exerting minimal effort...creates space via a strong acceleration burst coming out of turns via crossovers...slippery one on one....control is high end, corrals pucks in close to his body effortlessly...can fool goalies with a tricky release point on a quick, accurate shot....enhancements on speed and stride power will come as his body strength fills in..lean all over, critically nees to bulk up and get much stronger...developing his defensive technique and a higher compete level will also be on the agenda...tends to admire his work and can lack urgency and intensity away from the puck...will take a big step forward as he learns to activate his feet after making plays...condiderble upside here...

6)Brian Domoulin Defensemen 21 yrs 6'4 220 lbs Boston College NCAA 2.5 stars out of 5

Took a big step forward in a breakthrough junior term that garnered a second national championship and Hockey East "Top Defensemen" honours...Beddleford, Maine native was also a first team All-American and Hobey Baker top ten finalist....large assertive blueliner being some offensive skills an creativity...confident puckmover...displays good skills and quickness for a big man...distributes the puck effectively on the power play and is an astute shooter....gets shots through to the net, varying delivery speeds and angles....propelled by a wide bow legged base and a funny stutter on start-up....skating has strengthened however, having added power and length to his stride....bulked up considerably since his draft day, filling a massive frame that still appears lanky in parts....stronger on retrievals, more stable in turns and better able to adsorb pressure....deployed in shorthanded situations, utilizing his enormous reach...still maturing as a defender though...struggles maintaining gap control backing up and defending the rush....gets impatient, over commits, and is prone to clumsy challenges....

Overall, colour me jealous :) Hope I helped out with some things that might not have been known...

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