News & Features
From the moment Brad Richards was signed, just 12 short hours before the deadline last July, until his blades first graced NHL ice this fall, there was a frenzy surrounding the rookie. The media raved about the Prince Edward Island native, fans lusted over the potential of the young Rimouski superstar and cup dreams in Tampa Bay became more vivid. The high-held belief was that Richards, along with Captain and junior linemate Vincent Lecavalier, would be the one-two punch needed to send the Lightning into its’ second playoff berth in their 9-year existence. It was soon realized that Richards and Lecavalier could not carry the weight of the team alone, as the Bolts lost 8 of their first 11 games.
Richards did not let the Lightning’s misfortunes hold him back. He finished the month of October with 11 points in 10 games, earning himself NHL Rookie of the Month honors. Although his play slacked soon after, Richards has still managed to establish himself as one of the top rookies in the league. He is currently leading all NHL rookies in goals scored, assists, total points and power play points. Richards is also tied with winger Fredrik Modin for the team scoring lead, with 35 points.
Richards is in a tight race with San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov for the Calder Trophy. In 37 games, Nabokov has a 2.05 GAA and a .922 save percentage, tough competition. Due to an injury to Lecavalier, Richards should see his ice time significantly increase, as well as his scoring chances. Hopefully, this will be the break Richards needs to catch the attention of the league a Read more »
got a late start in hockey, learning a lot at the high school level and
then jumping right into the North American Hockey League. Knuble only
needed one year in the NAHL before moving on to the University of
Michigan, where he had an outstanding four years.
of reasons why he will always value what he learned there.
learn a lot more about the game he loves.
said Knuble. “It was an excellent step for me in my career because it
really got me involved in the game more.”
by several scouts and top college hockey schools looking at this big,
young forward with such size, speed and quickness that your head would
spin. But, Knuble says the talent level from high school up to the NAHL
Valicevic, so I learned a lot real fast,” he says. “And our coach, Paul
Pickard, worked us very hard too.”
conditioning program, (which included running laps and intense skating)
that he lost weight before he arrived on the scene at U-M.
liking to Knubl Read more »
News from Sweden: A brief update regarding Mikael Tellqvist’s progress this week followed by some news on a lesser known Leafs’ prospect currently playing in Sweden … at the beginning of the week, Djurgarden’s head coach Nilsson announced that he will be utilizing his back-up goalie more often in upcoming games … Djurgarden remains comfortably atop the SEL and Nilsson would like to have his #1 stopper well rested for the play-off grind that is now just around the corner … Tellqvist is also expected to play for the Swedish National Team at the Swedish Hockey games in mid February and so some extra days off would be well advised … Mikael, meanwhile, was solid in a 4-2 victory against Timra … it was tough game for Tellqvist in terms of concentration as there were many long periods when he did not see any action at all … in his second appearance the week, Tellqvist led his team to a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Malmo … this time, Mikael stopped 26 of 29 shots but his defensemen ably cleared almost every second attempt … The Maple Leafs actually have a second prospect playing in the SEL … Pierre Hedin was selected by Toronto in the 8th round of the 1999 Entry Draft … Hedin has been playing for MoDo, a very good hockey team in northern Sweden with very long tradition and glorious past, since 1997/98 season … Pierre is a solid defenceman, perhaps No. 2 on his team … he is very good defensively and yet able to produce some offence as well … although somewhat prone to commit giveaways when caught up ice on the attack, Hedin is a workhor Read more »
goaltender sees the game differently.” In the case of Soo Indians head
coach Joe Shawhan, that is definitely true.
Sault Ste. Marie know him well. Shawhan rose to stardom playing high
school hockey for Sault Ste. Marie High School, where he led his team to
the state finals one year, only to fall to Trenton High School. He
played goal under two exceptional coaches at Lake Superior State
University – Frank Anzalone and Jeff Jackson, both of whom would lead
the Lakers to NCAA championships.
now the North American Hockey League’s Soo Indians, in the Northern
Ontario Hockey League, which churned out such stars as Denny Lambert and
that takes a special individual to play?
in his sixth season as head coach of the Indians. “I like the position
and I never played another one again.”
he was growing up. Instead, he learned more in high school and at the
college level. He certainly was not a naturally gifted goaltender, as
he says, but had to work harder.
starting job and helped the Lakers win a Read more »
Since my last update, things have been rather hectic, but the Colorado page is about to get back on track. Thanks for the patience!
First off all, I would like to point out that Dan Hinote is just what this team has needed. A while back, I pointed out that the Avs needed an aggressive agitator of sorts to go all the way this year; a Tyson Nash-type of player. But, instead of that, the Avs have something a little more respectable and just as productive in Dan Hinote. Hinote’s play on the third and fourth lines have been downright inspirational at best. While such acclaim will not win him any awards in the league, Hinote’s play has earned him the respect and confidence of his teammates, especially Shjon Podein, who is having a career year. In my opinion, the Avs third line hasn’t looked as good as the old Keane, Ricci, and Yelle line of ’96, but it is getting there, thanks to the play of Hinote.
Another more recent surprise has been the play of Hershey call up Rick Berry. Called up as a temporary replacement for the injured Adam Foote, Berry’s play has been solid. In fact, his play has forced Nolan Pratt back to the bench at times. Berry’s game is simple, and his movement hasn’t looked too shaky. Look for Berry to make the most of his callup time, and look for Pratt to be on the way out of Denver around the deadline.
After his one year stint in the USHL Jimmy took a different route in his hockey career. Instead of going to playy major junior A, Jimmy opted to go try the college route with Michigan Tech in the WCHA. After 2 years with Michigan Tech a new door opened for Jimmy when the opportunity to represent Canada on the Canadian National Team. “Anytime you have an opportunity to represent your country and put a maple leaf jersey on, its an honour and I want Read more »
WJC in Russia, the NHL players of a more distant future played their tournament in Truro and New
Glasgow. The top Under-17 teams had their meeting there and have spent there a week full of high-
quality hockey, the best that 16 year old kids can play.
WJC in 2002, loaded with 2002 and 2003 NHL draft prospects. Jiri Hudler, a potential top 5 pick
in the 2002 draft, missed this tournament because he attended the Under-20 team selection camp,
from where he was scratched. He spent the following days with practicing with his HC Slovnaft Vsetin
team, before being moved to the HC Havirov Panthers in mid-January. But other 2002 top prospects
made the trip to Canada. Hudler’s teammate Robin Kovar, a sized winger with great scoring touch,
Petr Kanko of HC Sparta Praha, a speedy winger with some games already played in the Elite
league or Marian Havel, brother of WJC champion Lukas Havel and current captain of SK Jihlava
junior team. The defense boasted the likes of Ondrej Nemec or Martin Vagner, aggresive mobile
defensemen, both serious 2002 prospects. When we look even more into the future, we see the
2003 NHL draft coming. And it’s most likely that the names of defensemen Jiri Drtina and
Lukas Pulpan will be called along with forward Kamil Kreps of Litvinov. Pulpan and Drtina are
1985 born prospects and Kreps was born in late 1984, so 2003 eligible. The Czechs w Read more »