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The Bakersfield Condors prospect that commands your attention? Evan Bouchard – The Province

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Evan Bouchard, the youngest player on the Bakersfield Condors, is also the one that commands your attention.

Bouchard’s game has picked up considerably in a number of key aspects from both his spring of 2019 AHL playoff run, and with his play earlier this year in preseason with the Edmonton Oilers and at the start of the 2019-20 campaign with the Condors.

His improvement is marked, which is another way of saying that Edmonton has its prime prospect in exactly the right spot, right where he’s developing in strong fashion, in the AHL frying pan but not in the fire of the NHL spotlight.

I checked in on AHLTV now and then to watch the Condors and just watched their two weekend wins, 3-2 and 2-1, over the San Diego Gulls. I wasn’t looking for Bouchard necessarily, though I was curious about his play, especially with his not-so-nice -11 goals plus-minus. Was that stat really indicative of his play?

The Condors now have 14 wins in 32 games, but are four wins and a loss in their last five games. They’re much improved, largely because they’re now getting strong netminding from Stuart Skinner, 21, who struggled mightily earlier this year after veteran Shane Starrett got hurt.

But Bouchard’s improved game is also another reason the Bake is starting to cook.

I’ll not only talk about him today but show you a series of videoclips from the two San Diego games.

In the first, we see Bouchard with the puck in his own zone, stickhandling his way out of trouble. The play looks a bit iffy, but Cool Hand Bouch has outstanding dexterity stickhandling.

He could stickhandle in a phone booth, as we said in the days when there were phone booths.

Next up we see Bouchard on the ice at the end of the game, trusted by coach Jay Woodcroft to protect a one-goal lead, calmly grabbing up the puck in the defensive slot and advancing it towards the empty net. In the defensive slot, Bouchard does not wield a battle axe like Adam Larsson, nor does he have that cowboy-wrassling-a-steer courage and intensity of Kris Russell. In fact, Bouchard is the opposite. He’s not nasty and he’s never looks too rushed, but he’s doing a better job of being in the right place at the right time, mainly because he’s strong at reading the game, even this early in his career. He’s got one fundamental down, in that his head is always on a swivel, him looking for the open man, the danger man who might get the puck, and Bouchard takes care to move towards that player, not forget that he’s there.

Next, we go to a typical Bouchard play at this level, him winning the puck with his long stick and good reach, then deftly threading a pass to a breaking player.

Whether he’s head-manning the puck, passing D-to-D, or banking the puck off the boards to a teammate, the thing I notice about Bouchard is his passes are invariably right on the tape. For an Oilers fan who has endured too many non puck-moving Edmonton d-men killing the Oilers’ attack before it can get started, it’s just a wee bit thrilling to think about Bouchard making such passes in Edmonton. Again, this isn’t to say that Bouchard is ready for the NHL. He’s doing great just now in Bakersfield, so let that continue for the rest of the year. Fortunately, Edmonton has solid defensive depth, so there’s no need to rush him.

In this next clip we see some bad and good from Bouchard. First, he gets beat in the neutral zone on a play, leading to a two-on-one break for the Gulls. Bouchard is doing a much better job in the neutral zone of playing up on his man, not allowing easy entries in the Condors zone, but he does get beat now and then by speedy opposing breakout plays. On this one, though, he wins the puck in the corner and quickly works a give-and-go to get a sneaky quick high slot shot on net.

Bouchard does an excellent job of joining the attack, and in this next clip we see him start the rush with a quick and accurate tape-to-tape pass, then him charging up to force the play at the offensive blueline, leading to a Bakersfield chance.

There’s some worry about Bouchard’s skating. Indeed, he’s going to have to pick it up a bit to excel in the NHL, but we’ve seen that kind of improvement from Ethan Bear. And, as we see in the next clip, Bouchard is an OK skater at the AHL level, partly because he’s really moving his feet now, getting after pucks and moving fast to pass them out of trouble. Plus, he’s got that outstanding puckhandling and passing to make the most out of a tough situation where he’s being harassed by an opposing forechecker.

This next clip is one of my favourites. On the play, the Condors are defending a fast developing San Diego attack, and Bouchard organizes his teammates, pointing to Joe Gambardella that he should take the trailing player. Very often when a player points for a teammate to take a player, he’s pointing at the wrong player, or it’s a player that the pointer should actually be covering himself. But in this case, Cool Hand Bouch correctly identified whom Gambardella should check, then made sure to cover the right player himself, thus helping to thwart the opportunity. That kind of reading of a play on the fly and communicating to a teammate in the heat of dangerous opposing rush is notable.

Right now, Bouchard is being paired up with veteran Keegan Lowe. Bouchard is being used in all situations, the power play, penalty kill, against tough comp at even strength and at the ends of periods when sound defensive play is needed. This is the perfect situation for him right now. If he can continue to develop his game and stay healthy, it’s hard to imagine he won’t be in the NHL some time next season, if not right out of training camp. With him in the line-up, along with Oscar Klefbom, Ethan Bear and maybe even Caleb Jones, the Oilers would be able to ice four strong puck-passing d-men, which will be one more step in the transformation of this team from perennial loser to perennial playoff contender.

At the Cult

LEAVINS: Too early to write off Mike Smith

McCURDY: Smith, McDavid help Oilers bounce Bruins in Beantown

STAPLES: Smith bounces back but Oilers fall in OT to Sabres

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iPhone 14 production is "weeks" behind schedule thanks to the resumption of lockdowns in China – Notebookcheck.net

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The Nothing Phone will have a transparent backplate and wireless charging – MobileSyrup

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It looks like the Nothing Phone (1) will release on July 21st for roughly €500 (about $675 CAD) if recent leaks are accurate.

This lines up with Pei’s stated “summer release date.” The price isn’t confirmed yet, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Pei attempt the same flagship killer strategy he pioneered at OnePlus and used for his company’s Nothing Ear (1)s.

In an interview with Wallpaper magazine, Pei and Nothing’s head of design mentioned that the phone will feature a clear back similar to the Nothing Ear (1) buds, and that the wireless charging circle inside the phone will be a major design focal point.

We also already know that the device will be made of recycled aluminum (likely the edges) and that it will run stock Android software called Nothing OS, which is available to demo now.

It’s exciting to see a new phone maker attempt to break into the space, but Nothing will need to reveal a really compelling phone if it aims to compete with Google, Apple and Samsung.

Image credit: Wallpaper

Sources: Wallpaper, 9to5Google

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Redmi Note 11 Pro, Pro Plus announced: A huge power boost – Android Authority

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Xiaomi has a ton of new budget Redmi Note phones in its portfolio, ranging from the China-only Redmi Note 11 series to the global Note 11 family, and the Redmi Note 11T. Now, the company has launched even more devices, dubbed the Redmi Note 11T Pro and Pro Plus.

The two phones share a ton in common, starting with a high-powered Dimensity 8100 chipset. Mediatek previously said this SoC specifically takes aim at the Snapdragon 870 and 888 and should deliver performance that’s more in line with the latter. The processor offers a 5nm TSMC design, octa-core CPU (four Cortex-A78, four Cortex-A55), and Mali-G610 MC6 GPU.

Interestingly, the new phones pack a 6.6-inch 144Hz LCD panel (20.5:9, FHD+), making for a departure from high refresh rate OLED screens seen on the global Redmi Note 11 series.

Otherwise, the Note 11T Pro and Pro Plus only differ in terms of battery and charging capabilities. The Pro model offers a 5,080mAh battery with 67W wired charging while the Pro Plus has a smaller battery (4,400mAh), 120W wired charging, and the in-house Surge P1 charging chip.

The phones also share a similar primary camera, namely a 64MP GW1 shooter. Redmi didn’t dish out secondary camera details, but we’re guessing the phones also pack an 8MP ultrawide lens and 2MP macro camera.

Other notable specs include a 3.5mm port, Bluetooth 5.3, IP53 rating, MIUI 13, NFC, side fingerprint scanner, stereo speakers, x-axis linear motor, and Wi-Fi 6.

Redmi Note 11T Pro Plus astro boy edition 1

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Redmi is also offering a special Astro Boy version of the Redmi Note 11T Pro Plus, offering a rather different design. In addition to the tweaked design, you’re also getting a special case and other goodies seen above.

Redmi Note 11T series pricing

The new Redmi phones are China-only releases for now, and there’s no immediate word on global availability. For what it’s worth, Xiaomi launched two separate Redmi Note 11 lines for global and Chinese markets, so it’s possible we won’t get these exact models.

Otherwise, you can expect to pay 1,799 yuan (~$270) for the 6GB/128GB Redmi Note 11T Pro, all the way up to 2,199 yuan (~$330) for the 8GB/256GB model. However, early bird prices mean you’ll be paying 1,699 yuan (~$255) and 2,099 yuan (~$315) respectively.

Redmi Note 11T Pro series: Hot or not?

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The faster charging Redmi Note 11T Pro Plus starts at 1,999 yuan (~$300) for the base 8GB/128GB model, all the way to 2,499 yuan (~$375) for the 8GB/512GB model. Early bird prices of 2,099 yuan (~$315) and 2,499 yuan (~$375) respectively apply here too.

Like the idea of the Astro Boy edition? Then you’ll be spending 2,499 yuan (~$375) for the sole 8GB/256GB model.

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