The Brandon Wheat Kings year after year seem to find a way to the medical ward. Injuries have been the story every season for the Wheat Kings and this year is no exception. As of this date Dan Tetrault has a groin problem, others on the shelf include Brett Thurston with a shoulder problem. Wade Skolney has an injured back; Richard Mueller has yet another concussion and Jamie Hodson is still laid up until late November from his knee problems. J.D. Kehler just returned from a long absence from well back in last year.
Add in the fact this Wheat Kings edition is the smallest team I have seen in the Western Hockey League and one would think you would have a recipe for disaster. Not necessarily so.
In spite of all the challenges there is a lot of good things going on with the Wheaties. Only two games out of third and 3 recent road wins on their West Coast swing and things look okay for a very young team.
Here is each player’s progress report so far this fall:
Jamie Hodson – still laid up from last years’ season ending injury, Hodson is the Wheat Kings best goalie as he proved last year and one of the best three in the Western Hockey League. Stay tuned for my prediction on his future. Brandon now has three 19 year old goaltenders in the fold…hmmmmmm?
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Aleksey Morozov, the 6’1″ 180lb winger, who scored a mere 19 points (9+10) last year, is finally showing the flashes of brilliance Pittsburgh had hoped he would. Now, just 8 games into a brand new season, Aleksey already has 6 points (3+3) to show for his efforts. So what’s changed? The moment he hits the ice it’s all about finding the net. Defenders be warned however, Aleksey’s not as easy to shake off a puck as he used to be. Brilliant puck handling, incredible speed, and world of desire and determination are turning this young forward into a rising star. It’s not yet certain whether Aleksey has the ability to become a complete player, but he is definitely heading in the right direction. In the meantime, the Penguins organization and it’s fans are in for a real treat. The keys to a successful season for Morozov will be concentration and health. Currently, Pittsburgh anxiously awaits his return from an injury sustained in a game against Los Angeles last week.
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List done in association with former Midget AAA Elite coach, and current head coach of the National 18 Team.
1. Martin Samuelsson, Modo, F.
189 cm, 87 kg.
1982 01 25
Comments: Big strong forward, good ability to score goals. Will get his
hockey education from the top-notched coaching staff in Örnsköldsvik, who
have thaught the Sedin brother´s and Peter Forsberg and all of the other
supreme talent coming up from the ”hockey factory” of the northern part of
Sweden. That factor is a guarantee for success.
2. Tim Eriksson, Västra Frölunda HC, F.
174 cm, 71 kg.
1982 02 05
Comments: Fast player who can handle the puck. Only weakness is size. Might
have better speed than Samuelsson.
3. Magnus Hedlund, Mora IK, D.
169 cm, 62 kg.
1982 01 02
Comments: Should had been ranked first if he had been bigger. Strong player
though, who has dominated the Allsvenskan (South) League this
season.Unbelivable player who has everything except size. But size will
come, his body hasn´t start to develop yet, but count on this player. Also a
good hitter despite his size.
4. Niklas Kronwall, Djurgårdens IF, D.
179 cm, 71 kg.
1981 01 12
Comments: Playing with the big mighty Djurgården team of the Swedish Elite Read more »
They call him Maddog. He’s big. He’s rugged. He’s tough. He’s Marc Moro.
Marc Moro might not be the most talked about Nashville Predator prospect but, he might be the most entertaining and one of the most popular. The Milwaukee Admirals defenseman has had a long time following no matter where he has gone. Whether he played in Kingston or Cincinnati, the fans loved him and opponents loathed him. And for good reason.
See, Moro could never be called an offensive guy. In just over 400 games played, he has scored 14 goals and racked up about 70 points since first joining the Kingston Frontenacs. In that time, he has played for the Soo, the former PEI of the AHL, Cincy of the AHL and now, Milwaukee of the IHL. So, what is the fascination? He has over 1,250 penalty minutes.
He doesnt lose many fights and would bring excitement to anybody who enjoys a good scrap. Apparently, thats a lot of people. He has his own fanclub, Maddog’s Mob and they have devoted an entire website (http://www.maddogsmob.com/) to Moro. Not bad, for a guy who is looked at as just a minor league role player by some. His teamates dont mind him either. This season, he was named as Milwaukee’s captain.
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The Pittsburgh Penguins headed out on a 4 day/3 game West Coast road trip with the intention of shaking off a few cob webs and reestablishing their presence in the NHL. Instead, they discovered the California clubs had a different game plan in mind. If there was any way they could take advantage of the Penguins stagnant start, the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks would do so…and that’s exactly what they did.
First stop Anaheim. On Wednesday, October 27th, the Penguins skated away with a decent performance against the Mighty Ducks despite the lack of key players: Barasso, Slegr, Kasparaitis and Hrdina, and a 2-1 loss in overtime. The highlight came when Teemu Selanne challenged Jean-Sebastian Aubin to a penalty shot. The young netminder did however stand his ground, made the save, and had an overall impressive evening.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, proved itself to be an even greater foe than it’s inner state rivals, the Ducks. What seemed to be Pittsburgh’s night, soon turned into a nightmare. With a mere 26 seconds left of the first period, Aubin was forced out by a hamstring injury. By the third period the Penguins had totally lost control of the game, facing a barrage of Kings goals in a span of less than 3 minutes. Sean O’Donnell, Luc Robitaille and Glen Murray scored to lead their squad to a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
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Name: Eric Chouinard
Birthdate: July 8, 1980
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia History
History – Chouinard has been a Canadiens “surprise pick” when he’s been selected 16th overall in the 1st round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Most experts were expecting the Habs to draft another Quebec Remparts prospect, Simon Gagne, who’ve been picked 6 spots later by Philadelphia. The Canadiens scouting staff then explained that they chose Chouinard because of his size and his scoring ability. They also said that they were expecting Eric do walk in his father’s footsteps. Eric’s father, Guy Chouinard, was a dangerous sniper for the Atlanta Flames in the late 70′s and he’s now the Quebec Remparts head-coach.
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As the veteran Rangers struggle to find chemistry many questions are being asked about the future. With a 4-7-1 Rangers club in New York trying to find goals after a 234 minute scoreless spree questions about chemistry, payroll and coaching have come into play. Other than 2nd line center Mike York and rookie soon to be star defenseman Kim Johnsson, Coach John Muckler has basically refused to play any of the few “once” bright prospects in his stall.
The ongoing philosophical differences between Muckler and now seldom used Manny Malhotra turned ugly as Malhotra benched the hulking Malhotra with the return of high priced free agent signee Tim Taylor. Muckler met with Malhotra afterward to discuss the situation. After 12 games Manny Malhotra has yet to register a point (19 games including exhibition) and has earned less than 8 minutes of ice time on average per match. Prior to the season start Malhotra was a solid candidate for the no.2 slot, now occupied by rookie Mike York, but ended up with minutes similar to 1998`s and those commonly coined “Bill Berg Minutes” as the former Ranger veteran logged an occasional shift here and there and still made the best of it. With the signing of Alexander Daigle and his tremendous play in Hartford(4-8-12 8gp) it is only days before he gets his shot to light up broadway with his skill and youth.
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In Part 1 of the Class of ’99 series, I profiled the graduates of the 1998-99 season: Mark Parrish, Peter Worrell, Jaroslav Spacek, and Oleg Kvasha. With a new season underway, and many of the overpaid veterans (such as Kirk Muller) bought out or traded, there are more rookies making an impact on the Panthers this season, and other hopefuls looking to make an impact on the Panthers in the coming months. This article will look at the prospects who have made the Panthers early in the season.
Ivan Novoseltsev – RW [1998/99: 63 Games, 54g-36a-90pts 41pim - Sarnia (OHL)]
After a mediocre start to his OHL career (45 points in 51 games) in 1997/98, Ivan turned it up to score 54 goals in 63 games with the Sarnia Sting (owned by ex-Panther Dino Ciccarelli) in 1998/99. He had a great training camp in Florida and would have made the big club if not for the depth of skilled forwards on the team. Panthers GM Bryan Murray wanted Novoseltsev to get the prime-time ice time he needed, to develop his offensive and defensive games. Playing on the 3rd or 4th line in Florida wouldn’t be too beneficial to an offensive-minded player like Novoseltsev.
His 1999/2000 season has been a success so far. After a good showing in the pre-season, “Supernova” has lit up the AHL with 2 goals and 4 assists in just 5 games for the expansion Louisville Panthers. In addition to his AHL exploits, the injury to sniper Pavel Bure meant a call-up for Novo…it was time for the big show!
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As of Thursday morining, Oct. 28, the division is lead by the Prince George Cougars with fifteen points from fourteen games followed by the Kamloops Blazers, defending division champions, and Kelowna Rockets, each with thirteen points from the same number of games as the Cougars. The Tri-City Americans sit in fourth with twelve points after only ten games, with everyones preseason pick to runaway with the division, the Seattle Thunderbirds in fifth, with eleven points from only nine games and the Spokane Chiefs in sixth with ten points from ten games. The pre season consensus for last were the Portland Winterhawks and they are living down to eveyones expectations with a mere four points from eleven games, however the Hawks have picked up points in three of the last four games and may have turned the corner to be coming more competitive more often.
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The start of the 1999-2000 Ontario Hockey League season has to be considered a major disappointment for the London Knights as the team for The Forest City is currently mired in last place in the competitive Western Division with an unimpressive 2-6-4 record.
But fret not, Knights faithful. Head coach and general manager, for one, is not about to push the panic button, especially in light of last season’s magical ride to the OHL championship series, a titanic struggle the Knights lost in 7 games to the Belleville Bulls.
“The regular season was not exactly a great season for us last season. We started off slow, had a better second half and then enjoyed a great playoff run,” Agnew claimed. “It is better to do it that way because everyone remembers what happened in the playoffs.
“It was a great experience for the entire organization,” Agnew continued. “We had a great group of kids, and they achieved what they did because they worked hard.”
After getting by the Sarnia Sting in the opening round of the post season last spring, the Knights shocked the junior hockey world by eliminating the mighty Plymouth Whalers in seven games.
In fact, the Knights did more than just eliminate the Whalers – they destroyed the boys from Plymouth 10-3 in their own back yard.
“That was a very exciting game, the boys were very tight in the dressing room before the first period, yet they were also very loose and confident,” Agnew recalled. “We felt that if we could get the puck to the net, that we would be just fine.”
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