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Who Is Eero Somervuori?

by Pete Choquette
on

A
powered heavier-than-air aircraft that has fixed wings from which it derives
most of its lift? No, that would be an aeroplane.

The Finnish born late-modernist architect whose famous works included the TWA Terminal
at Kennedy Airport and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri? No, that would
be Eero Saarinen.

If you answered the Lightning’s 7th round draft pick from the 1997 draft and
one of the most unknown and underappreciated prospects in Tampa Bay’s system,
you are correct. Currently, Somervuori ranks amongst the league leaders in the
Finnish SM-Liga in the key statistical categories of goals, points, and
plus/minus. Playing on a team with former Lightning center Vladimir Vujtek and
current Lightning prospect Erikki Rajamaki, in 36 games, he has compiled 16
goals and 31 points with a +20 rating this season. His numbers are good for
12th in the SM-Liga in points, 6th in goals, and 6th in plus/minus, yet few
Lightning fans have heard of the native of Järvenpää, Finland.
Read more »

Wellwood’s New Start

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on

There is little doubt that the Leaf 5th round selection in the 2001 draft Kyle Wellwood hasn’t been inking up the scoresheets this year like he did in 2000-2001 when he won the OHL scoring title with 118 points. A quick look at his points per game average, down .30 from a year ago, will tell you that much. To be sure, there was a shoulder injury to deal with earlier in the campaign and the timing to be found after coming back from it but there was also the criticism that without Branko Radivojevic and Randy Rowe putting the biscuit in the net he never would have piled up all of those assists.

Now comes a completely different challenge. Wellwood is going from a high octane ‘who cares about defense’ brand of hockey in Belleville that has them 4 points out of first place in the OHL’s East Division to distinctly regular ‘how do we light this thing anyway?’ team in Windsor pulling up the rear in the West Division two points south of London. Jason Spezza is gone and many have Dallas first rounder Steve Ott heading out on the next bus seeing as he may well end up playing at least AHL hockey next year. Should the Spits deal ‘The Rat’ for youth before the upcoming trade deadline, things will look very different indeed for Wellwood’s new team.

It’s possible they still could squeak into the playoffs on the back of goaltender Ryan Aschaber who has shown in the past that he is capable of carrying a team but what is really going to tell the tale is the new #97. The local kid, particularly if Ott is moved, is going to have to be the big wheel on offense down the stret Read more »

Michael Kolarz: A more distant future of hockey

by Robert Neuhauser
on
Michael Kolarz was born in the Czech city of Havirov, a city near Ostrava, where hockey is
represented by the Vitkovice team. But he didn’t think of a hockey career since the very
beginning of his life. Michael was born in a family of a soccer player and no wonder that
his dad brought him to the game of soccer as soon as the little Michael could walk. He bought
him a ball, but also didn’t forget the most popular Czech sport – hockey. Michael stood at
his skates for the first time when he was three. He liked the sport and no wonder that he
began to attend the practices of the local team’s smallest kids cathegory. Besides soccer,
of course.

There in Havirov his first coach was the respected expert Jan Danecek. Danecek is now an
assistant coach for the Trinec midgets and his son Jan is the youngest player ever to play
in the senior Extraleague. Coach Danecek gave Michael the first tips and taught him the
basics of hockey. As a tall kid, Michael was sent to the defenseman position soon and he
had no trouble there. He seemed to like the blueliner’s role and he soon began to make
use of his talent and dominate the play. The forwards had a very tough time against Michael,
who soon began to play with older kids. He was born with a great ability to read the plays
and a nice hockey sense. He is very mobile, thanks also to the soccer practices.

As Michael grew in age, Extraleague teams, looking for a boost in their pipeline of youngest
kids’ prospects, began to be interested in Michael. The most logical way for him was a
transition to the Vitkovice team. S Read more »

Kuparinen Returns to Finland

by pbadmin
on

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have assigned defensemen Mikko Kuparinen
to Ilves Tampere of the Finnish Elite League, Senior Vice President & General
Manager Rick Dudley announced.

Kuparinen, 24, appeared in 32 games this season with Pensacola of the East
Coast Hockey League, recording 11 goals, 12 assists and 18 penalty minutes. A
native of Hameenlinna, Finland, Kuparinen was selected in the ninth round of the
1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Lightning. He was traded to Atlanta on October 29,
1999, and reacquired from the Thrashers on March 11, 2000.

The CHL Daily News

by League Press Release
on

The latest edition of Inside the CHL will be available at the official
website of the Canadian Hockey League, www.chl.ca, on Friday afternoon.

Inside the CHL is a look around the Canadian Hockey League, the largest
hockey league in the world. The show is posted at www.chl.ca and is also
heard on junior hockey radio broadcasts across the country.

On Edition number 5, host Roger Lajoie previews the upcoming Hershey Cup CHL
All-Star Series of Games, along with the Home Hardware CHL Top Prospects
Game as well. CHL commissioner David Branch is among the guests on the show,
which CHL radio stations are invited to download and use during their
intermissions.

Inside the CHL is produced every two weeks, with the next edition after
Friday’s available Friday, Jan. 25.

2002 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP ANNOUNCEMENT TO BE MADE WEEK OF JANUARY 21

The Ontario Hockey League will announce the site of the 2002 MasterCard
Memorial Cup the week of Monday, January 21, the league announced Thursday.

OHL Commissioner and CHL President David Branch also advised all four of the
franchises bidding for the tournament of the decision time frame Thursday.
The four teams bidding are the Barrie Colts, the Erie Otters, the Guelph
Storm and the Ottawa 67’s.

The OHL’s trading deadline is Thursday at 6 p.m. The league advised all
teams prior to the selection process that the winning bid would be announced
after the OHL’s trading deadline was passed and the announcement timing was
determined Thursday morning.

“The quality of the four bids w Read more »

Updated Pittsburgh Penguins Top 20 prospects

by Erik Johnson
on

Now that the World Junior Championships have completed and most leagues are at the halfway point of the season, it’s time to readjust the Top 20 prospect list for the Pens prospects. And because of a graduation prospect, we have a new #1. First off, because of time played in the NHL, this prospects have been moving off the list to graduated status:


Kris Beech, C Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)

41 games, 5 goals, 12 assists, 17 points


Josef Melichar, D Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)

41 games, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points


Toby Peterson, C Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)

41 games, 6 goals, 7 assists, 13 points

And now for the newly updated Pens prospect list:


1) Brooks Orpik, D Wilkes-Barre (AHL)
Season: 40 games, 1 goal, 11 assists, 12 points, -8, 50 PIM

Moves up to the first spot with the graduation of Kris Beech. Played well early in the season, was one of the only players on the team with a positive +/-. Play has slipped a bit lately, but still playing well for during his first professional season. Will be a candidate for a spot on the NHL team next season or a possible late season callup.


2) Michal Sivek, C Slava Praha (Czech)
Season: 25 games, 4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points, -12, 30 PIM (WBS)

Read more »

Tampa Bay Prospect Ratings Updated

by Megan Sexton
on

Dimitry Afanasenkov (6.5) If Ramzi Abid can up his scoring in Springfield, why can’t
Afanasenkov?

Nikita Alexeev (7.5) Proving to be more of a project than anticipated. Might have had a
semi-regular spot had it not been for Jimmie Olvestad.

Evgeni Artukhin (6) Size & speed will eventually get him in the line-up, lack of offensive
talent will relegate him to a checking line.

Henrik Bergfors (4.5) Mr. Irrelevant seems to be making very relevant steps in the right
direction.

Mathieu Biron (7) Getting decent time in the NHL due to injuries.

Josef Boumedienne (6.5) Stuck in a traffic jam, but has seen decent time because of
injuries.

Anton But (7.5) Won fastest skater at a recent all-star exhibition and dominated in the
game.

Read more »

The CHL Daily News

by League Press Release
on

Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Oshawa Generals
centre Jamie Johnson has been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team
that will compete in the first game of the 2002 Hershey Cup CHL All-Star
Series January 16, 2002 at the Ottawa Civic Centre. Johnson replaces injured
forward Cory Stillman of the Kingston Frontenacs.

Johnson, a 19-year-old native of Port Franks, ON, leads the Generals in
scoring this season with 12 goals and 39 assists for 51 points in 40 games.
He was a fifth round pick of the Ottawa 67’s in the 1999 OHL Priority
Selection.

2002 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP ANNOUNCEMENT TO BE MADE WEEK OF JANUARY 21

The Ontario Hockey League will announce the site of the 2002 MasterCard
Memorial Cup the week of Monday, January 21, the league announced Thursday.

OHL Commissioner and CHL President David Branch also advised all four of the
franchises bidding for the tournament of the decision time frame Thursday.
The four teams bidding are the Barrie Colts, the Erie Otters, the Guelph
Storm and the Ottawa 67’s.

The OHL’s trading deadline is Thursday at 6 p.m. The league advised all
teams prior to the selection process that the winning bid would be announced
after the OHL’s trading deadline and the announcement timing was determined
Thursday morning.

“The quality of the four bids was without question outstanding,” Branch
said. “We are confident that no matter where the 2002 MasterCard Memorial
Cup winds up, the teams, fans and media involved will be treated to an
outstandi Read more »

WJC: Interview with Lars Jonsson

by pbadmin
on

HF: Sweden just finished the game vs Slovakia 2-2 after being down 2-0 later in the third period. What is your view on the match?

Jonsson: We had most of the play but couldn’t score. I’m glad that in the end we could finally convert the many power plays we had.

HF: What about the remainder of the tournament for Team Sweden?

Jonsson: Well with the knockout system there in the quarter finals you have to take it game by game there. My hopes are for a medal, but one bad game and you’re out of contention. First though we face the Czech Republic in our final group match and that will be an important game for us.

HF: What are your personal goals at this WJC?

Jonsson: I try to play as good as I can of course. I know there are a lot of scouts here, but I am here to perform with Sweden, not just for myself. I want to help the team as much as possible.

HF: How do you see your future? Will you move to North America soon?

Jonsson: I don’t know. I take it year by year and see how things go. I don’t think about it too much really.

HF: Your club team, Leksands, has many players in this WJC squad. How come they always have such good young players?

Jonsson: Hard to tell. Leksands is a popular place to go to for kids. They take good care of you with school as well.

HF: Leksands is currently playing in the 2nd league. Will you promote to the Elitserien this year?

Jonsson: That is our big goal for sure. I really hope we succeed.

HF: However if Leksands won’t promote, will the playe Read more »

Milroy’s Dominance Starting to Shine Through

by Jeff Bromley
on

It’s no secret that Duncan Milroy was surprised to find himself traded to the Kootenay ICE last month. It’s also no secret that Milroy is considered something of a dominant offensive force in the WHL. Being a 2001 second round NHL draft pick (37th overall) of the Montreal Canadiens will do that for you. Then for a player walk into a new town for a new team and pick up where he left off on his old club wouldn’t be too far out of the realm of possibility, would it? Perhaps, at least, at first. Filling the shoes of a popular team leader would be daunting by any means but one that actually brought some young fans to tears at the news of the trade? Talk about being behind the eightball.

Period of adjustment, new surroundings, post-trade slump – call it what you will – Milroy was experiencing it, and then some. No pressure or anything. Just replace a player that was not only captain but a tireless worker, played in almost every situation and was viewed upon, rightly or wrongly, as almost never making a mistake.

Duncan Milroy had his work cut out for him.

A month after the trade, Milroy is starting to not only feel more comfortable in the colors of the Kootenay ICE but look more comfortable on the ice too. After last weekend’s three-game set which saw the Edmonton native amass five points and be a factor in every contest, the contribution requested of Milroy is becoming somewhat more clear. And Milroy is eager to respond. “I think I’ve just been playing my game, being myself,” said Milroy after Saturday’s 6-3 win over the Hitmen. “I think I fit in with the tea Read more »

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