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Kamloops Already Getting The Breaks In The Battle of “Special K’s”

by Glen Crichton
on

Kamloops Blazers Already Getting The Breaks In “Special K” Battle

While most pundits agreed that the Western Hockey League’s B.C. division shaped up as a great battle between the “Special K’s”, Kamloops, Kelowna and Kootenay, nobody would have predicted the early season fortunes of two of these teams, the Kelowna Rockets and Kootenay Ice would be so affected by both bad and good luck on behalf of their prospective players.

First the Kootenay Ice. While most agree that the Ice would have been battling for top spot in the division, this is where the good and bad luck come into play. Dan Blackburn, a standout goalkeeper from day one in the WHL goes to the New York Rangers camp and plays well enough to not only earn a contract, but an opening day roster spot behind incumbent Mike Richter as a nineteen year old. While not really a surprise, the Ice certainly were certainly hoping to have the stalwart back in net. Now the Ice will go with two unproven goaltenders, who though hold promise, aren’t the “sure thing” that Blackburn would have provided.

Then the bad luck strikes as nineteen year old offensive sparkplug Jarett Stoll cuts his hand badly while using a knife to separate frozen steaks. The early prognosis is that Stoll will miss eight weeks and the Ice losing his considerable offensive talents for that time.

With a two win and three loss start, the Ice won’t want to give up too much ground to the other “Special K’s” early or it could be a long road back to secure a home ice date in the first round of the playoffs. This could be crucial with Kootenay, Read more »

OHL Player of the Week: Eric Staal

by HF Staff
on

Toronto – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Peterborough Petes
centre Eric Staal is the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending Sunday
September 30, 2001.

Staal scored four goals and three assists for seven points in two games last
week. Staal scored two goals and an assist as the Petes defeated the
visiting Belleville Bulls 4-2 on September 27. The second year forward
followed up with a two goal, two assist effort as the Petes defeated the
Kingston Frontenacs 7-2 on September 28. Staal was named first star in both
games.

Staal, a 16-year-old native of Thunder Bay, was the Petes first round pick
in the 2000 OHL Priority Selection after leading the Thunder Bay Kings to
the 2000 OHL Cup Ontario Bantam Championship. He was named to the 2000-01
First OHL All-Rookie Team.

Eric Staal
Born: Thunder Bay, Ontario, October 29, 1984

Pos: Centre Shoots: Left

Height: 6.01 Weight: 160 lbs.

Peterborough’s 1st round choice, 13th overall, in the 2000 OHL Priority
Selection

Season Club GP G A PTS PIM

1999-00 Thunder Bay Bantam n/a

2000-01 Peterborough Petes 63 19 30 49 23

2001-02 Peterborough Petes 5 4 5 9 2

OHL Totals 68 23 35 58 25

Wolves Embark on New Chapter

by Dorian Green
on


Wolves embark on new chapter

After ending a limited preseason schedule, (1-1-1), the Chicago Wolves prepare for their eight season on October 6th. It will, however, be their first season in the American Hockey League. The previous seven seasons were played in the, now defunct, International Hockey League which folded after 56 years where they won the Turner Cup championship twice (1998 and 2000). 5 other former IHL teams, (Utah, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, Manitoba, and Houston), are joining Chicago in the AHL. All of the IHL teams will form 1 division, except for Manitoba which will play in the Canadian division, though the bulk of their schedule will be against their former IHL counterparts.

Even though the majority of the Wolves roster will be coming from their parent club the Atlanta Thrashers, they will be returning at least 5 Wolves mainstays from their IHL
days. Joining, longtime Wolves Captain, Steve Maltais are, (forwards) Dan Plante and Rob Brown, and (defensemen) Bob Nardella and Dallas Eakins.

The Wolves have tradition of excellent goaltending, and this year will be no exception. The Thrashers have assigned (last years Turner Cup MVP) Norm Maracle to patrol
Chicago crease. The remainder of the roster will be announced within the next few days. One player that will not be heading for Chicago is Ilya Kovalchuk, the 6’2″ 210 pound left winger from Tyer, Russia. Kovalchuk became the 1st Russian ever to be picked number one in the 2001 NHL entry draft by the Atlanta Thrashers. Kovalchuk is being
ta Read more »

Stars Preseason Wrapup 2001-2002

by Keith Riskey
on

Stars Preseason Wrap-Up, 2001-2002

Preseason is officially over now, the roster has been pared down, and it looks like the Stars will begin the season with only

one new face — Finnish playmaker Niko Kapanen. The past few seasons, Stars fans have witnessed the development of

around one new player per season. Niko will be the first player to attempt that path this season.

Following preseason, among the last players to be returned to AHL affiliate Utah were John Erskine, Cameron

Mann, Marcus Kristofferson, Roman Lyashenko and Jon Sim. With final cuts, the Stars will begin the

season with the following roster of 23 players:

Centers: Mike Modano, Pierre Turgeon, Joe Nieuwendyk, Niko Kapanen, Kirk Muller (also LW), Shaun Van Allen
Right wingers: Jere Lehtinen (also LW), Donald Audette, Jamie Lagenbrunner, Pat Verbeek (also LW), Rob DiMaio
Left Wingers: Brenden Morrow, Jere Lehtinen (also RW), Pat Verbeek (also RW), Valeri Kamensky, Kirk Muller (also C), Benoit

Hogue
Defensemen: Sergei Zubov, Darryl Sydor, Derian Hatcher, Richard Matvichuk, Jyrki Lumme, Brad Lukowich, Sami Helenius
Goalies: Ed Belfour, Marty Turco
Read more »

Times are Wild in Minnesota

by Mike Wolf
on
On Saturday the Wild will begin their second season, with the promise of having some youth in the line-up and having more offensive power to go along with their strong defense. Having the worst offense last year, the Wild needed to make some changes, and they did. They traded for Sergei Zholtok and signed Andrew Brunette. These upgrades alone will not be enough, so the Wild are counting on rookies to make the team. These potential rookies include Pascal Dupuis, Kyle Wanvig, Nick Schultz, Tony Virta and Travis Roche. Of these players, Dupuis and Nick Shultz have stood out with Travis Roche not far behind. As of today Dupuis has made the team with his scoring ability and 2-way play and Nick Schultz, a 2nd round draft pick in 2000, should make the team with his strong play. However the Wild have too many defensemen in camp and there are some concerns on where Schultz should play. He is too good for juniors but maybe not ready for a whole season in the NHL at 19 years of age. Travis Roche is another young defenseman that should make the team with his steady play, but I think he will be sent to the minors because he can be sent to the minors, he will not be a victim of numbers.

With Andy Sutton moving to forward, that leaves Sekeras, Kuba, Mitchell, Benysek, Marshell and Bombadir as the Wild’s top 6 defensemen, with Brad Brown, Chris Joseph, Travis Roche, and Nick Schultz fighting for the 7th stop and 8th spot. Chris Joseph should go. He brings nothing to the Wild that they don’t already have and is old. He does not help the future. Travis Roche can be sent down to dev Read more »

London Knights Prospect Report

by Jason Ahrens
on


London Knights-Drafted and Soon to be Drafted Review

The London Knights currently have 5 players on their roster who have been NHL drafted, but one is currently back in Europe, deciding on his future in North America. Here is a look at these players as well as a few who will be drafted in the future.

Calle Aslund, an eighteen year old defenceman was drafted by Buffalo. He has played one game and then returned home to Sweden. He did not look out of place in that game, has good size and skating abilities, plays his man well and appeared to have some offensive upside. His return would greatly benefit the Knights, allowing them to move a defenceman for help up front.

Lubos Velebny is a nineteen year old defenceman who was drafted by Toronto. He is already among the Knights top 4 on defence and plays in all situations. He is a smooth skater, moves the puck well, has a hard shot, and has good size. In his own end, sometimes he tries to be a bit too fancy, preferring to make a deke or try a difficult pass rather than chipping out the puck. I don’t consider this too be a fault, but it will be something he will have to work on as he moves onto pro. He is already a vital cog on what is shaping up to be a lethal Knights power play. I would like to see him getting more shots through that are tippable, as he sometimes gets his shots up or has them blocked.

The Knights apparently have just signed his transfer papers with Slovakia, so he will be able to stay the entire year over here. This will probably mean the Knig Read more »

The Philadelphia Flyers’ European Blueprint

by Al Alven
on

Six players.

430 total games of NHL experience.

A world of potential. Literally.

A major part of the Philadelphia Flyers’ blueprint for success this season has been the addition of several high-profile European players. This season, no less than six such players are poised to play a major role with the team. Never before have so many non-North American-born players figured so prominently into the Flyers’ plans.

The list includes two holdovers from last season (Roman Cechmanek and Ruslan Fedotenko) and four
additional players acquired over the summer (Pavel Brendl, Jiri Dopita, Jan Hlavac and Kim Johnsson). Ranging from 20-year-old rookie prospect to 32-year-old NHL newcomer, this list of players is diverse and, in terms of NHL games played, relatively inexperienced.

Still, each of the six brings the potential for immeasurable value to the 2001-02 Flyers roster. This article will briefly profile each of these players and discuss their projected roles with the team.

Pavel Brendl

Originally pegged to start the season with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL, Brendl wasted no
time in proving where he really belongs. The 20-year-old Czech right wing stormed out of the game
in the preseason, scoring two goals his first game and never looking back. Brendl was not only a big surprise for the Flyers in training camp, he was arguably the team’s best player in several games. Playing mainly on a line with Jeremy Roenick and John LeClair in exhibition action, Brendl finished the preseason with nine points (three goals, Read more »

Kings Update

by Michael Harbison
on

The Kings head into the final two pre-season games
against Colorado with 28 players still up and five more to be cut. The most recent cuts claimed veteran minor league defensemen Brett Hauer and Jason Holland, veteran Rob Valicevic, tough guy Ryan Flinn and promising young defenseman Tomas Zizka who had a great pre-season and camp. Expect to see Zizka back up sometime this season, his puck skills were very evident in the pre-season, he has already passed up most of the young defenseman that have been in the system for a few years now, including Richard Seely and Joe Corvo.

Andreas Lilja has continued to be a disappointment,
an overage veteran drafted out of the Swedish Elite league in the 2nd round of the 2000 draft, Lilja has a nice set of wheels and can move the puck, but his head is not in the game enough and he has consistently taken stupid penalties this pre-season. Barring any injuries Lilja will be sent back to Manchester in the final cut.

In better news, winger Adam Mair has been outstanding
so far in the pre-season, displaying the grit and hard work he was known for during his junior days. Mair is in a dog fight with Steve Kelly, Scott Thomas and Randy
Robitaille for those final roster spots. Mair could be a contributor this year for the Kings, and would look great on a line with Ian Laperriere.

Rookie Jaroslav Bednar has recovered from an awful
start to the pre-season by picking up a couple of goals in his last two games, but more importantly than the goals, is the fact that Bednar doesn’t look out of place out there like he did earlier Read more »

Young Players Looking to Impress at NHL Level

by Mike Castor
on

This year’s Philadelphia Flyers Camp was the most competitive camp in the last 15 years. The youth shined in much of camp. The Flyers have a nice mix of toughness and skill in their prospects. Many of the veterans are finding themselves pushed for their jobs by younger players– if not right away, in the very near future.

There are not many open spots on the roster open as we speak, but it seems the young kids want to break into them, and a few have succeeded in doing so. The one thing that all the kids have shown is a willingness to compete and to learn how to play the game at the NHL level.

Even now that the season is about to start, Bill Barber will have many decisions to make. There are several ongoing roster battles. The battle for the 2nd and 3rd line wingers is very heated. The battle for the team’s enforcer is also a raging battle that will go on beyond the start of the season.

There is a great feel of anticipation to start the season. All of the players seem to enjoy working with Bill Barber and his coaching staff (Mike Stothers and E.J. McGuire). The players acquired in the off-season seem to be fitting in well.

A look follows at some of the younger players who have been fighting to make a name for themselves.

Pavel Brendl

Brendl has arguably been the big story at camp. The puck just seems to follow this kid and he has the hands of a surgeon. Even his much-maligned attitude seems vastly improved– at least for now. Brendl stated that he is willing to work on any part of his game that the staff indicates is Read more »

Pittsburgh Penguins Junior Prospect Update

by Erik Johnson
on


Forwards

Colby Armstrong, RW Red Deer (WHL)


Week: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 13 PIM
Season: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 13 PIM


Shane Endicott, C Seattle (WHL)

Week: DNP – With NHL Penguins
Season: 0 games


Steven Crampton, RW Moose Jaw (WHL)

Week: DNP – Injured
Season: 0 games


Michel Ouellet, RW Rimouski (QMJHL)

Week: 4 games, 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points, 4 PIM
Season: 4 games, 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points, 4 PIM


Defensemen

Drew Fata, D Toronto St Mike’s (OHL)


Week: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 9 PIM
Season: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 9 PIM


Alexandre Rouleau, D Val d’Or (QMJHL)

Week: 6 games, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, 10 PIM
Season: 6 games, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, 10 PIM


Goalies

Peter Hamerlik, G Kingston (OHL)


Week: 3 games, 119 min, 10 GA, 5.04 GAA, .867 SvPct
Season: 3 games, 119 min, 10 GA, 5.04 GAA, .867 SvPct


Brandon Crawford-West, G Texas (NAHL)

Week: 5 games, 262:36 min, 17 GA, 3.88 GAA, .864 SvPct Read more »

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