I had an oportunity recently to ask Brandon Wheat Kings forward Ryan Craig a few questions. This is the jist of what I got out of this interview.
The season has been for Ryan Craig, like most of his fellow Wheat King teammates, a dissapointment. Due to injuries and an overall poor team talent wise to play with, Craig has seen his stock for the June NHL entry draft fall. An enlarged spleen (brought on by a case of mononucleosis) forced him to miss the under-18 tournament in August and a shoulder injury sustained after the Top Prospects game forced him out for another three weeks. At the beginning of the season, Craig was being touted as a potential first-round pick. However the injuries, combined with lower then expected numbers on the score sheets this year, has led to Craig’s drop in the rankings.
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March 6, 2000. A day that will live in infamy. Well, not really, but for those who follow the Boston Bruins, there has been one constant over the past 21 seasons. That constant’s name? Raymond Jean Bourque. With Boston all but dead in its playoff quest, the
Bruins traded Bourque and veteran winger Dave Andreychuk to the Colorado Avalanche
for C/W Brian Rolston, C/W Samuel Pahlsson, D Martin Grenier and a first round pick in
either 2000 or 2001.
While many Bruins fans are still in shock over the deal that sent one of
Boston’s true sports icons away in the twilight of his career, all that is left to be done is to sift
through the ashes and figure out whether Boston’s risk taken on youth might pay dividends
in the future.
At face value, there is little to compensate for a player who maintained a consistent
level of excellence for so many years like Bourque did in Boston. Critics of the trade need
merely point to the Avalanche players received and compare their statistics to those of
Bourque and Andreychuk. Taking this approach, clearly, Colorado is the winner. Place
your bets, folks, because the odds of the Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup are now Read more »
The Blackhawks have decided to take the Vancouver #1 in this year’s 2000
draft instead of waiting for the 2001 draft. The Hawk reasoning in this
decision was not an easy one. If the they chose to accept the 2001 Vancouver
pick, they would have had three #1’s in the stronger 2001 draft.. Would that
have been enough to wrest away Jason Spezza from the the worst expansion team
picking in 2001? Doubtful. They are clearly thinking
that Vancouver will be much improved with an entire season of Felix Potvin in
net and the Sedin twins arrival. It is ironic that the original pick the
Hawks traded away would have brought Henrik Sedin to Chicago, but they
instead took this #1 and bolstered their weak defense with Brian McCabe.
McCabe hasn’t been Superman on the backline. His deceptive plus/minus depict
s him in a negative light, but he clearly is one of the better guys of a
horribly weak bunch of defensemen.
Henrik on the other hand, represents a position the Hawks have suddenly
called a very important need; first line centre.
I still feel this was a stop gap trade when and happened and down the
line the hawks will forever wish they hadn’t made it.
Which takes us back to the the 2000 draft. These two #s currently #7 and
# 9 overall, prior to the lottery that if won by those picks would bring them
down four slottings.At his press conference announcing the hawkdecisionn Smith Read more »
On February 22nd Penguins fans were devastated with the news that Pittsburgh’s leading
scorer and beloved captain, right winger Jaromir Jagr, would be placed on injured reserved
with a hamstring injury. The original estimate for games missed was 3 weeks. Considering the
Penguins current struggles, inconsistency both on and off the ice, the last thing this team needed was to lose their leader. At the same time 3 weeks without Jagr would be a good test for the unity of the team, and a chance for individuals such as Alexei Kovalev, Martin Straka, German Titov, and Aleksey Morozov to focus on their talents and break out of scoring slumps. It would also give some of the Jr. Pens, hard working players such as Robert Dome and Martin Sonnenberg a chance to revisit NHL ice.
Unfortunately, the outlook for Jagr’s return soon became grimmer. Few were prepared when it was announced that a blood clot had formed in his thigh and would need to be surgically removed, an incident unrelated to that of the hamstring injury. What did it mean? It meant adding at least a couple more weeks to the overall recovery time. Instead of missing a month of action, Jaromir could end up missing the remainder of the regular season, if not the remainder of the year.
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As much as I’ve enjoyed covering the Pittsburgh Penguins and their farm affiliates in Wilkes-Barre and Wheeling, it is now time for me to go after a dream of my own. Before I do so, I would like to take this moment and say, “Thank you,” to those of you who have followed my work and supported me. Because this dream is rather demanding, and it will take a lot of energy and dedication, I will not be able to write about the Penguins with the frequency you are used to.
You see, for the past seven years I have dedicated my life to writing about hockey, always dreaming of reaching for the impossible and doing what no other journalist has done before. The only problem with my dream was despite effort and determination it lacked a sense of direction. I may have learned a lot about this magical game throughout the journey, but was honestly miles away from “the game winning goal.” Now, after careful consideration and endless hours of research, I have decided to reach beyond the boundaries of North America and specialize in Russian hockey.
Last summer was the first big step in turning this dream into a reality. I was a little frightened and unsure, but I knew if I could find the courage to push myself, I could make anything happen. That’s when I boarded a plane at JFK in New York and headed out on a solo trip to Yaroslavl, Russia. It took ten hours by air and 4 hours by train to get there, but I eventually made it and somehow captured an interview with the management of Torpedo Yaroslavl, elite members of the Russian Hockey League.
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Jerred Smithson is more than a footnote.
The 20 year old winger was acquired from Calgary a couple weeks ago for future considerations. While this move was glossed over by many Kings fans, including yours truly, Smithson seems to have something special.
Jerred Smithson is a right winger for the Calgary Hitmen of the CHL. The Hitmen are well known in the Canadian Hockey League, not only because of professional wrestler Brett “Hitman” Hart’s involvement with the team, but because highly regarded Ranger prospect Pavel Brendl also plays for them. Smithson, who only has 10 goals and 20 assists this season, is perhaps even more highly regarded than Brendl with some fans. Smithson is what so many broadcasters call a “lunchpail” player. Smithson is a blue collar-type player. He has little or no regard for his body, as evidenced by a recent injury from throwing himself into the boards attempting to make a big hit. Smithson has amassed over 100 PIM’s and as Kings fans can tell you, that is important for a guys who has flanked a star like Brendl this season. A guy who has size, stands up for his teammates and makes big hits is exactly what the Kings need right now.
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Vaclav Pletka is by no means a bluechip NHL prospect, nor is he the type of player that one usually associates with the Flyers system. The type of players that the Flyers are drawn to, whether they are North American or European are big, strong players with grit. Well, that’s not Vaclav Pletka. He’s not big. He’s not physical. And although, he’s been improving his all-around game, Pletka is neither a defensive stalwart nor a regular combatant in the trench wars that occur down low in the zone. Moreover, there are questions over whether he is well suited to the game on the smaller North American rink. Nevertheless, the Flyers 7th round pick in the 1999 entry draft (#208 overall) is one of the more intriguing “sleeper” prospects in the NHL. What Vaclav Pletka has to offer is something that no team in the goal-starved NHL can afford to dismiss without taking a closer look; namely, soft hands, a quick shot release, and good ice vision.
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The 1st Amateur League is the 3rd highest league in Switzerland. Almost all
the players have a full or part time job or go to school. The league is
split into 3 regional divisions. The winners of each division play a
round robin to determine the Amateur Champions.
In the Eastern division (group 1), two 15 year old school boys have drawn
a great deal of attention. Not in the news, but of coaches and
These two boys excel by playing a defensive style of hockey. Offense wins
games – defense wins championships. This could also be written like
this. Offense is gaining the attention of all – defense is gaining the
attention of the experts.
Tim Ramholt and Emanuel Peter are both defensive specialists, but not “defense
only” players. Both were born in 1984, but are already playing in the 80
to 82 born juniors category and in the best Amateur league. Also both
got called up for the U17 national team in February.
Ramholt is currently playing for the Grasshoppers junior team.
His club has signed a so called “Partner Team Agreement”, with Küsnacht, one of the amateur teams.
The agreement indicates that the Grasshoppers junior team can lend its players to Küsnacht if requested by Küsnacht.
According to Ramholt’s junior team coach Richi Jost “Ramholt is
always one of the first players, the Küsnacht coach asks for, when we
talks about the players, who will be sent to them for the next game”.
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Hello and welcome to my latest Capitals Prospect Update. I will give you all the latest news and up-to-date statistics on all of the players on the top 50 list.
The Portland Pirates are still sitting atop the AHL right now, with only a little over a month until the playoffs begin. Their record stands at 37-17-9 which totals 84 points and places them first overall. They are followed closely by Hartford (N.Y. Rangers) in their own division who are only 5 points back. The Pirates are still without Alexei Tezikov – who is in the NHL, and have five players assigned to Hampton Roads (ECHL): forwards Mike Omicioli and Mike Siklenka, and defensemen Gerad Adams, Steve Shirreffs and Dean Stork.
It is getting near playoff time in the CHL, and the Capitals will be well represented. In the OHL, it looks like a three-way battle for the last playoff spot with ten games to go. Charlie Stephens (Guelph) and Krys Barch (London) will be battling each other and Owen Sound to get to the post-season.
Most of the Caps junior players are in the WHL, and a lot of them are headed to the playoffs. Kris Beech and Rastislav Stana (Calgary), Todd Hornung (Swift Current), Roman Tvrdon (Spokane) and Nathan Forster (Seattle) have all clinched playoff spots. While Ross Lupaschuk (Red Deer) and Michal Sivek (Prince Albert) are as good as in. Tri-City (Jomar Cruz and Blake Evans) and Kelowna (David Johansson and Nolan Yonkman) are going to have to fight to make it, but hopefully they can pull it off.
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Name: Jean-Sebastien Aubin
Birthdate: July 17, 1977
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec
Acquired: 1995 NHL Draft, third round (76th overall)
HF Comments: Jean-Sebastien has proven himself to be a future NHL starter. Actually, at the moment, due to Barrasso’s continuous struggle with personal tragedy, he is the number one guy and has shown the team he deserves to be there. He stepped up and did a terrific job when Pittsburgh needed him the most. Granted he’s made a few mistakes and may not have the hottest record in the American Hockey League, but his time on NHL ice has been more than impressive all things considered, including a ride on the yo-yo string between two leagues (AHL & NHL). Unless the goaltending situation changes drastically (i.e. acquisition of a new veteran goalie), expect Aubin to remain in the top spot during the 2000-2001 season.
Year Team League GP GAA W L T SO
1999-00 Wilkes-Br AHL 9 4.35 2 7 0 0
Pittsburgh NHL 36 2.53 16 16 1 2
1998-99 Kansas City IHL 13 3.27 5 7 1 0
Pittsburgh NHL 17 2.22 4 3 6 2
2. Read more »