Dermott/Marner Review

We Take a Closer Look at the Two Team Canada Hopefuls

As the World Junior Summer Showcase comes to an end, there are a lot of positives that the Team Canada brass can look forward to when they fly over to Helsinki, Finland for the World Junior Championship.

They have a surplus of leaders returning from last years’ Gold Medal squad including Joe Hicketts, Brayden Point, Robby Fabbri, Jake Virtanen and Lawson Crouse. Offensive production with this team is plenty and a number of newcomers will have an opportunity to dawn the red maple leaf over the Christmas break.

For Toronto Maple Leafs prospects Travis Dermott and Mitch Marner, that dream could become a reality and both could very well be on the team when Canada kicks off their tournament against Team USA. Both prospects made headlines with great flashes during the showcase that will make them integral pieces for this team during the tournament.

Leafs second round pick, Travis Dermott made an impact on Team Canada’s blue line to be a two-way threat. Dermott isn’t the flashiest defenseman, but he doesn’t complicate things while he’s in all three zones and is always aware of what is happening around him. He doesn’t crack under pressure and he reads every play very well, which will take him a long way as a defenseman in the NHL.

In Canada’s first game against Russia, Dermott made a nice passing-play, split the Russian defense and got a shot on net, which could have lead to a potential goal.

TSN’s Craig Button stated that Dermott’s, “got a dependability about him, steadiness. He’s not going to get you out of your seat with a whole lot of flash, but he’s going to make those plays that get you out of your zone. He’s going to defend the rush, he’s going to close off the cycle and that’s the type of solid defensive play you need.”

Video with Dermott evaluation at 1:29 where you can see the above mentioned play:

Video Link-Video Courtesy of TSN

In Canada’s second game against Russia, Travis Dermott made another smart read on the play by pinching in the offensive zone and buried a pass from New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho- Sang.

Video Link-Video Courtesy of TSN

Dermott is one of those guys that you can rely on in any situation while he is on the ice. Whether it’s creating chances on the power-play or making a key block on the penalty-kill, Dermott will be there making a play that’ll benefit the team. His simplicity will take him a long way on his road to the NHL.

For those who were weren’t convinced that drafting Mitch Marner fourth overall in the 2015 draft wasn’t the best move, this showcase should make you re-evaluate your opinion. The Thornhill, Ontario native had three assists in two games and was nothing but stellar in showing his offensive abilities.

This is Marner’s first assist against Russia:

Video Link-Video Courtesy of TSN

The patience from Marner on Hicketts’ goal is what stood out. Instead of getting a shot on net he finds a trailing Hicketts who finishes off a great heads up pass. While looking back at the video, it seems that Tretyak was anticipating a shot from Marner and came out of the crease a bit too far, which led to Hicketts burying the shot into an empty net. This is where Marner’s offensive awareness and creativity comes into effect, which will make him a key offensive contributor for Team Canada.

Marner’s impressive play didn’t stop there. Early in the first period against the Czech Republic, Marner enters the offensive zone making a nice move between two Czech players. He continues to follow the puck and finds Strome in front of the net. Although Strome didn’t capitalize on that pass, it’s the skill, drive and determination by Marner, as well as the awareness by Strome, that kept that play alive.

After you’ve seen that play, scroll to 1:04 of the video below for Marner’s second assist of the showcase.

Video Link-Video Courtesy of TSN

As Marner enters the zone, he slides the puck pass three Czech players as Strome picks up the loose puck and makes it 4-1 Canada. It looks as if the Czechs were anticipating him to keep the puck. Marner found a gap on the ice and took advantage of a simple, yet deceptive play. Are you convinced now?

On his evaluation of the showcase, Marner states, “It’s a learning experience to see how you compete against these kind of teams and now you got to take back what you learned here and take it back home and learn from it.” It’s experiences like this that will be key in his development for the NHL.

Video Link-Video Courtesy of TSN

After the first game against Russia, Craig Button had nothing but high praise on Marner’s play stating that it’s, “A typical Mitch Marner game because he creates offense and he can create offense very quickly and in areas where you don’t expect him to able to create offense. He has the confidence that he can do exactly that. If you’re playing with him, you better be ready for the puck. Even if you don’t think there’s a play there, he’s seeing things that may not be fully developed and he’s got the poise and the patience and he’s got the hand skills to be able to make those plays and not only that, get you the puck while you are in prime position.”

Video Link-Video Courtesy of TSN

The key words that Button used were poise, patience and hand skills. Leafs fans saw plenty of poise, patience, skill and more in the games that Marner played in. While Marner only had three assists, he had ample scoring chances and could’ve been up there with returnee Brayden Point leading the team in scoring.

It’s not just Button that was impressed with the way he performed during the showcase, his play is also catching the eye of his teammates.

“He’s so shifty with the puck,” said linemate Dylan Strome. “When he’s dancing around out there, you got to get open.”

Video Link-Video Courtesy of TSN

If the comments from Craig Button and Dylan Strome weren’t enough to describe Marner, here are other positive remarks from other members of the team after Team Canada’s 4-1 win over Russia.

“He’s a skilled player. I think we saw that on the PK, the power-play, whenever he had the puck and those type of players are nice to have on your team.” – Joe Hicketts.

“He was wicked. I know he was flying out there. I heard his name on the score-sheet there once at least. He’s a great player, he’s got speed, he’s got skill and he had a good game.” – Mason McDonald.

“There’s a reason why Toronto took him when they drafted him when they did. He’s an exceptional player and it was nice to see it live,” Head Coach Dave Lowry said. “He’s a world class player and he’s a highly skilled individual. He was fun for us to watch it was the first time that we’ve had eyes on him live and in a game and he performed exceptional.”

“I think what he does is he makes guys that he plays with better,” Lowry added. “I know that our guys are aware when you’re out there if you get him the puck and you get open he’s going to find you.”

Video Link-Video Courtesy of TSN

That is a long list of positive comments for the talented Maple Leafs prospect. Coaches and even teammates see the endless potential from Marner. Believe the hype people, it’s real.

**All videos/comments courtesy of TSN.ca**

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