Team: Karpat Oulu
Birthdate: September, 19th, 1983
Weight: 202 lbs. Read more »
Joni Pitkanen is 2002 eligible Finnish defenceman, who is playing for his
hometown Oulu in Finnish SM-liiga. Many experts believe that Pitkanen is
one of the best Finnish defenceman prospects ever.
Here are some parts of the interview done by
Kari Heikkinen and that was originally
published in Finnish hockey site Jatkoaika.com
before the Four Nations U20 tournament that was played in Vaasa, Finland last week.
Q: What are your first memories of hockey?
A: There is a long winter in Oulu, and we used to live near the Rannanperä rink.
First I just wwent to to rink with boots to hustle, but later we bought a skates for me.
I remember that I listened Karpatgames from radio and there was a lot of hockey on TV,
so that has had an influence on me. My dad or my bother didn’t play, so I didn’t get
the spark from there.
I started playing at the age of five and joined a team when I was seven.
I was a bid nervous about joining a real team, but then I encouraged myself and now I’m
Q: Who are your idols in hockey and sports all in all? Reijo Ruotsalainen? Janne Niinimaa?
A: There are many of them, but maybe Reijo Ruotsalainen, as he is from Oulu. And Mario
Lemieux, altough he is a forward. When I started to follow NHL he had just won two
Stanley Cups. Niinimaa is still quite young, but when he trains with us I follow
what he does. He is quite a player.
Q: How would you describe yourself as a player? How about in five years time?< Read more »
Born in Jihlava, Czech Republic, Marian Havel is the latest gem from the once hockey famous
city. Thirty years ago the mighty Jihlava dynasty ruled the Czechoslovakian First League
(the same level as the Czech Extraleague right now), winning an unprecendented number
of championship titles. Generation of players like the Jiri and Jaroslav Holik (father of
Devils’ Bobby Holik), current Czech senior national team coach Josef Augusta or defenseman
Jan Suchy is unforgettable in the minds of fans of the Jihlava team. After winning the last of
the 11 championship titles in early 90’s the level of hockey in Jihlava began slowly to decrease and
after some time the team found itself in the Czech Div I league, where it is till now. Still,
solid players learned the tools of the hockey trade in Jihlava and quality players were risen.
For example Josef Marha, the former NHLer, now in the Swiss Elite League. When looking
at the rearguards, then you can see Marek Posmyk, the Tampa Bay Lightining player, who
is now playing for Zlin, but is from Jihlava, or Petr Svoboda, in the system of Toronto Maple
Leafs. The last one with very solid chances on a NHL career is without doubt the offensive
sparkplug Marian Havel.
Marian Havel was the youngster of a hockey family. His dad, a hockey coach, brought both his
sons to the game. The older Lukas just like the three years younger Marian. So Marian had
hockey all around him and it was only a question of time before he also starts to attend
regular hockey practices. He could see his brother taking the first strides and his dad Read more »
Johnny Boychuk, a right-handed shooting defenseman with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. Boychuk is a player who delivers crushing body checks, has good overall mobility, and a hard low slap-shot from the point. His biggest asset is that he consistently makes smart plays with or without the puck in his own zone. In this installment of a series of interviews with the top players in the juniors, Hockey’s Future sits down with this potential top 15 first round draft pick for next years NHL Entry Draft.
Hockey’s Future: Even with the NHL Entry Draft 7 months away, does your potential ranking among the first round have any effect on your play this season?
Johnny Boychuk: I try to do as much as I can while still playing my position, not allow my thoughts to wander on things I cannot control.
HF: Are their any attributes about your game that you think would be appealing to NHL scouts?
Johnny Boychuk: Definitely my physical play and making good first passes out of the defensive zone.
HF: After having a pretty successful rookie season, what are your biggest challenges coming into this season?
Johnny Boychuk: There is a challenge for me to show that last season was not a fluke.
HF: By showing the coaching staff your dependable play early in the season, your ice time in all situations has increased especially in penalty killing. Does that give you the confidence that you can be relied upon in key times during the game?
Johnny Boychuk: I believe my attention to detail is the lar Read more »
In their short history, the OHL’s Erie Otters have developed several fine NHL prospects for the pro game. Former Otters stars such as Tim Connolly, Nikita Alexeev and Michael Rupp have had their names called in the 1st round of the NHL Draft, while current standouts Brad Boyes and Carlo Colaiacovo both have more recently had that honor bestowed upon them by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
While Erie may not continue their string of 1st round magic in this year’s draft, there will be at least 2 or 3 names called from the Otters’ roster at the 2002 NHL Draft in June. One of those players, U.S.-born defenseman Brian Lee (6’2″, 187 lbs.), could have his name called in the 2nd or 3rd round. The Michigan native was ranked 50th amongst North American skaters on the Central Scouting Bureau’s Mid-Season Rankings.
After a season in which Brian saw limited ice time, he has come on during the 2001-02 campaign to provide solid defensive play for the Otters. The left-shooting rearguard won’t necessarily break any scoring records, but Lee’s steady style of play should catch the eye of a NHL GM looking for a defensive defenseman with a little skill and size.
I spoke with Brian prior to a recent Otters game, with the transcript of that conversation appearing below. “HF” represents the questions asked by the interviewer, while “BL” denotes Brian’s answers.
: You didn’t get to play a lot last year, but this year, you’ve really made great strides. To what do you attribu Read more »
Despite some penalty trouble and stupidity throughout the series the Belleville Bulls defeated the Oshawa Generals 4 games to 1 to move on to the 2nd round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.
The Generals didn’t go easily however. They won the first game in Oshawa 4-3 and then dropped the first game in Belleville 3-0, but after that the Bulls had to hang on until the last minute of each game to pull off the next 3 wins; all 3 games were won by 1 goal including an overtime victory in Oshawa. The Generals showed throughout the series that they are a team to watch next year.
The Bulls were shooting themselves in the foot quite a bit in this series. Mike Renzi started off the series on a bad note receiving a 5-minute elbowing penalty for dropping Dustin VanBallegooie and subsequently was slapped with a 3-game suspension, which put him out of action until the final game of the series. In game 4 in Oshawa the Bulls were testing their 5 on 3 penalty killing but were fortunate to win the game in overtime to send the series back to Belleville to try to win it.
The 5th game belonged to the Bulls until about 2-minutes left in the 3rd period. Belleville had been leading 3-0 for the majority of the game until penalty put the Bulls down a man giving the Gen’s a powerplay. Then, for the 2nd time in the game the Generals called for a measurement of Jason Spezza’s stick and for the 2nd time Spezza turned from the ref and broke the blade of his stick with his hand preventing them from checking his stick. The Generals then asked for Read more »
Well, folks, I’m back with yet another edition of the Weekly Dose. This week, I’m going to do what I should have done a long time ago: Re-rank the Canucks prospects.
Many players have gotten better for the Canucks this season, especially in the prospect pipeline. However, many have regressed in their development. My mission, should you choose to read it; is to fairly re-rank these young men into suitable positions on the Canuck Depth Chart.
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines.
1. Allen, Bryan. Read more »
You just knew it was going to be that kind of game. From all the scouts in attendance, to the turned up music in the Stable. You knew the RoughRiders had come to play. Cedar Rapids was 0-3 against Sioux Falls this year but you could see it when PJ Atherton blew out of the tunnel followed by Steve Burgess. They had the energy but could they keep up with the high-powered Sioux Falls offensive attack? The answer was an astounding yes. The RoughRiders scored just 26 seconds into the game on a pretty rebound goal from Adam Olsen and never looked back, although if they would have they would have seen the Stampede nipping at their heels.
The first period was all Cedar Rapids. Olsen’s goal set the tempo and Teddy O’Leary, who is heading to the University of Denver, pumped it up even more with a wicked slapper that seemed to just brush a Sioux Falls defensemen and whistle past Kellen Briggs off the post for a 2-0 RoughRider lead only 5:12 into the game. Coach Mark Carlson said it was probably the hardest slap shot he has ever seen from O’Leary.
But Sioux Falls wouldn’t go away. They killed off a 5 on 3 midway through the first, and you could start to see the momentum turn. Just 22 seconds into the second period Sioux Falls cracked the scoreboard on Eric Przepiorka’s 41st goal of the season. That goal ties him with teammate Thomas Vanek for the league lead. Sioux Falls looked like they were playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulders. They were tired of Cedar Rapids physical style of play in the first period and so they started taking penalties one of wh Read more »
The Des Moines Buccaneers faced a hungry Chicago team looking to move ahead of the bucs tonight in the standings. Great goaltending on both sides kept the game scoreless until midway through the 1st when Alex Matieroukine called bank, gets the Bucs on the board, off the post and in the back of the net. A few minutes later, Matieroukine was digging for the puck along the boards, when he backhanded it to the middle and Chris Collins skated in all alone and beat Chicago goalie John Daigneau to give the Bucs the 2-0 lead. With about two minutes left, Keith Boyer extended the Bucs lead to 3-0. About 20 seconds later, Luke Irwin is 2/3 of the way to a Gordie Howe Hat Trick (all that is left is a fight) when he lights the lamp at the 18:32 mark to make it 4-0.
The second period turned to sloppy hockey for the Bucs. Chicago’s Kim Hirschovits is able to walk and backhanded the puck past Chris Gartman to make it 4-1 lead for Des Moines. Des Moines responded 22 seconds later with a goal from Tommy Kolar to retake a four-goal lead. At the 8:09 mark, Jeff Genovy added a power play tally to give the Bucs a 6-1 lead. Chicago got a late goal from Travis Morin to make it 6-2 heading into the locker rooms and the second intermission.
Most of the third period, the Bucs stayed in their defensive shell to protect the lead. With about four-minutes left, Chicago was able to crack the shell and cut the lead to 6-3. About a minute later, they are able to capitalize on the power play to make it interesting, making it a 6-4 Des Moines lead. With a little over 2-minutes t Read more »
Saturday night at the Metro Ice Sports Arena in Des Moines, the Buccaneers managed to play only 20 minutes of good hockey falling to the Sioux Falls Stampede by a 6-3 score. The Stampede took advantage of their power plays when they got them, converting on 3 of 6 opportunities.
In the first period, Sioux Falls outshot Des Moines 16-10 and where it counted led 3-0 on the scoreboard. Sioux Falls went 2 for 4 on the power play in the 1st period. Sioux Falls 1st goal was a rebound left lying around that the Bucs were unable to clear that Eric Przepiorka was able to bury. Jacob Micflikier got a one-timer feed from the USHL’s leading scorer, Thomas Vanek to give the Stampede the 2-0 lead. Marty Sertich then converted on the power play to give the Stampede the 3-0 lead heading into the 1st intermission.
In the 2nd period, someone flipped a switch on the Bucs. Des Moines, who outshot the Stampede by a 18-9 count in the period, controlled things on the scoreboard where it counts to tie the score 3-3. Chris Collins got the Bucs on the board first by putting home a rebound on the power play. Keith Boyer got a gift as a clearing attempt hits one of the linesmen and the puck stays in the zone, Boyer came in and goes top shelf to bring the Bucs within one, 3-2. With about five minutes left in the period, Luke Irwin got a shot that flipped over Stampede netminder Kellen Briggs to tie things up at 3 a piece.
Four minutes into the 3rd, Jason Moul found himself with a wide open net on a rebound and re-claimed the lead for the Stampede 4-3. About forty seconds later J Read more »