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Kats Krunch: Sonny Milano – Plymouth’s Rock

Massaapequa, New York native was chosen in the 1st round (16th overall) in 2014 by the Columbus Blue Jackets. The talented 6-foot, 190 pound winger relinquished enrollment to Boston College, confirming the speculation after dodging many questions about his commitment to the US College. Instead, he signed an entry level contract with the Blue Jackets, then subsequently placed in Plymouth to develop in the Ontario Hockey League, a 3-hour, 325 kilometer distance north of Columbus, with the added bonus of keeping close ties to his draft team.

The Plymouth Whalers rolled through Mississauga on December 5, 2014, squandering an early 2-0 lead to end up in a 4-3 loss to the Steelheads. Below are notes from the game performance for Milano, who ended up with one goal and two assists in a losing effort.

Sonny Milano, LW, Columbus (2014)
Photo by Toms Sorensen.
Photo by Toms Sorensen.

 Superb skating ability and explosive acceleration on display from his first shift .. exceptional stamina over long shifts especially while playing at a high tempo for the first few shifts, looking just as energetic late in shifts (like a late shift rush up ice, racing at high speed to get into scoring position) as when first stepping on to the ice .. assisted on the first goal with a solid cross-ice pass to a streaking Matt Mistele .. effortless skater, despite a sloppy skate lace set up that would suggest more of an ankle burner stride than explosiveness .. sprinkled in quick hands and elite stickhandling similar to the documented superb skills from the 2014 Scouting Combine (see video embedded below) .. works in a high tempo setting the pace of play in the neutral and offensive zone .. deft one-touch pass under forechecking pressure to an open teammate, directing the puck through the forecheckers legs in a dangerous part of the ice .. executing on that play is notable, but demonstrating the resolve to pull it off in that dangerous area added dimension to the play .. natural tendency to get the puck to the front of the net if there isn't an immediate play – especiallt if he’s running out of real estate .. scored off a breakaway pursued by a determined backchecker using stick and arms to interfere, and timed the protection of the puck with a swinging stick check maintaining control and speed to flick a backhand over stretched out goaltender .. lacked some strength in board battles, bouncing off bigger opponents .. better suited as the support player than the player battling for the puck along the wall .. despite the elite skating and stick skills, displayed a tendency to skate himself into dead ends if he doesn’t have an angle wide for a skating lane .. impressive showing, notwithstanding the loss.



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