Jeff Woywitka, the Philadelphia Flyers 1st round selection (27th overall) is having an excellent season with the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL. To date Jeff has played in 50 Games netting 9 Goals and 18 Assists for 27 Points. 2 of Jeff’s 9 goals came on the power play and one is a shorthanded goal, he also has 2 game winning goals. Jeff is an impressive +19 for the season and has 77 penalty minutes. Here is a quick interview I did with Jeff:
AR- How did you feel on Draft Day when you heard your named called 27th overall?
JW- It was a dream come true. I had always thought about the NHL draft and sitting
there in the stands and hearing my name was almost surreal.
AR- How has it been so far being a part of the Philadelphia Flyers
JW- They are a class organization and have kept in touch with me all season long.
It’s great to be part of such a solid team.
AR- What would you list as the best part of your game?
JW- Getting it out of my own end.
AR- What part of your game do you think you need to work on the most to
make it to the NHL level?
JW- The physical side of the game.
AR- Who would you liken your game to in the NHL?
JW- Chris Pronger
AR- What NHL player did you idolize the most as a child?
JW- Ray Bourque
AR- What NHL team did you grow up following?
JW – Vancouver Canucks
AR- I realize how little spare time you probably have but what do you do
when you are not on the ice?
JW- Go to school
AR- Do you have Read more »
Checking In On the New Czech
Over the weekend the Leafs 2nd round pick of the 2001 entry draft Karel Pilar saw his first NHL action first against Vancouver and the following day vs Edmonton. As the Buds were slapped around to the tune of 10-2 collectively in those two tilts there wasn’t a whole lot good to say about anything that happened. However, for those out there looking for an easy scapegoat, #29 wasn’t it. Yes, looking at the linescores will tell you that the 24 year old was -2 on the weekend with one hit and one blocked shot, but that presents an incomplete picture at best.
All told Pilar was on the ice for three even handed goals against and one even handed goal for. The first of those was the bad angle shot early in the Canuck game that Curtis Joseph simply whiffed on, deflecting it in his own net. On the second one Pilar can clearly be seen taking his man completely out of the play towards the far corner while Shayne Corson desperately tries to catch up to goalscorer Ed Jovanovski breaking in from the point. In the Edmonton game Pilar was on the ice when Bryan McCabe scored, hence his +1 for part of that contest. That, however, would be wiped out by shoddy coverage by Robert Reichel on Mike Comrie. Again Pilar has his man, but his former Litvinov teammate let the diminutive Edmonton pivot get away from him and the rook took the minus.
What could be seen but was not readily apparent by the linescores was Pilar’s low risk passing game. Outside of one feed across the middle of his own zone that Reichel had to bail him out on against Read more »
Some of the prospects in the organisation have progressed well, for example; Stefan Liv, Todd Jackson, Dmitri Bykov, Miroslav Blatak and so on, while others like Ryan Barnes, Alexander Seluyanov have gone the other way. It has been a good first half season for most of the prospects and it has been extremly exciting to watch last years draft picks, Igor Grigorenko, Drew Macintyre and others.
Here it is, take a look and feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the page.
1. Henrik Zetterberg
Team: Timrå, SWE
Draft: 1999 draft, 7th round, 210th overall
Previous rank: 1
Henrik is THE BEST prospect in the organisation. He has had a tough sophomore year in the Swedish Elite league, but still made the Olympics as a 21 year old thanks to his great performances at the international level. Could be in Detroit next year.
Plus: Skateing, sense, strength, passing, SKILLS, two-way game and leadership.
Potential: Top line pivot.
2. Stefan Liv
Team: HV 71, SWE
Draft: 2000 draft, 4th round, 102nd overall
Grade: 8 Read more »
The USA under 18 team came into Fairfield University and took on the Stags on Sunday night. If not for some great goaltending by the Stag’s Michael Wolfe the score would have been worse than the 2-1 final in favor of Team USA. Wolfe turned away 28 shots including all 17 in the second.
The First period saw Team USA score just fifty seven seconds into the game. It looked like it would be a long night for the Stags. Wolfe settled down and became stronger in net as the night went. Ryan Kesler scored the goal for USA with the assists going to Greg Moore.
In the second period Wolfe was unbeatable as was Team USA’s James Howard. Wolfe turned aside 17 shots and Howard didn’t have to much work and turned aside the only shot he faced in the period. Team USA was unable to score on both of their power play attempts.
Corey Potter added to the Team USA lead when he scored at the 14:24 mark of the third period, with help from Timmy Wallace. The Stags answered right back on a goal by Brian Payant only 14 seconds later. The Stags would pick up the pace and out shot USA 6 to 3.
Team USA was 0 of 4 on the power play, they had 3 penalties for six minutes, and Howard made 11 saves on 12 shots. The Fairfield Stags were 0 of 2 on the power play, they had 5 penalties for 10 minutes, and Wolfe made 28 saves on 30 shots.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Michael Wolfe – Goaltender – Fairfield University Stags – Strong in net, good side to side movement, well composed under pressure in the lack of defense, quick reflexes.
Stephan Gionta – Forward – Team USA – pl Read more »
The Kings called up Ryan Flinn and gave him his shot. The result has been a shot in the arm for the Kings.
21-year-old Ryan Flinn came to the Kings a week ago. After being scratched against the Ducks, he got his shot last Thursday in a game against Minnesota. His first scrap was with Brad Brown- a tough customer but no heavyweight. The results- a TKO and Brown has not returned to the ice yet. Flinn showed a vicious right as he disposed of Brown. The fight energized the team and the person who should benefit from Flinn’s arrival the most, Ziggy Palffy, scored a short handed goal just minutes later.
After an uneventful game in L.A. against Colorado, Flinn and the Kings took the ice in Denver Monday night and the fans got what they wanted- Scott Parker and Ryan Flinn squared off. Flinn stung Parker with a solid right that did major damage to Parker’s face. Parker kept his face away from Flinn for a few seconds and then threw a couple crushing rights, one that sent Flinn to a knee. A great fight with Parker getting a slight edge, despite the fact he did not skate again the rest of the evening.
Two fights and two impressive showings. Ryan Flinn has inflicted some damage on two NHL tough guys, and stood toe to toe with one of the toughest- Scott Parker. After watching the Kings get pushed around in the first half of the season, it is apparent that Ryan Flinn is the man right now.
If the choice comes down to the three enforcers who have skated for the Kings this season (Flinn, Brennan and Ken Belanger), Flinn has emerged as the clear leader. F Read more »
The CHL Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 27, 2002 is forward
Jason Spezza of the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League.
Spezza, selected second overall in last June’s NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa
Senators, had a seven-point game against the Sarnia Sting on Jan. 25. In
three road games this week, Spezza had five goals and five assists as he
figured in on 10 of Belleville’s 13 goals.
Against Sarnia, Spezza fired three goals and added four assists to lead the
Bulls to a 9-2 victory. The next night in Plymouth, during a 4-3 Belleville
loss, Spezza added one goal and one assist.
His week ended the next night in Windsor, where he scored the Bulls’ lone
goal in a 3-1 loss to the hometown Spitfires.
Spezza beat out the other league winners, including WHL Player of the Week,
forward Justin Kelly of the Saskatoon Blades, and the Quebec Major Junior
Hockey league Players of the Week, Michel Ouellet of the Rimouski Oceanic
(Offensive) and Eric Lafrance of the Hull Olympiques (Defensive).
The CHL Player of the Week is selected from among the three leagues’
nominees and announced in Tuesday’s editions of the CHL Daily News.
CHL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Jan. 29 – Jason Spezza, Belleville Bulls, OHL
Jan. 22 – Jarret Stoll, Kootenay Ice, WHL
Jan. 15 – Brad Boyes, Erie Otters, OHL
Jan. 8 – Ryley Layden, Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL
Dec. 17 – Andre Martineau, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, QMJHL
Dec. 10 – Shawn Roed, Portland Winter Hawks, WHL Read more »
Devils hire Constantine; Former Penguins coach leaves Forge, replaces fired
The Island Sports Center and the Pittsburgh Forge are in the market for a
new boss as Kevin Constantine left his roles as center CEO-president and
Pittsburgh Forge general manager to return to the NHL as the New Jersey
Devils’ new coach. He was beneficial in bringing a junior-A hockey team to
the area and building the franchise. Constantine came up with the idea to
join the North American Hockey League, stocking the expansion team with
nearly a dozen local players and establishing a winning system. He hired
coach Chris Imes and assistant John Becanic. Then he joined them and the
players on the ice in the season’s early months, helping to jump-start a
Forge team that currently stands second in the NAHL with a 26-11-2 record.
FORGE NOTCHES 5-3 TRIUMPH OVER PRIDE
NEVILLE ISLAND (Thursday, January 24, 2002) — Read more »
By Mike Buskus
Albany Week in Review #17
Down on the farm: Salomonsson and Zyuzin
They have been with the River Rats long enough for a comment or two: rookie forward Andreas Salomonsson (10 games in Albany) and defenseman Andrei Zyuzin (3 games of a two-week “conditioning stint”).
Touted by some as the next Brian Rafalski at forward (as an older player who spent considerable time in Europe), Andreas Salomonsson was the Devils’ 8th choice, 163rd overall in the 2001 entry draft, listed at 6’1″ and 200#. He made the Devils out of training camp, but lagged all New Jersey players in plus/minus (at -13) after 35 games.
Enter rookies Christian Berglund and Brian Gionta. Bus ticket to Albany for Salomonsson.
For the first week and a half, Salomonsson skated at left wing on Albany’s top line, centered by Steve Guolla. He did not make an immediate impact, with few shots on goal and fewer still hits on opponents. His skating is smooth and passing is accurate. In one early game during his 10-game (to date) visit in Albany, when Brian Gionta was on right wing, Salomonsson fired a pin-point precision pass ahead of Gionta, who was crashing the net, and a nice-redirection goal by Gionta resulted.
Salomonsson has speed and good ice vision, anticipating plays as and before they develop. He has an aversion to physical play and, at times, unloads the puck in a hurry to avoid taking a hit.
The past two games, Salomonsson has been moved from the first line to the second line centered by Mike Rupp (w Read more »
On of the many late born 1984 players who still has one year and a half before being potential draft pick of one of the NHL teams. Right now Roman Vondracek is a player of the junior team of Sparta Praha but his history as far as different teams are concerned is very rich. He is a member of the U-18 national selection which has participated on the Viking Cup taking place in Canada. Roman played good games there where for most of the time he was a first liner and scored 1 goal.
Roman gained the nomination to Viking Cup taking by his good performance in a tournament taking place in Slovakia at the beginning of November. Czech squad performed really well there wining the tournament in Kezmarok with full points beating Russia 3:1, Slovakia 7:1 and Germany 6:0. Roman played all 3 games where he scored 1 goal and had 2 assissts.
As many other players who are now members of Sparta also Roman isn’t Prague native. He comes from town of Trutnov which is on the North of Czech Republic. But as usual he was taken to hockey rink by his dad who liked to watch hockey. Roman was about 5 when he first stood on the ice. His dad wanted Roman desperately to do something and hopefully also achieve something. Hockey seemed as a good option for him. In the 4th grade Roman started to play for Nachod which is about an hour away from Trutnov. Roman’s dad was taking him there everyday. In the 5th grade his talent was spotted by coach of Hradec Kralove when Nachod came to play against them. Roman was presented with a new offer and he accepted that. This lasted till the 7th grade. Kladno Read more »
DU vs. Minnesota pt. 2
The Denver University Pioneers traveled to Minnesota this weekend for round 2 of this WCHA match-up. These same two teams met in Denver in December and split the series at one game apiece.
Game one: Round one was a battle of the goalies with Wade Dubielewicz (DU) vs. Adam Hauser (UM) pitted against each other. Hauser was the key to this match in December, stopping 30 of 31 shots and frustrating the Pioneers. This time, it was Dubielewicz that stole the show and kept his team in the game until they could weather the storm of the first period.
Over ten thousand vocal fans came to see their Gophers take on the number one team in the nation. A caged tiger named Dan Welch, who has not played for over a year, due to academic reasons, was released on the Pioneers in the first period. He created two excellent scoring chances in the first two minutes but Dubielewicz was not phased by the rowdy crowd, or the momentum created by Welch. There was no score in the first period but it was far from being boring. Dubielewicz made 9 saves and earned every one of them.
Minnesota controlled the game and the momentum at the beginning of the second period too. Finally DU’s defenseman Ryan Caldwell deeked a UM player and slapped one past Hauser as Erik Adams screened his view. Very late in the second period Minnesota was on the power play when the puck innocently squirted out of DU’s zone.
Paul Martin slipped while trying to retrieve the puck and DU’s Max Bull blew by him, scoring his second short handed goal of the season Read more »