Boy oh boy is Milan Kraft looking like a draft jewel! He shows up at the World Junior Championship and dominates. Kraft ended the tourney with 5 goals 7 assists in 6 games. He helped the Czech Republic win gold, and he is a major piece in the building of the future for the Pittsburgh Penguins who seem to be rejuvenated with new coach Herb Brooks. Jaromir Jagr loves the offensive freedom. Kraft can be the total package when he adds weight to his frame, and a little knowledge defensively. Other than that, he is one year away from playing with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL for a few games before a call up to play with the best there is, Jagr. Alexander Zevakhin has been playing superb hockey also, collecting 5 points in 5 games, with fairly limited ice time. Alexander needs to mature up and play harder, he seems out of shape at times gasping for air after a bad shift. He plays like Pavel Bure at times, and Andrei Kovalenko at others.
It seems as though Craig Hillier is never going to get his chance like J-S Aubin. He needs more confidence and ice time in the parent league. Hillier plays like Martin Brodeur when he is confident, but most of the time no one has confidence in him, thus leaving him no confidence in himself. He can be a regular goalie when and if he is called on. Hillier should just wear number 13, because that is how his career has turned out to be. Lucky at times and unlucky at times sums it up nicely.
It seems as though Tyler Wright is all fired up to put up numbers this year, unlike none last year. He started off in the AHL and now is playing consistent and strong.
The Ukrainian threat is what they called him and that’s how he played. Boris Protsenko stands 6’0” tall and plays 6’4”. He is well rounded and can hit and play the aggressive style the Penguins lack. Matthew Barnaby can sure use the help in the goon department. Protsenko can help out on the third line, while the Penguins send Alexei Morozov to the baby Penguins for conditioning and confidence. Alexei can join Valentin Morozov and try to get his touch back. He did play very well and showed a glimpse of his potenital against the Devils early in the season knotting a natural hat-trick.