Friday, February 26, 2021

Initial Roster Thoughts

The Tigers have a lot of changes this season. Players not returning
Soogard, Brinkman, Plouffe, Hamblin, Gavlas, Brown, Lockner, Anderson,McNabb, Plouffe, Perna

The Equivalent of 2 full lines + 1. Big changes usually bring some volatility.

McCarry Chyzowski Hopwo
Danielson Svejkovsky Kemp  
Glover Weisblatt  Wilms
Boehm/Shtrom Patton Ferster

Initial Thoughts
The Tigers could go with a top-down approach of giving a lot of ice-time to a powerline of Chyzowksi, Kemp, Svejkovksy, which they may do in crunch time, powerplay, and late in games. For overall health and longevity, they may decide to spread the wealth out for more balance which is the typical direction of Desjardins coaching style.

 Experience wise this is probably one of the leanest or more polarizing forward groups the Tigers have seen in a long time. The loss of the imports not coming back dampers secondary depth up front. They have some top-end strength and then a lot of inexperience. They have a record high of 5 16yr olds up front...which will probably mean a more powerful forward group in a few years

The interesting thing is that when the USHL season ends and Cole Sillinger returns it will change the dynamic of this group to be above average barring any significant covid tests or injury issues. 

Youthful lineups tend to do well early and then fade quickly. With a shortened season let's hope that this youth comes out of the gate strong and then Sillinger is able to return to provide some stability.


Baker Clayton
Krebs Van Impe

A balanced and above-average group. Great veterans in Baker and Clayton. A good mix of future top liners with Krebs and Van Impe and some youth.  I think Van Impe has been a little under-rated. I've seen flashes of incredibly strong smart play when he's on his game and playing with confidence
Krebs is a puck mover who will likely be a cornerstone for fast transitions in years to come. With that top 4 there is a degree of strength there.


Bjorklund competed for the top position last year and we have full confidence that he will become a top goaltender in the league and should be again next year.

Overall Thoughts
The Tigers defence and goaltending are above average. A veteran defensive group and strong goaltending. Their forward core has a very high turnover and there is potential volatility there. An injury to a key player could spell a bit of trouble.  Defencemen may need to adjust based on if they are playing with the experienced forwards vs the inexperienced youth.

The positive is that the Tigers have 3 players in the top 2 rounds of the whl bantam draft entering as 16 yr olds, including highly-touted Oasiz Wiesblatt. It could not be a better time to infuse youth into the lineup with a short season.

However...there is a catch22  Does the competition stack their lineup with shortened benches? Jumping right into the season the risk/reward ratio of using older players with more ice-time is definitely a factor. There could more a lot more recovery time than usual, which also comes with the risk of losing those players to injury with a shortened season.  If you are a coach that has an "overwhelm" type strategy or is at risk at their job expect them to quickly shorten their bench. 

We don't know the full schedule and it's very possible that we see 1 or 2-week gaps between schedule releases so other divisions can catch up to games being played.

Normally I would have gone through all the opposition rosters and grabbed a feel for their strengths but I haven't this season. I know Edmonton is going to have a team to beat and probably a favorite to win the league and the Tigers play them twice in the first 4 games.

In this 24 game short season anything can happen and it will be exciting to watch all these new younger kids. 

Some News Articles

1 comment:

TigerTurf said...

Cole Sillinger has made the under 18 team. That event runs until May 6th. The whl regular season ends May 8th.

Means he won't see any action as a Tiger this season unless the whl were to introduce an extended playoff which is very unlikely or a covid situation delays the season.