View Full Version : what a difference a year makes.

12-19-2005, 10:05 AM
What a great couple of weeks for the boys. They played well and earned victories over some tough teams. It is now Christmas break and I am thinking "the boys have worked hard and deserve some time off." Last year at this time my thoughts were, "thank God I don't have to watch that for a while."
At the half way point (well almost half way point), here are some things for debate:
1. Most improved player - I really like the improvement in Bernhardt. With another 20 pounds, I think that he will be a dominating power forward in the league. Followed very closely with Schira.
2. Most surprising players - There are a couple. The Europeans Topiko and Kalus are better than I would have expected. And the addition of Kyle Ross, after the injuries of the accident, I was very surprised to see him in the line up as early as he was and to be playing at the level he is now.
3. Best Rookie - with out a doubt Nick Ross. This kid is going to be a star in this league.
4. Most Underrated Player - Festerling. His play in the defensive end is outstanding. How many shots a game does he block? To be able to chip in with some points is great. I would also put Fuder in this catagory. He has good speed, good hands, and is irritating as hell to play against.
5. Most Disappointing - Duval. I would have thought that with the Pre season that he had he would have been more productive. But, the last three games, I thought that he has had a lot of jump. Maybe things will turn around in the second half. I would also have to put Pyett in this catagory. There are times where he has really struggled, but again I have seen some flashes of good play.
6. Most Valuable Player - In my mind, it is Deck. He has been the rock of the defense. He has adjusted his game to be the dependable defenseman that can play in any situation. He is the Captain of this team and has shown good leadership.

12-19-2005, 06:24 PM
Good calls all around but I'd throw one more name into the 'Most surprising' category and add Fuder. Everyone knew he was a great agitator and could scrap with the best of them but his offensive abilities have really started to show up and he is really looking like a team leader this year. He has been playing on the top lines and plays both the PP and PK, he's been very good at blocking shots along with Festerling and has kept the PM's down while still dropping the gloves when needed.

12-19-2005, 08:07 PM
I couldn't agree more with both Pats11 and witness.

As well, Craig Schira would fit in the most underrated player category.


12-19-2005, 11:32 PM
Another good call!! Schira may be my favourite player over the first half of the season. I never expected him to become the physical force that he's been so far and at 17 he'll only get better. Anyone else think Nick Ross is looking like a clone of Schira with the difference being he's playing the physical game a year earlier than Schira started.

12-20-2005, 12:18 AM
Nick Ross is definitely looking a lot like Craig Schira... weird comparing a 16 year old to a 17 year old... but both players will be physical forces in the WHL in the next couple of years. I think the Pats will be set at "D" for at least the next couple (3) years. Logan Pyett, Craig Schira, Nick Ross and next up Colten Teubert. You cant count out Spencer Fraipont who won a job on the Pats blueline and ended up injured, he's only 17.


12-20-2005, 07:26 AM
I was really looking forward to seeing Fraipont play after hearing about his training camp and in the one game I did see him play he looked good, 6'3", 210lbs is much needed size on the back end and sounds like he likes the physical game. I still think that with Schira, Deck, Ross, Pyett and Fraipont next year the Pats should look to move Reinhart, the guy shouldn't be taking a roster spot away from these guys 'cause he's just not that good and with Tuebert most likely being around next year as well he needs to go.

I must say if the forwards develop like the defence has the Pats are in good shape for the next few years, Bernhardt is taking the next step and if guys like Lind, Duval and Leffler can follow suit it'll go a long way in trying to replace guys like Tolpeko and Kalus next year.

12-20-2005, 10:20 AM
I agree that the Pats should look at moving Reinhart. He has in the past, filled a physical role that the Pats needed. But, I feel that the skill set of the younger defensemen have surpassed his skill set. The Pats have a good crop of 17 year olds (Pyett, Schira, Faipoint, and McDermott). With the addition of the two 16 year olds, N. Ross and Delahay. Next year will have the possible inclusion of Teubert and Cotterill.
There doesn't seem to be room for Reinhart.