Friday, August 20, 2010

Bill Sweatt wants to work his bag off for you!

"God damn Gillis" - Brian Burke

Well, it doesn't get much better than this off-season for Vancouver Canuck fans. With the Canucks signing prospect and former Leaf/Blackhawk property Bill Sweatt today, Mike Gillis has done virtually everything he possibly could this off-season to appease the Canuck nation. The Canucks have addressed their weakness on the back-end by adding two big ticket defensemen, an excellent defensive/pk man, and has now slapped the Canucks two biggest rivals in the face by signing a player neither one could ink. I've felt that Gillis has been the best GM in the league since his arrival in Vancouver (something that no doubt will make some think I'm a fan boy) however the way he's resurrected this team's reputation, built a solid stable of prospects (something this organization has never had) and has structured one of the best teams in the league after the Burke and Nonis slash and burn years is nothing short of miraculous.

My opinion is that Bill Sweatt's destiny is to become a hard-working role player destined for a third line role. He's described as having incredible speed and an excellent work ethic. Sweatt will be entering his first professional year of hockey this season.

What Others Are Saying

13. RW Billy Sweatt, 6-0 185, 9-21-1988, Colorado College NCAA, 30 gp – 9 g – 17 a – 26 points.
++ Amazing top gear, clutch performances, effort
+ Safe pick, honest two-way player, adequate finisher.
- Lack of top end offensive upside.

No one in this draft possesses a top gear that can even match the one Sweatt possesses. He has elite speed even compared to players in the NHL already. What separates Sweatt from say a Fredrik Sjostrom is that he knows how to utilize his speed to generate offensive chances for himself and his teammates. His dynamic top gear opens up the ice and opportunities for the team and he seems to come up clutch at the critical moments with an end to end rush that he either scores with or shifts the momentum to his teams side. The knock on Billy is that he’s not a great goal scorer or play maker. That said he finishes and creates enough plays through his speed and determination. He’s a gritty player with a good motor and awareness away from the puck. Sweatt lacks the finishing ability to be on a teams first line but he has a future on the second line and will receive ice time on both special team units.

Bill Sweatt 6'0" 180lb Elburn, IL

The TSN Insider's Forecast: If there is a faster straight-line skater in this draft than Colorado College's Bill Sweatt, most of the scouts have not seen him. Sweatt, who was a hard-working role player on the U.S. world junior team, is quick to get in on the forecheck and is not afraid to get physically involved, but there are concerns about his offensive limitations. Sweatt is one of those first-round candidates who could be taken a little bit earlier than this rating, but there's also a chance he could slide into the late first round or even the second round. He didn't help his cause by suffering a significant hand injury in the post season after punching out a window in a fit of rage.

From NHL Central Scouting: A skilled forward with the ability to make plays. Is a great skater and creates a lot of chances with his speed. Is a hard worker and very determined each shift. Has good puck handling skills and good anticipation. Needs to get stronger and needs to improve his ability to fight through checks.

From ISS: Not a flashy player, but certainly a player who has some skill and is willing to work hard in the battle areas. Sweatt represented the United States at the 2007 IIHF U-20 World Junior Championship in Sweden, helping the Americans win a bronze medal. Sweatt possesses soft hands and is very smart in his decisions with the puck.  

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