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Select 17 Stuff

I'm still wading through all the information I have on the various players, but for now, I thought I'd post a few general thoughts on what I saw in St. Cloud.

This year's camp seemed thin on super high-end talent. Then again, you can never really tell. While I though Pat Kane and James van Riemsdyk were very good when they played in St. Cloud, I never would have guessed they'd end up getting drafted so highly.

The class of defenseman was much stronger than the forwards. There were a lot of excellent defenseman at the camp.

That basically matches what USHR.com said at the Select 16 Festival last year, even though many of the top players from last year's camp didn't come to St. Cloud this year, including Jordan Schroeder, Robbie Czarnik, and Zach Bogosian.

Players that played Junior A hockey last year, whether it be in the USHL, CHL, or with the NTDP, seemed to have a bit of an advantage over the rest of the field.

There were A LOT of penalties called. The refs were trying to call the games as strict as possible. To a certain extent, I liked it, because it was nice to see all of the obstruction called, but it really cut into the flow of the games, and a lot of coaches were disappointed because they felt all of the penalties ruined some of the games.

The ice on the main rink was pretty bad on the first day. But they turned the temperature down in the rink, and the temperature dropped outside, and it was much better by the end of the week. They keep the temperature on the second rink at absolute zero, so there were no issues with that ice.

As always, there were a lot of NCAA coaches and NHL scouts there. It was, however, the first time I've seen Fairbanks represented at one of these tournaments.