Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lazar V Forsberg: Round 1

Edmonton vs Prince George was really no contest Wednesday night at Rexall Place. The Cougars came out hard and doubled the Oil Kings in shots during the opening frame. All in all a good road start, but found themselves down 2-0. From then on it was a bit of a rout. The home side outshot their guests 24-2 in the middle frame and led 4-0 before adding a goal and 23 more shots in the 3rd. Drew Owsley could sue for non support making 50 saves. He was good, but the Oil Kings were to fast for the young Cougar team with a plethora of 16 year olds.

PG has a bright future if they can add a few pieces, the Oil Kings are right in the middle of what could be some very successful seasons. On this night they were led by Michael St. Croix's natural hat trick who said post game his last one might have come in midget back in Winnipeg. It was also a night to compare the first 2 picks from the 2010 WHL bantam draft.

The Cougars took Alex Forsberg first overall while the Oil Kings grabbed Curtis Lazar. Both were 5.10 skilled forwards, but Forsberg had 14 pounds on Lazar that draft day. Now Lazar is listed at 6.0 and 189 pounds, while Forsberg is still listed as 5.10, 170, however he looks much bigger then that.

Through 39 games this season Forsberg has 11 goals, 18 helpers for 29 points good enough for 2nd in team scoring. With the Oil Kings Lazar has put up 12 goals and 9 helpers in the same amount of games. His plus minus is much better, but that's a reflection of where the teams are in the standings. Neither player added anything to their stat line Wednesday night other then a game played.

Forsberg plays first line minutes but like most of his teammates was relatively ineffective in this game. He hit a cross bar and was lurking around the net at times. He's not a great skater, especially through the neutral zone, but from the hash marks in he can be deadly. Something that was quite often said about John Tavares during his OHL days.

Lazar on the other hand sometimes reminds me of the Tasmanian Devil. His motor is always running and he'd just as soon skate through you then around you. That scares me a little, but he also has an excellent shot and good vision.

About the only thing these two have in common is their number....27. And they will be two of the many skilled forwards that will be available for the 2013 draft. Get to know these two names, along with Mackinnon, Monahan, Shinkaruk.

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