And the #3 Prospect Is...
Posted by Nathan Wells on Tuesday, August 23, 2011
(Photo courtesy of the Wild)
Defenseman 6'3" 206 lbs
Houston (AHL) 3 goals 16 assists in 33 games; Minnesota (NHL) 2 assists in 20 games
The top defenseman on our list, Marco Scandella is ready to take the prospect tag off and contribute to the Wild after spending a season split between Minnesota, Houston and injured reserve. A second round pick in 2008 and fully recovered from a concussion, Scandella was able to show at the recent Wild development camp that he is a man amongst boys through his size, skill and play as the best player on the ice.
Although his ceiling might not be as high as other defensive prospects, Scandella appears to have a bright future ahead of him and is much more likely to reach his. It has helped that the Montreal native was slowly brought along in the three years since being drafted and allowed to develop at his own pace. With that, Scandella shines on both ends of the ice. His size and wingspan give him an advantage where he can control the play and force it to the outside. At the same time, Scandella is physical (although has toned down from this) and aggressive but not a liability. If anything, he can carry his defensive partner at the junior level.
And of course, he's a good interview.
As with all prospects, it remains to be seen whether or not Marco Scandella will become the top-four defenseman we see him being with the Wild, but he should start this upcoming season in St. Paul. At worst he's a serviceable NHL defenseman. At best, the State of Hockey will be saying Brent Who?
Dan: Scandella's been on an upward development curve essentially from the Day he was drafted; he had been projected to be a depth defenseman, a #6-#7 guy, and then impressed at Traverse City that year, and hasn't looked back since.
What puts Scandella above Jonas Brodin for me is two things; the ability to physically match up against bigger stronger forwards because he has the size, strength, and a 6'8" wingspan, and that I think he has the potential to provide more offense. We've seen Scandella take the puck and make a rush, but he's also got a hard bullet of a shot that he keeps low in order to create rebounds and deflections. You could see the progression he made with every cup of coffee this last season (the injury bug kept striking though,) so the potential is there- but what has really stood out to me hasn't been the games he's played.
Scandella was featured prominently in Episode 4 of Becoming Wild; as a guy who is right in front during a motivation session with Leadership Training Guy JD Spisso, leading his "pack" during their adventure at Normandale Park as part of that same training session, and then "The Giraffe" made sure to check with the hired Power Skating Instructor (Carn was his name I think) to make sure that his form was correct- only to be greeted with the news that he had the fastest time in a sprint.
Its this commitment and dedication to improving himself as a player that has really impressed me most about Marco Scandella. He should, undoubtedly, become an NHL regular this season.