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Chicago Blackhawks

Prospect Pulse

Max Pacioretty, the Montreal Canadiens 2nd 2007 First Rounder, is headed for the University of Michigan this fall ( I wonder if he can play football?). Last year’s USHL rookie of the year, Pacioretty is projected as power forward, with good around the net instinct and a quick release. Also shows good aptitude on the power play, where he can run the offense from the half boards by making smart passes and distributing the puck with intelligence. Proficient in the face-off circle, he was a participant in USA Hockey’s Junior evaluation camp and hopes to represent his country at the World Junior’s this Christmas.

Capable of playing a two way game, Max lists Jed Ortemeyer as his favorite player but models his game after Keith Tkachuk. McKeen’s projects that he will be NHL ready in a couple of years, but needs to work on consistency (like all young players), strength and defensive awareness. (Sidebar: I truly hope I live to see the day that an NHL coach will just come out and say, “Player X is an offensive talent and I intend to use him in that capacity”. I am a little tired of stifled creativity.) Pacioretty himself acknowledges his need for more upper body strength, but wants to maintain his speed and agility. He also wants to improve his goal scoring efficiency. Max has actually improved his offensive totals in each of his last 3 years of hockey.

Of note, Pacioretty was born in California and moved to Connecticut as a child. He is the only member of his family to play hockey. His parents signed him up for skating and he kept pushing himself to get better, including moving away from home to attend Taft Prep School. Max credits his coaches at Taft for making him the player he is today, and further credits Dave Siciliano of the Sioux City Musketeers with teaching him about intensity and attention to detail.

The Montreal Canadiens feel that Pacioretty will address their need for a pure power forward. Noting the success that players such as Eric Cole have had against their club, the Habs sought out the 6-1, 200 lb. forward to fill this niche. Prospect Pulse feels that a couple of years in Michigan under Red Berenson will have Pacioretty in the bleu, blanc et rouge in no time.

News You Can Use in the Late Morning:

-Hawks fans have reason for optimism this year. Time for all two of you to get out the closet and embrace this team, they should be fun to watch under Denis Savard.

-Flames Prospect Brandon Prust will have to postpone his debut til he is 100%. (TSN Broadband)

-Clement Jodoin attempts to rebuild the Oceanic in the post-Crosby era.

-Blues optimistic about the future. JD has done a great job.

-Lyon Messier traded from the Oil Kings to the Rockets. No Moose Jr. for Oil fans this year.

-The Leafs unveil their new jerseys. Pretty nice all together.

-SI’s Allan Muir notes 15 players to watch in training camps. I would not be shocked if Commie-seeking missile Brandon Sutter got a look this fall.

-The new Avs jerseys. Meh.

Illegal Curve noted yesterday that FA Brent Sopel was in Red Wings camp. Babcock now sees his as a Top 4 d-man.

-Man bites dog. George W. and Hilary caught in romantic tryst. In other news, Refs play hockey.

-Rangers prospect Alex Bourret has something to prove.

-The Avs cut 11 players, most notably Peterborough’s Trevor Cann, a highly touted goalie.

-A run down of Canucks prospects.

-Benjamin Rubin reaches compromise that will allow him to play this season. On that note, a pleasant Rosh Hosannah to our Chosen Readers.

Former Moose Jaw Warrior Robin Big Snake arrives in Texas. This is a little off the NHL’s radar, but I love that name.

-Former Prospect Pulse feature Marco Insam still in the mix at Regina Pats’ camp.

-Top pick Erik Johnson ready to go.

Transaction report from last night.

-Carol Alt not missing Yashin that much. I wonder if Alt is teaching Lundqvist about the 5-hole?

-Patrick Roy, Rbk and Zellers team up for a new line of footwear. Perfect for walking out on the Canadiens or kicking your wife.

For Illegal Curve, I’m Kyle Kosior.