As I was taking the day off yesterday anyway, I made my way over to the Ice Forum in Duluth to watch the Rookie Camp scrimmage. I was joined there by our good friends Rawhide and Mr. Speaker, as well as the Falconer.
It was great to get to see hockey again- and it was very good hockey indeed. In a two period game, there were at least 11 goals scored between the two teams. The blue squad went up 5-1 before the white team came back and made it a game.
If you read the recap of Monday's scrimmage over at BWA, you remember that they reported a lackluster performance from Burmistrov and Cormier. In Wednesday's game neither stood head and shoulders above anyone, but both played solid games and contributed to the offense. Cormier in particular drove to the net while protecting the puck and was able to stuff one past Pasquale. It wasn't a pretty move, but it was the kind of smart, non-flashy, power move that will actually translate once the ice is populated with more seasoned and skilled players.
Fredrik Petterson put on a show. About half of his eye popping performance was fancy stick handling that won't cut the mustard when he tries it against Jonny Oduya in camp next week, but the other half looked like a 5'10 Keith Tkachuk pushing past people and driving the net. Very impressive. I'll be anxious to see how he fares against the big boys in pre-season.
The Oilers gave up on Petterson after a couple of seasons in Junior with the Calgary Hitmen, but the Sutter brothers' player evaluation skills have to be in question considering their recent roster moves (RCP's statement about the Sutters' evaluation skills is true, of course, but BE ADVISED the Sutters-are-Oilers-folk thing is just an avant-garde haw haw joke. Razor knows they actually work for the Calgary Flames. -Ed.). Petterson scored 20 goals in the Swedish Elite League last season which was good enough for fourth in the league (but only second on his team to TOMMY KALIO!!!). He's an older prospect now at 23 years old which could account for his domination of a rink full of 18-23 year olds.
Akim Aliu also played a solid power offensive game, scoring two goals and throwing his body around. He didn't display enough skill to threaten for a roster spot in Atlanta, but with some more seasoning he could be someone who gets called up to fill in during an injury later on in the season.