By Mike Buskus
“First period” report
This started out as a “first quarter” (20 games out of 80) report but,
variety of reasons, got delayed in writing and editing. This writer
somewhat arbitrarily, have limited the writeup to the first 20 games,
ignoring the next five that have been played did not seem to make
instead of four “quarterly” recaps, there will be only three,
with approximately equal “thirds” of the season. So, it is now a
period” report, or a recap after “one third” of the “game”. Since the
Albany River Rats have played 25 out of their 80 regular season
this is a grade report to date.
Not since the Albany River Rats won the Calder Cup in their second year
existence (1994-1995) (Mike Dunham; Corey Schwab) has the minor league
affiliate of the New Jersey Devils been so blessed with goaltending
The River Rats actually have three prospects who probably have a future
the NHL. The trio of Ari Ahonen, J.F. Damphousse and Scott Clemmensen
wowed the fans, and impressed the scouts.
Damphousse currently is in New Jersey, as backup to Martin Brodeur.
most experienced of the three netminders, Damphousse worked five games
the River Rats (1-1-1; 3.62 GAA; .883 save percentage), plus one start
(Tampa Bay) and one relief effort (Washington) with the Devils.
Damphousse got a real “trial by fire” last year (2000-2001) with the
River Ra Read more »
With the first 5 cuts over with there was little time to relax for those players still fighting for a spot on Team Canada. Most of the players who are assured a spot on the squad sat out the first game against the OUA All-Stars on Thursday night. Sitting this one out were: Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Hamhuis, Jay Harrison, Mark Popovic, Jason Spezza, Mike Cammalleri, Steve Ott, Jarrett Stoll, Brad Boyes and Brian Sutherby. We can assume these players will be around for the team picture on Saturday.
It was not an awe-inspiring game for the juniors who lost 4-3 to the more senior team made up mainly of ex-OHL’rs.
All four goalies were solid but I think it is safe to say that Shane Bendera and Pascal Leclaire will be the ones left standing come Saturday. Olivier Michaud played well but he tends to give up more rebounds than the others, while Ray Emery is solid but in my opinion just isn’t at the skill level of the other two.
Rick Nash was one of Canada’s best players showing a large improvement over Wednesday night. He showed great puck control and scored and end-to-end goal that had the crowd ooying and ahhing. If he continues to play as he did, he will definitely make the roster.
Duncan Keith just won’t go away. I thought there was no way this guy was going to compete with the top d-men in the country but he has been an offensive and defensive force so far. He is a good skater and passer and he works very hard. I believe he m Read more »
The Beatrice Ice Gardens was about half full of fans, scouts and media on Wednesday night to observe the second red and white game for the Canadian World Junior Team. With the first five cuts expected to come early Thursday morning this game was very important for those players on the bubble. This is especially true for the d-men since there are only 2 spots open on the blueline and 8 guys trying out. Here is a rundown of some of the players who impressed and also 5 players I believe will be going home Thursday.
Mike Cammalleri (LW) – The little dynamo from Michigan was probably the best player on the ice. He is skating very well and passing the puck beautifully. He also scored a very nice goal with a pinpoint accurate shot in the top corner.
Brian Sutherby (LW) – It is obvious that this guy had been playing with the big boys in the NHL for a while this year. He was a physical presence as well as showing good speed down the wing. Sutherby is a sure bet to win one of the available forward spots.
Scottie Upshall (LW) – Played very well, has good speed and works hard on every shift. He will also make the team in my opinion and will be a valuable asset. Looked much better than Nash. At this point I would say Upshall is ahead of Nash for the 2002 draft.
Matthew Lombardi (C) – It is obvious that Lombardi wants a spot on the team badly. He is working very hard and has great speed. He seemed to adapt to there being no red line very well, getting in behind the defense to spring himself Read more »
The Calder Corner
McDonald: 1 Assist
Heatley: 1 Goal (9), 4 Assists
Kovalchuk: 2 Goals (11, 12), 3 Assists
Tapper: 1 Assist
Boynton: 2 Assists
Girard: 1 Assist
Nichol: 1 Assist
Bell: 1 Goal (6), 1 Assist
Vrbata: 3 Goals (2, 3, 4), 2 Assists
Markannen: 10 Shots, 9 Saves
Huselius: 1 Goal (13), 1 Assist
Hagman: 1 Assist
4 Games Read more »
Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward Ryan Hollweg was recently selected to the USA WJC team. Here are his thoughts on the upcoming tournament as well as some interesting things you may not have known about.
Read more »
Team: HC Ocelari Trinec midgets
Birthdate: May, 27th, 1986
Weight: 180 lbs. Read more »
Central Scouting Bureau: 2002 NHL Draft USHL Rankings
Topeka Scarecrows - Vince Bellisimo, C
Stats: 23 GP, 13 G, 17 A, 30 P, 21 PIM
Des Moines Buccaneers - Jeff Genovy, C
Stats: 24 GP, 5 G, 9 A, 14 P, 43 PIM
Chicago Steel - Tom Gilbert, D
Stats: 24 GP, 7 G, 8 A, 15 P, 38 PIM
Green Bay Gamblers - Matthew Greene, D
Stats: 20 GP, 1 G, 6 A, 7 P, 70 PIM
Green Bay Gamblers - Nathan Guerin, D
Stats: 21 GP, 1 G, 6 A, 7 P, 48 PIM
Des Moines Buccaneers - Michael Hutchins, D
Stats: 23 GP, 4 G, 16 A, 20 P, 52 PIM
Green Bay Gamblers - Jake Taylor, D
Stats: 20 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 P, 35 PIM
Cedar Rapids Roughriders - PJ Atherton, D
Stats: 24 GP, 5 G, 14 A, 19 P, 34 PIM
Des Moines Buccaneers - Kris Bouchard, W
Stats: 24 GP, 7 G, 10 A, 17 P, 16 PIM
Rochester Mustangs - Tim Conboy, D Read more »
Toronto, Ontario – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the weekly list
of the Top Five Bantam Regional Rankings for the 2001-02 season.
Each week, the Top Five Bantam Regional Rankings are selected by a panel of
Ontario Hockey League Central Scouting staff based on team play during the
ranking period. Teams are divided into four territories for the purpose of
the rankings including; Central (GTHL), East (Ajax and east), West (Oakville
and west) and North (Richmond Hill and north).
The OHL Cup, which is sponsored by the Ontario Hockey League, showcases some
of Ontario’s finest Bantam aged hockey players during a six day tournament
held March 25 – 30, 2002 in Brantford.
The champion from each of the Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association,
Hockey Northwestern Ontario, Ontario Minor Hockey Association, Minor Hockey
Alliance of Ontario, Northern Ontario Hockey Association and the Greater
Toronto Hockey League, along with the host Brantford 99’ers, will compete in
the 2002 Ontario Bantam Championship for the OHL Cup.
The Top Five Bantam Regional Rankings will be released each Tuesday leading
up to the 2002 OHL Cup, along with a monthly composite ranking.
Regional Rankings – Week 5
1) Nepean Raiders
2) Quinte Red Devils
3) Ottawa Valley Titans
4) Whitby Wildcats
5) Peterborough Petes
1) Oakville Rangers
2) Huron Perth Lakers
3) Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs
4) Grey Bruce Highlanders Read more »
The OHL season is creeping up on the halfway point and with the Canadian Junior camp opening up this week it’s a good time to review the progress of a few of the Knights.
Rick Nash-Hard to find too much bad to say about this guy, he has worked his way up into the top 5 scorers in the league, competes hard every night, uses his body, plays thirty minutes a game a lot of nights, and is hungry for the puck. He is the only 17 year old invited to try out for Team Canada, is rated the top skater in the OHL by central scouting and will likely be no lower than second in North America when they come out with those ratings. He is worth the price of admission most nights.
Dennis Wideman-This undrafted 18 year old defenceman is really rounding into top form. Now that Lubos Velebny has been dealt, he is the top defender on London and quarterbacks the power play. Is averaging exactly a point a game, his plus minus is respectable for the amount of minutes he plays, and is the best open ice hitter on the Knights. His strong points are his puck handling and shot, he has to bulk up a bit and make sharper passes on the breakout. Look for a team that needs some depth on D in their minor ranks to draft him next June in the later rounds.
Corey Perry-This sweet sixteen year old has had one impressive autumn. He was recently named to play for Team Ontario in the under 17 championships this Christmas. He is tall and lanky, but is like the Timex watch, he takes a licking and keeps on ticking. He never shies away from going to the Read more »
In the last article I wrote about Stefan Liv, the best prospect so far this year and Henrik Zetterberg. In this article I will write about the other Swedish prospects.
Let`s start with Niklas Kronwall, who is once again having a solid season, but still isn`t having his real breakthrough year.
Going into the season Kronwall had a great training camp in Detroit with the other Red Wings prospects, but when he returned to Sweden he cooled off and played without confidence and that led to limited ice time. But as the season continued, Kronwall picked up his game and played the hockey that made the Red Wing pick him 29th overall in the 2000 entry draft. He scored goals, made great passes, shots, hits and so on, but in the last 9 games his game once again dropped off
Why is it that Niklas can`t keep an equal pace througout a longer period of the season?
The answer could be ice time on the power play.
When Djurgarden had some injury problems on Defense, Kronwall stepped in and played a good two-way game while reciving solid time on the power play unit, but as soon as the injured D-men returned, Kronwall was put off the PP unit and his production and confidence fell off.
I think that Niklas is a top four D-man on Djurgarden and that he deserves to be on the PP unit, but the coach obviously thinks different.
Enough of the complaints, even if he hasn`t been able to produce big numbers this season, it still has been a step forward in his career. He has bulked up a bit to 176 pounds and is slowly growing into an NHL frame. He has also Read more »