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Ales Hemsky – a story of a scorer

by Robert Neuhauser
on
When you look at Ales Hemsky, you won’t see a big body as for example Martin Podlesak, his
Czech mate for the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. But you will face a gifted scorer, who even if hasn’t
a huge frame, has many other hockey talents which made him one of the top 2001 draft prospects.

The tale of Ales Hemsky has something in common with the lifeline of fellow Czech young
players Martin Havlat and Vaclav Nedorost. Just like Martin Havlat, Ales Hemsky is a son
of a hockey coach. Just like Vaclav Nedorost, Ales has a brother, one year older than him,
who plays hockey. It’s Petr Hemsky, the lesser known brother of Ales who took the QMJHL
by storm this year. Petr Hemsky is now competing in the OHL, he was traded from a top team,
the Belleville Bulls, soon after his arrival and faced problems with lack of ice time for
the whole season. It was the first year when those two brothers played in different leagues.

Ales and Petr grew up in the Czech city of Pardubice under the watchful eye of their father
Petr, who brought his sons to his beloved sport very soon. At the young age of four Ales
already stood at his skates and tried to be better than the older Petr. Their father was the
main force why the guys started playing at 5 and they’ve both spent a lot of time on the ice.

Even if they attended practices, they still have spent some time with their father, who
gave them tips and taught them a lot of hockey basics. By that time it became obvious that
those guys are something special and the younger Ales was a huge talent in every way. Thanks
to Read more »

Rangers at the World Championships Update

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
Kim Johnsson a Rangers defender from Sweden has anchored his teams defense and has produced solid numbers, recording (6gp-2g-4a-6p) and is a soid +9

Erstwhile Wing Radek Dvorak has been a force at the Worlds posting (6gp-4g-3a-7p) and a +7 for the undefeated Czechs. Dvorak looks very much at home with the Czech`s open free to roam style. Jan Hlavac was felled by injury at the close of the season thus thwarting his bid to play for the Czechs.

An old friend is playing in the tourney, Milan Hnilinka of the Thrashers minds the nets for the undefeated Czechs. In 6 games Milan has posted a 1.59 goals against and a .944 save percentage.

Rangers prospect Martin Richter has appeared in all 6 games for the Czechs and has not registered a point. The intl. experience is a wonderful dose.

Rangers prospect Andreas Johansson has recorded (6gp-1g-1a-2p) for the Swedes and his playing center.

One time Rangers defender Peter Andersson is also playing for Sweden and has not recorded a point.

Finally one time Ranger Simon Wheeldon, yes the same…the Canadian born forward has been suiting up for years for Austria, led his team in scoring with 3 points in 6 games.

Stay tuned for more….!

Soo Greyhouds Season in Review 2000-01

by Brad Coccimiglio
on
It all started with Ryan Healy being sent home for “philosophical
differences” with head coach Paul Theriault and finished with a 5 game
losing skid. In between it was like riding a roller coaster.

There were some high expectations for the Soo Greyhounds coming in to
the 2000-01 season. The goaltending and defence were expected to be
solid while the offence, although a question mark, was seen as something
that was not going to be a huge problem.

In hindsight the goaltending was solid, the defence was suspect at best
and the offence… well let’s just say the offence didn’t come to play.

To start the season the Greyhounds did have some offensive spark in
guys like Preston Mizzi, Ryan Held and Cory Pecker. The Greyhounds also
featured some potential in Jeff Richards, who showed up to camp in great
shape, CHL Import Pick Martin Bonda as well as defenceman Trevor Daley
and rookie Brett Trudell. There was a lot of potential but,
unfotunately, not all of it was realized.

The defence was suspect but did come up with some great efforts against
some of the OHL’s top teams. The defensive corps was somewhat young with
three 19-year-olds, two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old.

The Greyhounds goaltending was solid during some games and off during
others. Ray Emery was solid during the stretch run but the team lost
some key games at the end of the year which knocked them out of playoff
contention.

The turmoil all began during training camp in September. During one of
the scrimmages rookie Jorda Read more »

The Kings Ahead of the IHL’s Failure

by Tony Calfo
on
Reports say that six IHL teams will move into the AHL for the 2001-2001 season. While I for one will miss the IHL, the new AHL will give teams a great league to develop young players. At the head of this move is the Los Angeles Kings Organization.

Since the demise of the Phoenix RoadRunners, the Kings have gradually steered their prospects away from the IHL and towards the AHL. The AHL had traditionally been a proving ground for young NHL hopefuls while the IHL was built for has-beens and never-will-be’s with a few prospects sprinkled in. I personally lived in an IHL town and was able to see alot of NHL players in the late 80′s and early 90′s. Teams like St. Louis were able to build solid IHL franchises and have players who were used to playing an NHL-style game just a bus ride away. The Kings were able to do this with an agreement with the Long Beach Ice Dogs, formerly of the IHL. When the Ice Dogs moved out, the Kings focused solely on the AHL for player development.

The Kings seemed to see this coming. An agreement with Springfield preceeded an agreement with Lowell. Now the Kings will own and operate their own AHL team, just in time for the development of this “super” minor league. The Kings may miss the chance to move older players into an IHL-type league (like Boucher this season and Modry last), but to have their perverbial ducks in a row like this just in time for this potential new AHL is another feather in the cap of the Kings.


Notes-

Look for the Kings to let Matthieu Schneider go the way of free agency. He Read more »

NAHL Finals Recap

by Brad Coccimiglio
on
In a battle of the North American Hockey League’s top two teams for league supremacy the Texas Tornado won the Robertson Cup in 4 games over the Soo Kiwedin Cansino Indians.

In a story that’s somewhat overdue here at Hockey’s Future, here’s a recap of the NAHL’s league final.

The Tornado breezed through the first two rounds of the NAHL playoffs sweeping the Springfield Jr. Blues in the first round and the defending champion Danville Wings in the second round.

The Indians on the other had had a much tougher time getting to the finals. In the first round the Indians lost Game 1 in overtime against the Lansing Capital Centre Pride only to come back and win Games 3 & 4 to advance. In the second round the Indians, again, lost the first game, this time in double overtime to the Cleveland Barons, only to come back and win the series, winning Game 3 in double overtime.

A Hollywood scriptwriter couldn’t have set this series up any better as the Tornado and Indians were the top two teams in the league standings as well as in terms of power play and penalty killing.

The first game of the series was the most exciting. In the early stages of the game the Indians couldn’t gain any sustained pressure on the Tornado goal. Indians goaltender Cam Ellsworthwas outstanding not only in Game 1 but the entire series. The Indians opened the scoring in the second period on a goal by Pat Caslin. The goal broke Tornado goaltender Brandon Crawford-West’s shutout streak of over 2 games. In the third period it seemed as though Read more »

IHL Playoff Summary

by Parker Neale
on

Battle for Turner Cup down to Four Teams

The IHL’s Eastern and Western Conference Finals are now well underway. There could, potentially be a rematch of the Chicago-Grand Rapids final that we witnessed last season as both teams are still alive and well. Let’s take a look at the match-ups and quickly summarize how each team advanced.

In the East, Grand Rapids swept Cleveland aside in four straight games. The Griffins, the IHL’s top team this season continue to ice a lineup that consists of a nice blend of youth and veteran talent. Chris Neil and Petr Schastlivy consist of the former while David Oliver, John Gruden, Todd White and Kip Miller have all spent a decent length of time in the NHL.

The Orlando Solar Bears carried their momentum from a solid second half of the season to roll over the Cyclones in five games. They are a very offensive-minded group that relies on league-MVP Norm Maracle to provide a solid final line of defence. Top players are Curtis Murphy, Todd Richards, J.P. Vigier, Hugo Boisvert, Brian Pothier and Jarrod Skalde.
The Solar Bears won the first game of this series 4-3 in triple overtime. The Griffins then rebounded with a 4-2 win in game two. And, Orlando bounced back for a 5-3 win in game three. The series now switches back to Grand Rapids for the next two games as arena booking conflicts called for a 1-2-2-1-1 format rather than the usual 2-2-1-1-1. Expect Mike Fountain to redeem himself in game four after a poor showing in game three and look for the Griffins to take this series.

In the We Read more »

More Canucks forwards prospects

by Kirk Pedersen
on

Colorado College Forward Justin Morrison plays a lot differently than his namesake which is currently a Canuck, Brendan. He put up good numbers in his final season of NCAA eligibility, and is still unsigned. The Canucks should make a push to sign Justin before the Draft. ETA: 2004, probably on some other team.

Ryan Ready is a very hardworking youngster whom the Canucks have had in their system for two years. A former Belleville Bull, Ryan is making himself into a pretty decent two-way player down in Kansas City. His skating still needs some work, and he’s not much of a scorer, but he’s a good player in his own end, and can lend a hand in killing penalties. ETA: 2004, on some other team, if not, a high-end career minor-leaguer.

Josh Holden was expected to be a 50-70 point scorer in the NHL when he was drafted. That all looks like a pipe dream now. In fairness, he’s had a lot of injury problems, and has been a steady scorer in Syracuse and Kansas City, but, he still qualifies as a disappointment, because of his inability to stay healthy, and his inability to hold down a job in the NHL. He doesn’t figure into the Canucks’ mix anymore. ETA: This year, or never, as a Canuck.

Pat Kavanagh impressed in the playoffs. He showed vast improvement over his first season in the minors by doubling his point output, and adding fourteen more goals, swelling his season total to twenty-six. In the NHL playoffs, he was understandably nervous, but didn’t make any glaring errors in his limited ice time. He was mostly showcased in pena Read more »

OHL Finals Preview

by Brad Coccimiglio
on
The Memorial Cup is just around the corner and the OHL champion will soon be decided. For the second year in a row the Plymouth Whalers will fight for an opportunity to represent the OHL in the tournament while the Ottawa 67’s will look to make their second appearance in 3 years in the prestigious tournament.

Before we start anything here’s a look at the schedule for the series:

Date		Home		Visitors
Sat. May 5		Plymouth		Ottawa
Sun. May 6		Plymouth		Ottawa
Thurs. May 10	Ottawa		Plymouth
Fri. May 11	Ottawa		Plymouth
Sun. May 13	Plymouth		Ottawa
Tues. May 15	Ottawa		Plymouth
Wed. May 16	Plymouth		Ottawa
Now that that’s settled let’s break down the match-up:


OFFENCE:
Both teams feature a number of high scoring players that can break open a game at any time. Ottawa features defenceman Jon Zion and forward Joe Talbot while the Whalers counter with the likes of Damian Surma, Stephen Weiss and Kris Vernarsky. With those types of players on each side there should be no shortage of offence for this series.


ADVANTAGE:
None


DEFENCE:
Plymouth’s defensive corps were bolstered when the Whalers added Ryan O’Keefe from Barrie. This will be O’Keefe’s second straight appearance in the finals. The Whalers also boast NHL draft prospect Cole Jarrett and Libor Ustrnul. On the Ottawa side Jonathan Zion is always a threat.


ADVANTAGE:
Plymouth


GOALTENDING:
The Whalers are backstopped by two time OHL goaltender of the year runner-up Rob Zepp. Zepp had a solid season and backu Read more »

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