Prospect Viewing: Avery Peterson

I was in Sioux City Tuesday through Friday of last week (9/11-9/13) taking in the USHL Fall Classic West as part of my Redline Report duties. With the 12 hour shifts both game days watching draft-eligibles, I was also afforded the chance to watch one of Minnesota's prospects play. Here's what I saw.
I was told that in the USHL Atlantic Classic the week before that Peterson looked really good; he was excellent working on the second PP unit, and that his shot was legit; that his release had improved. There has been more of a willingness to shoot though, as he's had 12 shots on goal through four games. He did tally a power play goal late in Thursday's game.
That said, you can see that he's going to be a longer-term project, so its a blessing he's heading to Nebraska-Omaha. His skating overall needs some work; for a bigger player he just doesn't generate great power with his stride; maybe it is just a function of strength and some technique adjustment- he just looks like he's skating on his toes. While he's got good vision and playmaking ability, there were just too many times he would throw the puck away; whether he thought that there would be (or was) a teammate in that space, there wasn't; at times he showed that he just needs to be smarter with the puck in terms of knowing what he should and shouldn't do.
His physical game is still a work in progress; like any young player of size he's on the learning curve of how to play a harder, bigger game; using his frame to his advantage and playing with some bite, instead of trying to finesse his way around.
It'll be interesting to see how he grows this season; he's getting important situational minutes, and should be counted on to produce for a team that lost a giant amount of talent from last year. 

I was looking forward to seeing Louie Nanne play, as he now playing for the Sioux Falls Stampede. The now-decommitted Nanne wasn't even in town though, as he's still recovering from shoulder surgery in the offseason. At least he helped Buble pick a fantasy hockey team...

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