international tournaments. But while the NHL has the International Showdown in Vancouver this weekend, and the Winter
Olympics in Nagano in February, junior hockey has the CHL All-Star games , and of course, the World Junior Championships,
which were just completed in Helsinki. The New York Rangers had eight players which were drafted in the past two years that
figured prominently in these events. A brief synopsis:
Cherneski, Henry named to WHL All-Star Team
Stefan Cherneski and Burke Henry, teammates on the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings, and Ranger draft
choices in 1997, have been named to the East team for the Western Hockey League All-Star Classic, which will be held in
Regina on January 21st.
Cherneski, a 6’1″ 195 lb. winger, and the Rangers first choice (19th overall) in the ’97 entry draft, leads the Wheat Kings in
goals, with 34 in just 41 games. He has been hot of late, after being cut from the Canadian national junior team in late
December. Henry, a 6’2″, 200 lb. defenseman, and the Rangers third choice (73rd overall), has blossomed this year, leading all
WHL rearguards in scoring with 56 points in 47 games.
Brown, Pepperall named to OHL All-Star Team
Jeff Brown and Colin Pepperall, Ranger draft choices in 1996, were named to the West team for the Ontario Hockey League
All-Star Game, held in North Bay on January 13th.
Brown, a 6’2″ 211 lb. defenseman for the London Knights, and the Rangers’ first choice (22th overall) in the ’96 entry draft, is
fourth among OHL blueliners in scoring, and third among all OHL players in plus/minus ratio. Pepperall, a 5’11”, 177 lb. winger
for the Erie Otters, and the Rangers’ fifth choice (131st overall) in the ’96 entry draft, is the Otters’ leading scorer with 20 goals
and 53 points in 37 games. He was also a late cut from the Canadian national junior team in December.
In the All-Star Game, Brown was held scoreless, but Pepperall registered an assist. The West lost, 7-4.
’97 Draft Picks Shine at WJC
This year’s World Junior Championships in Finland featured four of the Rangers’ twelve draft picks in the 1997 entry draft.
Mike York and Mike Mottau represented the United States, Tomi Kallarsson represented Finland, while Johan Holmqvist
York, a 5’10” 190 lb. junior center at Michigan State, and the first of two Ranger sixth round picks (136th overall), had three
goals and five points in seven tournament contests, helping the U.S. to a fifth-place finish. York was the tournament’s leading
scorer last year. Mottau, a 6’0″ 192 lb. sophomore defenseman at Boston College, and the second of two Ranger seventh
round picks (182nd overall), had two goals and four points in seven tournament games.
Kallarsson, a 6’3″ 205 lb. defenseman for HPK in the Finnish League, and the Rangers’ fourth choice (93rd overall), helped
anchor a gold-medal winning Finnish defense, while Holmqvist, a 6’1″, 200 lb. goaltender for Brynas in the Swedish League,
turned some heads at the WJC, spinning a 3-0 shutout over Canada in the preliminary round.
Look for an upcoming column on the progress of Ranger lower round picks. The article will feature a profile of Burke Henry,
and perhaps other players listed in this article.