While Buffalo’s prospect depth at the center position is somewhat weak, they are slightly more blessed with talent on the right side. While there is only one virtual lock to play in the NHL (Norm Milley), there are at least 2 (and maybe 3) other prospects who, should they play to their potential, will have a shot at making the Buffalo roster in the future.
Buffalo’s top prospect at right wing, Norm Milley, is currently in his first pro campaign as a member of the Rochester Americans. Although Norm has not exhibited the goal-scoring prowess that he displayed in the OHL, he has nonetheless been an effective player for Rochester. Norm is currently 5th in scoring for the Amerks, but, more importantly, his +/- ranking is currently a +2. First-year players often sport minus figures, so this is no small accomplishment for Norm.
Norm has proven to be a versatile player for Rochester, as he has spent time on both the power play and penalty killing units. Milley is an excellent skater, an asset that allows him to be solid on both the forecheck and backcheck. And, while Norm may be smaller in stature, he has nonetheless played with some feistiness. As far as Buffalo is concerned, Norm’s best asset might be his right-handed shot, a trait shared by exactly none of the Sabres’ current group of right wings.
Milley had an impressive training camp, and has progressed enough this year that he could land a spot on Buffalo’s roster next season. Given Buffalo’s Read more »
Playing on a hockey club that is struggling can be difficult and the Trail Smoke Eaters are currently in last place.The Smokies only have one rear guard over 18 years old. Despite this Brett Skinner is having a good year. Skinner plays heads up hockey. He’s not a speedster but but he has a smooth stride and skates well. Not a overly physical defenseman Skinner uses other skills to showcase his game. At 6-1 170 pounds, Skinner has room to fill out and the hitting will increase with maturity. This first year player has his head up and makes alot of smart passes, short ones, a touch of the puck at the last moment springing a teammate free. Skinner seems to be able to find the guy on his club who is skating with a short solid pass not someone who is standing still. These type of passes are important in getting the biscuit out of your own end of the ice. This 17-year-old from Brandon, Manitoba had plenty of ice time including the power play. Currently,Skinner is third on the Smokies in points with 8G 23A in 54 games. Add in 37 penalty minutes and you have pretty impressive numbers for a 17-year-old, first year player in any junior league. This defenseman is smart, a player with good vision and good skills. If the Smokies can keep this player and the rest of this young group of d-men together they could make some noise in the future.Honorable mention to both goalies on this club, especially Isaac Reichmuth who played a good game in a 4-0 loss Feb. 16th against the Prince George Spruce Kings.
In other news the NOJHA defeats the BCHL 6-2 in Sault Ste. Marie. M Read more »
It was announced on Valentine’s day that Giguere was going to replace Hebert as the starting netminder. With the Big Ducks out of the playoff picture and Hebert’s play below normal (doesn’t help to have defensive letdowns in front of your net) the management thought it would be a good opportunity to groom the future goalie. Since the season is practically over, they might as well.
Guy Hebert has only one year left on his contract that contains a no trade clause. He has expressed his desire to end his career in a Ducks uniform. Barring any trades approved by him or retirement it looks like Hebert and Giguere will be the goalie tandem for next season.
For the following season, lookout! There might be a goalie controversy ahead. One thing the Ducks have done the past couple of seasons is acquire depth at the Goalie position. We’ve already seen what Giguere did in the AHL and waiting for him to mature in the NHL. Naumenko has been solid in net and is turning out to be one of the wisest free agent signings the Ducks have done. Ilja Bryzgalov is playing in the Russian elite league this season. We’ll get to see more of him at the World’s (along with Smirnov C) and next training camp where he hopefully signs and plays at the ‘Natti.
Gregg Naumenko has turned in an all-star performance again this season. He was named as the ITECH AHL Goaltender of the Month for January. Naumenko went 7-0-0 with a 2.94 GAA and .917 SV% in eight appearances to lead all AHL goaltenders in January as Cincinnati went 8-2-0-0 to tie a club record for wins Read more »
Norfolk Triumphs Over Mario Lemieux’s Baby Penguins 3-1
Is the slumber of the lumber over? “Whether it was fatigue or staleness we got to the core, after eighty-games it’s going to happen and the best thing is to correct it quickly,” (referring to their four-game skid), said Aaron Downey. Guys out there worked as a cohesive unit and that’s more our established Admirals hockey. Friday night the lumber was awakened and a more aggressive squad stepped onto the ice Friday night against the Mario Lemieux’s team, the Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton, Penguins (27-17-7-1). They are second in the Mid—Atlantic Division thus dubbing their northern rivals 3-1.”This was a must needed game for us,” Downey continued. The Penguins have a record of the best penalty kill squadron in the AHL (85.06). But Norfolk’s roster was able to tread and capitalized on opportunities on three of their power plays. “Scoring goals is the key to getting out of a slump,” said Casey Hankinson.
There were only a total of nine penalty minutes in the first round between the north and south. But, the rivalry manifested quickly and ignited both teams adrenaline. The first period took off when rookie Mark Bell (37-9-15-24) slapshot a pass from shipmates Mike Souza, and Casey Hankinson at 8:12. Despite not receiving Chicago recognition, Casey Hankinson still remains unstoppable as Norfolk’s as the team’s leader with his 23-Goals, 15- Assists. But after twenty-three transactions he remains Norfolk bound. Disappointed? “It’s not my decision and I can’t worry about i Read more »
Erie’s Brad Boyes has jumped back up into the top three in OHL scoring … the Otter’s star has 78 points (43-35) in 46 games and certainly seems to be fully recovered from a somewhat disappointing performance at the WJC in December … the Baby Leafs’ Jeff Farkas is really on fire and now trails team scoring leader Bobby House by only 6 points … Farkas has 46 points (17-29) in 56 games and will almost certainly overtake House if he isn’t summoned to Toronto … Farkas’ St. John’s linemate Adam Mair is on a similar roll … Mair has 34 points (13-21) in only 38 games and is also a prime candidate for promotion if the parent team continues to struggle … in fact, many AHL observers feel that St. John’s 1st line featuring Farkas and Mair (along with Alexei Ponikarovsky, who is currently up with the big team) could be playing as a unit in Toronto right now … defenseman Petr Svoboda has recently logged huge amounts of ice time due to a rash of injuries and promotions on the St. John’s blueline … though Svoboda’s talent is obvious, he has displayed a very poor attitude since being assigned to the Rock and apparently considers himself too good to be playing in the minor leagues … coaches Crawford and McClelland are working hard to hasten the maturation process for the young Czech … his development remains vitally important to the organization as the braintrust in Toronto continues to ponder the wisdom of dealing a young defender for immediate help … in Sweden, Mikael Tellqvist recently led the National Team to victory at the Swedish Hockey Games
#35 - SCOTT LANGKOW
Ht: 5’11” Wt:190 D.O.B: 4-21-75 (Sherwood Park, Alberta)
- Assigned toCincinnati February 9 by Anaheim (NHL) after being
acquired along withdefenseman Sergei Vyshedkevich from Atlanta in exchange
for right wing LadislavKohn.
- Played four gamesthis season with Orlando (IHL), going 1-1-1 with a
- Assigned to Mobileof ECHL in January, went 2-4-0 with a 3.86 GAA in
- Has played in 20career NHL games with Winnipeg, Phoenix and Atlanta, going 3-12-1 with a 4.33GAA.
- Was 3-11-0 with a4.31 GAA in 15 games last season with Atlanta and
14-8-2 with a 2.30 GAA in 27games with Orlando (IHL).
- Two-time AHLAll-Star (1996-97 & 1997-98) and won the Baz Bastien
Memorial Trophy as theAHL’s Top Goaltender in 1997-98 with Springfield.
- Shared the Harry “Hap”Holmes Trophy (fewest goals-against in AHL)
with Manny Legace in 1995-96 withSpringfield.
- Is 63-37-18 with a2.77 GAA in 123 career AHL appearances.
- In sixthprofessional season.
- Winnipeg’s secondchoice, 31st overall, in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.
#23 - SERGEI VYSHEDKEVICH (D)
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 195 D.O.B: 1-3-75 (Dedovsk, Russia)
- Assigned toCincinnati February 9 by Anaheim (NHL) after being
acquired along withgoaltender Scott Langkow from Atlanta in exchange for right wing Ladislav Kohn.
- Appeared in 23 gamesthis season with Atlanta, scoring one goal and
two assists for three pointswith 14 penalty minutes.
- Also played in 10games with Orlando (IHL) this season, scoring two
goals and three assi Read more »
Without a strong farm team in the AHL this franchise is in a distinct disadvantage since it does not have the resources to make up for mistakes on draft day or in the developmental stage.
Hamilton GP:24 G:10 A:18 PTS:28 +/- -7 PIM:19
Edmonton GP:24 G:5 A:4 PTS:9 +/- +1 PIM:2
– Outstanding first quarter as a rookie in the AHL showing strong two-way play. Has adjusted well to the NHL and will progress to the next level with the experience from this year and training camp next season.
Kootenay GP:37 G:39 A:40 PTS:79 +/-(+23)PIM:79
Edmonton GP:16 G:2 A:2 PTS:4 +/-(+2) PIM:2
– Would have benefited greatly if he had started the season in Hamilton along side Horcoff instead of going to Cranbrook a quicker adjustment could have been made. Shows flashes of exceptional vision and playmaking ability, will have greater patience to let plays develop with experience. Needs to shoot more as he would create more scoring opportunities with his quick accurate shot.
Hamilton GP:41 G:10 A:18 PTS:28 +/-(-15) PIM:6 Read more »
Stats from the new top german junior-league DNL
(A junior league for the over ’83-born players) – Stats updated: February, 17th
1. SC Riessersee – 31 GP, 163:85 goals, 52 pts.
2. Mannheimer ERC – 29 GP, 149:73 goals, 47 pts.
3. Neue Eisbären Berlin – 32 GP, 107:89 goals, 39 pts.
4. Berlin Capitals – 30 GP, 123:118 goals, 30 pts.
5. Star Bulls Rosenheim – 31 GP, 149:127 goals, 30 pts.
6. Kölner EC – 27 GP, 120:109 goals, 25 pts.
7. EV Landshut – 31 GP, 111:143 goals, 25 pts.
8. Krefelder EV – 29 GP, 101:128 goals, 23 pts.
9. ES Weißwasser – 30 GP, 121:155, 21 pts.
10. Frankfurter ESC – 29 GP, 113:175 goals, 19 pts.
11. Augsburger EV – 29 GP, 94:149 goals, 17 pts.
Pos. / Player / Team / Born / Games played / Goals / Assists / Points
1. Marian Rohatsch (Rosenheim, 15-06-83) 30 GP, 22 G, 34 A, 56 PTS
2. Christoph Melischko (Riessersee, 25-07-83) 31 GP, 34 G, 21 A, 55 PTS
3. Danny Albrecht (Weißwasser, 17-01-85) 30 GP, 20 G, 34 A, 54 PTS
4. Markus Zappe (Mannheim, 22-06-83) 26 GP, 24 G, 29 A, 53 PTS
5. Stephan Gottwald (Rosenheim, 20-09-83) 28 GP, 33 G, 17 A, 50 PTS
6. Alexander Kanellopulos (Capitals, 11-02-84) 30 GP, 29 G, 21 A, 50 PTS
7. Frank Bertele (Augsburg, 28-03-83) 26 GP, 27 G, 22 A, 49 PTS
8. Yannic Seidenberg (Mannheim, 11-01-84) 27 GP, 13 G, 35 A, 48 PTS Read more »
Who, on the farm we audition?
As Alpo hopes for new actors in his theatre company, and Mike Smith runs out of players of any real trade value, now is when the Hawks will be evaluating just who might possibly help the team until the Mike Smith drafts are ready for their auditions.
Picked in the 1995 draft, defensemen Marty Wilford, and forward Casey Hankinson remain Hawk property and play as minor pros. Hankinson, presently playing in Hampton Roads, shows average scoring ability and steady defensive play possibly penciled in as a 4th liner. At present, the Blackhawk major league club has almost three lines of the same.
Wilford, also drafted as a Chicago Cub pitcher, is a chunky six footer who has played well on the minor pro level, but is probably not quick enough for the present pro game.
Geoff Peters and Jeff Paul are all that remains from the 1996 draft where the Hawks traded their first round pick for two numbers twos, the third being the departed Remi Royer. San Jose picked Marco Sturm with the #1 and has never looked back.
Geoff Peters produces good all around play and could project as the next Chris Herpinger, a utility forward who always plays hard and does many things decently. And he fits the Chicago salary structure.
Jeff Paul has not shown enough progress to expect him playing in Chicago at this time. The smaller Hawk defensemen are better transition players and it is clear the Alpo system is “transition is much more important than transgression.”
At present, Kyle Calder has be the most intriguing of the class of 1997. An un Read more »
A Louisville First – Defenseman Brad Ference Named Sher-Wood’s Player of the Week
Interview by: Jennifer McCarty
“Live and learn” could be Brad Ference’s motto. It’s no secret, Brad Ference has had his ups and downs this season. From a broken jaw at the beginning of the season, until this week’s Player of the Week award, it’s been a rough road. I got the opportunity to interview Ference this week on his views of the season up until now. The highs and lows tend to come at you when you least expect it and for this defenseman, he knows first hand.
Ference currently leads Louisville defensemen in point scoring with two goals, 14 assists for 16 points.
Read more »