Friday, May 18, 2007

Des Moines Buccaneers 2007-08 Preview

Des Moines had an impressive playoff run, but came up short against Waterloo. Des Moines will have a lot of re-building to do, as they lose a ton of talent. Coach Simon is a guy who can do that though, as he's made in pretty far in the playoffs in his first two years at the helm.

Key Departures:
Jeff Petry-One of the best defenseman in the league.
Shane Sims-Good defenseman.
Aaron Palushaj-Excellent player, can score.
Richard Purslow-Led team with 82 points.
Ben Ryan-Quality forward.
Matt Read-Team leader and top point getter.
Matt Dalton-Team's #1 goalie.

Goalie (1):
Jordan Tibbett (1990) - I believe the Bucs were able to protect him, but he's an excellent talent and should be ready to be the #1 in Des Moines.

Goalie Evaluation:
Tibbett is still very young, but he got some much needed experience in Omaha and in Des Moines. Tibbett will need to elevate his play a little bit if he wants to be the go to guy like Dalton was this year.

Defense (4):
Bobby Reiners (1987) - Season cut short due to injuries, should be back at full health.
Ben Rosen (1989) - Got better as the season went on.
Austin Handley (1990) - Extremely young, but found his way into the lineup a lot.
Ryan Ruikka (1988) - Stay at home defenseman, won't score many point.

Defense Evaluation:
It's nice to have their captain back in Reiners, but their defense looks really depleted. Rosen and Handley will need to step it up offensively if they want to fill any part of the shoes Petry and Sims left unfilled. Ruikka won't put up the big points or make the flashy play, but he will do his job and that's to keep the puck away from his goalie.

Forwards (9):
Chris Knowlton (1989) - Not a flashy rookie season, but something to build on.
Michael Dorr (1988) - Could lead the team in points.
Kyle Bailey (1988) - If not for the PP, Bailey would have been below average point wise.
Taylor Matson (1988) - Excellent player, could challenge Dorr for team lead in points.
Derek Elliot (1987) - Not a bad rookie campaign.
Nate Dewhurst (1990) - Should get more games and point total will climb.
Ben Van Lare (1987) - Quality player, increased his point total from last season.
Andrew Blazek (1988) - 6 points isn't going to cut it.
Rody Selk (1987) - Seemed to be a fan favorite, not much offensive upside though.

Forward Evaluation:
Dorr and Matson should lead this team in points, with guys like Bailey and Van Lare close behind. If the Iowa boys, Elliot and Dewhurst, can step up and help produce, the Bucs should be fine when it comes to the offensive side of things. Knowlton, Blazek, and Selk didn't produce much for points, but now that the big offensive weapons are gone, it could now be their time to shine.

Futures Evaluation:
The Buccaneers boast big name prospects in Adam Mueller, Ben Blood, and Nick Pryor. Mueller and Blood should see the ice in Des Moines next season, where Pryor will most likely see it in 2008. Des Moines has a few other solid players such as goalie Michael Milana, forwards Josh Fodor and Steve Moses, and Adam Estoclet, though he is penciled in to Dartmouth's plans for next fall.

Overall Evaluation: C


Anonymous said...

Is Adam Mueller any relation to Peter Mueller?

Ryan said...

to be honest, I'm not sure.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the Bucs didn't protect Rosen and he is now a free agent. What the heck happened? Is this true? Where will he wind up if so?