News & Features
A player comes along every now and then that captures the eye of scouts at a very young age. He is so superior to any of his peers that he is dominant in every aspect of the game. It’s not a matter of just having a size or skill advantage, or being brighter that the other players, but a blend of all of these gifts. This player brings such ability and leadership that teams are built around this individual. Jason Spezza was one of these players.
At a very young age, people could see Jason was something special. He had skill oozing out of his pores. Jason was a kid that had scouts salivating before he was more than a year into his teens. He played in the Ontario Hockey League for the Brampton Battalion one year before he was draft eligible, and lead that team in scoring at the tender age of fifteen. He ended up being drafted first overall in the 1999 OHL Priority player draft by the expansion Mississauga Ice Dogs. The Ice Dogs were ecstatic about getting Spezza, as this was a player that they could build a championship team around. In his first year with the Ice Dogs, Jason did not disappoint. He scored a respectable sixty-one points in a mere fifty-two games, leaving him second on the team to only Chad Wiseman. It should be noted that Wiseman did have an advantage of playing sixteen games more games than Spezza that season. The Ice Dogs only won nine games that year, but they had a player they could build a winner around.
The fall of 2000 took Jason back to Mississauga for the start of the season. The Ice Dogs were not a very good team and headin Read more »
After playing two completely different weekend series at home, the Denver University Pioneers should find themselves at the top of all the standings and polls in the NCAA. First a review of this weekends action versus Michigan Tech.
Game one: After an unbelievably physical series against Wisconsin, it would be easy for the Pioneers to take the 5-12-2 Huskies lightly. Kevin Doell scored the first goal early to let them know that this would not be the case. Soon after, defensemen James Armstrong pinched in deep and threw the puck behind him for an easy open net goal for Connor James. This game was tight checking and a bit slow at times.
In the second period, Greg Barber lifted his team to a 3-0 as he cleaned up the garbage in front of the net for a power play tally.
At Magness area, the scores from around the NCAA are only shown during the intermissions while the team is still in the locker room. DU sure came out looking like they knew that mighty St Cloud State had just been upset by last place Minnesota-Duluth. First place and a number one ranking was theirs for the taking if they could hold on to this game and win on Saturday.
Date: Jan 11, 2002 DU Vs. Mich Tech Score 3-1 DU
Scoring for DU:
1st:Kevin Doell PP (Greg Barber, Aaron MacKenzie) Read more »
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If a German fan were to hear the name Paul Weismann, he’d most likely ask,
HF: Hello Paul Weismann, how do you feel at your new University right
PW: Pretty good. My new competitors are very nice and I enjoy the daily
HF: You were in Germany over parts of the summer. What did you do there –
PW: Yes, I was in Germany for three Read more »
Saskatoon, SK: The 2002 Top Prospects Organizing Committee and the Canadian
Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster and former NHL and WHL star Kelly Hrudey’
Williams’ team will feature two members of Canada’s silver medal winning
Hrudey’s team will feature Rick Nash of the London Knights of the Ontario
The complete breakdown of the two teams’ rosters is listed below.
Virtually every player to perform Read more »
Effort good; results fair
The Albany River Rats played well in all three games this past week, but had only three points (one win; one overtime loss) to show for it.
On Wednesday, a valiant comeback effort (from down 3-0 at the second intermission) fizzled when goaltender Ari Ahonen misjudged a Quebec dump-in on a Citadelles? penalty-kill. He wound up clearing the puck to incoming Eric Landry and a Quebec short-handed goal resulted with less than five minutes to go, with a 4-2 Citadelles? victory margin going with it.
Marcel Hossa, Marian Hossa?s little brother, snared a pair of goals to give Quebec the lead. With a marker from Francis Belanger sandwiched in between Hossa?s goals, the Rats faced a 3-0 deficit after 40 minutes. Given recent history this season when in such a predicament after two periods (1-16-1 trailing after two), fans did not expect too much from the Rats.
The Albany River Rats made a good try. Mike Rupp popped in a rebound of a Max Birbraer shot. Two minutes later, Richard Rochefort polished off a rebound of a Joel Dezainde blast. Suddenly, with more than half the third period to go, the Rats only trailed by one and had momentum to boot.
But, a rare goaltending gaffe by Ari Ahonen sealed the Rats? fate. With Martti Jarventie in the box for tripping, Albany had a power play with five minutes remaining in regulation. The Citadelles dumped the puck in. Ahonen got it near the net, but misjudged the speed of incoming Eric Landry. Ahonen?s attempted clearing pass wound up right on Landry?s stick and a sho Read more »
The Canes added another veteran player to the blueline today as the WHL trade deadline came and went. Lethbridge swapped d-men with the WinterHawks trading youth for experience. The Hurricanes get 19-year- old Chris Callaway along with the Hawks first round Bantam pick in 2002. The 6 foot 1 inch Callaway has one goal in 12 games for the WinterHawks this season. Heading to the Hawks are 17-year-old rearguard Matt Fetzner and 15-year-old prospect C.J. Jackson.
The Canes were looking for some veteran d-men and feel they filled their needs by picking up Selthun last week and Callaway today.
So it looks like the Canes will head into the stretch drive with the following d-men; David Selthun, Brent Seabrook, Simon Ferguson, Clay Plume, Matt Bergen and the newly aquired Callaway. This leaves Tyrell Moulton on the outside looking in. He played on the wing of the fourth line yesterday against the Ice but once Kopecky and Green return expect him to be in the press box.
That’s it from Lethbridge.
Thrashers AHL prospects
After a two game scouting trip, Atlanta Thrasher writer Holly Gunning gives her observations on the club’s prospects playing for the Chicago Wolves (AHL).
Derek MacKenzie–Checking center, good along the boards. Will probably have to bide his time in the AHL for another full season, but could take Corkum’s spot if he his traded.
Ben Simon–Solid hitting checking center. Good penalty killer. Plays with a lot of emotion. Could get a chance with the Thrashers in 2002-2003, but another year in the AHL is more likely.
Dan Snyder–Good two-way centerman. Plays with a lot of passion. Projection is for another year in the AHL.
Brad Tapper (RW)–Speedy winger. Plays with an increasing edge. Has a reasonable chance of making the Thrashers roster to start 2002-2003.
J. P. Vigier (RW)-Offensively gifted player, who is also very responsible on D. Plays the point on the PP occasionally. Does not have a physical presence. Named to the 2002 AHL All-Star Team. Would have to beat out NHL players for a job, due to an abundance of scoring wingers.
Zdenek Blatny (LW)-Checking winger who is not terribly creative offensively. Good forechecker. Needs to work on decision-making. Not getting a lot of icetime with the Wolves. Another year of minors is in his future.
With their first pick of the 2nd round in the 2001 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres chose center Derek Roy of the Kitchener Rangers. It’s fairly certain that Buffalo was most interested in Derek’s offensive skills, a part of his game that has not disappointed during the 2001-02 season.
Roy is currently Kitchener’s leading scorer, having notched 46 points (22G, 24A) in 35 games. After having missed the playoffs the past couple of seasons, Derek and his Kitchener teammates are in the hunt for a playoff spot. A recent 11 game unbeaten streak pushed the Rangers towards the top of the OHL, where they are currently in a dogfight with the Erie Otters and the Guelph Storm in that league’s Midwest Division.
I had a chance to speak with Derek prior to Kitchener’s 1/5/02 game vs. division rival Erie. The following is a transcript of that conversation, with “HF” representing the interviewer and “DR” signifying Derek’s answers.
: Let’s start with the present. You guys are one of the hottest teams in the league, if not all of the CHL. What has kicked in for the team in the last 10 games that has made things go so much better for you?
: Pretty much everything has been clicking really well. We’ve got good goaltending from Scott Dickie and Matt Harpwood. We’re playing good defensively, and waiting for our opportunities. We’ve been bearing down on our opportunities, in which case we win games by one goal. So, those have been the big differences.
: I noticed you had a big game Read more »