Speed, agility, intensity and courage, those words emulate the USHL player. The United States Hockey League is by far the premier Junior Hockey League and the players prove it every season. Only the top players are selected to participate in the All Star/Prospects game. Not everyone obviously gets a chance to be part of this major event, so the ones that do certainly take advantage of it. This year’s game will take place in Cedar Rapids, home of the RoughRiders. The Cedar Rapids Ice Arena welcomes the opportunity to let their city see the endless talent these players possess. Team USA consists of some of the best talent in the league in the eyes of the coaches. Team World is comprised of the best-imported talent as well as potential NHL draftees. Year in and year out some of the league’s top stars are drafted into the NHL and many more get their wish of a college scholarship and move on to the next level to continue to hone their skills with the dreams of making it to the big show one day. Below is a list of the players who made the rosters of Team USA and Team World.
Jure Penko Goaltender – Jure has been one of the top goaltenders in the league since his arrival a couple of seasons ago for the Green Bay Gamblers. His tall frame intimidates his opponents and his quick reflexes make him the goaltender he is. So far on the season Jure has compiled an 18-5-7 record with a 2.37 GAA and a .912 saves percentage.
Keith Ballard Def Read more »
Brian Collins (Center, 20)- The Boston University sophomore is having a good
year for the Terriers, in which he has 7 goals, 15 points, and 14 penalty
minutes. The 6’1, 190 pound center has had 5 of his 7 goals on the power
Rick DiPietro (Goaltender, 19)- The first overall pick in the 2000 draft
recently mad his NHL debut in a 2-1 loss on January 27th to the Buffalo
Sabers. He notched an assist on a Dave Scatchard goal, and showed solid play
during the game. General Manager Mike Milbury said that DiPietro will spend
the rest of the season with the big club. He represented Team USA in the
World Junior Championships and in six games, DiPietro went 5-1 with a 1.33
goals against average and a .927 save percentage.
Justin Mapletoft (Center, 20)- Mapletoft is having a outstanding year with
the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL. In 47 games, Mapletoft has had 24 goals, 77
points, and 81 penalty minutes. Throughout the season, Mapletoft has been in
the top ten in WHL scoring.
Kristofer Ottosson (Right Wing, 24)- This year Ottosson is playing with
Djurgardens in the Swedish Elite League. This year Ottosson, in 37 games,
has 16 goals and 36 points, with12 penalty minutes.
Raffi Torres (Left Wing, 19)- The 5th overall selection in the 2000 draft,
Torres has been lighting up the lamp with Brampton Battalion in the OHL. In
37 games, Torres has 22 goals, 23 assists, for a total of 45 points. After
almost making the pro club out of training camp, Torres is a great candidate
for the Read more »
Today the Rangers have announced that forwards Jeff Ulmer and Manny Malhotra, along with defenseman Tomas Kloucek have been re-assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL to get some playing time during the NHL All-Star break. It is expected that all three will be called up early next week.
Ulmer made his NHL debut last night and played on the 1st line with Mark Messier and Adam Graves. Ulmer impressed me a lot with his hard work and great speed. He definitely has the wheels to survive in the NHL. He has good vision on the ice and I can’t remember him making one mistake last night in the Rangers 4-2 win over Montreal. Malhotra has been little-used over the last week, being a healthy scratch in some games. He only got 1 minute and 22 seconds of ice time last night. He currently has 2 goals and 2 assists in 21 games this season.
Kloucek heads back to Hartford with 1 goal in 22 NHL games. I really like this kid and I can see him becoming a dominant force on our blueline for a long time. He’s an extremely strong player. Last night he leveled Montreal’s Eric Landry in center ice, causing Landry to miss the rest of the game. I’m not sure what the injury was, but I think I remember hearing Landry suffered a fractured nose. He was bleeding a lot on the bench after the hit. Kloucek has made a couple mistakes this season, but with more playing time he will improve. He has played with a lot of different defenseman, including a couple of games where he paired up with Brian Leetch. He has currently been playing with Kim Johnsson to form a solid pair. At only 20 years old, Read more »
Three Phoenix Coyotes’ rookies (Ossi Vaananen, Wyatt Smith and Robert Esche)
have played important roles this season and have all contributed greatly to
the Coyotes’ success.
Ossi Vaananen, a tough as nails defenseman from Finland, has likely made the
biggest impact of the three. Drafted in the 2nd round in 1998,
Vaananen currently has 4 goals, 8 assists and 56 penalty minutes in 50 games
this season. He has played great defensively, knocking his opponents down in
front of the net and clearing the crease well. He has also chipped in on the
offense too in some games.
Wyatt Smith, a late round pick in 97, has played well as a role player this
season. The 23 year old center has 3 goals, 7 assists and 13 penalty minutes
in 41 games this season. He has worked hard every night and is an effective
forechecker. He’s more of a defensive forward, so the Coyotes consider any
offense from him a plus.
Robert Esche, a 6th round pick in 1996, has played 13 games this
season and has played really well. He has posted a 5-5-2 record with 1
shutout. He has a 3.30 Goals-against-average and a save percentage of .887
while also chipping in with 2 assists. He has played solid when the Coyotes
decided all-star netminded Sean Burke needed a rest.
All 3 of these players appear to have bright NHL futures some day. I have
taken them all off the top prospects lists and have moved them to the
“Graduated” section of the page.
News and Notes: Sheesh, it’s been a while since I updated this page. I
apologize for this greatly, as I Read more »
OHL West vs. WHL East
I was generously given the opportunity to attend the 2001 Hersey Cup for the CHL All-Star Series Wednesday night at the Guelph Sports and Entertainment Centre. The game boasted the best players from the WHL East and the stars of the OHL West. It is a new all-star format that definitely has its pros and cons. Sure it was nice to see a couple future stars in Pavel Brendl and Jay Bouwmeester, but I would have preferred to see my all-stars from the OHL East. Most of the OHL all-star representatives I support were shipped off to Quebec where many of the fans missed out on seeing their favourite players participate in high level competition. I mean, isn’t that why the OHL presents an all-star game, so fans can watch their best against the rest of the leagues best. That being said, let’s talk about the game itself. Read more »
First, thank you for all your mails. I’ve tryed to add requested
players to this update. Lately I haven’t been able to answer anything,
some problems with computers. If you still want me to add other
players to update don’t hesitate to mail.
Name – team drafted stats – since last update
W Frank Banham – Mighty Ducks 40 19+19=38 +7 52
Banham has been the lone scorer in Espoo Blues. He is seeking
for a one-way NHL contract.
W Teemu Elomo – Stars 41 2+9=11 +11 38 – 11 1+3=4 +7 4
Elomo has been able to play bit better, though he could
be playing even better.
D Ray Giroux – Islanders 30 5+13=18 +4 38 – 8 2+4=6 +3 4
Giroux came back to Finland, now to play for Jokerit Helsinki.
He has but up some points in his first games.
C Riku Hahl – Avalanche 40 2+6=8 -5 24
Hahl hasn’t yet made his break thru. Maybe next season?
W Niklas Hagman – Panthers 41 19+10=29 -3 26 – 11 4+4=8 -1 2
Kärpät Oulu fired head coach Juhani Tamminen after losing
streak. Hagman has been able to score even when the team was losing.
W Jukka Hentunen – Flames 40 20+20=40 +8 22 – 10 11+6=17 +5 4
Hentunen is now 5th in scoring in the whole league. He can win
the scoring title if he continues to play like he has been playing.
F Mikael Holmqvist – Mighty Ducks 31 2+3=5 0 8 – 4 0+0=0 0 0 Read more »
With the current horrible play of the New York Rangers, President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has decided to call up center Jeff Ulmer from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL.
Ulmer, a 5’11 180 pound center, had 11 goals and 13 assists along with 30 penalty minutes in 41 games with the Wolf Pack. For those of you who don’t know, Jeff was signed as a free agent over the summer, after Ron Low convinced the Rangers management that Ulmer was worth a shot. Ulmer played for Ron Low’s Houston Aero’s last season, and Low liked what he saw. Prior to turning pro, Ulmer spent 4 years at the University of North Dakota, where he totaled 74 points and 132 penalty minutes in 135 games.
At 23 years old, Ulmer is hoping to make an impact in his first NHL game tomorrow night as the Rangers host the Montreal Canadiens. The Rangers are in the midst of a 4 game losing streak, this after a five game unbeaten streak that looked like it could turn our season around. Although some criticize Jeff’s play because he is “small”, there’s no denying his talent. He’s a hard worker, and earns everything that he gets. He never gives up on a play and gives it his all every night. He has good speed and strength, and a decent shot. He will likely see time on the 3rd or 4th line in tomorrow’s game.
In order to make room for Ulmer, the Rangers sent Brad Smyth back down to Hartford. Smyth, recalled a week ago, registered 1 goal and 4 penalty minutes in 4 games. He was a healthy scratch in last night’s 7-2 drubbing by the 2nd yea Read more »