The German Under-20 Team

By Oliver Janz





Benjamin Voigt

Goalies:

#1 Benjamin Voigt

Voigt is 19 years old and catches with the left hand. He is currently the back up for the DEL team Krefeld Penguins and he will also be the back up during the Under-20 world championships. The reason why Krefeld signed him at the start of the season was due in part to his strong season in the second league for SC Bietigheim, when he shared time with Tim Schnelle, also a goalie born in 1982. His current stats are: five games, 263 minutes played, 13 goals against, 2,96 GAA and a .908 save percentage.

Draft: Good enough to be in the DEL, but good enough to be on the Draft List?


#20 Dimitri Pätzold

Pätzold is a 1983 born player and his second Under-20 world championship may not be his last. He can also play in next years’ tournament. Pätzold possesses excellent reflexes and no major weakness. He will help the German team very much on their way back into the elite of the Under-20 national teams. Pätzold has played in five games for the DEL-team from Cologne so far this season. 180 minutes played, ten goals against, GAA 3.33 and a .882 save percentage. Five games aren’t much for a talent like him, but his coach doesn’t want to burn him out and Pätzold will end up playing 10-20 games during the season. Possibly followed by 10 more games per season for the next couple of years.

Draft: drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 2001.

Defensemen:

#4 Sebastian Jones

Jones is a strong and big defender weighing in at 6’2” and 205 pounds. The 19 year old son a of junior coach prefers playing a more offensive style, but he hasn’t play very offensively in the last few months due to his little ice-time at the DEL level playing for the Kassel Huskies. In fact, Jones is currently scoreless in 24 games. He has recorded just four penalty minutes and his +/- is at an uninspiring -4 rating; poor numbers for a player who captured the top scoring defenseman title in the German junior league in 1999 with twelve goals and 37 assists for 49 points in 40 games. At the junior level, Jones is a big name, but he hasn’t yet broken through at the pro level. The Huskies will assign him to a minor league team in the upcoming weeks after the WJC in order to give him more ice time. However, it’s his second Under-20 B world championship. Jones played in five games in last year’s tournament. Although a shot like his normally finds a place on the blue line on power plays for the Under-20 team, he’ll have Schubert, Ehrhoff, Schauer and Sulzer in front of him, and they are better.

Draft: He won’t be drafted in the future – needs to breakthrough first.


#25 Peter Kathan junior

Peter comes from a German hockey family. His father, Peter Kathan senior, is the coach of second league team SC Riessersee. His older brother Klaus plays for the Kassel Huskies (DEL) and the German national team. Peter junior comes from the junior system of the traditional Bavarian club EC Bad Tölz and spent last season developing in the third league while playing for the EHC Bad Aibling. He is back in Bad Tölz for the current season. He has booked one assist and six penalty minutes in 12 games this season and has played nine games (two assists) for the German Under-20 team. His highlight came a couple of days ago. Kathan made his DEL debut for the Munich Barons. They signed him to a two-way contract due to injury problems that have depleted their blueline. His strength is the physical defense game. He has an advantage due to his size, 6’1” and 225 lbs. His view and the long passes from his own zone could be a weakness and he must improve in that department.

Draft: Won’t be drafted in 2002 – maybe after his breakthrough.


#3 Christopher Schubert

Christoph will give the German national team many years of service. His real strength is in offering physical play with tremendous checks, and the junior championships should be the best place for him to dish out these checks. Schubert really only encounters problems when up against older guys who are just plain more clever. However, the young forwards in this tournament aren’t as cool as the former NHL-players in the DEL. Another problem could be that he has not played for the Under-20 team this season. The 19 year old defender played three games for the German national team but not for the juniors. These appear to be the only big problems for a guy who has scored six points in 21 games this season for his DEL-team Munich Barons. It’s now time for him to rock the forwards from other countries.

Draft: drafted by the Ottawa Senators in 2001.


#8 Stefan Schauer

Everything is okay with Schauer after his injury at the beginning of the season. He needed a few games to recover and get back into form, but now he’s fully recovered from his hand injury and on his way to becoming a strong defender. The 18 year old from the second league team SC Riessersee scored his first goal of the season in a power play situation with a hard shot from the blue line. He also recorded one assist and 14 penalty minutes. His strength is his hard shot. He scored two goals in six games during the Under-18 championships in April 2001, which helped him in getting drafted by the Ottawa Senators in summer of 2001. Now, he will be a core player for the Under-20 at the championships.

Draft: drafted by the Ottawa Senators in 2001.


#5 Matthias Frenzel

Matthias is the son of former hockey player and coach Dieter Frenzel. He’s a hard working defenseman who gives 100% on the ice and spends most of his time in his own zone. Frenzel also displays some great offensive skills, but he’s more the stay-at-home defender for a quarterback. The 19 year old played junior/prep hockey in the United States in 1998 as he wore the jersey of the Huskies, the prep team for Northwood High. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury at the beginning of the season and went back to Germany a little while later to recover. Back in his native country, he made his first pro steps in the third league as he played for the ERC Selb and the Hamburg Crocodiles one season later. Now, Frenzel has a two way contract, which allows him to play for the DEL-team the Frankfurt Lions and the second league team EC Bad Nauheim. His stats for Frankfurt: 25 games, 8 penalty minutes and a -6 rating (Frankfurt is in last place) and 3 games, 1 assist, 4 penalty minutes for Bad Nauheim.

Draft: seems to be too far away, as he has to make the first step (DEL-Breakthrough) before the second (Draft), but he should be ready.


#10 Christian Ehrhoff

The boy feeling the most pressure, Ehrhoff is a 19 year old, 6’2” defenseman, is a fast skater and highly talented. His new job is to lead the Under-20 team during the championships. Drafted by the San Jose Sharks this past summer, Ehrhoff is the player with the most experience (he’s a national team member) and is currently the best player on the whole team. He does his job as well as possible. That’s what he showed last year as he scored one goal and three assists for four points in five games during the world junior championships. His +6 rating was the best of all German players and it was also one reason for the jury to name him the best defender at the tournament. His current stats for Krefeld/DEL: 26 games, 3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points, +3 and 32 penalty minutes, 2 PP Goals.

Draft: drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 2001.


#15 Benjamin Wildgruber

6’4” and 218 lbs. make Wildgruber the biggest and strongest defender of the German Under-20 team. Naturally, he likes the physical game. His playing style is very defensive. He’s a stay at home defenseman. He hasn’t score a point thus far in this season and has only one goal for the Under-20 team from a test game. Wildgruber is property of the Nuremberg Ice Tigers (DEL). His current team is the Heilbronner EC from the second league. He has a two-way contract – Nuremberg assigned him to Heilbronn about one month ago. 11 games for Nuremberg (four penalty minutes) and 11 games for Heilbronn, six games for the Under-20 (33 penalty minutes) – his stats don’t point to him getting much ice-time. Wildgruber is a solid player and is there if his team needs him. To develop better, his teams must get him more ice time.

Draft: Solid player without the big talent, won’t be drafted in the near future.

Forwards:

#7 Marcel Goc

Frustrated. That’s the word which describes Marcel’s season thus far. The teenage sensation lost his magic from the last season, where he arrived on the scene with 41 points and playing at the world championships in Germany. And now? Only one (!) goal and eight assists in 26 games, his performance is less than average. He needs to become successful in the upcoming weeks in order to salvage his season. As for him, one reason for his problems is that the competitors from the opponents know him. He can’t surprise a defender. Another is definitely the story about his scoring. One goal in 26 games isn’t much and if he can’t score a goal in games 27, 28, 29 and so on, he will be in even more of a slump. His second Under-20 WJC should help him to “recover” and find his way back to his tremendous performances during the last season. Cheer up, Marcel Goc! – And the first step is done. The last league game for him before the WJC starts was held on Friday, when Schwenningen lost to Kassel 2-3, but saw Goc score both goals for his team. Two goals which will hopefully get him going.

Draft: drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 2001.


#24 Jonas Lanier

Lanier was born in Berlin and spent is whole career there, while playing for the eastern-based Eisbären (one season for their farmteam) and the western-based Capitals. Lanier (pronounced like in French, like Cloutier) is 19 years old and a member of the Berlin Capitals from the DEL. He has played in 28 games and recorded one goals and two assists for three points. Playing right wing, he could be an average scorer in the future who can rack up 20-30 points per season.

Draft: The fast development stopped one and a half year ago – now, his chances are low.


#11 Sebastian Furchner

The 19 year old wing is very talented. He’s a quick skater and quite consistent. He’d be very interesting for NHL teams if he wasn’t only 5’9″. That’s not enough to be a draft candidate. However, Furchner will make his way to the DEL for sure. He possesses all the abilities to become a good scorer or a role player, a guy who can record 20 goals and 10 assists – a man for the important goals if his development continues. He’s had four goals in eight games for the Under-20 team this year and six points (four goals, two assists) for his team, the REV Bremerhaven of the second league. Another interesting stat from last year’s Under-20 WJC: he had a team high 25 penalty minutes and also a team high 22 shots on goal.

Draft: Talented, but not big enough. Chances are too low to make it.


#14 Gert Acker

Acker has a good size and he has developed very well during the last year. Roughly one year after he was named as one of the best players during the Under-18 world championships (alongside U-20 teammates Markus Guggemos and San Jose Draft Pick Dimitri Pätzold), the Kassel Huskies signed Acker to a two-way contract in the summer. This contract allows him to play for the Huskies in the DEL and for EV Landshut in the third league. So far, Acker hasn’t been assigned to Landshut and spent the whole season on the fourth line for Kassel. He has recorded three goals, one assist, a -2 rating and eight penalty minutes in 31 games. Acker’s strengths are his “team spirit playing style” – he works like two players.

Draft: Acker was a candidate in the Draft 2000, maybe he could be one in the 2002 Draft.


#21 Christian Urban

Urban is a small player, only 5’9” and 172 lbs., but he possesses good skating and stick handling skills. He will have problems with bigger players. He must get bigger in order to garner any consideration for the upcoming draft. He also has to prove himself at a higher level. He will learn some things if he can get time with better players at a higher level. Otherwise, he gets adequate ice-time in the third league where he plays for TuS Geretsried. His current stats there: 17 games, four goals, four assists for eight points and 22 penalty minutes so far. Also, he played in nine games for the under-20 team this year, recording one assist and two penalty minutes.

Draft: No chance, he isn’t big enough.


#22 Martin Hinterstocker junior

The left wing was last listed by the Central Scouting Bureau on position 100 for European skaters. Hinterstocker is the next one from a hockey family which includes his father Martin senior (assistant coach of the Kassel Huskies/DEL) and his older brother Benjamin (Cologne Haie/DEL). His family is in the DEL and Martin will follow them as soon as possible. Before this happens, he will need to develop more in the second league team SC Riessersee, the same team Stefan Schauer (Senators’ Draft Pick) plays for. Hinterstocker is a solid all around forward with a good scoring touch. He shows great hands and an excellent wrist shot. This season hasn’t been going well for him and he hasn’t played as good as last season. He has two goals and two assists in 20 games. Last season, he gathered 15 points in 37 games. Peter Kathan senior, his coach at Riessersee, is very hopeful that this tournament will help him to get back on track.

Draft: His chances should be better in 2002, but his performances so far aren’t good enough.


#12 Florian Jung

Jung his currently on his way to making his breakthrough into the second league. He scored five goals and six assists for 11 points in 21 games, while also recording 12 penalty minutes. The question is if he’s also ready to make the DE? Maybe we won’t see him in a DEL-jersey next season, but certainly in the season after it. The NHL-question won’t be answered with “yes” due to his current size, 5’9”. Smaller players need more talent than players with a size of 6’2” to be drafted. However, Jung shoots left and his skills should help the German Under-20 to promote to the A-pool.

Draft: His chances are currently low. He needs a good tournament and to continually improve his performances in the second league.


#19 Christian Retzer

He came in for forward Vitali Stähle, after Vitali suffered an injury. He’s an average prospect who won’t be a core player during the tournament. He’s talented, but his talent shouldn’t be good enough to make an impact. Retzer is a 19 year old left wing who shoots left. He’s currently playing for third leaguer Deggendorf. That’s the team with whom prospect Thomas Greilinger developed. Retzer’s stats for the current season include one goal, three assists and two penalty minutes in 15 games. His stats at the Under-20 are better, he scored two goals in three games.

Draft: Not talented enough to be drafted.


#6 Daniel Menge

He’s 18 years old and plays for third league team TSV Erding, a team which only plays with German players to develop them to DEL-teams. All’s quiet, very quiet around Daniel Menge thus far. There’s not been much publicity about him. He’s not as big as the defenders lining up for Germany’s opponents. He’s 5’8” and weighs 170 lbs. However, Menge is playing a very good season which promoted him straight into the Under-20 team after he played for Germany’s Under-18 during the world championships in April of this year. Currently, he has seven goals, seven assists and six penalty minutes in 23 games.

Draft: He doesn’t have the size, but his performances has always been at a good level.


#17 Markus Guggemos

Waiting for size and the big breakthrough. Guggemos is a talented two- way forward who shows good speed and good stick handling. His problem is his size (only 5’7′) and his inability thus far to make an impact at the pro level. He only has two assists in his career of 89 games for the Kassel Huskies in the DEL. That’s not enough. Guggemos, who shoots right, doesn’t have any problems against players his age. He has scored three points in six games while being with the Under-20 team.

Draft: Needs size and success in the DEL before being a candidate someday.


#16 Rene Röthke

Röthke is originally from Berlin and spent the past few years playing for the Berlin teams Eisbären and Capitals, such as his Under-20 teammate Jonas Lanier. At 19, this tournament could be the last time Röthke sees international ice, however, short term development could carry him into the DEL. The long-term development won’t bring him into the NHL or onto anyone’s draft list. However, he spent most of this season in the farmteam of DEL-team Ausgburg Panther, where he has collected six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 13 games. In addition, he’s played in 16 games for the DEL-team.

Draft: Candidate for the DEL, but nor for the NHL.


#18 Adrian Grygiel

Grygiel is 18 years old and was a member of the Under-18 team until this summer. He stepped into the Under-20 without missing a beat and scored two goals for them in his first six games. Grygiel was born in Katowice, Poland, is 5’11”, weights 188 lbs. and plays the right wing on the third line for the DEL Krefeld Penguins. He should be a sniper someday, although he hasn’t scored many points this season (or last for that matter). He has just two goals and one assist in 27 games. Last season, he scored two goals and six assists in 29 games for Krefeld. He’s still highly talented and his development isn’t slowing down. He’ll need to find the back of the net more in order to impress the scouts. He isn’t yet on the draft list this year due to his performance at the Under 18 world championship – with a strong performance at this tournament, he could move onto a list.

Draft: Needs a good tournament to be mentioned.


#23 Christoph Ullmann

Christoph is 18 years old, 6′ and 190 lbs. His size is right for playing in the bigs. He made his first step in this direction last year as he scored 96 points in the fourth league, which led to him being signed by the DEL team Cologne Haie on a two-way contract. He made the big team with two goals in the pre season. Only one assist followed in the next 17 games and Ullmann has been assigned to Duisburg of the second league. Was this a good decision? The officials have to say no, because he hasn’t seen much ice-time there either. More than in Cologne, but not enough to develop. We will see what the future brings for him and it’ll hopefully be more ice time. Ullmann is talented, especially in the offensive zone where he can really make things happen. His scoring touch is very good – but he must work on his defensive ethic.

Draft: Only if he can establish himself in the DEL.

 

Call Ups:

Goalies:

Christian Rohde

The back up goalie for Swede Magnus Eriksson in Augsburg’s DEL team. Meanwhile, Rohde also saw action in Augsburg’s farmteam in the fourth league where he had a few excellent performances, maintaining a GAA under 2,00 goals against and earning two shot outs.

Draft: No chance after he wasn’t named to the Under-20 line up.


Patrick Ehelechner

Ehelechner is just 17 years old and the starting goalie of the Under-18 team. He’s property of the Adler Mannheim, where he is the number three behind Mike Rosati and Capitals Draft Pick Robert Mueller. This season, he played eight games on loan for the Hannover Scorpions. Eight games, 474 minutes, 24 goals against, a 3,03 goals against average and a .895 save percentage – an excellent debut for a 17 year old. Ehelechner will play at the Under-18 world championships next year seeking to impress the scouts for the first time.

Draft: Not eligible for 2002, but a good prospect for the Draft 2003.

Defensemen:

Alexander Sulzer

This could be the most likely German to be drafted in next year’s draft in one of the first few rounds. The top 150 European charts should have a place for him, maybe even the Top 100 or the top 50. Sulzer was born on May, 30th 1984 and is first eligible for the draft in 2002. 6’2” and 204 lbs., he has great size for a 17 year old defense prospect who should get bigger with time. His skating, positional play, hockey sense, vision and shot from the blueline might be the attributes which will help him excel someday, if his development doesn’t stop. It doesn’t appear as though it’ll stop any time soon, because he’s getting better in every game he has played. The young gun plays for ESV Kaufbeuren in the third league and has recorded one goal (power play goal) and eight assists for nine points in 16 games. Also, he played in four games for the Under-18 team and will make his debut for the Under-20 team during the championships if they call him up. Sulzer was at the roster for the tournament, but he’s injured.

Draft: Germany’s current top prospect for the 2002 draft and a potential second round pick.

Daniel Rau

Rau was a member of the Under-20 team earlier this season, playing in nine games. He was cut off before the tournament due to the arrival of draft picks Ehrhoff and Schubert. The stay at home defenseman is a member of the ESV Kaufbeuren of the third league where he has scored one goal and two assists in 21 games so far.

Draft: Too far away for him.


Bastian Steingroß

Has a two way contract which allows him to play for the DEL Augsburg Panthers and the second league based team EHC Freiburg. So far, he has only played for Freiburg and recorded five assists in 21 games, while also recording 24 penalty minutes. Steingroß could make the DEL someday.

Draft: He could reach the DEL, but not the NHL or the draft.


Hardy Gensel

Gensel has a strong body weighing in at 6′ and 212 lbs. Berlin’s manager Peter-John Lee thinks he may even have too many pounds. Gensel is 19 years old, was born in Berlin and played there his whole career until 2000. This time was accompanied by spells in the United States, while playing for Texas and Memphis. Gensel is a property of the Eisbaeren Berlin. They assigned him to Bietigheim of the second league at the start of the season. His only stats were two penalty minutes in 14 games while seeing little ice-time. Now, his new team are the Eisloewen from Dresden. A team from the third league.

Draft: He could reach the DEL, but not the NHL or the draft.

Forwards:

Stefan Endraß

The 19 year old wing was a sought after fella last season. Second league team Riessersee signed him from third league Geretsried. He hasn’t done so well there and is now back in Geretsried, where he’s finding himself in the shadow of Christian Urban. He currently has four assists in 15 games.

Draft: No chance to be drafted in the future.


Björn Bombis

This winger developed in the Czech Republic last season as he played for the juniors from Karlovy Vary. Now, he’s back in Germany and signed a two way contract for DEL-team Augsburg. They assigned him to the second league team EHC Freiburg, together with defender Bastian Steingross. Bombis and Max Kaltenhauser were the only two Germans who hoped to be drafted during the CHL import draft this year, but the wasn’t picked up. Bombis has some interesting stats: He has yet to record a goal but does have nine assists in 20 games for Freiburg and is the top scorer of Germanys Under-20 team with six points.

Draft: He’s talented, but talented enough? It doesn’t seem so.

 

The best from the rest:

Team Austria has three interesting players: Forward Oliver Setzinger is a 2001 draft pick of the Nashville Predators who is currently playing in the Finnish SM-League after spending some time with Vasaan Sport (2nd League). Forward Thomas Vanek, the son of a former Czech player, is the topscorer of the United States Hockey League and Austria’s top prospect for the 2001 draft. Maybe a first or second rounder. The other guy is Thomas Koch, also a forward who has scored many points in his young career at the pro level. Patrick Thoresen and Peter Lorentzen are the team leaders in Norway’s line up. Both were selected during the CHL Import Draft and are playing in Canada this season. The last interesting name is Rodman. Not Bruins’ Draft Pick Marcel and also not former Basketball player Dennis Rodman (no question Dennis would be an interesting hockey player), but the Rodman we’re talking about is David. The younger brother of Bruin’s Draft Pick Marcel Rodman. David Rodman is a Slovenian citizen and is developing in north America this season.

TOURNAMENT RESULTS THUS FAR:


Germany – Italy 8-1 (2-1, 3-0, 3-0)

Scoring: Ehrhoff (1G, 2A), Jones (2G), Kathan (1G, 1A), Furchner(1G, 1A), Lanier (1G), Frenzel (1G), Jung (1G), Acker (1A), Retzer (1A), Menge (1A), Hinterstocker (1A), Urban (1A)

Germany – Poland 6-2 (1-0, 3-1, 2-1)

Scoring: Schubert (3G), Ehrhoff (4A), Ullmann (3A), Goc (1G), Grygiel (1G), Röthke (1G), Guggemos (1A), Jones (1A), Retzer (1A)

Germany – Ukraine: 2-1 (1-0, 1-1, 0-0)

Scoring: Goc (1G), Ehrhoff (1G), Schubert (1A), Furchner (1A)

Semi-Final: Germany – Norway 3-1 (0-0, 2-0, 1-1)

Scoring: Goc (1G), Menge (1G), Jones (1G), Grygiel (1A), Hinterstocker (1A)

Final: Germany – Austria (12/15/2001)