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Monday, March 14, 2005

VOB went to see the U18s versus the Soo Indians and filed this report. The only Michigan players mentioned are the two defensemen. I'll excerpt here:

Jack Johnson - easily the best player on the ice last night and its not hard to see why he ranked only behind Crosby for this year's draft. An absolute rock in terms of strength and physical play. Threw thunderous body checks with reckless abandon causing many Indian turn overs in both ends. His physical play alone will get him into the NHL but coupled with a good skating stride and an ability to handle the puck on the rush and the PP will make him a number 1 Dman and a potential franchise player. The only problem may be that he is too aggressive and while this may be a problem in the NCAA next year, it won't in the NHL.

Mark Mitera - man oh man is Michigan going to have quite the D men with both Johnson and Mitera suiting up next year. A solid Dman who did not make a mistake the whole night. He must have grew 3 inches and added 20 pounds from the time I saw him last and he uses his size quite well. Does not have the vision or offensive upside as Johnson but is steady and dependable as they come. Has a good low shot and good skating abilities. Was used on both the pp and pk. A sure fire top 4 NHL Dman and a first round pick in the 06 entry draft.

We already knew that about Johnson, but such a glowing report on Mitera is very encouraging. I like what I saw from him a lot in the UM-U18 game, and the general rumble is that he has taken a quantum leap forward in the past year or so.

VOB is a guy with some connections in the OHL. I think he's directly affiliated with some team or another. He and I have frequently sparred on the HF message boards about NCAA hockey vs. CHL hockey (I, of course, have demolished him each time, leaving him to wonder what the point of this whole world is, anyway), but he knows what he's talking about. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish the guys who have a clue from the 14 year old 31337 kids but VOB is one of the former.