So what do you think of Tochkin? His skills, strengths and weaknesses? It's nice to get a first-hand account of what a player's like, especially since we in Vancouver don't get to see them much or at all.
Do you regularly follow the Silvertips then? I'm assuming you do, and in that case can you also tell us what Ellington is like? Skating, decision-making, passing, puckhandling, mental toughness and reliability, etc.? Again, I don't think many people have seen much of this kid, and with him being a 2nd-round pick D-man it'd be nice to know what he can do and how he projects as well. Our current prospect depth on the blueline is not too great right now, lacking a real blue-chip prospect back there on defense.
I go to 15 or so games a year.
Tochkin has very good vision and playmaking ability at the Major-Junior level and seems to be very smart. His skating is average, or below, for even a junior, and he's one of the smaller and weaker players on the ice. That's about all I've got for observations of Tochkin.
Ellington was one of the most physically dominant players on the ice, an above average skater in Junior and as strong as an oxe. He wasn't very offensively talented (as you can probably tell by his statistics), he'd get nervous hands and make ill-advised plays with the puck. He should fight and hit more if he ever hopes to make it to the show. He plays sort of a laid back style and with his lack of talent he won't go far playing that style.
The Silvertip who is the one to watch, going forward, is Ryan Murray; a 16-year-old defenseman who skates like Niedermayer and is poised and skilled with the puck and will hit and drop the mitts at the right times. He's my favorite yet.
Good coaching makes all the difference in the world. Last season was a throw away with BEcanic behind the bench. Hartsburg has got the kids playing a solid and responsible style of game, should be good for Tochkin's transition to the pro game...lucky for him!