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SMJHL PT 2 - Looking Forward

There are a number of players Darrow would like to emulate. West Kendall's Jon Ross is up there as a smooth skating two-way defender. Ross is skilled at carrying the puck up the ice or making clean passes to teammates, while being highly skilled in his own end. Former Colorado defenseman Matthew Leetch also has passing skills Darrow looks to emulate, though Darrow hopes to be a much better skater. Both players have put more emphasis on scoring ability than Darrow, however. In fact, a stay-at-home defender may be a good comparison to what Darrow might be in the SHL. That player is Seattle’s Clint Eastwood. The bruising veteran combines strong positioning and stick checking with a physical game, excellent passing and skating. He is not much of a goal scorer, however. Where Darrow differs from Eastwood is in the physical game, while Darrow showed a bit of a mean streak in preseason, he’s not known for that style of game normally. Time will tell if he continues to use his large frame to punish opposing players, or if he turns to more heady defense.

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Though Griffith Cadwalader comes to the league with an open mind and a willingness to learn, it is certain the Welshman has taken his fair share of inspiration from successful SHL and SMJHL players of the past. A notable example is Swedish left-wing for the West Kendall Platoon Dani Forsberg, who, eleven seasons into his SHL career, has become a recent award-winner for his two-way prowess on the wing, a style Griffith would love to emulate. Leading his team with 57 points in Season 44, the responsible winger managed to finish the regular season at the 20-goal mark and also rack up 37 assists, while also putting up 194 hits, though his penalty minutes were kept around a very acceptable 45-minute mark. In the playoffs, Dani went on to win the Challenge Cup with West Kendall. It is easy to see why Forsberg is an inspiration for two-way players all over, even though some, such as Cadwalader, are yet to develop a strength and checking game anywhere near as polished as Forsberg's. One can dream of moulding his game after an international superstar, though.

The best way to compare Yoshimura is with New England #2 center Xander Green. Even though Xander is taller than Yoshimura they both have the same mentality of move the speed and the ability to move the puck and put it on the tape for his team mates to score goals. Yoshimura isn't expected to be the star of the team but he has goals of being a very key contributor in the lineup. Both players rely on their smarts and not on their strength to win the puck as they both like to dominate the circle to get the puck from the draw.

Sure Green may throw the body a little more than Yoshimura in terms of checking but that is pretty much where the major differences are currently and long term between these 2 players. But in the end we should see these two with similar end game stats besides the checking and the way they hold their sticks.

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Nickolas Klaus really can't be compared to any player in the SHL right now, and with his enormous size he is definitely going to stand out as his own style in the coming seasons. Klaus is a massive player in more than one way for the Kelowna Knights, and a lot of that is dependent on his awe striking ability to put the puck in the back of the net. With sight unlike any player in the game right now, Klaus has made a name for himself as one of the top point picking center's the game has seen recently. If you couple this natural ability to score with his strength in the skating department, you're looking at a well rounded offensive player who has all the potential to be a possible top ten league wide point scorer this season if given the right utilities. There's a lot to look forward too.

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(This post was last modified: 11-06-2018, 07:22 PM by Jepox.)

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(This post was last modified: 11-06-2018, 08:06 PM by Snuffalupagus.)

There have been so many fantastic players that are and have been in the SHL. It's hard to name which ones Andy Kerr looks up to. Based on career alone, VLAD McZherl comes to mind. A long tenure in Manhattan where he lead scoring in some season(s?) proved that McZherl was someone to look up to.

Based on commitment and play, Ludwig Koch Schroeder is the player that Kerr looks up to. Schroeder had a quick ascension into the top pairing after graduating from the SMJHL and went on to be the most well-rounded player to ever lace the skates. Schroeder's determination and attitude makes him someone to not only look up to, but also emulate - the right mix for success.

But if we're looking to who Kerr looks up to in overall DADittude, it's gotta be Jeff Kirkstone (@Grapehead). That guy is the perfect father. He can often be found around arenas tying the laces of little Timbit hockey players. ONE TRULY CANNOT APPRECIATE HIM ENOUGH.

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PT #2

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Being a young Center entering the SMJHL, you can say there are few current SHL centers you can look up to aim to play like but for Konstantin Voloshin, that player would be Jason Visser. When molding his game Konstantin approached the game practicing a lot of what Visser was doing in the SHL. The most impressive part of Visser's game is not only his skill scoring the puck but how he can set up his linemates as well with the pass. This has been a major focus for Konstantin moving forward with his game. He hopes that the offensive portion of his game can even come close to touching that which Visser has done with his 13 seasons in the SHL. Some luck will be needed to land on a squad with extremely talented players and Voloshin is not sure he'll fall enough in the SHL draft to be able to line up with other players who are extremely talented and help propel each other forward as top scorers in the league. Visser is currently Voloshin's biggest inspiration for a future in the SHL. Both are nearly the same size and both started from humble origins. With time and practice, Voloshin believes he can play a similar game to Visser.

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Ever since William was a little kid he always looked up to the flexible playstyle of the legendary player from Finland, Mikko Linnan. Being a key player to his team is the most important goal and to be able to become a strong defensive player while at the same time being able to feed his team with good opportunitets to seal any game. Using his skating skills and making sure the puck find it's way to well positioned teammate is essential to his playstyle. William will on the defensive be the player which stays close to his adversaries while not too far away from his defensive line and always trying to intercept any attempt at seizing the opportunity of the game. And while on the offensive, he will be skating past his opponents and most of the time seeking for cracks in the defenders. To achieve this feat, William will pass the puck to his teammates and reposition himself to break up the defense.

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While it’s still early days in Jacob Geza’s venture into North American hockey, his two years in the Hungarian Erste Liga have shown glimpses into what potential he has. Aiding MAC Budapest make it to the finals both in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, we’ve seen a solid defense player who’s willing to throw his nearly 220lbs frame around and has defensively sound positioning. Although Erste Liga is a minor league when compared to the North American League, Geza has shown that more than adequate skill in covering his man (and overall Defense), has a keen eye for the net, and has a myriad of ways to pass the puck off, which will all be critical as his ability to handle the puck is mediocre at best. While not a perfect comparison, Buffalo’s D Charles Walker seems like a player that Geza can grow into. Walker’s more than capable netting pucks or picking up the dime, earning 40pts last year, his defensive game is impeccable, and he surprisingly lays down the law, collecting 120 hits last year, as checking is most likely his weakest stat. While Walker is clearly an Offensive Dman, with his strengths being is D game, Scoring, and Puck Handling, Geza has much to gain from paying attention to how Walker plays. We’ll have to see how the transition from the Liga to SMJHL works for Jacob, but idolizing someone with such a good work ethic as Walker, should give him more insight on how to make it to the show.

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There is quite a few players in the SHL that Donnie Dicks looks up to, but there is one player that stands out the most. The player that Donnie Dicks looks up to the most in the SHL would have to be Hamilton Steelhawks winger Vijanupatan Singh. Singh is just a great guy with a stupid wet wrister. Guys got 99 scoring, just insane. So Dicks is obviously going to try and copy that. They have the same strengths which is scoring, skating and puck handling. Those are some solid strenghts for a scoring winger. Definitely can't go wrong there. He also has solid defense which is a plus for any player. Singh is having a very inspiring season currently in the SHL. He is currently tied for first in the SHL in points with 13. Five goals and eight assists. Donnie Dicks hopes to put up those types of numbers sometime in the big league.

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Andreas Kvalheim tries to model his game after one of his favorite players, Dani Forsberg. Forsberg, who just helped lead the West Kendall Platoon to the Challenge Cup in S44. In my opinion, Forsberg is the best player in the SHL currently. The two share strengths in Skating and Defense, while both also have weaknesses in Strength. One difference is that while Forsberg is more of a playmaker, Kvalheim prefers to shoot the puck. Both players pride themselves on their two-way game and being a force at both ends of the ice. Addditionally, both players are willing to throw the body, providing a physical presence on the ice, something that isn't seen too often in the SHL, especially among forwards. Kvalheim makes sure to tune in to West Kendall Platoon games as much as possible just to admire and analyze the way Forsberg plays. Hopefully one day, Kvalheim will be able to reach the same lofty heights that Forsberg has achieved.

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