Living in Calgary and working four nights a week and being in Journalism school full-time, I don't get the chance to watch as much hockey as I would like to. However on Saturday night, I had the chance to watch the Calgary Hitmen take on the visiting Victoria Royals where I kept a close eye on Oilers prospect Greg Chase.
Greg Chase was a 2013 7th round draft pick who had a great camp this past season with the Oilers. He signed a three-year ELC following this season's NHL camp and was sent back to the WHL shortly after, but just a few months later, Chase was sent home to await a trade out of Calgary after scoring 15 points in 15 games.
That marriage [between Chase and the Hitmen] has been rocky for some time; he's [Chase] now asked for a trade. The tipping point came when he was a healthy scratch for a recent game in Saskatoon with a lot of family in attendance, and then was sent home after the game for what they say was on-ice discipline. Optically, this doesn't look good for chase right now, but, again, this is a relationship that hasn't been fine for quite awhile.
Mike Moore [Hitmen GM] made it clear that Chase had been scratched for on-ice performance and nothing to do with off-ice issues.
Greg Chase has since pushed his totals on the season to 12-27-39 in 36 GP.
Chase's return to Calgary
For Chase, his return to Calgary was quite uneventful not recording any points, but tallying 2 PIM's. His strength in his game is his high level offensive talent. Despite being drafted as a Center, the Royals have opted to use him on the wing.
He was able to use his body extremely well and he used his size to his advantage to drive to the net halfway through the first for a quality scoring chance. After all, Chase is coming off a season in which he posted career highs in goals, assists and points notching 35-50-85 total in 70 GP.
Chase drew coincidental minor penalties with Keegan Kanzig at the 13:37 mark in the first period.
From just watching the one game, I could tell Chase needed to work more on his forecheck and use more of the grit that he has relied on heavily in the past.
As an elite forward in the league, Chase brings dynamic offense at a level that very few guys in the league can.He makes other players around him better, with great passing ability.
In regards to skating, he has an explosive first few strides, and a high top speed.He brings post season experience, veteran leadership and a likeable personality. He has excellent vision on the ice, and is an exceptional play maker. A big plus on the power play.
Overall he brings depth to the club, which also allows younger talents to mature and be put into better positions for them to succeed.
Chase scored two goals, including the game winner tonight for the Royals as they beat the Edmonton Oil Kings 4-3 in OT. He also had a 10-minute game misconduct and a slashing penalty.
The big picture
Following the ending of the WHL season, Chase will likely head to the Barons if time permits and will start next season in the AHL, wherever our affiliate might move to. One thing is for certain is that if Chase has a chance to make it to the big leagues, the Sherwood Park native will need to continue to work on his game to make that jump.