Defenseman Mike Van Ryn of the Sarnia Sting came to the OHL after playing 2
years with the Michigan Wolverines in the CCHA. Van Ryn has made a very
smooth transition from the NCAA to the OHL. I had the opportunity to sit down
with Mike and ask him a few questions.
HF: What were the differences between the OHL and the NCAA?
Van Ryn: “There are a lot of differences. Mostly it’s just how the game is
played. It’s tough to say anything about the talent or anything like that
because the game is played so differently. The college game is a quick game,
it’s more of a speed type or a finesse type game. In the OHL there’s quite a
bit of fighting and in college you don’t have to worry about that. I never
saw a fight in my two years there. Guys tend to play bigger than they are for
the most part. The fact that there is no red line it’s faster and you gotta
be aware of guys sneaking behind you. In the OHL game it’s more of a
pro-style game, with the number of games you play. In college, because I
played in the World Juniors I only played in the high 30′s in terms of games.
I’ve only played about 38 games a season. In two seasons there I played just
over 70 games there. This year alone, with playoffs, I’ll end up playing over
70 games I’m hoping. It’s more of a pro game with the number of games.
There’s always the intimidation factor and just the way the game is played. A Read more »
After each of the WHL’s 18 member teams have finished their grueling 72-game schedule, a league total of 648 contests to eliminate four teams
from playoff contention, the fourteen remaining teams start a playoff odyssey that will culminate in one of them making the trip to Halifax for the
Memorial Cup some ten weeks from now. That being said it is now time for all pucksters, pundits and fans alike to enjoy what has become an
annual event by the ‘Fan – Playoff Predictions.
Starting in the Western Conference where there’s an opinion that there is not only a noticeable drop off in the quality of teams seeded one
through six but also a sizeable discrepancy in caliber in comparison to the Eastern Conference clubs. In theory that should make predicting the
winners of the first round of series’ that much easy right? Yeah, just as easy as picking the ‘Lotto’ numbers every week.
Spokane vs. Tri-Cities. If you were looking for a first round upset in the West then this series won’t be it. Most of the season I have thought
that Spokane has been somewhat overrated (against the Eastern conference teams) but in the Wild West the WHL’s most improved team over
last season (53 point improvement) has settled in to become the favorite to the win the West. The Americans sold their soul at the trading
deadline last year and are paying for it now. Give the Americans one game. Chiefs in Five.
Read more »
Grand Rapids forward Kevin Miller was re-assigned to the Griffins by the Ottawa Senators last week and came back with a vengeance.
After arriving at the rink 90 minutes before his team’s game against Milwaukee Friday, Miller hit the ice and then hit the back of the net for a hat
trick in the 5-3 win.
He didn’t play for the Senators during his two-day trip up to the NHL, but he’ll get another chance.
Miller and forward Yves Sarault were recalled Sunday by Ottawa, which has been hit by injuries.
The loss will sting the Griffins, who are tied with Orlando for first in the Eastern Conference standings with 93 points.
Miller is the squad’s second-leading scorer, with 20 goals and 54 points, while Sarault is fourth with 16 goals and 25 assists.
Player Team Gp G A PTS Pim Pp SH Gw
Mark Lamb Hou 64 13 42 55 42 3 2 4
Mark Freer Hou 62 15 29 44 45 4 1 3
Brian Wiseman Hou 59 12 28 40 44 0 1 2
Greg Pankewicz Hou 57 21 17 38 128 11 0 3
Bobby Reynolds Hou 38 11 19 30 17 2 1 1
Lane Lambert Hou 64 16 12 28 80 4 0 2
David Oliver Hou 38 15 10 25 38 5 0 2
Terry Marchant Hou 61 11 12 23 37 2 0 1
Brian Felsner Hou 28 7 16 23 18 1 0 0
Sandy Moger Hou 44 13 9 22 43 0 0 3 Read more »
It has been a good year for the Brampton Battalion. After a frustrating, but promising inaugural season in 1998/1999, Brampton has improved significantly in their 2nd OHL campaign.
It hasn’t been easy … some would argue that the team’s success was not predictable by any means. In the off season, Brampton lost its leading scorer during the 1998/1999 season (rookie phenomenon Jason Spezza) to the Mississauga Ice Dogs in the OHL priority selection. Spezza was only 15 while playing for Brampton.
Lack of support at home games can have a negative impact on a team. This is also where Brampton has been suffering. Even though Brampton is a city with a population of well over 200,000 people, the Battalion are having trouble filling the stands, owning one of the worst attendance records in the league.
Still, the Battalion overcame the odds and have made the OHL playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The change in the team from its 1st to 2nd year is obvious. The players have matured, improving not only individually, but as a team as well. The rookies on the squad have also played a big part in the Battalions 2nd year success. Brampton’s turn around has not gone unnoticed. The Battalion have 8 players mid season ranked for the NHL entry draft in June, two of which are ranked in the top 10.
Here’s a look at Bramptons top 5 prospects for the 2000 NHL entry draft:
(mid season ranked 2nd / North America Defensemen and Forwards)
Position: Defense Read more »
As the NHL season draws near to the end, the Norwegian Ice Hockey
Associations Season begins it`s final phase tonite with Valerenga of Oslo
taking on Storhamar of Hamar for the National Title. Valerenga knocked off
upstart Frisk-Asker, coached by Serge Boisvert (Canada)… In the other
semi-final series, Storhamar knocked off Trondheim IHK to earn their shot at
the title. Valerenga is the favorite to win the title and repeat as
champions and are lead by former Swedish National Team goalkeeper Åke
Furuset won the 1st division and will return to play in the Elite Series,
Lørenskog will remain in the Elite Series as well. Aker-Majorstua closed out
their season with a 6-7-1 in conference record much in thanks to Radek Vbor
who registered 25 points over the final 5 games. Aker rebounded from a
horrendous 1998-99 lead by their American coach E.Andriopoulos. Aker looks
to be a more physical North American side next season and those interested
please email this author.
In other action the Norwegian 18 year old National Team was announced for
the World Junior B tourney in Riga, Latvia. Norway will play Japan, Denmark
and Italy in the tourney and hopes to return to JR A`s for the 2001 tourney.
Standouts marked with *
Per Marius Olsen Sparta Sarpsborg
Pål Tyrom NTG/Lillehammer
Kim Brandvold NTG/Lillehammer Read more »
It’s hard to imagine that a team with 11 players 25 years or younger would be in search of young players to fill voids, but San Jose, like every team, is in a constant search to fill future voids in their roster. As early as next year, the Sharks may be in need of help particularly at the forward positions, and they may look to the current roster in Kentucky for that help. This article is the first of three that will start with the forwards.
Roy Sommer, the head coach of the Kentucky Thoroughblades, the Sharks primary affiliate, has done a great job of molding young players into future NHL players. Some players he has developed this year were considered career minor leaguers until this year. Now those players are now seen as possible role players in the near future.
One such player is center Eric Landry, who before this year had bounced around between Hamilton and St. John of the AHL, with a few brief stints with the Calgary Flames. During the summer of 1999, the Sharks signed Eric Landry with the intention of sending him to Kentucky, as he was expected to provide a lift with the departures Steve Guolla and Herbert Vasiljevs.
Landry has provided more than anyone expected, and if not for the fact that San Jose has been healthy at the forward positions, he would almost certainly have been called into action with San Jose. Landry is 2nd on the team in goals (32) and points (61) and is 5th on the team in PIMS (145).
Read more »
Have you read this before: “The Lightning are putting together an
impressive collection of talent that will get them out of the NHL basement.”
Well unfortunately those statements have gone without results from the
players themselves. However all the blame can’t be placed on the players
alone. Changes in ownership, front office, coach and staff have resulted in
a massive overhaul in the Lightning roster. Out is owner Art Williams, in is…
Davidson. Out is GM Phil Esposito, in is Rick Dudley. Out is coach
Jacques Demers, in is Steve Ludzik. To put it in a nut shell the Lightning
upgraded to a more hockey smart (and professional sports smart) owner, a GM
that won’t use aging veterans to band aid the roster, and a coach that
combines his ability to discipline while relate to his players. This new
staff has been given the challenge to rebuild the last rebuilding process of
the Bolt roster. And they are doing a good job of it. Out are big and slow
talent. Dudley has replaced that with big and fast, really fast, talent.
Most of this talent comes on the blueline. Dudley is developing a nucleus of
young defensemen comparable to the New York Islanders of a few seasons ago.
Below is more is a more in-depth look at the defensemen in the Lightning
This has quickly become the organizational strength as far as talent is
concerned. Following graduated prospects Andrei Zyuzin, Sergey Gusev, Pavel Read more »
Hello and welcome to the latest Capitals Prospect Update. In addition to all the news and
notes, I will give you up-to-date stats on all of the players on the top 50 list.
The Portland Pirates continued to slide after sitting atop the AHL for a couple of months.
Their record stands at 40-20-9 (90 pts.) and puts them 4 points behind Hartford (N.Y.R.) in the
divisional race and for the overall lead. The Pirates have clinched a playoff spot however, and
will start the post season in a couple of weeks. Leading scorer Glen Metropolit is back with
the Capitals, but may be back down to the AHL for the playoffs. The Pirates have six players
assigned to Hampton Roads (ECHL): Forwards Mike Omicioli and Mike Siklenka, Defensemen Gerad
Adams, Steve Shirreffs and Dean Sork, and Goaltender Curtis Cruickshank – who are all in their
first professional season.
The season is over for some of the Capitals’ North American prospects, as the College league
playoffs have finished. Princeton (Chris Corrinet) and Harvard (Kyle Clark) lost in the first
round of the ECAC playoffs. In the Hockey East playoffs, Providence (Michael Farrell) lost in
the first round and Boston College (Kevin Caulfield) made it to the finals but lost to Maine.
Finally, Minnesota (Erik Wendell) lost in the semi-finals of the WCHA tournament. In the OHL,
London (Krys Barch) missed the post-season, losing the last playoff berth to Guelph (Charlie Read more »
The regular season has ended and the playoffs begin on Sunday. Eight teams still have
a chance to play hockey, while the London Knights and Owen Sound Platers have been
relegated to the sidelines, after being the in the conference finals the year before. Such is life in the OHL, where the cycles can be wicked if proper steps are not taken. The Platers tried to make a move up when they grabbed Kenny Coroupe at the trading deadline, but they never got a sniff of the playoffs. They have no drafted players and their top prospect for being drafted this June is Latvian defender Agris Saviels. Their offseason could be turmuoltuos as they may be moving to Cornwall. This is a team that I wouldn’t expect to be very strong next year, based on their current roster.
Read more »
The Thunder Bay Flyers wrapped up their 16th and what looks to be final
season over the weekend with a sweep of the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Scoring
for the Flyers in there 7-4 victory on Saturday night was Aaron Grynol with
the hat trick, Pat Sharp with a pair and Murray MaGill and Jamie Young with
singles. Ken Ritson picked up what could possible be the last win in Flyers
history in the net. Thunder Bay finished with a 18-39-1 record good for 37
points and 13th place in the 14 team league. Thirty-nine losses breaks the
old club record of 33 set in 1985-86 season and the 1996-97 season. The team
leaders for the season where: Aaron Grynol 22 goals, Pat Sharp 25 assists,
Pat Sharp 55 points, Jesse Baraniuk 267 PIM to lead the USHL, Ken Ritson 4.07
gaa 0.888 save percentage, 3 shutouts.
The team is rumored to be folding and moving to Aurora, Ill for the 2001-2002
season. There is however a 60-day window of opportunity for local ownership
to step up and purchase the team. The current owner Ted Carlson is asking
$300,000 US which seems to be a steep price for any local groups. With this
said it looks like Thunder Bay has seen its final days in the United States
Thunder Bay has played in the USHL for 16 years as the only Canadian team in
the league. The Flyers captured four regular season championships and two
playoff titles in this time. The club from the Lakehead also captured two Read more »