Monday, May 02, 2005

The Kopitar Effect

Stacking up on NHLers like Kyle Calder and Scott Thornton SEL's Sodertalje has pretty much decided the fate of stud prospects Nicklas Bergfors and Anze Kopitar for the rest of the season. The two projected first round selections in the upcoming NHL entry draft have been settling in comfortably with the Sodertalje junior club where the dynamic Kopitar has already bagged 26 markers in 29 games (now top scoring junior in the league). We have notes on these two studs and other impressive juniors in the system.
Anze Kopitar (2005), C, Sodertalje
Living up to all the hype but he is more raw than the stats would show .. an excellent stickhandler who glides through defenses with a big reach, reminiscent of Jaromir Jagr .. soft hands, crisp passes .. a natural playmaker who sees the ice very well and can run the power play with his hands and savvy .. one thing that he lacks is quickness as his first few strides are a bit heavy but he moves smoothly enough and can generate pretty good speed once he gets going .. has a very sharp mind; reacts very well to game flow, breaks up plays defensively by being at the right place at the right time by virtue of his positional know-how .. puck protection skills are good but he is not always adequate physically, frequently getting outmuscled even by smaller opponents .. must be more proactive with using his frame in traffic .. quick release on the wrist shot .. very determined around the crease area and keeps his stick low to the ice in anticipation of the pass .. has a scorer's mentality; loves to shoot .. very special but should be handled with care.
-Referenced from (Article by Jante Abrahamsson)

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