News earlier said that Marco Scandella had been called up, but the question remained: would he play? A defenseman making his NHL debut with no practice sessions can be sketchy. Not that Scandella can't hack it, just that it can be risky since Scandella does not know the system, and has no chemistry with most of these guys.
However, play he will, as the Wild announced and Russo has reported. So, we do our due diligence, and introduce one of the top prospects in the Wild system as he makes his NHL debut. Make the jump, and let's find out about Marco Scandella.
A second round pick in 2008, Scandella was one of the last draft picks made by the old regime. At roughly 6' 2", 200 lbs, Scadella certainly has the size for the NHL, but what style does he play? This has been a debate in recent weeks with the sides being a Brent Burns type player, or more of a Nick Schultz / Justin Falk stay at home type.The word I continue to hear is "hybrid." Take the features of Brent Burns that you like, and add them to the features of Nick Schultz that you like, and you get Marco Scandella.
This is not to say that he has their level of talent. That has yet to be seen. This is only commentary on his style of play. In a recent email, I asked the one and only Ms. Conduct for her take:
Scandella is a freaking stud. He reminds me of Burnzie in terms of just being big and rangey and getting a stick on everything. He's got good offensive instincts but he doesn't forsake his job as a defender to follow those instincts. But if he's in a situation to take advantage and take a shot, he will. He's less "wild" than Burns and more in control. Great positionally. Saves the goalie's bacon many times a game. Just couldn't be more impressed with him.
If he is in a situation to take a shot, he will. Burns. Doesn't forsake his job as a defender to follow those instincts. Schultz. Less "wild" (nice pun by the way) than Burns. Schultz. Just couldn't be more impressed with him. Burns.
At the beginning of the season, The Third Intermission (report by Ms. C) had him as the following:
Couple of things on Marco:
- He got a little break last season to the tune of 15 games for just about taking some poor kid's head off in an open ice hit. No big deal.
- He played on the Canadian team in the World Juniors Championship in January that took home the silver.
- He's a shutdown defenseman, but can put up a few points.
- He won both the fastest skater and hardest shot (95 mph) at the Aeros skill competition.
"He's a shutdown defenseman, but can put up a few points."
Speaking of that hit, let's hope we don't see this again:
Looking over the 2008 draft, there aren't too many names jumping out at me for who was drafted after him. Could this be a rare win for HWSRN? Let's not get ahead ahead of ourselves, but moving from juniors to NHL in two years is pretty good for a defenseman. Thirty one points in his final junior season, and eight thus far for the Aeros in 14 games is not too bad. I have a feeling his role with the Wild is going to be more focused on the defensive side of the game. At least for now.
He can hold his own in a fight as you can see below:
Not the greatest video, but that is Scandella in the dark jersey, number 6.
After last night's debacle by the defensemen, Scandella has a chance to make an immediate impact. Who is out has yet to be seen, but I guarantee you it isn't Burns, Schultz, or Greg Zanon. That only leaves Justin Falk, Cam Barker, and Clayton Stoner. Falk had a terrible game, by his own admission. Barker and Stoner have not been good all season.
It all comes down to what message you want to send. Do you send the message to Falk? Play 100% every game, because you can be sent down? Or is it to Barker? We don't care how much you are making or what we gave up for you, you'll play better, or we'll find some one who will. Perhaps to Stoner? You have had a couple decent games, but your fancy one way deal won't save you if you are going to play like this?
One way or another, Wild fans will get their first look at Scandella tonight. How many minutes he plays, and what type of impact he makes will determine what kind of message he sends, if any at all.