Canada’s World Junior Championship team was unveiled on Saturday afternoon and among the names on the list were three Toronto Maple Leaf draftees. Making the cut were defensemen Jay Harrison of the Brampton Battalion, as well as Erie Otter teammates Carlo Colaiacovo and Brad Boyes, the former a blueliner, the latter a pivot. Each is obviously happy to be a part of this long time holiday tradition but each also has something to prove at this tournament.
Brad Boyes is one of the returning forwards from last years’s bronze medal team but while one can count the experience card in his favour, whether or not it was a good or bad one, is up for debate. By the end of the tournament his icetime was being slashed as he was generally ineffective up front. It is not the Brad Boyes many had come to know in the CHL and he arrived in training camp a bit lighter and a step faster. The Otter pivot is an important prospect for the Buds. He is the first pick of the Quinn regime (Nick Beverly is Mike Smith’s man) and a lot of reputations are riding on how well he turns out. As far as Boyes is concerned, if he can put a recent bout of mononucleosis behind him and impress overseas, he has a chance to place himself squarely in position to leapfrog several other highly touted prospects in the Leafs system come September.
Like Boyes, Jay Harrison is no stranger to spending Christmas overseas having done the same thing last year in Moscow. He’s one of five returnees on the blueline but he’ll be the only one playing tour guide for the new guy (see below) at least fro Read more »
I had the chance to speak with Rochester Americans’ defenseman Luc Theoret following the Amerks 12/14 game vs. Cleveland. Luc signed a contract with Buffalo in ’99, but he is only now getting his first AHL action due to injury or illness the past 2 seasons. Prior to turning pro, Luc spent most of his junior career with Lethbridge of the WHL, while seeing only limited action the past 2 seasons with South Carolina of the ECHL.
The following is a transcript of our conversation, with “HF” referring to the interviewer, and “LT” being Luc.
: Luc, you’ve finally gotten the chance to play in the AHL this year. Any thoughts on the games you’ve played in so far?
: Well, I haven’t played in too many, so far. It’s definitely an adjustment from the ECHL, as the ECHL was from junior. I’m sure it would be a little bit more fun if the team was doing better, but we’ve had kind of a rough start here. I think it is a good experience, and I’m trying to work as hard as I can to get better this season, and hopefully stick around for a few more years.
: What are the differences between the ECHL and AHL? Is it mostly speed?
: I think it’s the speed and the skill. I think there is a lot more skill and better goaltending (in the AHL). Everything is just a notch better. The size of the players is not much different, but definitely the work ethic is better. There are a lot of younger guys that are trying to work their way up to the NHL, so it’s definitely a tougher league.
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Most ECHL fans know the name Sebastien Charpentier, and for good reason. In 1998 he won the Kelly Cup Championship with the then Hampton Roads Admirals, and was named the Playoff MVP. A year before, he had led goaltenders in the QMJHL for games played, minutes, and wins.
When he made the transition to the AHL’s Portland Pirates three years ago, everything changed. Chronic arthritis and a leg injury resulted in him having to sit out for months at a time. During the 1999-2000 season, Charpentier missed 49 games in a row.
During the past couple years, he would have a game here or there that was very good. But those were few and far between. And it was clearly more than just overcoming injury. Inconsistency, a lack of confidence, and an inadequate game mentality were all there too. One of his ‘shining’ moments was the Pirates’ final game of the playoffs last season. Charpentier made 50-something saves, and showed some absolutely brilliant goaltending, and yet, the two goals that he did let in during regulation were arguably the two easiest shots to stop in the entire game.
Then came this season.
Like so many of the other prospects in the Capitals’ organization, Sebastien Charpentier has not played this well in a very long time, if ever. He is healthy, the arthritis is not bothering him, but more importantly, he has his game back. He has been consistently wonderful for the past few weeks, and that is a huge step in the right direction for him. Two shutouts in the space a couple weeks was unheard of for him the past couple years. One si Read more »
Leclaire On The Roster, Bendera Left Off
The backend will be strong come Christmas for the Canadian World Juniors with strong defense. Their goaltending wont be too shabby either. Saturday morning the Canadian Junior Hockey squad made their final cuts, which involved releasing two goaltenders. One of which was Blue Jacket prospect Shane Bendera.
The release of Red Deer Rebel goalie Shane Bendera and Ray Emery of the SOO Greyhounds left two QMJHL goaltenders to tend the pipes in the Czech Republic; Olivier Michaud and future teammate of Bendera, Pascal Leclaire. Many had thought that the play of Shane Bendera would measure a CBJ duo in net of Leclaire/Bendera, but that will obviously not be the case.
“I’m a little disappointed, but not mad,” Bendera said, “It was pretty hard last night. I dont think any of us(goaltenders) slept. We knew two goalies were getting cut so it’s pretty hard.” Speculation was that Bendera gave up too many rebounds, something the Canadian Junior brass did not seem to take too kindly to.
That leaves Pascal Leclaire as the sole representative for the Columbus Blue Jackets organization after Bendera, and defensemen Aaron Johnson and Cole Jarrett were released. Pascal Leclaire played his way onto the squad, displaying the skills that made him the top goalie selected in the 2001 draft. His play may very well warrent him the starting role at the World Junior Olympics.
“If I get the chance t Read more »
Marek Svatos, Center, Kootenay (WHL)
Stats: 26 GP, 23 G, 19 A, 42 P, 24 PIM, +2
Kurt Sauer, Defenseman, Spokane (WHL)
Stats: 26 GP, 0 G, 8 A, 8 P, 41 PIM, +18
Blake Ward, Goaltender, Lethbridge (WHL)
Stats: 22 GP, 9-9-4, 3.04 GAA. .888 SV%
Charlie Stephens, Center, Guelph/London (OHL)
Stats: 26 GP, 6 G, 15 A, 21 P, 35 PIM, -20
Danny Bois, Right Wing, London (OHL)
Stats: 33 GP, 8 G, 7 A, 15 P, 116 PIM, -10
Aaron Molnar, Goaltender, London (OHL)
Stats: 15 GP, 4-9-2, 3.98 GAA, .870 SV%
Agris Saviels, Defenseman, Owen Sound (OHL)
Stats: 30 GP 2 G, 19 A, 21 P, 21 PIM, -5
Colt King, Left Wing, Guelph/North Bay (OHL)
Stats: 28 GP, 4 G, 5 A, 9 P, 60 PIM, -13
Cody McCormick, Right Wing, Belleville (OHL)
Stats: 33 GP, 7 G, 10 A, 17 P, 62 PIM, +1
Darryl Bootland, Right Wing, Toronto (OHL)
Stats: 28 GP, 18 G, 26 A, 44 P, 62 PIM, +24
Peter Budaj, Goaltender, Toronto (OHL)
Stats: 22 GP, 12-6-4, 2.37 GAA, .922 SV%
Pierre-Luc Emond, Center, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
Stats: 37 GP, 9 G, 9 A, 18 P, 43 PIM, +5
Sergei Klyazmin, Left Wing, Halifax (QMJHL)
Stats: 30 GP, 17 G, 25 A, 42 P, 26 PIM, +10
Brian Fahey, Defenseman, Wisconsin (WCHA) Read more »
NEW EDITION OF INSIDE THE CHL WILL BE AVAILABLE SHORTLY
Edition number four of Inside the CHL, the Canadian Hockey League’s audio
show, will be available late Friday afternoon at the official website of the
Inside the CHL is an audio program featuring interviews and news from around
the CHL, hosted by the league’s Director of Information, Roger Lajoie. On
the new show, members of Team Canada’s national junior team talk about
getting ready for the World Junior Hockey Championships, which take place
starting Christmas Day in the Czech Republic.
Pascal Leclaire, goaltender with the Montreal Rocket of the Quebec Major
Junior Hockey League, Stephen Weiss, forward with the Plymouth Whalers of
the Ontario Hockey League and goalie Shane Bendera of the defending Memorial
Cup champion Red Deer Rebels, all talk about their experiences at the camp,
playing for Canada and their current CHL teams.
Also on the show is a feature interview with Eugene Melnyk, who took over as
owner of the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League
before the 2001-2002 OHL season began. Melnyk, a St. Michael’s College
School alumnus and successful businessman, talks about his reasons for
buying the historic franchise and his plans to construct a new arena for the
team within the next two years.
Inside the CHL is available during the season every two weeks, usually on
Fridays, at www.chl.ca. The program is also heard on junior hockey radio
broadcasts across the country as an intermission feature, with CHL media
members e Read more »
Nearly every team in the NHL covets a big defenseman. A big cannon at the point on the power play is something that teams are always seeking. An aggressive, hard hitting, nasty blueliner is a staple for any successful team. The Los Angeles Kings got all of that when they signed the best defenseman outside the NHL, Jere Karalahti, two years ago. Now Karalahti is a healthy scratch and seems destined to make his NHL mark in another city.
Granted Karalahti has his shortcomings. His discipline off the ice has always come into question ever since his drug problems in Finland in the mid 90’s. Reports of Jere’s behavior have been Internet fodder ever since his NHL arrival. No one would argue that Karalahti’s drug problems are behind him and he has stayed out of harm’s way with the exception of an alcohol related incident in 2000. On the ice, he is not the most fleet of foot and his decision making has come into question. He has been learning to play defenseman in the NHL on the fly and while it is an ongoing process, it is an evolving one.
Karalahti’s skills are undeniable. He is a fierce hitter and has a heavy shot. The Kings knew this when he came over and he showed it for spurts in his first season. He had a couple blue line power play goals in his first season and he was relentless in the physical game- he would hit anyone who came near him. These traits did not blend with the Andy Murray style. Jere would often leave his responsibility to make the hit or take the shot and the result was often an outnumbered attack or an unattended forward waiting for Read more »
#1 Benjamin Voigt
Voigt is 19 years old and catches with the left hand. He is currently the back up for the DEL team Krefeld Penguins and he will also be the back up during the Under-20 world championships. The reason why Krefeld signed him at the start of the season was due in part to his strong season in the second league for SC Bietigheim, when he shared time with Tim Schnelle, also a goalie born in 1982. His current stats are: five games, 263 minutes played, 13 goals against, 2,96 GAA and a .908 save percentage.
Draft: Good enough to be in the DEL, but good enough to be on the Draft List?
#20 Dimitri Pätzold
Pätzold is a 1983 born player and his second Under-20 world championship may not be his last. He can also play in next years’ tournament. Pätzold possesses excellent reflexes and no major weakness. He will help the German team very much on their way back into the elite of the Under-20 national teams. Pätzold has played in five games for the DEL-team from Cologne so far this season. 180 minutes played, ten goals against, GAA 3.33 and a .882 save percentage. Five games aren’t much for a talent like him, but his coach doesn’t want to burn him out and Pätzold will end up playing 10-20 games during the season. Possibly followed by 10 more games per season for the next couple of ye Read more »
With the first 5 cuts over with there was little time to relax for those players still fighting for a spot on Team Canada. Most of the players who are assured a spot on the squad sat out the first game against the OUA All-Stars on Thursday night. Sitting this one out were: Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Hamhuis, Jay Harrison, Mark Popovic, Jason Spezza, Mike Cammalleri, Steve Ott, Jarrett Stoll, Brad Boyes and Brian Sutherby. We can assume these players will be around for the team picture on Saturday.
It was not an awe-inspiring game for the juniors who lost 4-3 to the more senior team made up mainly of ex-OHL’rs.
All four goalies were solid but I think it is safe to say that Shane Bendera and Pascal Leclaire will be the ones left standing come Saturday. Olivier Michaud played well but he tends to give up more rebounds than the others, while Ray Emery is solid but in my opinion just isn’t at the skill level of the other two.
Rick Nash was one of Canada’s best players showing a large improvement over Wednesday night. He showed great puck control and scored and end-to-end goal that had the crowd ooying and ahhing. If he continues to play as he did, he will definitely make the roster.
Duncan Keith just won’t go away. I thought there was no way this guy was going to compete with the top d-men in the country but he has been an offensive and defensive force so far. He is a good skater and passer and he works very hard. I believe he m Read more »
FOUR TEAMS LEFT TO BID FOR 2002 MASTERCARD MEMORIAL CUP ON DEC. 18
The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League have withdrawn
their bid to host the 2002 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
Five Ontario Hockey League teams were scheduled to make formal bids to host
the 2002 MasterCard Memorial Cup, with the bid presentations taking place
Tuesday, Dec. 18 in Toronto. The Greyhounds were scheduled to be one of
those teams, but the club announced on Wednesday that it had decided to
forgo the opportunity to bid, citing difficulties with their facility in
accommodating a Memorial Cup at this time as the primary reason.
The OHL determined before this season that the top four teams in each of its
two conferences (and ties, if any) at the 30-game mark of the regular season
would have the opportunity to play host to the championship tournament of
the Canadian Hockey League from May 18-26, 2002. All OHL teams hit the
30-game mark this past weekend and nine teams were eligible to make bids.
The league announced on Tuesday afternoon that five teams would make formal
bid presentations at Toronto’s Airport Marriott Hotel. The other four teams
that will still make bids on Dec. 18 are the Barrie Colts, the Erie Otters,
the Guelph Storm and the Ottawa 67’s.
The Memorial Cup Selection Committee that will hear the formal presentations
is comprised of Paul Beeston, chief operating officer, commissioner’s office
for Major League Baseball, Frank Bonello, Director of the National Hockey
League’s Central Scouting Bureau and Bryan Read more »