There are places on the ice that often are conceded by defenses, locations from which it's so hard to score that opposing players, especially penalty killers, aren't going to struggle to close off the shooting lane.
Cole Caufield is another story altogether.
Let these videos of two goals he scored during the World Junior Summer Showcase serve as examples of why there doesn't seem to be a spot in the offensive zone where the incoming University of Wisconsin right wing isn't comfortable shooting.
First, from last Tuesday's 4-1 loss to Canada:
Then, in a 5-3 victory over Canada on Saturday, with a different goaltender in the net and from an even more acute angle:
The appreciation for Caufield's shooting talent grows by the day. Count opposing goalies in there.
????Alexis Gravel on ???? Cole Caufield's bad-angle goal:— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) August 3, 2019
"Obviously when you're in that position you don't think the shooter's going to shoot ... The last shot I got scored on like that was three years ago ... There's not many players that can do it"https://t.co/1FHR08KBE5
And the U.S. general manager.
John Vanbiesbrouck on Cole Caufield: "Cole is such a special player. To see him in this mix, he's so fantastic. It's fun to watch him. I said I'd pay $150 to watch him."— Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) August 3, 2019
And the U.S. coach, who'll see more of Caufield when his Minnesota Duluth team plays at UW in October, appreciated the 18-year-old's total game.
Scott Sandelin on Cole Caufield: “He gets into the right spots on the rink. I know he can score goals but that was a pretty nice pass. And he’s sturdy, he’s strong on his feet. He’s got some grit to him too. But just the way he finds areas on the rink. He’s not afraid."— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) August 3, 2019
Caufield almost certainly will be a key weapon on the power play for the U.S. World Junior Championship team in December and January, and he'll be the same as a freshman for the Badgers this season.
We'll note here that the record for goals by a UW freshman is 36 in 43 games by Mark Johnson in 1977-78. A big task, especially in today's game, but Caufield scored a record 72 goals in 64 games last season for the U.S. Under-18 Team. Who's going to tell him it's not possible?
UW defenseman K'Andre Miller also scored in the Americans' victory Saturday in the final game of the summer scouting event.
K'andre Miller makes it a 3-3 game in the second period. Miller takes the Trevor Janicke pass and fires one on net thru traffic. Great screens from Curtis Hall and Bobby Brink. #WJSS #NYR #NHLBruins #Flyers #LetsGoDucks #Badgers pic.twitter.com/BX54HDnWJA— Stars n’ Stripes Hockey (@StarsStripesHKY) August 3, 2019
The defenseman will be one of the veteran leaders at the World Juniors in his second year at the under-20 tournament. He had a limited role as an 18-year-old last season.
"He's been really good here," U.S. coach Scott Sandelin said, via The Hockey News' Ryan Kennedy. "It's that maturity, that confidence level. He's got the size and athleticism and he can skate."
Miller added two assists in the other four games he played at the event for three points. Caufield had four goals and three assists in five games.
Incoming Badgers center Alex Turcotte scored a goal with three assists in five games, and UW sophomore defenseman Ty Emberson had an assist in five games.
Center Owen Lindmark, who'll be a UW freshman in the fall, had one assist in two games but then was cut from the roster as the U.S. consolidated two teams into one.