Sunday, 21 September 2014

Bokondji Imama back in Baie-Comeau, picks up an assist against the Remparts in first game.

I watched the Remparts-Drakkar game from Friday, and kept an eye on Bokondji Imama during the game.  He didn't impress at first, but by the third period he seemed more involved, got a couple of odd-man rushes in, shot the puck at the net a few times, came close to scoring himself.  He picked up an assist, when he was involved in a late goal as the Drakkar were trying to tie up the score, buzzing around the net.

His skating needs work, he's below average compared to the others, but his puck skills aren't bad, he can take and make a pass.  He's effective along the boards, often coming out with the puck, and I suspect that's partly because opponents can't match up physically, or hesitate to do so.

He certainly was involved on the physical side, he's impossible to ignore whenever there's a scrum or nonsense after the whistle.  Very understandably, some opponents would literally turn sideways and refuse to make eye-contact, they'd make themselves scarce, get away from the pile, which is reasonable behaviour for a 165 lbs teenager confronted with a specimen like young Mr. Imama.

And not to harp on TVA, but in an interview between the second and third periods, they kept referring to him as "un espoir des Canadiens", a Canadiens prospect, which is false.  He would have been "un espoir des Canadiens" if he'd been signed to a contract before being sent back, but they chose not to, so he's now headed for another crack at the draft as a 19-year-old.  He's a prospect, but not for any team, he's unaligned.

So Mr. Imama was a little flustered, embarrassed by this, but gamely carried on, gushed about the organization, the experience he had, and talked about what he wanted to accomplish in the coming season.

It wasn't the only misstep by TVA, they'd also wrongly announced previously that Mr. Imama had been arrested at the wheel of a rented Porsche in Ottawa during camp, which they later unreservedly retracted.

Meanwhile, the Leafs did sign a training camp invite, Cody Donaghey of the Remparts.  Which burns my toast, they found a 'free' prospect out of the prospect-rookie camp process, and we didn't.

So overall, a fair effort by Bokondji Imama, who could be having difficulty focusing and getting motivated, getting back in the flow of LHJMQ action in the next few games, although it should pass as he sets his eyes to the 2015 draft.

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