I love it! The NHL season is drawing closer each and every day and things are really starting to roll now that each team’s players are starting to arrive for early on-ice sessions.
Add to that the release of each team’s rosters for the 2017 Youngstars Classic in Penticton, BC.
Teams taking part are as usual the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and Winnipeg Jets.
Remember the Classic from a couple seasons ago?
— Beer League Heroes (@BeerLeagueHeroe) September 22, 2015
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the notable players that will be strutting their stuff on the weekend! I’ve got the players sorted from forwards to defense to goalies.
These three forwards will be causing havoc for their opponents, no doubt about that. Boeser might be the best sniper in the tournament. Gadjovich, to me, is like a Pat Maroon type. Big guy who can move and has hands. Kole Lind was on the Oilers radar this summer and was the pick a lot of pundits had their eyes on for Edmonton but he can skate quite well, he’ll muck it up, and he can score.
Juolevi might be the best dman in this tourny. He’s very much in the Olli Maatta mold. Cerebral Professor X-type who plays in all situations. A smooth skater with high-end puck moving skills. Look for him to be the man getting the puck up to Boeser or Lind on the break and zipping it in from the point on the man advantage.
A couple of high-potential goalies here folks. Might just save the Canucks asses on an occasion or two on the weekend. The two goalies couldn’t be more different in terms of physical stature, Demko is 6’4″ and Dipietro is 6’0″, and goaltending style, Demko uses his huge frame more while Dipietro is very athletic and more chaotic, but both are excellent prospects for a team that will be in dire need of a goalie who can back stop their rebuild.
Full roster here.
I’m very curious to see how Yamamoto does in this tournament. There’s no doubt that he should be one of the better forwards along with Boeser, Jankowski, and Harkins. I’m more looking forward to watching Gambardella, Maksimov, and Safin because I don’t know as much about these guys apart from what the Youtube scouting has brought me.
Safe to say that Gambardella is your Bryan Rust/Conor Sheary type whilst Kirill Maksimov is definitely the Syril Snipes of the group. The puck follows him around and he pops ‘er in. Ostap Safin… Well, he does quite a few things well but nothing amazing. I’ve seen highlights of him hitting guys, dangling them, passing through them, and sniping on them but I’m just not sure what kind of player Safin truly is. Hopefully we’ll have a better idea after the weekend.
That said, I wouldn’t be surprised of Gambardella stands out the most given he’s probably the oldest player at the tournament at 24 years old.
The defence is where it’s at for this year’s Youngstars roster. None of the other teams possess the same amount of high-end defensive prospects this year and that’s a credit to Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli and his scouting staff. Finally, the Oilers have some defense coming up through the pipeline.
No Darnell Nurses this year, so I’m not sure who’ll be fighting Hunter Smith when Edmonton plays Calgary but there are some boys with some BIG clappers here. Paigin, Mantha, Bear, and Samorukov can all fire the biscuit while Jones and Khaira are VERY good skaters. Surprised Lagesson is there given other Swedes like Dahlen and Petterson for Vancouver are skipping it but he’s your Hjalmarsson. Stay at home, blocks shots and plays a physical game.
Edmonton’s goaltending depth is finally taking shape and these two beauties should represent the Oilers for a long time if everything goes to plan. Also, we might be seeing them both playing for Team Canada at the World Juniors this Christmas. Skinner falls into that Dubnyk range though, so he might take a while to get there. Whereas Wells has shown enough progression so far that it leads one to believe he’s going to be a pro sooner than later. I’m not saying Matt Murray fast but within the next 4 years isn’t out of the question.
Full roster here.
It’ll be speed and skill this year for Calgary. All of the players listed above are highly skilled and can move like the wind. Foo was up for the Hobey Baker award this past season and had Oilers fans all up in a rage when he signed in Calgary instead of his home town. This is a slippery group that’s for sure.
At 34 years of age, it’s nice to finally see Mark Jankowski getting a shot 😉
But more seriously, this Calgary team should be very entertaining to watch from a pure skill perspective.
I’m telling you now, Valimaki is a player you’ll want to keep an eye out for because he’s the new shiny toy for Calgary but Josh Healey will be the guy that draws you. He’s a bonafide maniac out there. I was hoping the Oilers would sign him because he’s a predator and I’d rather have him on my team than have my team play against him. Skillers better keep their heads up when he’s on the ice.
If Parsons isn’t the best goalie at this tournament, I’m not sure who will be. Maybe Demko? The Flames have a good one here in Tyler Parsons. He’s ridiculously solid between the pipes and he definitely gives his team a chance to win just by showing up every night.
Full roster here.
— Garret Hohl (@GarretHohl) August 28, 2017
Ummmm. What happened here? I thought the Jets had one of the best prospect collections in the NHL. None of them are coming? Well at leasts Jets fans will get to see a very hard working Jansen Harkins. A very blue collar type he is.
Hello up there! Standing at a massive 6’7″, Logan Stanley shouldn’t be hard to find on the ice. Maybe he is Hunter Smith’s dance partner this year? A couple of near 7-footers dropping the mitts is something I’d watch.
Can’t say I know a lot about this fella but from what I have read, he’s been performing well in the USHL and is a long-term project for the Jets.
Some notable absences:
Jonathan Dahlen, Elias Petterson, Jesse Puljujarvi, Tyler Benson, Kyle Connor and Kristian Vesalainen will not be playing for a variety of reasons.
Young Stars Classic Schedule
Penticton, BC – September 8-11, 2017
GAME TEAMS DATE TIME
Game 1 Edmonton vs. Calgary Sept. 8 4:00pm
Game 2 Vancouver vs. Winnipeg Sept. 8 7:30pm
Game 3 Winnipeg vs. Edmonton Sept. 9 7:30pm
Game 4 Calgary vs. Vancouver Sept. 10 2:00pm
Game 5 Winnipeg vs. Calgary Sept. 11 10:30am
Game 6 Vancouver vs. Edmonton Sept. 11 2:00pm
Have I missed anybody? Let me know in the comments below!