| | LONDON KNIGHTS PROGRESS REPORT
The London Knights have stumbled a bit of late as they have entered the second phase of the OHL season. A hot start had the town buzzing, but other teams have seen a steady trickle of veterans back from pro camps and have their rosters filled out and the young Knights have found things a lot more difficult. The Western Conference will be very competitive, entering the weekend, 7 teams were within 2 points of each other, and it appears that it will be Plymouth out in front, but Erie and Windsor may pull away from the pack and challenge the Whalers as the season moves on.
Over agers-London has used 5 already in the young season, John Eminger has been moved to Mississauga, and the team is currently carrying 4, as they added Colorado draftee Charlie Stephens in a trade with Guelph on October 19. He joins fellow Av draftee Aaron Molnar, who has returned from the Hershey Bears camp and has struggled between the pipes. He is the most likely candidate to be moved as the Knights struggle in their own end and would be hard pressed to replace Sean Dixon and Ian Turner on the point. Stephens joins his third OHL team in his 5th year in the league, and fills the void that London has had all year, an experienced right shooting center to play with Rick Nash.
In their first game together against Belleville, they had several excellent shifts and scoring chances, which is a positive sign since they hadn’t practiced together as the trade was finalized just 2 hours before game time. Stephens will have to use his size t Read more »
While the Kings’ season has not started well, the prospects that comprise the rejuvenated Kings’ farm system are enjoying fine seasons. Here is a quick look around the system:
The top guns of the system, Alexander Frolov, Jared Aulin and Yannick Lehoux are all starting out their seasons in fire. Frolov has already potted 8 goals in 13 games in the low scoring Russian Super League he plays in. Aulin has 17 points in 9 games following a longer-than-expected stay in camp where he nearly made the Kings big team. Lehoux has 15 goals and 19 points in a mere 10 games. Lehoux in carving a niche as the premiere short-handed goal scorer in the minor leagues.
College stars Mike Cammalleri and David Steckel have started out their seasons strongly. Cammalleri used the stage of a 70 thousand-plus outdoor crown against rival Michigan state to score two goals and add an assist. David Steckel has a goal and two assists in two games for Ohio State.
Fellow Ohio State star Jason Crain, who is coming off of an off season in 2000-01, has been named captain at Ohio State and is already a +2 after two games. Crain was a cherished prospect before last season and Kings’ management is watching and hoping his development continues.
Future King enforcer Kip Brennan has not found the AHL to his liking yet. Brennan was beaten badly by AHL veteran Mel Angelstad in Portland. Kip has only played three games so far and his development has to be a priority for the enforcer-less Kings. (Thanks Earl)
Andrei Shefer is scoreless in 6 games for Severstal Cherpovets in the Ru Read more »
Pavel Brendl was born on March, 23rd, 1981 in the small Czech city Nove Mesto nad Metuji
(Metuje is the name of the river which flows thru the provincial city) in a hockey family.
His father, Milan Brendl, was a former hockey player who enjoyed a succesfull but not stellar
hockey career in the city of Olomouc. His mother, Stanislava Brendlova also likes hockey so
it was no wonder when the little Pavel laced up the skates and took the stick into his
hands under the watchful eye of his dad already at the age of three. He learned to skate very
soon because his dad gave him lots of skating lessons and tips and taught him also the basics
of the hockey alphabet so that Pavel was more skilled than the other kids when started
playing organised hockey at the age of five. But it couldn’t be in the very small Nove Mesto
nad Metuji, it was in the nearby Opocno, which is sometimes stated as Pavel’s birthplace.
His natural talent, very good skating and puckhandling skills allowed him to dominate in the
games of the kids of the youngest grades and turn heads of the coaches. Pavel was always
playing at forward, even if coaches sometimes let the kids play all positions, even goalie,
before they finally decide about the position. He scored and scored a lot. This lasted for
five years. Read more »
Currently the Edmonton Oilers Editor Kim Gernack also known as Redtwilight is ill at the University Hospital in Edmonton.
His contribution knowledge and wisdom to our site and message boards is irreplaceable and on behalf of all our staff I want to wish him a speedy recovery.
Please leave messages of good will on the Edmonton Oilers message board or on his e-mail.
Shane MalloyAsst. Managing Editor/Director of Media RelationsHockey’s Future
Through the years, the Philadelphia Flyers have had a few homegrown players– including current Flyer Chris Therien and one-time rookie free agent Dave Poulin– who were U.S. college standouts before turning professional. However, the vast majority of Flyer-drafted and signed players originally honed their skills in the Canadian major junior ranks.
Times have changed. Today, the Flyers have only one affiliated prospect (2001 first round draft pick Jeff Woywitka) playing in the CHL, while five youngsters are playing for teams in the NCAA.
The Flyers current crop of collegiate players represents an intriguing collection of sleeper prospects. An update on their current progress.
Colin Shields : Shields had to sit out last season after he was declared ineligible by the NCAA. In order to retain his visa status, the Scottish forward signed up for classes that he never attended. When the University of Maine learned what had happened, they had no choice but to report the violation to the NCAA.
So far this season, Shields has been making up for lost time. He’s displayed the soft hands and offensive instincts that made him a standout at every level of hockey that he has played. He’s also a pretty good skater.
Shields has exploded out of the gates for Maine with 5 goals in his first 4 games, including 3 powerplay tallies. He has no reticence about shooting the puck; as his 13 shots on goal attest.
Bernd Bruckler : The Austrian goaltender was a highly sought recruit by many U.S. college programs. He finally opted for the Read more »
The Calder Corner
Jukka Hentunen: Assist, +1, 2 Shots
Vaclav Nedorost: Goal (2nd), +1, 1 Shot
Niko Kapanen: Assist, 2 Shots, Even
Ty Conklin: 23 Saves, 2 GA, 1st NHL Win
Martin Erat: Assist, 1 Shot, Even
Radek Martinek: Assist, 3 Shots, Even
Dan Blackburn: Played the 3rd Period, 6 Saves, 0 GA
Krys Kolanos: Goal (2nd), +3, 3 Shots
Mikko Kiprusoff: 38 Saves, 2 GA, Win
Read more »
TWO LOSSES BUT TWO POINTS AGAINST TWO KINDS OF CATS
Thursday night, two of the three second place teams in general standings teams met as the Victoriaville Tigres came to Baie-Comeau. It was a two phase game. At first the home team seemed to take control of the game with a two goals lead; an almost end to end goal by captain Lehoux and a wrap around by league scoring leader Linglet.
But after a wicked wrist shot goal by Matthew Lombardi (2000 7th round draft of the Edmonton Oilers) things seemed to turn around. With two power play goals in third period, the Tigres had the game in control. But, as the game was coming to an end, fans were beginning to leave the premises and, bingo, one lone second before the buzzer went on, Yannick Lehoux put the fun back in the place by scoring the equalizer.
Unfortunately for the fans still present, overtime was to be fatal for the Drakkar as Victoriaville Mathieu Brunelle score the winning goal (his forth points of the night) at 1:50 of the 5 minute period.
Prospect-wise in this game all four hopeful draft players of the Drakkar were undressed and for Victoriaville none of the dressed 2002 prospects seems to rise out from the lot.
It was a veteran and an almost playoff type of game with eight players drafted by NHL teams in hands: the five ones of the Drakkar and Victoriaville lw Lombardi, g Jean François Nogues (L.A. Kings 5th pick of 1999) right wing Carl Mallette (Atlanta Trashers 4th pick of of 2000). Unfortunately left wing Antoine Vermette (Ottawa Senators 2nd pick of 2000) with a concussion, is stil Read more »
Giant Growing Pains
Like most newborns, the Vancouver Giants are also susceptible to growing pains. These pains were most evident over the last three-game homestand, winding up Saturday, October 13th, in what will become a divisional rivalry with the Portland Winter Hawks. The Giants, hoping to push their record over the .500 mark and perhaps thinking they could take advantage of the Winter Hawks who have been struggling on the road, never did seem to get organized. From obvious communication problems on the bench, to teammates running into each other on the ice, the Giants never came close to finding the disciplined, hard-working and physical groove they displayed just one night earlier in the first period against the offensive Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Being a young team, this erratic display of hockey is not unusual. Coach Dragicevic was saying all the right things to the players between periods and after the game, emphasizing the need to play a rugged, grinding style of hockey, and to shy not from the body. Yet it seemed to land on deaf ears against the Winter Hawks. There really is no explanation for it other than the proverbial ‘growing pains’ of a young team coming together.
Players at both ends of the ice were turning away from what appeared to be sure checks, and the defence were often beat on the outside along the half-boards due to ill-timed turns to play the man. In short, they were getting caught flat-footed. They looked surprisingly tired — something a fan would not expect this early in the sea Read more »
The Calder Corner
Ilya Kovalchuk: 3rd NHL Goal, +1, 4 Shots
Brian Pothier: Assist, +1, 3 Shots
Daniel Tjarnqvist: Assist, -1, 1 Shot
Dany Heatley: 1st NHL Goal, +1, 4 Shots
Rostislav Klesla: Assist, +1
Peter Smrek: Assist, +2, 1 Shot
Dan Blackburn: 32 Saves, 3 GA, 2nd NHL Win
As a general rule, I will always list goals and assists and other noteworthy stats.
Ottawa (5-2-2) vs Sarnia (6-6-1)
The Ottawa 67’s, fresh off a 4-4 tie with the Kingston Frontenacs, faced off against the Sarnia Sting on Friday, October the 19th. The 67’s welcomed back captain Zenon Konopka, coming off a 2-game suspension, for being the instigator in a scuffle in the October 7th match against the Barrie Colts. Read more »