McKeen’s Hockey Pool Yearbook, our fave, is on newstands; and everyone is urged to plunk down their $7.99 for a copy … even though Mike Cammalleri isn’t on the cover.
What distinguishes McKeen’s are player evaluations from real scouts. Candid insight makes for great reading.
McKeen’s picks the Canadiens to finish seventh in the East with 93 points – one more than the Rangers, two up on Tampa Bay.
Taylor Hall tops their list of Calder Trophy candidates, but guess who’s runner-up? (Hint: His name begins with two initials.) And they like Lars Eller’s potential.
While we’e playing, let’s test your knowledge of the Canadiens. Here are some quotes from McKeen’s scouting assessments. Let’s see if you can figure out the players they’re describing. (For answers, click below):
a) “Elegant stickhandler and strong shooter, sporting a heavy shot and quick release … Prone to lapses in urgency and judgment … learning to activate his feet away from the puck and not wait for linemates to do the dirty work”
b) “Offensive-oriented playmaker with excellent vision … swift and nimble … accelerates rapidly and generates tremendous top speed … Over-extends himself, holding the puck too long or turning it over in risky areas of the ice”
c) “Competes effectively in his own end, aided by strong positioning and stickwork … Not overly big and tends to get banged up over the long haul”
d) “Talented skater, fast and fluid in all directions … Can be underwhelming along the boards and in the defensive zone due to his lack of size”
e) Moves fluently with the puck and shows good elusiveness and creativity … Defensive postures and positioning still require refinement, even if he is a conscientious backchecker”
• Another assessment of the Canadiens’ talent, from Premium Scouting
• Brilliant piece by Yves Boisvert on the French fact and the Canadiens
• The end is near for Uncle George in Liverpool
a) Benoit Pouliot
b) Scott Gomez
c) Jaroslav Spacek
d) Tomas Plekanec
e) Lars Eller