Sens Ready To Light The Wick
Tonight will be the debut of much anticipated/talked about/unknown forward prospect Roman Wick.
With a team in need of another legit top 6 forward, and light on available scoring prospect depth (for the 2010/11 season), Wick has ignited some optimistic prognosticating.
Wick, a Swiss born player, with CHL experience, chose to exploit his domestic opportunity to make a living playing hockey, and who could blame him? When Roman was becoming NHL ready, he was drafted by a team boasting solid scoring ability (Alfie, DDH, Spezza, Fisher, Vermette), making a job in the NHL a long shot, whereas he could earn more, playing less, by remaining in Europe.
So what changed?
Simple, his exposure. Now, instead of toiling in near obscurity by playing in Switzerland, Wick carries the pedigree of raising eyebrows in both the Olympic games, and the World Cup. Within one year Roman went from long lost prospect to emerging hot prospect. Add to this an NHL club seeking scoring depth, and you have yourself a potential match made in heaven.
Obviously Wick was promised a chance to make the club, or he would not have abandoned his Swiss-A pay check in favour of a much harder earned, and reduced, AHL income. I have been informed that Wick was all but guaranteed 30 games in the show, and barring a hapless performance in pre-season play, will start the season on the big club. If he doesn’t, and fails to get a call up, he may well return to his Swiss-A team.
So what should we expect from Wick? Well, think, at best, Antoine Vermette. Speed, solid 2 way play, and the ability to both generate and produce offence.
Don’t expect the emergence of an elite player, don’t expect a ton of flash. Instead, look for a player that doesn’t look out of place in the NHL, a player that earns his ice time, and improves game over game.
But, he also turned heads in international play, when nobody expected much of anything from him. Was it opposition not taking him and his squad seriously, or was it a player using the big stage to show his stuff?
Time will tell, and it starts tonight.