Nashville Predators Rookie Camp begins on September 10th, so to help you get ready we'll walk our way through the prospects, from youngest to oldest.
Josh Shalla, Left Wing - #48
Born: September 25, 1991 From: Whitby, Ont.
Height: 6-1 Weight: 202 Shoots: L
2010-2011 Team: Saginaw (OHL)
Stats: 68 GP, 47G + 25A = 72 Pts, 62 PIM
Drafted: 2011 4th round (94)
Follow after the jump for some background!
Shalla is a goal-scoring power forward. He doesn't score many pretty goals, but simply has a knack for finding a quiet area in the slot to position himself for a shot or from which to pounce on any rebounds given up by the goaltender. Josh possesses a very quick release on his shot, but skating is a concern that must be addressed moving forward.
And in addition, the Scouting Report offers this assessment from mid-season:
There isn't much doubting Josh Shalla's ability to score at the OHL level, as he's clearly developed into one of the premier snipers in the league. He found the back of the net twice on Sunday, including one very nice shot where his release was simply too much for Riley to handle in goal. While goal scoring certainly isn't an issue for him at this level, he isn't a great skater and he doesn't compete overly hard, which both pose a lot of questions towards his effectiveness as a professional. That's why he went undrafted last season and he will likely be back for an overage season in the OHL as well.
An encouraging note on that competitiveness issue is that while in 2010 Shalla mustered only 1 assist in 6 playoff games, this year he scored 8 goals and added 7 assists in 12 games. Overall, his offensive production rank him 45th among age-comparable forwards when using the NHL Equivalency analytical tool. Have the Preds snagged a bit of a late-bloomer here?
Arbitrary nickname we'll give him even though he'd probably hate it
How about "Shama Lama Ding Dong"? It would make for a heck of a goal song...
Here's a variety of action featuring Shalla from a December 2010 game against the Soo Greyhounds. After a horrid pass just inside his own zone at the 1:05 mark, he scores a nice goal at 2:05, and tips in another around 2:55:
What's at stake
Just like Taylor Aronson on defense, Shalla is old enough to make the jump from junior to the pros, and could play in Milwaukee. Does he really have much left to prove in the OHL? Keep an eye on him during Rookie Camp, and see how those skates are moving!