Some prospects are talked about more then others. One of the lesser talked about talents is Tanner Kaspick. Now 20, the center/winger will move into professional rinks next season. Which is something he is more then ready for. Aging out of junior shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing, that extra time has been used very well by Brandon native.
I’ve said it before but anytime I’ve watched Kaspick I just get this Scottie Upshall vibe from him. This isn’t a bad thing and he doesn’t necessarily take as many reckless penalties but the positives you see from Upshall are there. Having put up 37 points in 35 games for the Brandon Wheat Kings and now nine points in eight games for the Victoria Royals the good times keep rolling.
Having just missed the cut to make the Team Canada World Junior Team, Kaspicks overall play didn’t take a hit. It’d be understandable to be frustrated not making the team on a very big stage, especially being an overager, every national side has one or two if not more. But for Kaspick to return to the WHL and continue his dominance, it’s something you have to give him praise for.
So will Kaspicks transition to the pro game be a rough one? Too early to say, you’d expect a few bumps along the road but his overall style of play isn’t all that different to what one needs to “survive” the AHL. To survive the American League you need a bit more sandpaper. The NHL is the faster league and the AHL is littered with plenty of talent itself but also features grinders up and down the lineup for each club. Kaspick won’t be expected to drop the gloves nightly but to win board battles and pileups in front of the net is an absolute must.
Offensively Kaspick throws the rubber on net…very often. As it stands he’s credited with 146 shots on goal in 43 games this year. Kaspick is also ranked fifth in the WHL in game winning goals with seven so showing up in the big moments isn’t an issue. Currently the Victoria Royals sit in second place in the BC division so a playoff run isn’t out of the cards.
The San Antonio Rampage will be the Blues lone AHL affiliate next season instead of the current messy set up of having players spread out across four clubs(San Antonio, Chicago, Providence, Binghamton). Also as many know the Blues will have full control of the on ice decisions for the Rampage. Next season is going to be an exciting time for the Baby Blues and Kaspick could have a major role. So whether it’s the AHL or ECHL I have a feeling we will be talking about Kapsick fairly early on in the fall.