TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — It’s the off-day in Traverse City and the Dallas Stars prospects are resting after playing two games in less than 24 hours.
Here are a couple individual player observations from the first two days. I didn’t break down every player, this is simply a collection of notes and observations that stood out from the two games.
Radek Faksa — Faksa looked rusty in a 4-2 win against Chicago on Friday, which was his first game since he had season-ending shoulder surgery last January.
The former first-round pick looked good early, but struggled a bit as the game went along. Late in the game, when Dallas was looking for a spark, the lines where shuffled and Mattias Janmark ended up on the top line.
Faksa had Saturday off to rest. It will be interesting to see how he looks against Detroit on Monday night.
Mattias Janmark — Janmark has been Dallas’ most impressive forward through two days.
He’s been good in all three zones, and he’s been very good in the face-off circle.
I didn’t have much of a baseline on Janmark after he played one game with the Texas Stars last season. So this has been my first real chance to watch him play.
Cole Ully — First of all, Cole Ully is not nearly as big as he’s listed on the Traverse City roster.
He did not have a massive growth spurt to 6-foot-3, 210-pounds — which is listed on Dallas’ roster. Instead he’s closer to 5-foot-10, and probably 180 pounds.
But, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t impressed through two games. He also scored a big goal against Chicago.
Brett Pollock — Pollock scored a pair of goals on Saturday against Carolina and both where a result of being in the right place at the right time.
Good positional play and he improved from Friday to Saturday.
Remi Elie — He’s shown a good combination of size and skill at this tournament.
He has good energy, which fits well with his size and he disrupts the opposition well. He’s also shown good sense around the net and helped set up Branden Troock’s goal on Saturday.
Stephen Johns– He’s been one of the best defensemen in this tournament, for any team.
Talked to a couple scouts, and the feeling is he’s close to playing in the NHL.
Julius Honka– Julius Honka was good as a 19-year-old in the AHL, he should be even better in his sophomore campaign.
The 2014 first-round pick is starting to dominate all three zones, and he’s shown a little bit more physicality then I saw most of last season. He was more active in using his body, and mixed it up a little bit more with Carolina players on Saturday.
The key is toeing that line and combining some aggression with his skills.
Ludwig Bystrom– He’s really impressed me.
In 12 games with Texas last season Bystrom looked undersized and didn’t leave much of an impression. You can tell he’s bulked up this summer — something he said he had to do — and he’s more confident on North American ice.
Philippe Desrosiers– Only one game to judge, but I thought he looked good. Neither goal was his fault and he performed well after not facing a shot for almost eight minutes against Chicago.