Donald Choukalos is backstopping his way to a career year as the starting goaltender for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. With 39 games under his belt, he’s posted a respectable 3.44 GAA and 2 shutouts. Choukalos admits he got off to a bit of a slow start to this season, but part of that has to be attributed to the team he had in front of him. With the recent additions the Regina Pats have made to bolster their lineup in anticipation of hosting the Memorial Cup this year, and with Choukalos’ own continuing development, he is positioned to have a golden opportunity to really shine in this major tournament and get his stock soaring as he battles to move his way up the Bruins depth chart in the nets.
Choukalos was the Bruins sixth choice, picked 179th overall in the 1999 draft. When asked for the highlight of his career so far, he didn’t need to think long before answering “just getting drafted.” In a way it was a bit of a surprise choice on the Bruins part in that they had just drafted OHL goaltender Seamus Kotyk with their previous pick and had drafted Andrew Raycroft the year before. Choukalos said he didn’t know that the Bruins were seriously interested in him, “they only talked to me once the day before the draft.” Perhaps it would have been just a little more of a dream come true if he had followed former Calgary Hitman teammate Brent Krahn to getting drafted by the Flames since he was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. It isn’t in the fates though for an NHL hopeful to always be able to play for the team he grew up chearing though.
Chouk Read more »
Edmonton prospect Jani Rita played surprisingly good.
Eight goals in the tournament gives a big boost to his
confidence. Rita has 2+2 in 3 games for Jokerit after
the WJC. Before the tournament he had 5 points in
2001 eligibles Tuomo Ruutu and Mikko Koivu
were centering two top lines. These two players are considered the future leaders of Finnish hockey. Another 2001 eligible forward Tuomas Pihlman wasn’t able to get any points, but he isn’t supposed to be a scorer.
Ville Hämäläinen was the biggest surprise. Second line
winger had a very good tournament. Hämäläinen had 7 points in seven games. Hämäläinen is still undrafted, but he might get picked in next draft.
Another Edmonton prospect Tony Salmelainen missed
last season with injuries. Salmelainen is a small player, but he really has good speed. He was third in team’s scoring.
Tuukka Mäntylä (5 points +8) took the leading role
in defense. Mäntylä hasn’t been drafted yet, mainly
because of his size (5’9). Mäntylä is good with the
puck and is also good skater. Mäntyla was selected to
play for Team Finland in Swedish Hockey Games.
Arto Tukio’s injury during team’s carting session
really hurt Finnish defense. Markku Paukkanen
was able to step up. He had two points and was a +7
in the tournament.
Ari Ahonen had a good tournament. He outgoaled
Maxim Oullette in the semifinal game. In the finals he
let in two goals, but he can’t be blamed for them.
The Devils wanted Ahonen to play for Albany this
season but he stayed in Finland. He should Read more »
Maxime Ouellet has continued to shine after his early season demotion from the Flyers to Rouyn-Noranda. Apart from a rough outing against Finland
in the WJC semi-finals, he also had another strong WJC tournament. Max’s most notable accomplishment at the WJC was outplaying Rick DiPietro head-to-head when Canada met up with the USA in the medal round
quarterfinals. Given Ouellet’s excellent play this season and the struggles of Brian Boucher, Ouellet may figure into the Flyers NHL goaltending picture
as soon as next year; although a season in the AHL would probably be the optimal plan for the young keeper.
Jason Beckett has had a rock solid rookie season for the Philadelphia Phantoms. He shows a lot of maturity and poise for a first year pro. Beckett
is an aggressive defender, yet he is rarely caught out of position. To date, he is the Plus/Minus leader on the Phantoms, sporting a +11 for a .500
Antero Niittymäki had his work cut out for him before this season. He had to try to top his sensational rookie campaign for TPS Turku. Unfortunately, he has not been able to do so. Niittymaki has split time in goal with Fredrik
Norrena and Norrena has, on the whole, been the more consistent performer. That’s not to say that Niittymäki has had a bad season, however. While
Niittymäki has let in a few bad goals and been beaten at some inopportune moments, it’s unfair to classify any goalie with a 2.02 GAA and .924 save percentage in 17 games as a failure. If Niittymäki has h Read more »
Volchenkov was arguably Russia’s top defenseman. Even though the entire Russian squad was a predictable disapointment, he played pretty decently finishing with 4 assists in 7 games. He is a good two-way player and will surely be in North America soon.
Sainomaa played for the Silver-medal winning Finnish team that was the surpirse of the tournament. He was a role-player and didn’t get much ice time, but displayed good speed and two-way prowess in his limited appearences. Finished the tourney with 2 assists in 7 games and surely needs some refining in both Finland and Grand Rapids before he hits the Sens.
Event: IHL All-Star Game
Where: Allstate Arena
City: Chicago, Illinois
Date: January 15, 2001
Time: 5:00 pm
The IHL’s annual All-Star game goes under way tomorrow afternoon at the Allstate Arena in Chicago home of the defending Turner Cup Champions Chicago Wolves. Tomorrow afternoon the defending champions Wolves take on the IHL All-Star team. You can catch all the live action by logging on at www.theihl.com for a live cybercast of all games. This year the IHL will have mic on the coaches, players benches, ref’s, players and the ref’s dressing rooms. Here at Hockeys Future we will have all the stats and a few stories from the all-star game. So log on at Hockeys Future on Tuesday for all the stories and recaps of the IHL classic. Here is a list of the starting lineups for both teams:
Goalie: Wendell Young
Defence: Glen Featherstone
Defence: Chris LiPuma
Forward: Niklas Andersson
Forward: Steve Larouche
Forward: Brian Noonan
Goalie: Mike Fountain - Grand Rapids
Defence: Travis Richards - Grand Rapids
Defence: Bubba Berenzweig - Milwaukee
Forward: Todd White - Grand Rapids
Forward: Yves Sarrault - Orlando
Forward: Mark Beaufait - Orlando
On Febuary 10, 1998 Kip Miler scored the fastest 2 goals in an All-Star game. He scored at the 3:52 mark of the first period then 18 seconds later at the 4:10 mark.
TODAY IN HOCKEY
January 14, 1922 an NHL record is set whe Read more »
Other than the dismal 99-00 season one has to look far back to when the Rangers gave their young netminders a shot at ice time in New York with the big club. Over the last couple seasons we have seen J.F.Labbe, Milan Hnilinka, Jason Labarbera, Johan Holmqvist get a shot which is negative and positive. The negative is that the must be a reason why the Mike Richters and Kirk McLeans of of the world are not playing…perhaps injury, perhaps poor performance. But this has opened the door a host of new to the NHL netminders to get that call everyone outside of the NHL dreams of… top play in the NHL.
Johan Holmqvist, a native of Tolfta, Sweden began his international journey at a young age…playing for the Swedish National Junior program against the Russian Bears, The Attacking Finns and the free wheeling Czechs. Holmqvist quickly established himself as a future NHL prospect and with the help of Christer Rockstrøm (old Rangers Scandinavian scout), the Rangers selected him with their 7th round pick in the 1997 draft. Holmqvist played well for Brynås of the Swedish Elite League earning a national title as well as 8 shutouts a 2.67 goals against in 117 matches. In his other non championship season, Johan guided Brynås to a second place finish and a participated with the National Junior Team in the 1998 World Junior Tourney.
Sweden who has produced goaltenders Pelle Lindbergh(ex.Flyers), Tommy Soderstrøm(ex.Islanders), Tommy Salo(Oilers) has been starving for a new International Hero. Holmqvist just may be it…for he knows that in his shadow fellow Read more »
Welcome Fans. Please meet the Rangers top 30 prospects…
1. Pavel Brendl - Premier goal scorer who is a superstar in the making. Arguably the current best prospect in the NHL, Brendl flashed his talents on the World stage, leading the Czech Republic to the gold medal in the 2001 World Junior Championships with 4 goals and 6 assists in 7 games.
2. Mike Mottau - Surefire future top 3 defenseman in the NHL. Is currently rounding out his game in Hartford. An offensive-minded defenseman who loves to hit and play physical and a future power play Quarterback.
3. Jamie Lundmark - A hardworking, high-scoring center. Lundmark was traded to Seattle of the WHL early in the season and has turned that whole entire team around and now they are on their way to becoming legitimate playoff contenders. A future captain in the NHL, Lundmark plays with a lot of heart and has a great work ethic.
4. Johan Holmqvist - Although Vitali Yeremeyev has been the most surprising Rangers goalie prospect this year, the future still remains in the hands of Holmqvist. He’s only 22 and is having a very solid year in Hartford of the AHL.
5. Tomas Kloucek - Currently playing in the NHL with the Rangers, Tomas has a bright future ahead of him. A future top 4 defenseman, Kloucek plays a steady stay-at-home defensive game and very rarely makes a mistake on the ice. Brian Leetch was quoted as saying about Kloucek, “He’s going to be one heck of a hockey player.”
6. Jason Labarbera - Don’t let the numbers fool you. Labarbera has playe Read more »
Nr. 1 Marcel Goc
A 17-year-old center from the Schwenninger Wild Wings. He has more talent than his older brother Sascha Goc, who played this season 11-times for the New Jersey Devils in the NHL. The biggest german talent ever..?!Has his big breakthrough this season.
Stats: Schwenningen / DEL 36-8-19-27-8
(Marks: Team / League GP-Goals-Assists-Points-PIM)
Nr. 2 Thomas Greilinger
The second talent from Schwenningen. Thomas, a 19-year-old Left Wing, shots last year over 50 goals in the third german league and scored 9 points in 8 games during the B-Worldchampionship 2000 with the pros, where he was germans top-scorer. A Power-Play-Specialist and a very quick skater.
Stats: Schwenningen / DEL 32-5-9-14-12
Nr. 3 Christian Ehrhoff
Last years best defender in the 3rd german league plays a surprising season, scores and scores and scores… . With his “Coast-to-Coast”-Stile he excited the viewers. Also the jury named him the best defender during the B-Junior-U20-Worldchampionship.
Stats: Krefeld / DEL 36-2-10-12-59
Nr. 4 Christoph Schubert
Playing for the DEL-Champion Munich, he body-checks every player he wants. A hard defender with many offensive skills scored 14goals in 11games in his last junior season. A talent like Sascha Goc, who takes his chance in a DEL-team, but he plays harder and have no fear.
Stats: München / DEL 34-4-3-7-46
Nr. 5 Dimitri Pätzold Read more »
Vitali Yeremeyev, the 25 year old goalie from Kazakhstan, has had a superb first season in North America. He started the year in the ECHL, then moved up to the AHL and was dominant there, and now he finds himself in the NHL wearing a 3rd different jersey this season.
Yeremeyev’s NHL debut came a few weeks ago as he relieved Kirk McLean in a 4-3 loss against the Hurricanes. But Yeremeyev got his first chance to start a game yesterday when goalie Mike Richter was unable to go because he had fluid drained from his surgically repaired knee a few days earlier. The game wasn’t a memorable one for Yeremeyev, as the Rangers put forth one of their worst efforts of the season in a 4-1 loss to the Bruins at the FleetCenter.
It all started 33 seconds into the game when Bill Guerin took an innocent shot from the sideboards that Yeremeyev deflected away with his stick, but the puck hit off Brian Leetch in front and trickled right back into the net. Since Yeremeyev doesn’t speak English, the lack of communication showed. Guerin scored another one, this time 13:49 into the 1st period. Guerin was allowed to stand right in front of the goalie and tap in a pass from behind the net to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. The Rangers defense just stood there and didn’t even make an attempt to knock Guerin down or not give him position. Radek Dvorak was able to put the Rangers on the board when he scored 17 seconds into 2nd period. But with the Rangers on the power play a few minutes later, the Bruins were able to score again. The third goal was another mista Read more »
The Brampton Battalion hockey club have made a bold move in their charge towards a playoff birth. Just before the 6 p.m. trade deadline on Wednesday (01/10/01), Battalion Head Coach and G.M. Stan Butler announced the acquisition of Barrie Colts veteran goaltender Brian Finley. Finley, when 100%, may be the final piece of the puzzle for an already talented Brampton club. Last years OHL Playoff MVP has been sidelined with a groin injury since early December and played in only 16 games for the Colts this season. The Sault Ste. Marie native will join his new club Thursday and may not dress for Friday’s game against the London Knights. There is no word as to when he will see his first start for Brampton. The deal also sent the Battalion Mississauga’s seventh round pick in the 2001 OHL Priority Selection and Kitchener’s fourth rounder in 2002.
In return, the Colts receive backstop David Chant, blueliner Tyler Hanchuck and pivot Matt Grennier. Chant, Hanchuck and Grennier are all expected to join the Colts for this weekend’s trio of games starting Friday night in Sudbury.
Finley’s OHL experience should be a great asset in the development of up-and-coming keeper Brad Topping. Look for Topping to take on the starting position until Finley returns from his groin injury. On paper, Brampton has one of the best looking teams in the league. Two top 10 picks in the 2000 NHL entry draft (D-Rostislav Klesla, COLM 4th / LW-Raffi Torres, NYI 5th) and two of the top 20 North American skaters projected in 2001 (D-Jay Harrison, 7th / C-Jay McClement, 20th). Read more »