Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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Some quick thoughts from prospect scrimmage
Posted Jul 11, 2009 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Jul 11, 2009 at 09:17 PM
First off, there was a great turnout tonight from the fans for the prospect camp with over 4,700 coming through the turnstiles. More than half of the lower bowl was filled and talking to some of the team personnel tonight, everything exceeded their expecations. If you were following on Twitter, the lines waiting to get into the building were pretty extensive before the doors opened at 5 p.m.
As far as the scrimmage went, nothing too fancy, nothing really noteable to speak of.
No. 2 overall pick Victor Hedman wasn’t really noticeable on the ice, which isn’t really a bad thing. He picked up an assist on the Team White opening goal and made a nice defensive play to break up a chance from Dana Tyrell. You can see the skating ability that was talked about regarding his play, very smooth and comfortable.
The team’s other first round pick, Carter Ashton, had a breakaway chance right at the start of the game and later scored.
There were a couple of players who did catch my eye:
Luke Witkowski, and it had nothing to do with his “spin-o-rama’’ attempt when he had a partial breakaway following a combined turnover from Hedman and Ashton. Witkowski just seemed to be in the right places and was quick to jump on loose pucks.
A couple of NCAA guys looked sharp in Alex Killorn (Harvard) and Matt Marshall (Vermont). Both guys looked pretty quick and fast on the ice. Killorn showed pretty good hands in close on one play where he cut into the crease and roofed a shot over Jaroslav Janus.
Invitee Matt Read, from Bemidji State, had some nifty passing plays and nearly brought the house down during the shootout part of the skills competition with a move in which he ping-ponged the puck between his stick and his skate before letting the puck slip past a helpless Janus in net.
And finally, Dana Tyrell looked pretty good considering he hasn’t played since before Christmas. Some think he’s gotten a little quicker since his knee surgery, including assistant coach Wes Walz, who is running the prospects camp.