Well, as we all know Pavel Brendl did not make the New York Rangers this
season and was sent back to Calgary of the WHL for another year in juniors.
Despite his unwillingness to go back to juniors and play with kids, Brendl
reported to the Hitmen anyway and he has been on fire since his return.
Brendl has 11 goals and 4 assists (15 points) in 6 games, which leads
the Hitmen in scoring. He is currently 4th in the WHL in goals, but if he
played in every game like the 3 players ahead of him (Konstanin Panov with
12, Layne Ulmer with 19, and Mike Comrie with 21), he would be the leading
scorer if he kept up this pace. The biggest highlight of his season so far
probably came a couple nights ago when he scorched Jamie Lundmark’s Moose Jaw
Warriors for 4 goals in the 3rd period to help the Hitmen to a 5-2 victory.
(However, Lundmark did not play in that game and has still not played a game
with the Warriors yet as he is sitting home waiting to be traded.) Even
though Brendl is starting off great with the Hitmen, lots of people
(including myself) are wondering if it was the right decision to send him
back to juniors..
I don’t know how much you can learn from dominating a league mostly made
up of kids 2-3 years younger than you night in and night out. I still believe
the Rangers made the wrong choice. They should have kept Brendl on the team
and let him get 3rd or 4th line ice time. Look what happened with Joe
Thornton in his rookie season. He spent the whole season on either the 3rd or
4th line, and got to Read more »
Fans of the Ottawa Senators have probably asked themselves several times who this 2000 3rd round pick (the 87th position) is. let me introduce him to you. He is a guy named Jan Bohac (6’2″, 198lb) a former player of
the Czech team Slavia Praha. He has a phenomenal work rate and is a very
assiduous player. You may say his physical as well as psychological
aspects are ideal for a central player in the NHL. He is said to be a
bit slim, so putting on weight should also bring more confidence to his
Like many hockey players he started at an early age. He was born in
Tabor a town in the south of the Czech Republic. At the age of 15 he was
faced with a big decision: either he could play for Ceské Budejovice
(Vaclav Nedorost plays there) or he could go to Prague. What a choice!
But he made it!
After deliberating for two days he made the move to Prague. Now he is a
confident and mature player; with development he may well be a future
Jan did not even go to Ottawa for the training camp because of an
agreement made between Slavia and Ottawa. The reason was very simple.
Jan is still very young with little probability of making the first team
so his only choice would be playing lower league in North America or
returning back home. Here it becomes complicated because Ottawa wanted
him to improve his style of playing and not to learn the new style of
North America, so he stayed at home. But in the Czech Republic the
season starts in the first week of September so he would miss out about
8 rounds and it would be hard for him to make Read more »
The NHL has seen a lot of family connections in its history, from the
Sutters to the Hunters, from high draft picks like Brett and Eric
Lindros or Pierre and Sylvain Turgeon. There is another family looming
on the horizon, the Jarrett family. Cole and Pat are brothers, aged 17
and 16 respectively. There is also cousin Blair a third round pick of
the Ice Dogs in last years draft, currently toiling in Tier 2 Junior and
draft eligible for 2003.
Cole and Pat have a lot in common.
They both play on the point on their teams’ first power play unit
They play with a blue chip prospect for NHL 2001 draft, Stephen Weiss
and Jason Spezza.
They were first round picks of their OHL teams.
Cole saw a lot of ice time as a 16 year old, as will Pat this year
They play on teams known for their drafting (one for a good job, the
other, well not so good).
So who are they? Cole is a key defenceman on a solid Plymouth club. He
played regularly last year on a team that surprised everyone and made it
to the OHL final. This year they are expected to contend again and make
it to the Memorial Cup. Cole is partnered with a 16 year old rookie,
and they play together even strength, on the power play, and short
handed. Cole is a total package type of guy, well rounded with no big
time faults or big time strengths. His skating is pro material, but not
stellar. He plays on one of the stingiest teams in the league
defensively, and so his defensive duties are aided by waves of
backchecking Whaler forwards. He won’t get Read more »
Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland
during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations,
commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.
Some Hot – Others Not: The St. John’s Maple Leafs seem well on the way
to erasing the bitter memories of last season … the club has won 4 of
its first 6 starts and is performing well for new coach Lou Crawford …
amongst the large contingent of young prospects on the roster. Alexei
Ponikarovsky and Mikael Hakansson (playing together with Bobby House on
the 1st line) have been the most impressive thus far … Franticek Mrazek,
Jeff Farkas and Adam Mair have yet to begin posting the numbers that are
going to be expected from them (each has 3 points in 6 games) … Michal
Travnicek, though held to 2 points in the early going, has been
finishing every check with extreme prejudice and is quickly becoming a
fan favorite on the Rock … on the backline, minor league vets Nathan
Dempsey, D. J. Smith, Tyler Harlton and David Cooper are all
contributing on the attack and performing solidly defensively as well …
in the absence of #1 goalie, Jimmy Waite, the combination of Mike Minard
and Jamie Hodson has so far been more than equal to the challenge …
Leafs Trivia I: Only 3 Toronto Maple Leafs have ever scored 50 or more
goals during a single NHL season … name all three players (answer below
Whatever happened to) …
Tellqvist Scare: Swedish super prospect Mikael Tellqvist missed 2
starts with Djurgarden last week w Read more »
Sweden has named the national Under-20 team that will participate in the
four nations exhbition tournament in Uddevalla, Sweden, November 10th to
The Uddevalla tournament is the last exhibition tournament before the start
of the World Junior Championships in late december. The team picked to
participate in Uddevalla will make up the core of the team that will travel
to Russia, so the tournament is a good indication of how high the
expectations should be on the Swedes.
This year´s team lack the flash that last year´s Swedish WJC entry had with
players such as the Sedin-twins and fast rising Red Wings prospect Henrik
Zetterberg. Instead, they will have to rely on a team effort.
The advantage of having more players who are regulars on their club-teams
than Swedish teams have had in previous tournaments should be a factor, and
a better finish than last year´s quarter-final exit is in the cards in spite
of the lack of star quality.
Frölunda´s Henrik Lundqvist enters the tournament as the number one
goaltender. He was drafted by the New York Rangers 205th overall last summer
and has played four games for Frölunda in the Elitserien. Johan Backlund
from Skellefteå will try to unseat him, but has a tough task on his hands.
The defense is somewhat on the small side. Four of the eight defensemen
chosen are six feet tall or shorter. The biggest defenseman is Lars Jonsson,
who is listed at 6´2, 200 pounds. The seventh overall Bruins pick is
expected to be a leader, especially offensively. Jonsson is cur Read more »
It is common knowledge amongst Buffalo Sabres’ fans that Buffalo maintains their main minor league affiliate in Rochester, NY. A quick perusal of Buffalo’s training camp roster, however, might give one the impression that the Sabres have added a 2nd farm team in the Great Northwest Mecca of Seattle, WA.
The roster of the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL currently sports the names of six players who attended the 2000 training camp of the Buffalo Sabres. Four of the players- LW Barrett Heisten, RW Bret Dececco, LW Tim Preston and D Gerard Dicaire –are Sabre draftees, while defensemen Brennan Evans and Jeff Beatch attended camp as free agent invitees.
The most celebrated of the six players is, of course, ’99 1st round pick Barrett Heisten. Barrett joined the T-Birds following an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a contract with Buffalo, a turn of events that no doubt made many Seattle fans quite happy. Barrett did not disappoint in his first game as a T-Bird, as he picked up four assists in a 6-5 victory over the Kelowna Rockets.
Read more »
Last year’s Turner Cup finalists Grand Rapids Griffins and Chicago Wolves both aim to get back to the finals this season, and both have the firepower to do it.
The Wolves return many key players from last year’s championship team, and also have added players such as center Robert Petrovicky and the first overall pick in the NHL goalie Rick DiPietro. The Griffins also return many of their key players as well as receiving top players center Todd White and last year’s top IHL defenseman Mike Crowley from their parent >Ottawa Senators.
Not everyone is back however. The Wolves lost leading scorer Steve Maltais when he signed an NHL contract with the Expansion Columbus Bluejackets. Chicago will be counting center Steve Larouche and new comers Mark Lawrence, a New York Islanders prospect, Petrovicky, and left wing Mike Maneluk, assigned to the team by Columbus, to fill the scoring void left by Maltais’ departure. Right wing Brian Noonan will provide veteran leadership, and Paul Kruse will add muscle to the forward unit.
Glen Featherstone, Kevin Dahl, and Dallas Eakins anchor a corps of blueliners this year that also includes 22 year old Russian Evgeny Korolev who was assigned to the team by the Islanders. Veteran Wendal Young, who helped the Wolves to the Turner Cup last year, will share the goal with DiPietro.
The Griffins lost their all-time leading goal scorer, Michel Picard, goalie Jani Hurme, and forward Kevin Miller from last year’s squad, as well as IHL Coach of the Year Guy Charron, who took a job as an assistant for the M Read more »
W. P. Kinsella once wrote, “if you build it, they will come.” We built it and they came, in droves. In a scene reminiscent of an arena setting in Spokane or Calgary, the Kootenay ICE held their two inaugural home opening games this past weekend at Cranbrook’s brand new Recreational Complex and, to put it mildly, it was an unqualified success. Two consecutive sold-out crowds of 4301 were treated to two exciting and dramatic hockey games that seemed to play themselves out to an unofficial script that every hockey team opening a new home would be overjoyed to occur -wins. A 5-3 victory over the Regina Pats on Friday and a 4-3 nailbiter decision over the rival Calgary Hitmen on Saturday seemed to be icing on the cake for the many thousands of fans who took in the games over the weekend. “Incredible”, “fantastic” and “wow” were just some of the many superlatives mentioned by the visiting fans. “It doesn’t seem like were in Cranbrook” said visiting patron Tina White, “It feels like we’re in Calgary not Cranbrook, this place is really great”. For majority ICE owner Ed Chynoweth, the weekend was the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people. “It was certainly a tremendous weekend. Personally the building is just total outstanding. Everything about it is major league and to start it off with a pair of wins is an added bonus,” said Chynoweth. For Chynoweth, the opening of the Rec/Plea was the payoff for a lot of people, most importantly the fans of the Kootenay ICE, “I couldn’t help but think when I was out at center ice for the openi Read more »
The AHL and ECHL seasons are underway. Here are some updates on the whereabouts and first week performances of some of the Flyers more notable minor league players.
Tomas Divisek: Out with a separated shoulder. The latest word is that he will be out until midseason.
Francis Lessard: Recovering from a broken jaw; has lost a good deal of weight. Still not ready to return to the lineup.
Roman Cechmanek: The Philadelphia Phantoms are basically a waystation for Cechmanek. The Czech Extraleague and national team veteran was sent to the Phantoms because of the outstanding preseason play of Maxime Ouellet. He will remain in the AHL until the Flyers figure out what they are going to do with him– bring him up, trade him to another NHL team, or let him go home. He has nothing to prove in the American Hockey League, except perhaps that he can handle the small rink game. Cechmanek is scheduled to be paid $1 million this season- $300,000 of which have already been paid in a signing bonus. If the Flyers keep him all season, they are responsible for the full $1 million, even if Cechmanek were to agree to spend the year in the AHL. Cechmanek, however, is under no obligation to play for the Phantoms. His contract allows him to return to his Czech team, Vsetin, at any point (with Vsetin then becoming responsible for the balance of his salary).
Read more »
Well, the puck is dropped and now we know who left the Czech Republic to hone his skills in the CHL. It’s time for the last part of this series, but first let’s summarize a bit.
All of the 11 players featured in the first two parts chose to play in the CHL. I’m sure they won’t regret it as it looks like they have adjusted to the Canadian juniors quickly and are playing significant roles on their respective teams. (just like Toronto’s Frantisek Lukes, the St.Mike’s could hit the jackpot here!) Watch those players play and you’ll see that they can look forward to being drafted at the next NHL Entry Draft. So what about the rest of the list?
Good-sized sniper Martin Vymazal is now a Red Deer Rebel, along with former Plzen’s ELHD league star Ladislav Kouba. Vymazal proved he has a nose for the net when he recorded 21 goals in 28 games for Vsetin in the ELHD and was 21G + 6A in those games. Kouba was even better with 48 points (28G + 20A) in 29 games, that number of games played was enough for him to claim the team’s second-best scorer title. Both are offensively gifted wingers, 2001 eligible.
The new Oshawa General Ladislav Kolda was the best scoring defenseman for ELHD league champion HC Ceske Budejovice. 2002 eligible Kolda (born 10-16-1983) claimed two ELHD titles before leaving for the OHL. The former Under-16 and Under-17 teams member is a mobile defenseman with an offensive gift.
Read more »