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I recently had a chance to speak with future top draft choice Scott Hartnell of the Prince Albert Raiders. He’s a good kid with a smart head on his shoulders. You know this kid is going far in the league just by talking to him.
To watch this kid play is what it must have been like to watch Trevor Linden, Dale Hunter, or even Rod Brind’amour play at this age. He’s got the skills, desire, and the leadership to be just as dominating as those three. It is obvious that what ever team drafts him in Calgary, on June 24, is going to be in for a real treat. This is the interview with Scott Hartnell.
Scott: I don’t really try to think about it when I’m on the ice. You just go out and play your game the way you’ve been playing it for the past 10-15 years. Don’t try to change anything, just go out and play your style of hockey and that’s all you can ask for.
HF: Some people say that you are a good potential power forward, but they say your offensive upside isn’t as good as some of the other top ranked prospects. How would you comment on that?
Scott: I don’t really try and think about it. I just try to block it out of my head and do the best I can out there. I’m not very offensive like some of the other draft prospects, that’s pretty obvious through my numbers. I just go out there and score if I can and just do what I can do out there.
HF: So would you say that’s an unfair statement?
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When asked who has had the most influence in his career so far, Curtis replied, “I think that the biggest help that I have gotten is from my Junior Coach. I wasn’t expected to play my first year in juniors and everybody was asking him why he kept me here. He gave me a chance to play and he said just wait, he’ll prosper and be effective. He kept playing me and giving me that opportunity. He always helped by giving me extra things after practice. His name is Kevin Dickie and he is now coaching out in the Maritimes at Arcadia University. He’s probably been the biggest reason for my career going as far as it has actually. Coach Dickie helped me along the way to be a better person on and off the ice.”
Coach Dickie’s impression of Curtis: “I’ve coached some great kids over the last 13 years, but none greater than Curtis in terms of a pleasure to be around and an athlete. If there is one guy who’s got to where he is, both because he deserves it, and because he has scraped and clawed and worked so hard to be the player that he is, it is Curtis. He exemplifies a lot of the positive characteristics that you look for in a player. He’s a great kid and I’m real happy for him.”
IHL TEAM STATISTICS
Kansas City Blades
years with the Michigan Wolverines in the CCHA. Van Ryn has made a very
smooth transition from the NCAA to the OHL. I had the opportunity to sit down
with Mike and ask him a few questions.
HF: What were the differences between the OHL and the NCAA?
Van Ryn: “There are a lot of differences. Mostly it’s just how the game is
from playoff contention, the fourteen remaining teams start a playoff odyssey that will culminate in one of them making the trip to Halifax for the
Memorial Cup some ten weeks from now. That being said it is now time for all pucksters, pundits and fans alike to enjoy what has become an
annual event by the ‘Fan – Playoff Predictions.
through six but also a sizeable discrepancy in caliber in comparison to the Eastern Conference clubs. In theory that should make predicting the
winners of the first round of series’ that much easy right? Yeah, just as easy as picking the ‘Lotto’ numbers every week.
Spokane vs. Tri-Cities. If you were looking for a first round upset in the West then this series won’t be it. Most of the season I have thought
Grand Rapids forward Kevin Miller was re-assigned to the Griffins by the Ottawa Senators last week and came back with a vengeance.
Associations Season begins it`s final phase tonite with Valerenga of Oslo
taking on Storhamar of Hamar for the National Title. Valerenga knocked off
upstart Frisk-Asker, coached by Serge Boisvert (Canada)… In the other
semi-final series, Storhamar knocked off Trondheim IHK to earn their shot at
the title. Valerenga is the favorite to win the title and repeat as
champions and are lead by former Swedish National Team goalkeeper Åke
Lørenskog will remain in the Elite Series as well. Aker-Majorstua closed out
their season with a 6-7-1 in conference record much in thanks to Radek Vbor
who registered 25 points over the final 5 games. Aker rebounded from a
horrendous 1998-99 lead by their American coach E.Andriopoulos. Aker looks
to be a more physical North American side next season and those interested
please email this author.
the World Junior B tourney in Riga, Latvia. Norway will play Japan, Denmark
and Italy in the tourney and hopes to return to JR A`s for the 2001 tourney.
It has been a good year for the Brampton Battalion. After a frustrating, but promising inaugural season in 1998/1999, Brampton has improved significantly in their 2nd OHL campaign.
It hasn’t been easy … some would argue that the team’s success was not predictable by any means. In the off season, Brampton lost its leading scorer during the 1998/1999 season (rookie phenomenon Jason Spezza) to the Mississauga Ice Dogs in the OHL priority selection. Spezza was only 15 while playing for Brampton.
Lack of support at home games can have a negative impact on a team. This is also where Brampton has been suffering. Even though Brampton is a city with a population of well over 200,000 people, the Battalion are having trouble filling the stands, owning one of the worst attendance records in the league.
Still, the Battalion overcame the odds and have made the OHL playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The change in the team from its 1st to 2nd year is obvious. The players have matured, improving not only individually, but as a team as well. The rookies on the squad have also played a big part in the Battalions 2nd year success. Brampton’s turn around has not gone unnoticed. The Battalion have 8 players mid season ranked for the NHL entry draft in June, two of which are ranked in the top 10.
Here’s a look at Bramptons top 5 prospects for the 2000 NHL entry draft: