Thrashers AHL prospects
After a two game scouting trip, Atlanta Thrasher writer Holly Gunning gives her observations on the club’s prospects playing for the Chicago Wolves (AHL).
Derek MacKenzie–Checking center, good along the boards. Will probably have to bide his time in the AHL for another full season, but could take Corkum’s spot if he his traded.
Ben Simon–Solid hitting checking center. Good penalty killer. Plays with a lot of emotion. Could get a chance with the Thrashers in 2002-2003, but another year in the AHL is more likely.
Dan Snyder–Good two-way centerman. Plays with a lot of passion. Projection is for another year in the AHL.
Brad Tapper (RW)–Speedy winger. Plays with an increasing edge. Has a reasonable chance of making the Thrashers roster to start 2002-2003.
J. P. Vigier (RW)-Offensively gifted player, who is also very responsible on D. Plays the point on the PP occasionally. Does not have a physical presence. Named to the 2002 AHL All-Star Team. Would have to beat out NHL players for a job, due to an abundance of scoring wingers.
Zdenek Blatny (LW)-Checking winger who is not terribly creative offensively. Good forechecker. Needs to work on decision-making. Not getting a lot of icetime with the Wolves. Another year of minors is in his future.
Bryan Adams (LW)-He will probably not be resigned by the Thrashers when his contract is up. Career minor leaguer.
Brian Pothier–Very solid defenseman who is good at both ends. Very calm with the puck. Started the 2001-2002 with Atlanta, later sent down due to roster crunch. Will likely play with Atlanta in 2002-2003.
Luke Sellars–Good defensively in open ice and on a rush. Not afraid to go to the net. Good in the crease as well. Sometimes makes errors in coverage. Shoots often, but needs to work on velocity and accuracy. Does not choose outlet passes wisely. Gets rid of the puck too soon. Needs to learn to hang on longer to make a play. Another year in the minors.
Kurtis Foster–Offensive defenseman stuck in a stay-at-home guy’s body. Tallest on the team, somewhat lanky. Has a great shot that he’s not afraid to use. Skating is adequate. Doesn’t hit very often or well. Not always sure where to be, what to do. Needs to work on positioning and moving to get open for a shot. He has a long way to go to convert his potential into success. A couple more years in the minors.
Jeff Dessner–Could improve his skating and his decision-making on the outlet pass. Quick to get rid of the puck instead of making a good pass. Needs to improve his confidence with the puck. Another year in the minors for 2002-2003. Note that he’s a bit old for a prospect, but missed an entire year due to back surgery.
Garnet Exelby–He’s gifted at one thing: hitting. Other than that, his entire game needs work, from skating, to stickhandling, to shooting. Another couple of years in the minors.
Brett Clark — Solid, very responsible, but lacks both the shot and/or the physical presence to move up. He could be an emergency call-up to the NHL, but otherwise a career minor leaguer. I don’t expect the Thrashers to resign him when his contract is up, but he may stick with an AHL team.