Kalvyn is his name and hockey is his game. Young Sir Watson made his Ontario Hockey League debut on Saturday night and didn’t disappoint. The 5’9, 161lb forward committed to the Soo after playing for the Lindsay Muskies in the Ontario Junior Hockey League so far this year. Scouts describe him as a quick skating forward with an extremely high hockey IQ.
Witnessing him play his first game during a 5-2 Hounds win over the rival Wolves, you can see what the scouts and management see in him. Every shift he skated with relentless speed, he handled the puck well, made quick passes and good decisions, and skated just as hard going back to the bench.
Coaching kept his shifts short and sweet and he also reminded me of Hayden Verbeek with his intensity, style and physical stature. The one difference is that Kalvyn is still growing and more than likely will hover around 6ft and mass up to nearly 200lbs in the next couple of years. Welcome to the Soo young Watson My Dear Boy!
This past weekend saw the Hounds split the homestand with a loss on Friday against the Saginaw Spirit. I agree with Coach Deans sentiments that the Hounds played a good game and deserved a better fate. All it boils down to is that when it’s a close game, you either get the bounces or you don’t. The Hounds hit the iron on a couple of occasions and thus just didn’t get the bounces and succumbed to a 4-2 loss including an empty-netter.
Saturday saw the Hounds play the same pesky, buzzing style and at times overwhelmed the visiting Wolves with good puck management and cycling. Defenceman, Mac Hallowell was the dominant force in the Dogs 5-2 win and was rewarded with the First Star.
Friday night’s contest also showed that we have a package of dynamite in rookie defenceman Ryan O’Rourke as he dropped the mitts for the second time this season to exact revenge on an earlier hit he received earlier in the contest. Ryan, took the first few knuckles but kept swinging and finally knocked the Spirit player on his Keester; welcome to the Soo Meester.
We are about 10 days out from knowing the fate of a few of our gems as the trade deadline approaches and the Hounds are still holding on to the top rungs of the league ladder. Kyle Raftis has his work cut out for him but I’m confident the Hounds will still be a contender (after the deadline passes) for at least a division title.
Of all the speculation and chatter around the coffee shops, the one opinion I disagree with is that if the Hounds go to the seller’s market, Barrett Hayton would be on that list. Of course, Frost, Hollowell, Sambrook, and Howdeshell will not be returning next year, so I can possibly see one or more of those kids being offered up as bait for future draft picks and players. Having said that, I don’t think Barrett will be shipped out as he more than likely would not make the Arizona squad and/or farm team next year. I think Barrett, as good as he is would be better off with one more year of junior. Teams don’t generally like to bring kids up too quickly; especially a 5th overall draftee.
Yes, I know, Rasmus made it to the Marlies this year as an 18-year-old but that was an exception. Anyway, this is just my opinion and we’ll know very shortly when Kyle shows his cards.
I hope you all have a great New Year and I look forward to writing for you in 2019.
Go Hounds Go,