Coming into the 2001-02 season, LW Rick Nash was considered one of several top prospects for the 2002 NHL Draft. He had just come off a season where he was named the Rookie of the Year in the OHL, based mostly on his considerable offensive skills.
Rick’s team, the London Knights, started the 01-02 season slowly, which lead to the hiring of former NHL agitator Dale Hunter as the Knights’ coach. Hunter quickly settled the team down, helping Rick and his teammates develop a work ethic that may have been missing at the start of the season. Nash, in particular, benefited from Dale’s presence, improving his game to the point where he is considered a legitimate candidate to go 1st overall in the 2002 draft.
In 54 games this season, Rick tallied 72 points (32G, 40A), finishing 2nd in scoring on the Knights’ roster. He has added 15 points in the playoffs (8G, 7A), leading his team in scoring while placing fourth in that category in the OHL.
In addition to his work with the Knights, Nash also appeared in 7 games for Team Canada at the 2002 World Junior Championships. Rick picked up 3 points (1G, 2A) in his role as a 3rd or 4th line forward. He’ll no doubt see increased ice time at next year’s tournament.
I had the opportunity to speak with Rick prior to Game 3 of the London-Erie series. The initials “HF” indicates my questions, while Rick answers (minus some bad background singing by some of his teammates) are designated by his initials, “RN”.
HF: First, let’s talk about this season. You guys got off to a bit of a slow start, then (former Read more »
The second round of the Canadian Hockey League playoffs continue this week,
as the road to the 2002 Master Card Memorial Cup continues.
All second round series in all three CHL leagues – the Ontario Hockey
League, the Western Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey
League – will be completed by April 17. The three CHL league champions will
join the host Guelph Storm at the 2002 MasterCard Memorial Cup, May 18-26,
2002 in Guelph, Ontario.
In each edition of the CHL Daily News (Monday through Friday) right up until
the conclusion of the CHL playoffs, the playoff results of all three CHL
leagues will be included.
Wrap-ups from all of the games are included daily, along with that day’s
schedule of games. There are now 24 teams alive in the hunt for the 2002
MasterCard Memorial Cup.
Starting April 15, a special MasterCard Memorial Cup section will also be
available at the official website of the CHL, www.chl.ca.
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE
There are three games in the WHL playoffs on Wednesday night. Kelowna is at
Spokane, with Spokane leading the series 2-1, Red Deer (1) is at Moose Jaw
with Moose Jaw leading that series 2-1 and Swift Current is at Brandon, with
Brandon leading that series 2-1.
On Tuesday night in the WHL, Kootenay beat Seattle 5-2 to take a 3-0 series
lead, Brandon (7) beat Swift Current (4) 4-1 to lead 2-1 and Moose Jaw edged
Red Deer (1) 2-1 in overtime to lead that series 2-1.
At Seattle, Nigel Dawes, Adam Taylor and Jarret Stoll all had one goal and
one assist to lead Kootenay to Read more »
Some League Explanations
SEL = Swedish Elite League, “Elitserien”
SEL2 = The 2nd-tier league in Sweden, “Allsvenskan”
J-20 = The best junior league (Junior-A) in Sweden, “J20 SuperElit”
Read more »
The Los Angeles Kings got part one of their off-season work done Monday when they signed highly regarded prospect Yannick Lehoux to a three year contract.
Lehoux will report to the Kings AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, on Tuesday. The Monarchs are preparing to open their first ever playoff series on April 13.
Lehoux also signed an amateur tryout contract with the Kings, so he could potentially play in one of the Kings final three games should they clinch a definitive playoff position. The Kings finish Sunday in Anaheim and if they have locked up their position, the Kings may give the faithful a look at the future.
The Kings next targets would appear to be Jared Aulin and Alex Frolov.
All the Way From St. John’s
With Mile One Stadium having booked the Juno Awards this week and the Leafs on a season ending road trip, the Baby Buds will be coming to town. The St. John’s Maple Leafs will be invading the ACC for the first of a three game playoff series versus the Providence Bruins Wednesday night, with games 2 and 3 (if necessary) in Brampton Thursday and Friday. Suffice to say by the booking, not many in the know expected this version of the farm club to get to the post-season, but here they are, and in the big rink nonetheless.
The club will be lead by AHL Scoring Champion (and John B. Sollenberger Trophy winner because of it) Donald Maclean up front, Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award winner Nathan Dempsey on the blueline, and Central Hockey League Rookie of the year Sebastien Centomo in goal. That said, of late there have been a few new heroes in the lineup thanks to a couple of call-ups to the big club due to injuries and injuries striking the St. John’s roster itself.
With Nik Antropov out for the year, Paul Healey sticking with the Leafs and Jeff Farkas having broken a finger the team has had to turn to other sources for offensive production. While it has been expected that Bob Wren and Bobby House would hold up their end of the bargain, Alexei Ponikarovsky is starting to develop the offensive touch many of the Leaf brass were waiting to see. Further, he hasn’t lost any of his grit doing so. Another name that has been getting mentioned is none other than Luca Cereda. While he has been buried on the depthchart for most of t Read more »
The 2001-2002 USHL season has finally come to and end, and what a season it was. The Eastern Division saw the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders nearly lead the pack from start to finish, only to see the Green Bay Gamblers re-claim the division title on the last game of the season. In the Western Division the Omaha Lancers were led by two stellar goaltenders, Dominic Vicari and Marty Magers, who carried a combined goals against average less than two. As has been the case for the last few years, the West was the stronger of the two divisions. Three teams in the West, Omaha, Lincoln and Sioux City all had better records than the East champ Green Bay. Sioux Falls finished with only one less point. Both divisions sent four teams to the playoffs this season with the Chicago Steel making their first ever visit to the Clark Cup playoffs. All that can be said now is, let the games begin!
Round 1 Matchups
1.Omaha Lancers vs. 8. Chicago Steel
This one is a no brainer. The Steel had a breakthrough season this year but they got the unlucky draw of the Anderson Cup champs. The Steel have a good offense this year led by Nick Anderson and Rene Gauthier. The Steel’s offense is tough and physical and likes to grind things out along the boards. Their forwards are big and strong. Danny Richmond and Tom Gilbert are top prospects on defense in front of John Daigneau. Daigneau, after a slow start to the season has played very strong the second half of the year leading the Steel’s surge to the postseason for the first time in their two year history. Read more »
Following are the March player rankings for the June 2002 draft. The list is provided in conjunction with the Prospect Advisor, a monthly newsletter covering hockey’s draft eligible players. Prospect Advisor has been providing an independent scouting service to NHL, CHL, and NCAA teams, fans, agents, etc for over 4 years. The Prospect Advisor has been a long time supporter of Hockey’s Future and we are pleased to be in partnership with them.
Glen Gawronski and his staff of 8 to 10 scouts in North America and Europe compile a monthly newsletter that is available for a very reasonable investment. For subscription information, please contact at them at Prospect Advisor. The ranking for April will be posted later this week.
1. Jay Bouwmeester–D–Medicine Hat
Like a gazelle, Bouwmeester is quick and graceful. A
two-way star with plenty of size, Jay has already is virtually a shoo-in for
the top spot at the draft.
2. Rick Nash–LW–London
A ferocious two-way player, Rick likes to go hard to the net
and play hard-nosed physical hockey. A consensus top 3 pick.
3. Kari Lehtonen–G–Finland Read more »
Forge to open Playoffs at Home
Forge 4 Barons 1 :
NEVILLE ISLAND (Friday, April 5, 2002) The Pittsburgh Forge Junior A hockey
club secured home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs by
defeating the Cleveland Barons, 4-1, at the Island Sports Center on Neville
Island. A three-goal second period was the key to Friday’s victory, which
enabled Pittsburgh (37-15-3) to clinch second place in the Eastern Division
of the North American Hockey League. Pittsburgh jumped out in front 1-0 on a
power play goal by Andy Brandt at the 6:13 mark of the first period. The
Forge pressed the advantage 4-0 after two periods of play as Bernie Chmiel
and Kenny Trombetta scored, and Brandt added his second goal of the game.
Brandt now leads the team with 27 goals. The only Cleveland goal of the
night was scored by Tom Goebel a minute and 10 seconds into the final
Whats coming up: The Forge will host each game of its best-of-three first
round playoff series next weekend. The post-season games are set for Friday,
April 12; Saturday, April 13; and Sunday, April 14 (if necessary) at the
Island Sports Center. All three games will start at 7:30 p.m.
Find all the info you need on Pittsburgh’s new Junior A team at:
http://www.pittsburghforge.com/ Read more »
Johnstown, PA- On friday night Johnstown Chiefs defenseman Philippe Roy scored three goals and an assist to lead them to a 6-1 win over the Peoria Rivermen, and capture game #3 of the Kelly Cup Northwest division semi-finals. Eric Schneider, Dan Carlson and Blair Stayzer also scored. Stayzer’s goal came shorthanded in the third period. Kevin Cloutier scored the lone goal for the Rivermen in the first period. Chiefs goaltender Frederic Deschenes made 15 saves for the win, while Rivermen goaltender Phil Osaer stopped 27 shots before being pulled 1:53
into the third period in favor of Cody Rudkowsky (4 saves). With 0:12 left in the game there was a brawl, which resulted in 57 PIM being handed out between the two teams.
The following evening the Chiefs scored two third period goals to lift them to a 3-1 win at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena. The win forced a 5th and final game tuesday night (4/9). Peoria won the first two games of the series in Peoria. Lukas Smital scored a first period goal for the Chiefs, while left wing J.F. Boutin added an empty net goal. Bret DeCecco scored the lone goal for the Rivermen in the third period. Chiefs goaltender Frederic Deschenes made 22 saves for the victory, while Peoria goaltender Cody Rudkowsky made 33 saves in the defeat.
Game #5 will be played Tuesday night at Peoria’s Carver Arena. Game time is at 8:00 p.m. The game can be heard on on the world wide web at www.johnstownchiefs.com.
Prior to the start of the week the Bulldogs and their fans got some
disturbing news which was not helped by some of the media. A report that
was leaked out of Ottawa said that the Edmonton Oilers were to move their
farm team to Toronto for the 2003/2004 season.
The news got better for fans as the truth started to come out about the
whole situation. The Bulldogs logo, staff, name and team will remain in
Hamilton. The Oilers will move their players to Toronto. This is all if a
deal can be worked out between the Oilers and Edmonton businessman Lyle
The Oilers, the AHL, and the Bulldogs staff are currently looking for a new
parent club for the Bulldogs. The best scenario would be for that new
parent club and the Oilers to have a duel affiliation next season to make
the transition easier.
The Hamilton Bulldogs played 4 games this past week which saw them start the
week on the road and then finish off the season at home with 2 games. The
Bulldogs went 2-1-1 on the week.
The Bulldogs started the week off in Rochester against the Amerks.
The Hamilton Bulldogs concluded their eight-game regular season series with
the Rochester Americans on Monday with a loss, as they dropped a 2-1
decision. With the loss the Bulldogs record falls to 35 wins, 30 losses, 10
ties and 3 overtime losses. In ten games against the Amerks this season,
the Bulldogs earned a record of 2 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie.
Rochester opened the scoring at the 16:40 mark of the first period when
Craig Charron scored a shorthanded goal, his 12th goal of th Read more »