More WCHA action took place this past weekend. The Minnesota Gophers
continued their winning ways in a sweep of Minnesota-Duluth. Michigan Tech
pulled off one of the biggest upsets in this early season by beating
defending national champions, North Dakota in Grand Forks 5-4. The Sioux
came back to win 5-2 to split the series. Wisconsin swept Minnesota
State-Mankato in two one goal games. In non-conference action Denver played
Boston College tough but couldn’t come away with a victory as they fell 3-2
in both games. St. Cloud State defeated Bemidji State 3-1 and 7-0 in a home
and home series. Alaska-Anchorage swept in state rival Alaska Fairbanks.
Minnesota wasn’t able to put the Bulldogs away on Friday night as freshman
goaltender Adam Coole played a stellar game in his debut. However, Saturday
was a different night. The Gophers dominated the play in every aspect.
Erik Westrum continues to look like one of the best players in the country
and an early season Hobey Baker candidate. The one question mark involved
with Westrum and the Hobey Baker is his dirty play. Many will remember last
season’s kicking incident as a negative but this kid can play.
Michigan Tech, are they better than last year’s dismal campaign? We’ll wait
and see, but from the looks of it they seem much improved. Maybe they can
continue to build and hope for the best as they will need to add more skill
players if they want to get to the level of North Dakota on a consistent
basis. If Paul Cabana and Matt Ulwelling can continue scoring Read more »
New faces, more ice time, more regular players and several NHL
prospects. It is a leit-motive of this season. Due to the special model
of Slovak Elite league – Extraliga (no team will relegate) a lot of
young and gifted players could show their skills on senior level. We
could see about 30 juniors on Extraliga yet. Some of them play regularly
(10-13) and the other ones only from time to time.
HKM Zvolen has very strong roster and the juniors are in difficulties to
play on first team like in last season. Its juniors play only on the
farm (on Division 1) and junior teams. However young goalie Peter Sevela
(16-10-83, 5’11″ 149 lb, G) has recorded unusual curiosity. He has
played just several periods on Zvolen team while joined his team-mate
and the oldest player of Extraliga Robert Pukalovic. Robert was born in
Oct. 28, 1960 and Peter is 23 years younger.
Slovan Bratislava sticks to its traditions and omits junior players.
Just two kids got the chance to play in several games but usually only a
few shifts – Radoslav Sloboda (07-11-82, 6’2″ 195 lb, D) and Oliver
Maron (30-09-83, 5’11″ 160 lb, D).
SKP Poprad uses three juniors who play regularly. No doubt Tomas Surovy
(24-09-81, 6’1″ 191 lb, C) is the best Slovak junior playing in Europe.
Complete player, good hockey sense, very valuable in power plays as well
as in penalty killing games, solid skater, very strong on his skates,
good stickhandler, passer and scorer. He is pretty dangerous for
goalies. Lukas Hvila (30-11-81, 5’8″ 173 lb, RW/C), smallish winger is
pretty go Read more »
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 »