Checking Up On Calgary Prospect John Ramage

I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't start the post off with this video (s/t to Bucky's Fifth Quarter).

Ramage Hit On Oliver St Cloud @ Wisc (via firstandskol)

Big beautiful clean hit. Of course he got the 5 and a game.

Anyways, John Ramage, being a shutdown defenseman picked in the 4th round and playing in the NCAA, doesn't get nearly as much coverage as CHL players do, and in a way that's really too bad. So I reached out to Bucky's Fifth Quarter (SBN's UW-Madison blog) and asked Chuck Schwartz, the hockey editor if he could give me a scouting report. Here's what he had to say on the team captain.

John has had an interesting season. He was named team captain and with that comes a lot of pressure. Unfortunately for Wisconsin this season they are extremely young with just five upperclassmen (1 senior) in the lineup on an average night with everyone healthy.

Ramage is best when he plays a simple, hard, physical game like he did his first two seasons in Madison. However this year he was given an expanded role and at times he's struggled trying to play outside of his capabilities. John was outstanding in a pairing with Brendan Smith a few years ago when he let Brendan roam and push the puck and he just worried about shutting down the opposition and making a great first pass out of the zone.

At times this season I think Ramage has put the pressure on himself to try and push the play and create offense and it's taken him out of his game.

He's also caught some unlucky breaks this season. I've never seen a defenseman with worse luck than he's had. There have been multiple occasions where a puck has bounced off him and gone in the back of the Badger net. Once, I can see. But three or four times makes you feel bad for the guy.

John has played much better in the second half and I think it's because he's focused on he things that make his game effective. He's focused on being a physical player, blocking shots, and clearing bodies in his own zone.

Thanks, Chuck, for taking the time to send this to me!

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