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Prospect Pulse

Canucks prospect Mason Raymond is one of the few features in Prospect Pulse whom I have seen play. I spent my Friday’s in the press box at MTS Centre last winter, and was pleasantly surprised when Raymond showed up following the culmination of his college career. A speedy forward, Raymond was a departure from the typical workman-like forwards that the Moose employed. Possessing good speed and excellent lateral movement, Raymond stood out in that he could make something out of nothing and provided some dipsy doodle in an otherwise bland Moose attack.

Despite having seen him play a couple times with Minnesota-Duluth, I had previously not noticed Raymond (perhaps due to the penchant for UND student fans to stand the whole damn game). In reading scouting reports, Raymond is said to have packed on 25 pound of muscle during his brief college career and may be one of those unheralded players who suddenly emerge from the NCAA as a legitimate NHL player.

Raymond put up excellent numbers in the NCAA, averaging nearly a point per game over his two year career for the offensively challenged Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. A second round pick by the Vancouver Canucks in 2005, Raymond is noted for having astute offensive awareness coupled with a strong work ethic and a motor that never stops running. Scouts noted that after he bulked up, he added a physical edge to his already confident game, and is now capable of dishing out punishing checks in addition to his offensive repertoire.

Able to be used in all situations, Raymond projects to be a solid 2nd line forward in the NHL. Currently listed 6th amongst Canuck prospects, don’t discount the possibility of Raymond seeing increasing amounts of ice in the NHL. The 21 year old recently had tongues wagging with his impressive skill set. Luckily for Raymond, his skill set meshes nicely with what the Canucks need. Look for him to be wearing those garish Vancouver uniforms to start the season.

News You Can Use in the Late Morning:

-XM Radio reports Wings great Gordie Howe is embroiled in a dispute with neighbours over the Howe’s using their residence as a business. His neighbours were allegedly video-taping the house, though a judge has issued a temporary injunction against that practice. Link to the story is here. Note to the neighbours: Even though Howe is a nearly 80 year-0ld retiree, I am pretty sure he could still put you down with an elbow.

–A re-cap of the Panthers‘ rookie camp.

-Pisani’s prognosis not promising.

-Oilers hire a team psychologist to give them a mental edge. Lets hope he is also a top 6 forward.

Kevin Lowe believes the Oilers may surprise people.

-Former prospect Jared Aulin now with the Calgary Dinos.

Pronger looks to regain his fire for this year. I am sure almost any Oiler fan would help set Chris on fire.

–Hawks prospect Ryan Stokes hospitalized after a skate to the face.

-As reported to me by RP last night, the Globe and Mail notes Jarome Iginla is just entering his prime.

-A Columbus Blue Jackets preview.

-The Wild’s Benoit Pouliot looks to have a better season. Note that Assistant GM Tom Lynn contacted Alexei Yashin, who asked the Wild for $4 million/per.

–Wild cut former Golden Gopher Danny Irmen.

Ranger’s Strudwick valued for his off-ice contributions.

-The Wild are eager to see massive prospect Andre Lakos in action.

-A Philadelphia Flyers preview over at Fanhouse.

-A Capitals update with news on Tomas Fleischmann and his quest for a roster spot.

-The Sporting News wonders what is going on in Phoenix.

-Gretzky has hope for the Coyotes.

Who looks to make a play for the WHL title.

CHL rankings.

-The Devils’ Brodeur still has fun playing hockey.

-Time to do or die for Leafs’ prospects.

Alain Vigneault drawing praise in Vancouver.

-The Lightning are happy with Filip Kuba, but want a better defensive game.

-Note the excerpts from the blog written by Senators prospect Alex Nikluin.

Wes Goldstein with a look at the Sabres.

Craig Anderson raising his stock with the Panthers.

-The Oilers are ready for an infusion of youth.

-Canucks prospect Michael Grabner impresses against the Flames.

Bruins defenders prepared to turn the B’s around.

-The Hockey News looks at the Pacific Division.

Tyler Kennedy impressing at Penguins’ camp.

Penguins sign lease for their new arena.

Skating coach tries to improves Coyotes’ fortunes.

Gerard Gallant looks to spice up the Islanders’ power-play.

-The Score notes a crowded crease in LA.

Taking Note details WHL stars who have returned from NHL camps.

-The Canucks give Dan McGillis a try out.

Player movement in the QMJHL.

-Some dark-horse predictions for the CHL.

For Illegal Curve, I’m Kyle Kosior