Happy Draft Day! Today is a big day for every team to try and snag a strong, young talent.
So what does one do when he's finished with his schoolwork and has the rest of the day off? Well, before the Draft begins tonight, I thought I would take a look at some archived games to get one last look at some draft-eligible prospects - mainly European ones.
This particular game was played on April 9, 2015. It was the 4th game in the series between HC Davos and ZSC Lions of the Swiss National League A. This game featured two very talented European draft-eligible players, (LD) Jonas Siegenthaler and (C/RW) Denis Malgin.
These are some of my quick notes of what I saw during the game from the two. I wanted to do this to not only get another look at these players, but to make sure my initial assessment of these players was correct.
#97 in white - Jonas Siegenthaler -
Jonas Siegenthaler plays a very mobile, yet not risky shutdown-defenseman role. He is not a very offensive player and is used almost only in defensive situations. He mostly stays in front of his own net and clears the way for the goaltender to get a better channel of vision. He does this by fighting for position by using his big, solid-framed body (6'3" 220lbs). When he's not in front of his own net, he is pursuing the puck in a calculated decision. His frame and his very long reach enable him to do well in board battles. When he gets possession of the puck in his own end, he can either make an accurate outlet pass to a transitioning forward, or move the puck himself. I know there is a bit of a cliche saying of "good skater for his size", but Siegenthaler is actually quite a good skater overall. He's very mobile and rather agile. Siegenthaler can take a hit and can also dish it out as well. I would project Siegenthaler to be a #4 or #5 NHL defenseman if he can continue his progression as a stay-at-home defenseman. It would be nice if he can improve his offensive game, but his emphasis is on defensive capability.
#13 in white - Denis Malgin -
Denis Malgin plays a speedy playmaking game. His offensive instincts are very strong, and he can gain the offensive zone with possession very well. In this game he received a pass in the neutral zone and gained the zone on his possession forehand, and sped around the back of the net, rushing past the defensemen. On this same shift he actually scored a goal (the first of the game). It was off of a rebound that he was able to put the puck in the back of the net. While not necessarily a hard shot, it was accurate. Throughout the entire match, Malgin was creating chances and taking shots on net. Malgin is not a very large player, only about 5'9" 175lbs, so it's difficult to make oneself seen at that size, especially on the larger European ice. However, Malgin does seem to make himself known rather well. I am not sure as to whether or not Malgin will make a good NHL player yet, simply because he needs to play a Top-6 game and does not have the physical toolset to play in a bottom-6 role. Does he have enough offense to maintain a top-6 role in the NHL?
These are just from one game's viewing and are similar to my initial assessments of them. I think it's fair enough to assume that Siegenthaler could be as high as a second round pick, with Malgin being as high as a third round pick. Unless there is an absolute shock of a reach pick, I don't expect these two gentlemen to be picked in the draft until tomorrow. While Davos wenton to win the game 4-3 in OT, I was happy with what I saw from Jonas Siegenthaler and Denis Malgin.
On an off-hand note, the atmosphere in the arena in Davos looked amazing. I've already had the tremendous privilege of seeing a game in Bern, Switzerland, but I would absolutely love the opportunity to go see a game in Davos or in Zurich to be able to not onlysee these players live, but to experience such an incredible atmosphere.
Tonight I will be watching the draft attentatively and hoping for the best for the Devils. If you have any suggestions or comments please let me know!
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Thanks for reading!