Day 2: D-men Take Charge

Photo: John Gianfrancesco

By John Gianfrancesco

Day 2 of development camp blessed me with the defensive prospects and our very first look at Mikhail Sergachev! At my end of the rink I observed the defensemen and their drills. Below, I’ll keep this short and sweet by giving a brief overview of who shined, ratings in different categories and overall grades from day 2.

1. Matt Spencer: 2015 2nd round pick

Puck Skills: 7.5/10

Shooting: 7/10

Skating: 8/10

Def. Awareness: 7.5/10

Physical: 7.5/10

Spencer showed good awareness in puck retrieval drills. Has a good shot and uses his body to skate fluidly.

Day 2 Grade: B-

2. Erik Cernak: acquired from LA, 2015 2nd round pick

Puck Skills: 8/10

Shooting: 7.5/10

Skating: 9/10

Def. Awareness: 8.5/10

Physical: 9/10

Cernak really impressed me. A LOT. Known for his size and physicality, Cernak skates faster than you’d imagine. He has quick hands and good form while shooting. Paired with Sergachev in most drills, he showed great defensive stature and great hockey sense.

Day 2 Grade: A

3. Libor Hajek: 2016 2nd round pick

Puck Skills: 7/10

Shooting: 7.5/10

Skating: 8/10

Def. Awareness: 7.5/10

Physical: 7/10

Hajek didn’t impress me Day 2 but he didn’t do bad either. A little hesitant in some drills and some sloppy puck work here and there, Hajek did have a decent shot. Puck retrieval drills were nothing extraordinary. He needs a year or two more to really find his game.

Day 2 Grade: C+

4. Mikhail Sergachev, acquired from MTL, 2016 1st round pick

Puck Skills: 8/10

Shooting: 8.5/10

Skating: 9.5/10

Def. Awareness: 8/10

Physical: 7.5/10

Sergachev made it to Tampa. He came out looking a little rusty but then found his groove soon after. Paired with Cernak, he had really good retrieval drills and a very nice shot. Good skating from behind the net and good lateral work. With more work he should become much, much better.

Day 2 Grade: B+

5. Nicklaus Perbix, 2017 6th round pick

Puck Skills: 7.5/10

Shooting: 8/10

Skating: 8/10

Def. Awareness: 7.5/10

Physical: 7.5/10

Purbix is surrounded by 1st & 2nd round picks. Being a 6th rounder, he carries less expectations but didn’t let that cliche hang over him. Much like Hajek, he seemed awkward at times and struggled to find his rhythm. Had a good shot and decent passes from behind the net. 6’2, 191 lbs, he still has some filling out to do. With good development he could become a solid defensemen in due time.

Day 2 Grade: C+

6. Cal Foote, 2017 1st round pick

Puck Skills: 8/10

Shooting: 8/10

Skating: 8.5/10

Def. Awareness: 8/10

Physical: 8/10

Cal Foote showed all the makings of a future elite defensemen. Very good offensive abilities. One heck of a shot. Great puck retrieval skills. Skates very well. Along with Sergachev & Cernak, Tampa Bays defensive worries should be no more with these 3 in the pipeline. 18 year old Foote will only get much better at a rapid pace. Expect great things from him very, very soon.

Day 2 Grade: B+

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June 30th, 2017


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