Dave Starman, long time hockey analyst for CBS Sports Network & Team USA hockey games on NHL Network, was kind enough to answer some questions based on his observations at the recent IIHF U-20 World Junior Championships in Canada.
What were your impressions of Coyotes' prospects Max Domi and Anton Karlsson?
Karlsson, I didn't see. Domi impressed me with 3 things...his pull away speed, ability to play in traffic and his high compete level..Loved how he played with pace, seemed to let the game come to him as opposed to forcing plays...most of all, biggest improvement is not being a one man band...used his linemates really well.
What are your thoughts about 17-year-old US forward Auston Matthews?
Really good hockey sense and excellent play off the puck. Felt he forced a bit offensively and didn't take what was given to him, but away from the puck in the DZ (defensive zone) he was terrific.
With Arizona having a poor season, but one not likely to end up with the option of selecting Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in this year's draft, what 2015 draft eligible players caught your eye at the tourney?
Tough to answer....I can't say I was really watching anyone specifically, but Freddie Tiffels of Germany was great on a bad team. Really like (Noah) Hanifin from the US, kid has unreal feet.
You've been involved in the sport for a long time. Do you feel the development of US born players will continue on an upward trend or have we reached the plateau/saturation point with what grassroots/national development program can do?
I don't think we can plateau. There are still so many bright people pushing the envelope for player development methodology at USA Hockey we can only go up. We've only scratched the surface on this. Imagine when across the country we have the vast majority of our coaches on board with the new ways we are developing players and practice sessions via the ADM (American Development Model). We've probably reached 25 percent of our coaches with the new way we're doing things...over time we'll have 80 percent or better doing it the right way and then the sky is the limit.