View Archives:
  • News & Features

Kings: Jerred Smithson

by Tony Calfo
on

Jerred Smithson is more than a footnote.

The 20 year old winger was acquired from Calgary a couple weeks ago for future considerations. While this move was glossed over by many Kings fans, including yours truly, Smithson seems to have something special.

Jerred Smithson is a right winger for the Calgary Hitmen of the CHL. The Hitmen are well known in the Canadian Hockey League, not only because of professional wrestler Brett “Hitman” Hart’s involvement with the team, but because highly regarded Ranger prospect Pavel Brendl also plays for them. Smithson, who only has 10 goals and 20 assists this season, is perhaps even more highly regarded than Brendl with some fans. Smithson is what so many broadcasters call a “lunchpail” player. Smithson is a blue collar-type player. He has little or no regard for his body, as evidenced by a recent injury from throwing himself into the boards attempting to make a big hit. Smithson has amassed over 100 PIM’s and as Kings fans can tell you, that is important for a guys who has flanked a star like Brendl this season. A guy who has size, stands up for his teammates and makes big hits is exactly what the Kings need right now.
Read more »

Vaclav Pletka: Having A Breakout Year

by Bill Meltzer
on
Vaclav Pletka is by no means a bluechip NHL prospect, nor is he the type of player that one usually associates with the Flyers system. The type of players that the Flyers are drawn to, whether they are North American or European are big, strong players with grit. Well, that’s not Vaclav Pletka. He’s not big. He’s not physical. And although, he’s been improving his all-around game, Pletka is neither a defensive stalwart nor a regular combatant in the trench wars that occur down low in the zone. Moreover, there are questions over whether he is well suited to the game on the smaller North American rink. Nevertheless, the Flyers 7th round pick in the 1999 entry draft (#208 overall) is one of the more intriguing “sleeper” prospects in the NHL. What Vaclav Pletka has to offer is something that no team in the goal-starved NHL can afford to dismiss without taking a closer look; namely, soft hands, a quick shot release, and good ice vision.
Read more »

Two 15 year olds are shaking up the Swiss Amateurs

by Martin Locher
on

The 1st Amateur League is the 3rd highest league in Switzerland. Almost all
the players have a full or part time job or go to school. The league is
split into 3 regional divisions. The winners of each division play a
round robin to determine the Amateur Champions.
In the Eastern division (group 1), two 15 year old school boys have drawn
a great deal of attention. Not in the news, but of coaches and
scouts.
These two boys excel by playing a defensive style of hockey. Offense wins
games – defense wins championships. This could also be written like
this. Offense is gaining the attention of all – defense is gaining the
attention of the experts.
Tim Ramholt and Emanuel Peter are both defensive specialists, but not “defense
only” players. Both were born in 1984, but are already playing in the 80
to 82 born juniors category and in the best Amateur league. Also both
got called up for the U17 national team in February.
Ramholt is currently playing for the Grasshoppers junior team.
His club has signed a so called “Partner Team Agreement”, with Küsnacht, one of the amateur teams.
The agreement indicates that the Grasshoppers junior team can lend its players to Küsnacht if requested by Küsnacht.
According to Ramholt’s junior team coach Richi Jost “Ramholt is
always one of the first players, the Küsnacht coach asks for, when we
talks about the players, who will be sent to them for the next game”.
Read more »

Kings Update

by Tony Calfo
on

Dave Taylor has been making a flurry of trades that he is hoping will result in a championship. The only thing is that this championship is in Lowell.
Read more »

Top 25 Penguins Prospects

by pbadmin
on

Updated 2-27-00

1.

Name: Jean-Sebastien Aubin

Position: Goalie

Height: 5-11

Weight: 176

Birthdate: July 17, 1977

Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec

Acquired: 1995 NHL Draft, third round (76th overall)

HF Comments: Jean-Sebastien has proven himself to be a future NHL starter. Actually, at the moment, due to Barrasso’s continuous struggle with personal tragedy, he is the number one guy and has shown the team he deserves to be there. He stepped up and did a terrific job when Pittsburgh needed him the most. Granted he’s made a few mistakes and may not have the hottest record in the American Hockey League, but his time on NHL ice has been more than impressive all things considered, including a ride on the yo-yo string between two leagues (AHL & NHL). Unless the goaltending situation changes drastically (i.e. acquisition of a new veteran goalie), expect Aubin to remain in the top spot during the 2000-2001 season.


Year Team League GP GAA W L T SO
1999-00 Wilkes-Br AHL 9 4.35 2 7 0 0
Pittsburgh NHL 36 2.53 16 16 1 2
1998-99 Kansas City IHL 13 3.27 5 7 1 0
Pittsburgh NHL 17 2.22 4 3 6 2

2. Read more »

Washington Capitals Prospect Report

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
Hello and welcome to my latest Capitals Prospect Update. I will give you all the latest news and up-to-date statistics on all of the players on the top 50 list.

The Portland Pirates are still sitting atop the AHL right now, with only a little over a month until the playoffs begin. Their record stands at 37-17-9 which totals 84 points and places them first overall. They are followed closely by Hartford (N.Y. Rangers) in their own division who are only 5 points back. The Pirates are still without Alexei Tezikov – who is in the NHL, and have five players assigned to Hampton Roads (ECHL): forwards Mike Omicioli and Mike Siklenka, and defensemen Gerad Adams, Steve Shirreffs and Dean Stork.

It is getting near playoff time in the CHL, and the Capitals will be well represented. In the OHL, it looks like a three-way battle for the last playoff spot with ten games to go. Charlie Stephens (Guelph) and Krys Barch (London) will be battling each other and Owen Sound to get to the post-season.

Most of the Caps junior players are in the WHL, and a lot of them are headed to the playoffs. Kris Beech and Rastislav Stana (Calgary), Todd Hornung (Swift Current), Roman Tvrdon (Spokane) and Nathan Forster (Seattle) have all clinched playoff spots. While Ross Lupaschuk (Red Deer) and Michal Sivek (Prince Albert) are as good as in. Tri-City (Jomar Cruz and Blake Evans) and Kelowna (David Johansson and Nolan Yonkman) are going to have to fight to make it, but hopefully they can pull it off.

Read more »

Kings: Who’s Going to Help First?

by Tony Calfo
on

It’s been made pretty clear that the Kings system is depleted at best. With that in mind, assume the Kings will lose a few players during the off-season to expansion et all, and there seems to be a few open roster spots. The question is who will make a run at these spots? In past seasons, the Kings have signed guys like Len Barrie to fill “fringe” positions on the third or fourth lines. Thirty year old players with some skill are stop-gap solutions at best. So who will help the Kings soonest? Here is a stab:

If the question was who is going to play in the NHL soonest, Pavel Rosa would be the answer. Rosa seems poised to be a top pick in the expansion draft. Rosa has had several opportunities to sparkle and has done nothing with them. Barring involvement in a trade- which seems to be growing more and more unlikely, Rosa will spend next season in Columbus or Minneapolis. Rosa is probably the only sure shot for next year, albeit with another team.

Donald MacLean is in another resurgence. He is starting to play better in Lowell and as I saw him play last week I am reminded that he has one thing that many others do not- tremendous size. A third or fourth line center with size is a premium. MacLean has to either commit himself to one side of the ice or develop a nasty streak because his game has not developed to the point where he can excel offensively as well defensively. I would not be surprised if MacLean makes a move to the big club next year as the fourth line center.
Read more »

Penguins Future – Coming On Strong

by pbadmin
on

Numerous problems have plagued the Pittsburgh Penguins this season. From personal
tragedies, to injuries, to coaching changes and inconsistency on the ice,
it never seemed to stop. Fortunately, despite the chaos, the team as a whole never stopped believing in the impossible. Classed as an ordinary talent, a struggling team whose playoff chances are slipping away, the Pittsburgh Penguins are far from quitting. The truth is they will do whatever it takes to build a winner, and positively reinforce their farm system, even if it takes a year or two longer to be recognized for their efforts. At the moment a trail of disappointment ripples through the system, but there is hope on the horizon. No team is more capable of making a statement than Pittsburgh. When they decide to do something, they usually go all out.
On February 7th, the Pittsburgh Penguins named Ivan Hlinka associate head coach, with the intention of making him successor to Herb Brooks as head coach next season. Ivan, who is a world-class talent behind the bench and led the Czech National team (including Jaromir Jagr) to Olympic gold, will become the first European coach to take the helm of a NHL team. It’s fitting considering the Penguins are credited for being the first NHL team to draft heavily from Europe and build their current roster around such. It will take some getting used to, especially for those players who are not from the Czech Republic, but the common opinion is it’s a huge step in the right direction.
Read more »

Washington Capitals Prospect Report

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
Hello and welcome to my latest Capitals Prospect Update. I will give you all the latest news and up-to-date statistics on all of the players on the top 50 list.

The Portland Pirates are still rolling along full steam ahead. Their record stands at 32-14-9 (73 pts.) which puts them first overall in the AHL, four points ahead of Kentucky (San Jose) who have played one more game. Portland will be without Alexei Tezikov for a while as he has been recalled to the NHL. The Pirates currently have five players assigned to Hampton Roads (ECHL): forwards Mike Omicioli and Mike Siklenka, as well as defensemen Gerad Adams, Steve Shirreffs and Dean Stork.

Misc. Notes: The Capitals continued to restructure their minor league system by trading forward Alexandre Volchkov to the Edmonton Oilers for a third or fourth round pick in 2001 (depending on how he performs). The Washington scouting staff feels that the 2001 draft is very deep, and are stockpiling picks. There are only two major injuries in the Capitals’ system at the moment: forward Trevor Halverson has missed the entire season so far with a concussion, while defenseman Nathan Forster has sat out the past few weeks with a thigh contusion.

A++ players – performing above and beyond the call of duty.

5. Jason Shmyr: impressive numbers for this tough guy.

4. Patrick Boileau: +16 rating leads Portland.

3. Alexei Tezikov: earned his way back into the NHL.
Read more »

Updated Flyers Prospect Report

by Bill Meltzer
on

Stepping Up:

* The two best prospects in the Flyers system continue to be goaltenders
Maxime Oullet and Antero Niittymäki. The strong play of both youngsters
pretty much cancels out any loss of organizational goaltending depth
suffered when Jean-Marc Pelletier was traded to Carolina in the Keith
Primeau deal.

Oullet, coming off a spectacular World Junior Championships, continues to
be the best goaltender in the Quebec League. Oullet is now being widely
hyped around the hockey world as a potential franchise goalie. Arguably,
he’s the best goalie in junior hockey today, although the Finley contigent
might dispute that. The buzz around Oullet coming off the WJC is not quite
equal to the hype that surrounded Roberto Luongo but it’s arguably on par
with the excitement created by Marc Denis and Martin Biron as they
progressed at the junior ranks.

Niittymäki, selected the best goaltender in the Finnish Elite League during
the first half of the season, faltered a tad at the World Juniors
(particularly in Finland’s game against Russia) and ended up splitting time
in goal with Devils draftee Ari Ahonen. It’s also true that Niittymäki’s
teammates did not play all that well in front of him in some of their key
games. However,
Niittymäki has bounced back strong upon the resumption of league play.The
rookie continues to rank #1 or #2 in most goaltending categories in the Read more »