Some camp observations from Grand Rapids coach Kurt Fraser, who ran the prospects camp, and from George James Malik:http://blog.mlive.com/snapshots/2009/07 ... r_end.html
Defenseman Brian Lashoff and forward Brent Raedeke made their AHL debuts last season with Grand Rapids on amateur tryouts after their OHL seasons ended. Goaltender Thomas McCollum, who also played in the OHL last season, will likely back up Daniel Larsson in Grand Rapids next season.
"Lashoff, Raedeke and maybe McCollum have stood out," said Griffins coach Curt Fraser, who ran the development camp at Joe Louis Arena last week.
Lashoff had one goal and four assists in six regular-season games and one goal and four assists in eight playoff games for the Griffins. He (6-feet-2, 185 pounds) turns 19 on Thursday.
Raedeke (6-0, 190), also undrafted, played in two regular-season games last season for the Griffins after 19 goals and 36 assists in 70 games for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League. Raedeke turned 19 in May.
McCollum, the Wings' first-round pick in 2008, was 17-6-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage for the Brampton Battalion after being traded from the Guelph Storm, where he was 17-10-4 with a 2.23 GAA and .926 save percentage.
Lashoff looked like a man among boys in terms of his physical strength and his ability to move (and rush) the puck. He's big, strong, hits people hard, knows how to steer opposing forwards wide and separate them from the puck, moves the puck with the confidence that the Wings want from a puck-moving defenseman, has a nice outlet pass, can carry the puck up ice himself with surprising speed and a bunch of playmaking savvy, and he's got a hard shot, too;
McCollum still has some holes in his game, particularly in terms of players being able to pick the corners, but he's one of those rare goaltenders who combines size, perfect proportions (he is neither all torso nor all arms and legs), and a fundamental understanding of the game to the point that he's at his best when he does very little--the puck hits him and he holds it, moves it to the right part of the ice, or, if he gives up a bad rebound, he throws the hybrid goaltender's rules out and plays like a big man's Hasek or Turco, never giving up on pucks as he dives back or throws out a body part;
Raedeke was hard to read because he simply blended into all the drills, doing everything well but not standing out in any aspect. That changed when the team's brass returned to the stands on Sunday, and he absolutely starred in the team's scrimmage, showcasing speed, smart passing, a stellar ability to go to the front of the net and score clutch goals by banging the puck home or picking corners, and a nice combination of physical grit and the ability to basically do what Lashoff did--control the play when the puck was on his stick, telling players where to go to provide outlets and sustain possession and control on the cycle...And, despite revealing his plans to his opponents, he made those plays happen with authority and confidence.
It's early but it looks like the Raedeke and Lashoff signings were good ones