Saturday, May 5, 2007

Sioux City Musketeers 2007-08 Preview

The Musketeers are coming off a hard fought series with Tri-City, in which they eventually lost. Sioux City won't return many of their potent scorers, so they may have some work to do.

Key Departures:
Mike Beck-Defensive leader.
Phil DeSimone-USHL Player of the Year.
Dustin Gazley-Near 30 goal scorer.
Blake Martin-Team leader and 20 goal scorer.
Max Pacioretty-USHL Rookie of the Year.
Jerry Kuhn-Team's #1 goalie.

Goalie (1):
Josh Robinson (1989) - Solid goalie, still pretty raw.

Goalie Evaluation:
Robinson is a solid goalie, but coach Siciliano will look to bring in a goalie who can push Josh. His numbers weren't too bad for a rookie, but if he wants to be the go to guy, he needs to put up a lot better numbers. He started his USHL career going 6-0, and would finish 7-2-2 with a shutout.

Defense (6):
Joe Sova (1988) - 3rd year guy, needs to step up his play.
Matt Crandell (1988) - Somewhat small, but very good. Hard shot from the point.
Tyler Pederson (1987) - Big kid, plays physical.
Danny Wurden (1989) - Young, but he developed quite well as the season went on.
Alex Stuart (1988) - Could be the team's QB on the powerplay.
Sean Coffey (1988) - Injuries have held him back, but he should be ready to go.

Defense Evaluation:
With guys like Stuart and Crandell leading the D, this team looks pretty good on the blue line come next season. Third year guys, Coffey and Sova, will definitely need to step it up and lead this team. Wurden could emerge as the team's best defenseman at the rate he is going. Pederson is a guy that you need to have, as he plays the physical role and hopefully he can help others learn that as well.

Forwards (8):
Eddie Olczyk (1989) - Solid player, needs to look for the open man more.
Travis Oleksuk (1989) - Struggled early, but made huge strides to end the season.
James Krusic (1988) - Good size, needs to finish.
Anthony Maiani (1989) - Should lead the team in points.
Donnie Hallmark (1988) - Physical player, could be a nice captain.
Spencer Heichman (1989) - Extremely small, but he improved a lot from last season.
Alex Tuckerman (1988) - Excellent stick handler, should be a top 3 forward.
Nathan Pageau (1989) - Plays bigger than he is, lots of potential.

Forward Evaluation:
Maiani and Hallmark, who will be third year vets, will be relied upon to lead this team. Oleksuk, Tuckerman, and Heichman could be a solid line combination next season with their experience and speed. If Pageau, Krusic, and Olczyk can emerge as top players, this offense could be deadly.

Futures Evaluation:
Sioux City features a couple top Minnesota players including goalie Ben Leis, defenseman Seth Helgason, and forward Jake Johnson. Helgason is a big kid and would be a nice addition to the team. The Musketeers also have a solid player by the name of Tom Serratore, who is the son of former Lancer coach Frank Serratore. Eric Rubino and Adam Kuhn could be wild cards for this team come next season.

Overall Evaluation: C+

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pederson is anything but physical. A fact reiterated in the USHL draft when no one else picked him up when Sioux City left him unprotected. I doulbt he'll be seen again in the league. It was amazing that Sova was picked up though, as it would make more sense to take Pederson than Sova. Neither was dependable on defense. Medvec was less than desireable as well with an extreme lack of physical play.

Cutting the two and having the third move on is probably the best improvement that Sioux City could have made/had happen.