Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Prospect Watch 2008: Colton "Freight Train" Gillies

NHL. com sez:
Colton Gillies -- At 6-foot-4, Minnesota's first-round pick from 2007 certainly has the size to become a legitimate NHL power forward. After scoring 24 goals for Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League last season, Gillies made the jump to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League. In 11 games there, the 19-year-old picked up a goal and seven assists.

Whether Gillies will be on Minnesota's roster come October remains to be seen, but he'll certainly have every chance to make the club out of training camp.

"He doesn't have to score points to earn his stripes with us, so that will help him in his attempt to make our team," Wild assistant GM Tommy Thompson said. "We're very pleased with his development.

With Colton, you don't just look at the points. He had a very good World Junior Tournament, too, and won the gold medal. He's got size and he's an elite-level skater. He's very aggressive and very coachable."

Ms. Conduct sez:

Word to your mother! Colton is the real deal. Put 15 lbs. on and get some NHL experience under his belt and he's gonna be a scary mother fucker. He's big, he's fast, he's got a mean streak. He also seems like a pretty decent, serious dude. Like, he's not clowning around, he's not a diva or an egomaniac. He's grounded and focused and doing what it takes to succeed.

Is he really NHL-ready this year? I think he can be, but it will be a slow start for him. Ideally, if it weren't for the rule that you have to be 20 the year you turn pro to play in the AHL, he'd play in Houston for at least half a season before going north. I think the seasoning down here would serve him well.

But is he wasting his time spending another year in juniors? I think so. He fit in so nicely, so quickly in Houston at the end of last season, where other guys took a half or whole season to really get with Coach Constantine's system, my socks were officially knocked off. Yeah, he got pushed around a bit along the boards due to being a bit light for his height, but a few pounds and some experience will solve that.

I love being in an AHL city because it's really thrilling to me to watch these guys develop their game and move up in their careers, and he's one who I think will be pretty special to watch develop. He's just so full of potential. I think all I need to say to any Wild fan about Colton is that he reminds me of Brent Burns, from his size, to his ice presence, to his aggressiveness. And it seems that he's bonded with Burnzie a bit after living with him for a while earlier this summer, so that's even more kismet that makes me think Colton Gillies can say:


elise  August 13, 2008 at 4:27 PM  

I'm also excited about seeing him play and watching him develop. I can't wait. And the there's a bigger chance of him to stay in MN after Parrish's buyout.

I can't even imagine how insane it would be to live with Brent Burns.

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