Place of Birth
Clarke had a decent showing against Trencin, as he did not look out of place playing in Slovakia’s top league. Suiting up on a pairing with Markus Vastila, Clarke had a slow start but improved as the game went on. Offensively, Clarke’s skating ability and confidence with the puck really stood out. He has a great, low stance, perfect for accelerating really quickly and he was not afraid to jump into the rush. He was able to pick up speed through the neutral zone and dart in and out of traffic to open up passing lanes for his teammates. One play that stood out was in the second period when he received a pass from his brother Graeme Clarke at the blue line. He danced around his opponent and displayed great confidence with the puck. He also made a great read, intercepting a pass in the neutral zone which proceeded to him getting a high danger scoring chance on net, which was stopped. Defensively, though he had a mixed bag of results. Early on in the game, he struggled to find his footing. On one occasion, he was playing too high, in and around the faceoff dot, and allowed a forward to corral the puck and put it into the net. His defensive partner was covering a player who was coming into the high slot for a pass, so Clarke misread the play. He did, however, show some promise as the game went on. On a play late in the first period, he was able to use his quick feet to close the gap on his opponent and prevented a likely goal. His night ended early as he ended up getting ejected from the game for a hit to the head in the second period but looked good overall. Clarke is going to take some time to get back to game shape as this is only his second game since being loaned but he definitely has shown promise early on.