The Moose had a few days off after a three-games in three day sweep of Belleville and Toronto (x2) over the weekend and hit the ice this morning at Bell MTS Place to prepare for two straight against the San Antonio Rampage.
When the skate began there were a couple of players absent in goalie Eric Comrie and forward Nic Petan. In place of Petan skated Francis Beauvillier who did double duty also skating on the 5th line with Sutter and Kramer.
Following skate coach Vincent provided an update on some of his players.
Goalie Eric Comrie was injured during the game last Friday in Belleville although he did play the full 60 minutes. The team called up Jamie Phillips on Saturday and he backed up Michael Hutchinson in the two games against the Marlies. Coach Vincent indicated that Comrie is “day-to-day” and added that he “feels pretty positive that after the Christmas break he’ll be good to go but not this weekend.”.
Forward Nic Petan, who was unexpectedly absent from practice today, is simply sick according to the Moose bench boss and “should be a player tomorrow”.
Defenceman Jake Kulevich who has had two separate absences due to injury this season is ready to return. He was back in a regular jersey on the ice and coach Vincent indicated he “will be a player tomorrow.”.
Roslovic & Appleton flying high:
They comprise 2/3 of the top line for the Moose and both players are both ranked in the top 10 of the AHL scoring race with Jack Roslovic sitting third overall and Mason Appleton is tied for eighth. One of the biggest differences that Jack Roslovic has noticed in his sophomore season with the Moose is the “familiarity with the game” and he noted it has been a similar transition to the one he experienced during his junior years at U-17 and U-18 which entails “knowing how to treat your body, knowing how to become more of a pro, and when you figure that out it can do you well.”
Mason Appleton sits second in AHL rookie scoring and he was asked whether he has surprised himself with his success “I wasn’t too sure what to expect coming into the year. I know I come here, work hard and I do what I need to do to be successful so I’m just going to stay on that path and keep doing those things.”. However, this isn’t to suggest that he doesn’t feel like there are aspects of his game that he still needs to work on as Appleton told us “I try to be as consistent as I can but at times I gotta get pucks out when I try to hold onto it a little long maybe in the D zone, but those are the little things that NHLers are so great at and that’s why they are in the NHL and guys like me are in the minors, right now.”
2015 Draft Class representing:
The best haul of draft picks for this organization was achieved at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft in Sunrise, Florida. Ez and I were there covering the draft for Illegal Curve at the BB&T Center and who knew what the results of those two days in sunny Florida would mean for this organization. Up with the big club is 1st round pick Kyle Connor and plying their trade with the Moose is essentially the rest of that class including Roslovic (1st), Harkins (2nd), Spacek (4th), Appleton (6th) and Niku (7th). Erik Foley (3rd) remains in college and the team did not sign Matteo Gennaro (7th). Today when Jack Roslovic was asked about his draft class he smirked and said “Ya, I think they’ll be happy about that year”. Considering that Appleton and Niku look like complete steals, Harkins and Spacek will be nice pieces over time and Roslovic is tearing up the AHL, that might be a bit of an understatement by the Moose leading scorer.
With respect to developing players along the path to success Moose bench boss Pascal Vincent added this gem following practice “I think a coach is like a GPS in your car. We know where they want to go. We are there to help them achieve their goals!”.
Moose have a morning skate at 10 AM on Thursday as they look to increase their record of games without a regulation loss to 15. Puck drops between the Moose and Rampage is at 7 pm on Thursday at Bell MTS Place.
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