April 12, 2021

Notebook: 2021 All-American Game edition

Every season, FCHockey’s scouts are scouring the globe to get eyes on prospects eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft and beyond.

They spend countless hours watching both live games and game tape to get the best possible analysis on the prospects entering the NHL Draft. Our Unpacking the Notebook series takes a look at some of the reports that FCHockey’s scouts have filed over the past week.

Last week, our scouts took in the 2021 BioSteel All-American Game, filing reports on many of the participants.

Here’s a glimpse at some of our scout’s analysis from the annual event.

Cameron Berg, C, Team White (USHL all-stars – Muskegon Lumberjacks)

Team White 1 – Team Blue 7 – April 7, 2021

Scouting report by Derek Neumeier

Cameron Berg seemed on the cusp of making something big happen for parts of this game, only to come up short — a lot of ‘just-abouts.’ He had a really nice rush chance in the first, some rushes in the middle and a nice spin move from the goal line late, but nothing was able to really convert or come close to converting. I was impressed by his occasional bursts of speed in this contest, especially compared to what I saw from him in this area last season, so definite growth has been made. Gets some power from his skating. His play without the puck here was notable, making some difference defensively and throwing his weight around a bit. His numbers are popping this season, so he’s worth a closer look in his normal environment.

Full Scouting Report

Jack Harvey, LW, Team White (USHL all-stars – Chicago Steel)

Team White 1 – Team Blue 7 – April 7, 2021

Scouting report by Shaun Richardson

I’m sure events didn’t unfold for Team White as they had planned and I would expect that the same could be said of Jack Harvey’s play at the All-American Prospects Game. The 2022 Boston University commit didn’t have a bad game but it could certainly be described as uninspired. In the defensive zone, Harvey ran around and was consistently late to challenge for pucks. In the offensive zone Harvey tended to trail the play, only having limited puck possession and very little impact. As a positive, Harvey was able to intercept a pass in the neutral zone late in the second period which led to an offensive sequence that produced what was perhaps some of the best chances Team White had up until that point. Unfortunately for Harvey, like many on Team White, he was never able to really get going tonight and the successes were hard to find.

Full Scouting Report

Liam Gilmartin, LW, Team Blue (USNTDP)

Team White 1 – Team Blue 7 – April 7, 2021

Scouting report by Dylan Krill

Liam Gilmartin displayed in this game why he is such an effective player who understands his role and plays it perfectly. He played a responsible defensive game, bringing physicality each shift and understanding where he needs to be and what to do very consistently. Gilmartin has a strong, long stride that generates good power and speed. He’s hard to stop when he’s moving at top speed and is able to play with good pace. He has great puck control and protection, able to carry the puck through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone efficiently. Gilmartin is also very strong along the boards, handling the puck with ease and being able to stay calm and find the smart play. In the offensive zone, he is consistently looking for open space and soft spots to create options for his teammates. On one play he was able to get open beside the net, receiving a pass, drawing in the defender’s attention, then finding his teammate in the slot for an assist. Gilmartin put his competitive level on full display in this game, showing full determination to get the puck, using strong body positioning and finding the loose puck to bury it in the net for a goal. He understands when it’s appropriate to use his body and does so very effectively, wearing down opponents while also being able to take the puck off of their stick and come away with possession. Gilmartin plays a very responsible game, understanding that he needs to make the small efficient play rather than the skilled play. In the defensive zone, he was able to stay in great positioning, taking time and space away quickly, while actively using his stick to block passing lanes, try to knock pucks away and intercept passes. He competes hard for the puck and applies great pressure on puck carriers, using his intensity to out-battle opponents consistently. Overall, this game made me feel very confident that Gilmartin will be an effective player in the NHL, able to play a reliable all-around, smart game consistently. I would personally start considering him in the mid-second round.

Full Scouting Report

Jake Martin, D, Team Blue (USNTDP)

Team White 1 – Team Blue 7 – April 7, 2021

Scouting report by Brandon Holmes

Jake Martin was his usual steady self in the Biosteel All-American Game, as the Wisconsin-commit logged 13:46 of ice time and finished the game with a plus-1 rating. Martin did not bring much in this game in regards to flash or offensive ability, but he did play incredibly efficiently while rotating on the third defensive pair and managed to get three shots on goal. Where Martin stood out so much in this game was his ability to break up offensive transitions and deny zone entries. Though not a dynamic skater, Martin was fairly fluid on his skates which allowed him to control gaps well and limit time and space for opposing attackers. Using his active stick, Martin was able to disrupt and break up plays on a consistent basis, minimizing the amount of time that Team Blue spent in its own zone and allowing his team to play more in the offensive zone when he was on the ice. With Martin on the ice, Team Blue controlled 61 percent of all shot attempts and 65 percent of unblocked shot attempts, placing him second in each respective metric among the team’s defensive core. While transitioning the puck, Martin was fairly efficient and did a good job connecting on his breakout passes while also showing the poise and patience to avoid opposing forecheckers. All-in-all, though this performance may not have had that overall ‘wow’ factor some may be looking for, it was a great showing in how strong defensive play can translate positively towards team possession of the puck, which Martin brought on a consistent basis.

Full Scouting Report

Ty Murchison, D, Team Blue (USNTDP)

Team White 1 – Team Blue 7 – April 7, 2021

Scouting report by Josh Bell

Ty Murchison showed good awareness in his own zone, noticing a player slip behind his partner. He realizes this is happening and forces the player into the boards, leading to a turnover. Later on that shift, he gets caught into defending a 3-on-1 and looks a bit like a deer in the headlights. Trying to defend the pass, he doesn’t rush to the pass recipient once the pass is complete, giving the opponent a clear lane to the net. I’d like to see him react faster in this moment. He doesn’t have a very low defensive stance, keeping his ankles fairly straight with no flex. I’d like to see more bend so he can increase his defensive circle. Murchison does this well on the rush, but not against the cycle. He carries the puck well under pressure, knowing how to put his body between the attacker and the puck, fighting off incoming sticks. Uses his body and strength well along the boards to pin opponents. Defends the rush well, angling out his opponents into the boards, leading with his stick before committing with the body. Keeps a very active stick, getting it in the passing lanes and taking away space from attackers. Doesn’t tend to carry the puck, looks for the pass instead. I’d be interested to watch him get a little more involved in the offensive zone, but that doesn’t seem like his style. He’s not going to be a flashy player or a top-two defender but he could become a very reliable, stay-at-home type defender at the next level. Murchison had an impressive 11 takeaways in the game, compared to only one giveaway.

Full Scouting Report

Matthew Samoskevich, RW, Team White (USHL all-stars – Chicago Steel)

Team White 1 – Team Blue 7 – April 7, 2021

Scouting report by Shaun Richarson

With many top-end 2021 NHL Draft prospects committed to or already playing at the University of Michigan, it’s a case of the rich getting richer as the Wolverines wait for Samoskevich to join their program next season. In the meantime, Samoskevich represented himself well at the All-American Prospects Game. On a night when most of his team found it difficult to generate much in the way of offense, Samoskevich was able to effectively play his game even if the results on the scoreboard were ultimately not there. He demonstrated composure with the puck, and off the rush Samoskevich played with a tempo and determination that the Team Blue defense had trouble trying to contain. On one of the few occasions Team White was able to maintain extended offensive zone time Samoskevich drove the attack and possession as he circled the zone in a threatening shooting posture, surveying the situation, before making a pass to the slot for a high quality scoring chance. Most of the night the puck seemed to gravitate to Samoskevich and this was no more apparent than when Team White went to the power play in the third period and he seemed to be everywhere all at once. Their only goal was registered on this power play by an opportunity started by Samoskevich. Like the rest of Team White, Samoskevich had some issues in the defensive zone but he did manage to compete well and be difficult to play against. Samoskevich’s ability to continue to create offensive opportunities on a night when his team was thoroughly outclassed will only further solidify his status as a legitimate early round prospect in the 2021 draft.

Full Scouting Report

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