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Prospect Pulse: Scott Darling

First, I would like to apologize for my prolonged absence. I was attending the USHL’s Fall Classic Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. Today’s Prospect Pulse will feature one of the stars of the show, Indiana Ice goaltender Scott Darling.

Darling appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, to place 11th on the list of draft eligible North American goalies. Playing in relative obscurity in the Eastern Junior Hockey League, Darling posted a 9-9-3 record with a 3.37 GAA. All of this after being cut by the North American Hockey League. Despite the adversity, Darling’s play was enough to get him a scholarship to the University of Maine and drafted by the Indiana Ice and the Phoenix Coyotes.

A monstrous 6’6, Darling fits the mold of fellow Black Bear Ben Bishop and plays a similar style of game. He covers a lot of net, but is quite athletic for a 6’6 goaltender. When in the butterfly, there is virtually no net for a shooter to see. In games this weekend, Darling was at times stellar, getting beat only once (on a deflection) in the game I saw live. Indiana’s defense was porous for most of the weekend, and Darling saw a lot of work and a lot of traffic.

That being said, he was alway square to the shooter and is very strong positionally. He does have a tendency to give up rebounds, which hurt this weekend because the defense were not clearing anything. Going forward, I think Phoenix will have a very good prospect on their hands. Many of the NHL scouts in attendance were pleased with his play, though most thought of him as a project. His game should improve now that he is in a better league.

News You Can Use Late in the Day:

The Grand Forks Herald with 10 Questions for the UND Fighting Sioux

-TSN repots that Sam Gagner, Nick Foligno and Carey Price have all made their respective clubs out of camp. Also note in the same article that Kyle Chipchura and Mikail Grabovski have also made the Canadiens.

-On the flip-side, Jiri Tlusty and Jay Harrison were cut by the Maple Leafs.

-The Philadelphia Flyers have named Jason Smith their new captain.

-Former UND Fighting Sioux Brady Murray makes his NHL debut.

Sportsnet with a roundup from the CHL.

-The Omaha Lancers capture the USHL’s Fall Classic with a perfect record. They were absolutely dominant in the game I saw them play.

Leaf’s defenseman Carlo Coliacovo to miss both games against the Senators.

-A very in-depth article about Oiler’s coach Craig MacTavish. Note the brief mention of his time in jail, part of which was spent in a cell with a pail for toilet? Did he serve time in Thailand?

Inside College Hockey with a list of the Top 20 Freshman forwards in the NCAA.

-A preview of College Hockey America. Note that this may be the final year for CHA, with Wayne State suspending operations for Men’s hockey after this season.

-Inside College Hockey with the Top 20 Freshman defenders in the NCAA.

-You guessed it, here are the goalies.

Ron McLean signs a 7 year extension at Hockey Night in Canada. Thats a long term deal for someone his age? I guess the CBC is not worried about injury or eroding skill.

-The Sabres’ Ales Kotalik is likely to miss the season opener with a knee injury.

-A look at the Avalanche by Avs’ bloggers.

-The Capitals signed prospect Tomas Fleischman, and expect him to be in the opening night lineup.

Eric Duhatschek profiles the feud between the New York Rangers and the NHL.

-Quotes from Wings’ coach Mike Babcock on the final cuts he made.

The Toronto Star’s Paul Hunter wonders how fast team’s can rebuild in the new NHL.

Harry Neale has left the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Buffalo Sabres.

SI’s Darren Eliot with a look around the NHL.

Kris Letang is assigned to Wilkes-Barre by the Penguins.

-A photo gallery of NHL uniforms, past and present, from SI.

-Jim Matheson notes that Jarome Iginla is in favor of 3 on 3 OT. Also note that there may be a job opening with the Polish Ice Hockey Federation, as Krystof Oliwa beat the heck out of his girlfriend.

Lawrence Nycholat will start the season with the Ottawa Senators. Perhaps a little surprising, but I met him at a wedding this summer and he indicated the Senators told him to buy a house.

-The Manitoba Moose assign 8 to the ECHL, including the son of their Director of Scouting.

-Some law in hockey talk if you are bored and/or Joshua Slayen.

USA Today with previews for every division.

-Scott Burnside
feels that the Kings have found their new stud netminder.

Burnside also notes that not all the reviews from London were positive. As a side note, there is a ton of hockey content over at ESPN right now.

-The Toronto Maple Leaf’s forward lines look a lot like last year.

Wes Goldstein with the Power Rankings from CBS Sports.

-Dave Molinari feels that Marc-Andre Fleury needs to find consistency this year.

Berard and Tambellini have their fingers crossed on Long Island.

Rob Blake to have a role in the new Mike Myers movie.

-Panthers forward Rob Globke has secured the final roster spot in Miami.

-Bruins prospect Milan Lucic survives the final round of cuts in Boston.

-Lighting rookie Mike Lundin happy he made the switch to defense.

-The Boston Herald notes that Manny Fernandez failed to lock down the #1 job during the pre-season.

The Score with a look at some injuries from around the NHL.

For Illegal Curve, I’m Kyle Kosior