Dead Air Questionnaire: Who Has Impressed So Far?

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(Photo credit to Scott Paulus)

While we sit and wait for the next Ads game I thought I would pose a question to all of you: who has impressed you the most so far this season?

For me, it is a three horse race between Anthony Bitetto, Colton Sissons, and Miikka Salomaki.

Bitetto came into camp in incredible shape and has established himself as one of the best defenseman on the team. He plays in all facets of the game but, without question, has shined the brightest on the power-play this season: five of his eight goals score this season have been on the man-advantage. He has been such an important player when it comes to the Ads transition game this year. At times he is a one-man break out play. It’s been so impressive to see his development from last season to this season. I think he’s only getting better.

Sissons leads the team in goals, ten, and points scored, eighteen, and is only a rookie nearing his twenty-fifth game of professional hockey. His skating ability and vision to find soft spots on the ice to create offense has been very impressive to see. Just as equally impressive – he doesn’t really look overwhelmed out on the ice. As good as he has been on offense his defense has looked just as stable. He never looks lost on the backcheck, he blocks shots, and has done very well to stay out of the box – only posting two penalty-minutes this season. I feel like he walked in from the WHL to the AHL without missing a beat – perhaps even doing better.

Salomaki has four more assists than anyone on the team with a team-leading twelve assists. What I’ve enjoyed the most about his game so far this season has been his relentless work rate and willingness to scrap it out in the dirty areas of the ice. For such a shy and quiet kid off the ice, it is amazing just how often his game gets underneath the skin of the opposition. When there is a scrum on the ice, time and time again is seems like #20 is in the middle of it. It’s not a rookie playing out of control. It’s the opposite. It’s a rookie playing the game exactly right – and right in everyone’s face.

Who has impressed you the most so far this season and why?

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3 Responses to Dead Air Questionnaire: Who Has Impressed So Far?

  1. Tony says:

    I completely agree with the three you have laid out here as having been impressive thus far in the season but I have to say a dark horse here would be Joe Piskula. I know he is technically a “veteran” and has been a pretty steady defenseman his whole career but he really seems to be taking that next step this year. He has been everything we could have asked for and more. He only has 6 assists on the season but he has by far been the best defensive defenseman on the team. He is always in the right spot and always making the smart play. It was good to see him get a couple games with Nashville but I was hoping for more. He is a couple reps away from being capable of playing 70-80 games a season at the NHL level. I would trade a Brian McGrattan for Joe Piskula every day of the week. That was a good pick-up and I really hope Nashville keeps him in the system for years to come. He is definitely a good guy to have around.

  2. Lavender says:

    Tony: Totally with you on Piskula. I wrote a mock-up of my Mid-Season review over the weekend and rated him as the best defenseman. He has easily been the most consistent defenseman this season. He’s strong on defense and more than capable making plays from the blueline on offense. I like Bitetto’s game a lot, but his offense is ahead of his defense at this point (which can be a positive and negative). As for Piskula, I think more than just the veteran tag was behind his call up to Nashville. He’s played great this season.

  3. Fan in the Falls says:

    Not much to write as Lavender and Tony pretty much covered it all with the four covered. It’s been great to see how much better Bitetto has been than last season. I was very happy when the Preds signed Piskula again (not just because he’s from WI) and continue to be. He’s been playing very well. I hope he gets another NHL shot somewhere. I don’t expect Colton Sissons to be in the AHL for long.

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