Jason Ulmer continues to give 100 percent. He definitely has talent and ended the weekend with a goal, an assist, and more time with the Pirates’ special unit teams. Definitely one to watch as he gets better and better with every game.
After a disappointing second half of last season for Brad Church, he has really learned from previous mistakes. His biggest improvement of all is he seems to have learned patience, and it has increased the level of his game tenfold. He is another player who knows how to utilize his size and strength and he is playing at a personal best right now.
Todd Rohloff was out and about at the Civic Center this weekend and all reports are that his physical therapy is going well. He is expected to be back on the ice sometime before Christmas.
Peter Ferraro continues to play well and work hard. However, he is spending too much time in the penalty box on unnecessary penalties and is just a tad sloppy. Peter is a good player; he just needs to clean it up a little to be a great player.
Whilst Chris Ferraro is technically still called-up with the Capitals, he will be indefinitely on ‘day to day’ status. My thoughts and prayers go out to both him and his wife.
Kyle Clark may need to be sent back to Richmond to try and develop some more and give his spot to one of our ECHL prospects – Garret Prosofsky immediately comes to mind. The fact is, Clark is the only forward to have played with the team this season thus far that has no points, and he has accumulated a negative plus/minus. If he can learn to utilize his impressive 6’7 height, he would be an asset to any team.
One of my favorite aspects of going to the home games is watching players from other teams hitting Nolan Yonkman only to find that he does not even budge and they going flying back the way they came from. At 6’6 he may only be the second tallest on the roster, but, importantly, he knows how to use his size. He is getting loads of ice time, and the organization is obviously focusing on his development.
Roman Tvrdon is another of the team’s rapidly developing rookies. He does not get much ice time and is often a healthy scratch. He and Ulmer both improve with every game they play.
Veteran defenseman Patrick Boileau continues to have a steady season. He is really showing more confidence than before and ended this weekend with two assists. Again, he is one of the team’s unsung heroes for all that he does for the younger players.
Nick Naumenko continues to impress. The team has a had a rocky month and he had his less than stellar moments, but he is our best offensive defensemen and one of the best on the team.
It appears that Barrie Moore had his own personal wake-up call and he looks to be back on track. When his professional tryout is over, there are no guarantees that he will be offered another tryout or a contract, but if he keeps on track than his chances will increase.
Jakub Cutta has been a mixed bag so far. He clearly has loads of talent, but he is also clearly very young. Both he and Ryan VanBuskirk might benefit from some time spent in Richmond.
Welcome back Metro! The Glen Metropolit Portland fans have come to know and adore is back in full form. He has been spectacular of late and there is every reason to expect a call-up in his near future.
Team Captain Dean Melanson was returned to the team on Wednesday. His slapshot is truly remarkable and he is overall an fair player.
Mel Angelstad is proving to be the first true enforcer the team has had in several years. Whilst he is hardly a prolific scorer and has only play he set up comes to mind, his toughness has proved valuable for the team thus far.
Chris Corrinet is having a great season. He is hardworking, has excellent situational awareness, and is one of the team’s top goal scorers. He is a very fun player to watch and when he fully develops all his potential, he could really be a force to be reckoned with.
After being so good last season, Mark Murphy had a comparatively bad start this year. But he looks to be almost back in form. He looked good this weekend. Given everything that has happened to the Capitals so far, he may get his shot up in the NHL at some point this season.
Graham Mink is the team’s newest addition and has proven he can play under pressure. Otherwise, it is too early to tell what kind of AHL player he will be.
Overall: The last month has been a rough one for the Pirates. It appears this weekend marks a turnaround, with wins against two of the top teams in the league, and I hope the team can get back on track as the schedule finally begins to pick up.