Brandon Wheat Kings Vs Kelowna Rockets Oct 25th, 2014, Game Notes: Ryan Pilon, Ivan Provorov, Nick Merkley

Ryan Pilon – D

-Strong net presence, especially on the PK uses size to clear net front area and allow goal to see shots
-Won’t wow with his speed but, skates very efficiently, low key movements to remain in position, very strong position defender.
-Has an active stick and long reach that clogs lanes, keeps offensive players to the outside and doesn’t allow easy plays through the middle.
-Tight gap control and closes quickly on defenders, very efficient at removing time and space.

Ivan Provorov – D
-Strong Skater smooth stride, quick reverse stride that keeps pace with attackers controls gaps well
-Pushes an offensive game, in driving the puck in gets caught with forward momentum and had a few pucks get chipped past him for odd man rushes, looked caught back on his heals.. When playing more defensive minded worked really well angling to the outside..
-Paired with Pilon strong work on a tight assignment for the first 2 periods
-Speedy shot release, puck stays low to the ice and appears hard and fast to the net.. Minimal wind up.

Nick Merkley – C/RW
– 1G 3A night for Merkley
– Ability to feed puck across the ice fully on display, especially for 2, 1 assists..
-Holds the puck and controls play, draws defenders in and has elite ability to work with very minimal openings
-Goal was shorthanded, fending off a very fast Kale Clague to pull “Forsberg-esq” one handed short side move, easily his best goal of the year.. Highlights his slick body movements and slippery nature, rarely takes a full on square hit.. When it happens seems very resilient
-When positioned for a one-timer Merkley hold stick about 1 foot off the ice, quick speedy release for a planned quick shot..


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Are WHL Goaltenders’ Save Percentage Affected by Team Defense?


After I published my WHL goalie confidence intervals, a few people questioned the validity of a non-team specific method of evaluating goaltending. It’s a fair criticism, given that the performance of goaltenders varies more widely than in the NHL. The standard deviation of career sv% of WHL goalies active in 2013-14 was .01396; for the same in the NHL it was .009543.

Basically, there’s a theory that shot quality matters more in the WHL because the distribution of team defense is so much greater. The good defensive teams are really good, and the bad defensive teams are really bad. Because of this, the effects of shot quality (distance from the goal, breakaways, shots from the home plate area) that are so small as to be a non-issue at the NHL level come into play in the WHL. My theory is that there are just more bad goalies, and it’s harder for…

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Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Uncategorized


Games Notes: Glenn Gadwin Swift Current Broncos Vs Kelowna Rockets Oct 7th/2014

Glenn Gawdin was tasked with 2nd line centre for this game, although they were outplayed losing 4-0 in a sloppy affair, Gawdin showed why he had started his draft year with 4G + 4A in 8GP.. At 6’1 & 181 lbs and playing down the middle, always draws a little extra attention from scouts.

-Strong level of competition, standing in and playing physical with any player he crossed on the ice, showed a competitive drive and did cross the line with a roughing major early in the game.

-Plays a power centre type of game, dips shoulders and drives to the net and into shooting lanes, leans on defenders and powers to offence with north/south play.

-Solid stops and starts with a edging ability that helps him pull up and change direction well, decent acceleration and quick gear changes with a deceivingly speedy first 3-4 steps.. Does appear to coast a little and sometimes stand still when feet should be moving… Makes me thing he’s a little off on reading the play

-Solid defender, checks tight and leans on defenders limiting time and space..

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Nick Merkley: Games notes WHL Kelowna Rockets VS Vancouver Giants Oct 1st/2014

– Consistant heads up play, with an ability to keep momentum going and keep his body open to the ice, allows him to use quick directional changes and changes in speed to keep defenders guessing.

– Elite hand eye coordination with exceptional vision, strong puck skills and ability to maintain control of the puck in small spaces and during/after contact, especially in high traffic areas.

-Changes in speed and quick bursts in acceleration kept defenders guessing, will fake or cut swiftly into the middle, only to create a shift and quickly skate behind the net in rotation.. Evident on Chartier goal drew all defends around with him to pass cross ice for an open net.

-Strong edging and balance on skates make him very hard to track or hit cleanly, very rarely takes a full hit has a knack for minimizing body contact and slips checks; especially along the boards

-1 Goal 2 Assist night, currently the highest scoring draft eligible player in the WHL

Player Profile:

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Rourke Chartier – C – Kelowna Rockets WHL

Rourke Chartier – C – Kelowna Rockets

Shoots: Left

5’11 – 170LBS



Regular Season

72 GP – 24G – 34A – 58PTS, +26 – 8PIM


14GP – 6G – 6A – 12PTS, +3 – 2PIM


After a VERY slow start to the season with only 9 points in the first 2 months and change (including a 3PT opening night and going scoreless in October) Chartier looked a little snake bitten, but he was getting chances, indicating that his game was looking to breakout… Chartier established himself as a go-to in the defensive zone for Coach Huska… Tasked with the majority of Kelowna’s defensive zone face-offs and matching up against other teams top players, Rourke’s game immediately jumps out as well rounded and mature, especially for a 17 year old in a physical league like the WHL… Chartier’s chemistry with WHL rookie of the year, Nick Merkley, was evident and by the mid-season point they formed a very solid 2nd powerplay unit…



A wide stance and low center of gravity give Chartier stability on his blades. Edging is above average but not elite, has adept lateral movement and creates deception for slippery moves to squeak around defenders and create space… Speed is adequate for WHL standards but his first 3 strides give him that extra split second for initial space. Gaining an ability to create a bit more separation would lead to a jump in production and overall contribute to a higher and more consistent offensive output… Look for this in his draft +1 year as other high-end Rockets forwards move on to the next step and Chartier continues to mature physically…



The mental side of the game is Chartier’s biggest strength; from the beginning of the season he has looked efficient and poised with and without the puck… On the defensive side of the game decisions come quickly and often result in disruption of the opposition’s plans… Elite ability to read and react to what other teams game plans are, putting himself in a position to disrupt a pass or create a turnover, with a result that often leads to gaining possession himself or putting it on or the near the stick of a teammate… His physical limitations don’t seem to bother Chartier, as he doesn’t back down from throwing timely hits and competing against the larger sized WHL competition. Quite obvious is his will when wanting to succeed, but remaining disciplined…


A little on the small side, Chartier has shown a willingness to go into the dirty areas of the ice both on the offensive and defensive side of the puck, plays in the slot and around the crease where his stick handling shines, grabbing lose pucks, picking players pockets and blocking shots… At times gets dominated physically along the boards but can be slippery and difficult to contain, the small spaces on the ice are where his stick handling ability really becomes an asset… Finds small passing seams with quickness and authority, would benefit from playing with an elite shooter… Minimal wind up for his shot gives a quick pop off his stick. He looked slightly snake bitten for early parts of the year, so accuracy can be an issue… Seems more like bad luck since Chartier’s ability to track pucks, telegraph plays and knock pucks out of the air is very strong… Has excellent control of his stick in all situations, it is his biggest asset…   


Look for a team to take Chartier in the top 100 picks after a strong playoffs while Kelowna was dealing with injuries, and he saw all the tough minutes against a stacked Portland team in the WHL Western Final..

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Posted by on June 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Scouting Report: Madison Bowey – RD – Kelowna Rockets

Madison Bowey – D – Kelowna Rockets

Shoots: Right

6’1 ft. 195 LBS

69 GP – 12G – 18A – 30 PTS


Bowey pushes the pace of the game and has the ability to control the rush, his high end skating ability keeps defenders back peddling as he break out of the defensive zone and work the play thru the neutral zone.  His first steps are quick and allow him to pinch effectively with the ability to recover his positioning.  The key here is his ability to make plays at high speed and how that translates to his NHL future, I see it continuing to develop moving forward but it could use small improvement.



Bowey’s point totals don’t do his pure hockey ability justice from my observations. A coveted right shot D man, that shot was one of the best I saw in the WHL this season (better slap and wrist shot than Seth Jones IMO), his ability to skate at high speed backs off defenders in such a way that he becomes very effective on zone entries. He handles the puck extremely well, and works the line in an elusive manner that helps him maximize the space at the point and work the puck deep to his forwards. Never afraid to make moves into the slot he is hard to track because of his quick first steps and ability to carry the puck with his head up at all times. Difficult to read when making decisions, Bowey has a knack for getting the puck on the net (12 goals in 2012/13) and does so in a variety of ways, one move I found very effective for him was working himself toward the slot faking like was going to pass the whole time only to fire a shot on that routinely fooled goalies and defenders.



A high speed North-South skater with an elusive ability to move East-West, Bowey moves up the ice with a strong and powerful stride, he is a multi-dimensional skater when moving forward and driving the puck up the ice, keeps defenders back peddling and uses his body well. Reverse skating is just as elite and keeps pace when tracking most forwards on the their attack, his quick feet allow him to gamble a bit and recover position easier. He was one of the most fluid defenders in the WHL this season and I would call his skating top 5-7 in this draft.



Gifted with a high offensive IQ Bowey did not disappoint when given the opportunity to preform, however he has made a conscience effort to work on the defensive side of his game and has taken strides in this area, his gap control and timing have come a long way since the start of the season as loose defensive play is rarely tolerated in Kelowna. Gifted with that great reverse stride he closes off opponents quickly and rubs them out with authority, but on several occasions during the season got a little out of control and took unnecessary penalties for being over aggressive (Cross checks, roughing, interference) as his PIMs spiked from 39 in his first full year to 75 this season.



Bowey is a two-way defenseman with potential to have serious offensive upside, his ability to put up points was slightly hampered by the defense first system played by the Rockets, and his general lack of first unit PP time, but when give the opportunity he was very effective, especially when playing with fellow draft eligible player Mitch Wheaton. Bowey a young man who has seen a general lack of limelight because of top heavy draft, looked poised when chosen to represent Canada at the U18, he’s a humble well spoken guy and generally looked excited when I brought up the draft to him. Look for Bowey to be returned to Kelowna after suiting up for a few NHL games, I see a breakout year for him and increased opportunity with a few Rockets possibly moving on, but mostly because he is the best defenseman in Kelowna at this time. Which is a statement that should not be taken lightly. Like most 18-year-old prospects Bowey needs to add some strength and it would not shock me to see him play at 215-220 lbs one day. Tough to project an NHL comparable in this situation, reminds me a little of Subban however should develop into a more elite skater, should be a special player. Could go as high as 15, could slip out of the first round but I doubt it.

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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in CHL, NHL Draft, Prospects, WHL


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Scouting Report: Mirco Mueller – LD – Everett Silvertips

Micro Mueller – LD – Everett Silvertips (WHL)

6’4  – 185Lbs

Shoots: Left

DOB: 21-03-1995


GP: 64, G:6, A:25, PTS:31, -10, PMI: 57

Selected 11th overall in the 2012 CHL import draft, Mueller came to Everett and made a smooth transition to the North American game playing in all situation (PP, PK, 5on5) on the Silvertips top pair and never looking out of place. Skating stride is what jumps out during views. A very smooth and fluid stride skating forward, and already skates backwards at an NHL level.. Shows great agility and appears very light on his feet.. Does not lack in defensive ability or compete level, however a stronger physical presence when clearing the crease and guarding the slot is needed for NHL success.. Must fill out lanky frame to work against bigger competition without compromising smooth stride or quickness.. Very impressed with calm “no panic” play, highlighted especially when clearing the zone or against oncoming forecheckers, could benefit from making decisions a fraction sooner, especially when competition gets faster and more physical.. Looks very solid working the point on the PP and handling the puck along the line in tight spaces..  Passing ability is clean, crisp and accurate.. Has a better wrist shot than slap shot.. Offensive instinct creates chances.. Should achieve moderate point totals at the NHL level.. Scouts have Mueller placed anywhere from top 10 to top 50.. Look for him to go 15 to 30 and return to Everett for the 2013/14 season. NHL comparable: Carl Gunnarrson with more offence..


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