Fresh off the naming of their new coaching staff, the Buccaneers and their fans are looking forward to next season. Scott McConnell was a huge land for this team, and should be an asset in the recruiting.
Michael Dorr-Often injured, but when healthy was a top player in the league.
Rody Selk-Team leader.
Keith Kinkaid (1989) - Played pretty well given the circumstances faced.
Fredrik Bergman (1989) - Quality goalie, didn't have much help out front.
I feel Des Moines has a quality goalie situation heading into next season with Kinkaid and Bergman. They didn't have much help in front of them, but posted respectable numbers for such a poor team. Both are a little young, but stepped right into the fire and played decent. Kinkaid was a great pick up by the Bucs staff and helped spark some goalie controversy.
Ryan McKiernan (1989) - One of Des Moines' most reliable blue liners.
Andrew Panzarella (1990) - Didn't show much talent, could be better with a year under his belt.
Cullen Lundholm (1988) - Seems responsible in his own zone. Not offensive.
Austin Handley (1990) - Third year guy should lead this defense.
Brad Walch (1991) - Still young and raw.
Des Moines will have a couple top notch players returning to work the blue line in McKiernan and Handley. Lundholm is quiet, but is dependable in his own zone from what I was able to see of him, so the Bucs should have a decent trio there. The other two are wild cards. Walch played in quite a few games, so that should help his development towards next season. I feel Panzarella is at best a 6th defenseman, and with the guys that could return, it looks like he will stay lower on the depth chart.
Nielsson Arcibal (1988) - Small, gritty forward. Should put up more points this season.
Chris Knowlton (1989) - Goal scorer, could challenge for league points title.
Josh Balch (1990) - Added at the deadline, was a goal scorer in Midgets.
Ryan Walters (1991) - Highly touted forward, will probably be slow out of the gate.
Matt White (1991) - Young, very raw.
Rocco Carzo (1990) - Had a decent year after being added mid-season.
Alexander Denezhkin (1991) - Fast skater, needs to finish better.
Des Moines has some very young and raw forwards. They have a year of USHL hockey under their belts, so it should make for a nice year next year. This group of forwards will be led by Knowlton and Walters. Arcibal should be a decent scorer as well as a leader in this group. White, Balch, Carzo, and Denezhkin will have to have matured a lot over this past season if they want to jump in and take on more important roles. Denezhkin has a ton of speed, so he can get through the D, but just needs to work on finishing.
I don't know a whole lot about some of these guys, so I will do my best. Tyler Maxwell was called up and played a handful of games in Des Moines this season, so he should get a solid shot to make the roster come next season. Nick Pryor is set to age out of the NTDP program, but it is not yet known what he will do in the year he has before heading off to Wisconsin. I think joining the Buccaneers would be his best option at this point. Sean Logue and Brian Sheehan have juniors experience, so they should have a leg up on some of the competition. Nick Leddy is a top player in Minnesota, and he may be leaning towards staying in Minnesota. He would then enroll with the Gophers and be a pure freshman.
Overall Evaluation: C+