558 miles to Kimberley, BC, the training camp home of the Portland Winterhawks, from Portland, OR was every bit worth the effort. My travel woes aside, here’s the latest on the Portland Winterhawks and their new breed of NHL prospects.
Impact players for 1999-2000:
Blake Robson (Center, 6’0″, 185lbs) – Blake is playing with a confidence that I only saw a glimmer of last year. He is playing bigger and is definitely a step ahead of the rest of the camp. He’s going to be the offensive leader this year, and already has one tournament under his belt. Blake was selected to Team Canada’s World Under 18 Team and brought home the gold medal playing in a tournament featuring the best 17 year olds from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, USA and Canada. I asked Blake if he thought he would be expected to be a leader this year, “yes, but Kiesman and Walker will also be looked to for leadership.” When asked about some of the new guys, Robson responded, “I don’t know many of them yet, but there’s a big kid from California who everyone’s talking about.” (That big kid is Eric Bowen from Canoga Park, CA, he’s huge and is opening a lot of eyes at this training camp). I asked Blake about playing for second year coach Harold Snepts, “He’s definitely a lot more comfortable this year and with Willy as assistant it’s a great combo to play for. They know a lot about hockey.” Blake Robson will be a top performer in the WHL this year, and he has a bright future to look forward to. Read more»
Thank you to our correspondent Sarah Lindenau, who is attending camp in Traverse City and continues to provide us with valuable prospect information.
Team B vs. Team D
Final Score: 7-1 for Team B
Team B Notes
Team B features regulars Kozlov, Holmstrom, Maltby and Dandenault.
Team B features prospects Jesse Wallin, Ryan Barnes, John Wikstrom and Jake McCracken.
Scoring: Kozlov (2g, 3a), Rodgers (1g, 3a), Avery (1g, 1a), Holmstrom, Maltby and Harkins.
The top line featured Harkins centering Maltby and Holmstrom.
Sean Avery centered Kozlov and Marc Rodgers.
Wikstrom was again paired with Dandenault on the blue line.
Manny Legace was tremendous, playing aggressively and displaying excellent flexibilty.
Golubovsky worked hard and played well. Despite the occasional lapse, he is definitely in contention with Fischer and Wallin for a regular spot in Detroit.
Avery displayed good skills, aggressiveness, heart, and desire.
Wallin was again impressive and appears to be locking up a roster spot in Detroit.
McCracken redeemed himself in goal somewhat, although he still requires further development.
Team D Notes
Team D features regulars Murphy, Duchesne, Wregget, Draper, Roest and Kocur.
Team D features prospects Philippe Audet, Aren Miller, Jeremy Goetzinger, and contract hopefuls Randy Burridge and Sandy Moger.
Scoring: J.J. Hunter (Duchesne, Murphy)
The top line was Draper centering Burridge and Kocur. Read more»
It was a weak game by Karpat, and the stronger team showed how to play. Karpat Didn’t skate at all, although they are a faster team than HIFK. Anyway, HIFK had at least 15 great scoring chances, including five or so breakaways, so there was no doubt which was the better team on the ice today. Karpat-defense was simply pathetic. Even on the power-play, HIFK had three consecutive 2 on 1 attacks. With a little more accuracy, HIFK could have easily scored over ten goals, especially because Antti Kangas on Karpat-net Wasn’t playing well either.
It is Time for the Flyers to Produce from Within
A HF’s look at the prospects in Philadelphia by John A. D’Amico
Losing in the first round of the NHL playoffs in consecutive years is bad enough. But doing it while spending enough money to dwarf the gross national product of a small European country makes it that much worse. Flyers GM Bobby Clarke has tried to build a winner by buying the priciest free agents that the sport had to offer. Unfortunately for Clarke, a bloated price tag does not assure success. And unfortunately for the Flyers season ticketholders, (after taking the gaspipe in back to back playoff years), all they have to show for their ticket buying dollar is a rather substantial price hike for their seats.
A concerted effort to build from within is now a priority for Clarke and it looks as though he does have some nice talent on the way up. This crop of prospects could be the best group that the Flyers have had stabled since the early eighties when Hextall, Tocchet, Zezel and Smith danced their way on to Broad Street to carry the team to two NHL Finals later in the decade.
1999 New York Rangers Training Camp Roster and Reserve Roster has been announced. This list is as of September 8,1999. Some changes have already been made and squads split into groups run by Coach John Muckler(NYR), Bob Crocker(NYR Scout) and John Paddock(Hartford-AHL). Rangers training camp roster/reserve list:
Milan Hnilicka-Sparta Praha (Czech)
Jean-Francois Labbe-Hartford (AHL)
Kirk McLean-Florida (NHL)
Mike Richter- N.Y. Rangers (NHL)
Alexander Korobolin-Mechel (Russia)
Johan Asplund- Gavle (Sweden)
NOTES: Jeff Heil and Jason Labarbera have been assigned to John Paddock and look to start the season in Hartford(AHL). Also it is expected that J.F.Labbe and Milan Hnilinka will join Paddock`s Hartford Wolf Pack.
Terry Virtue- Providence (AHL)
Brian Leetch- N.Y. Rangers (NHL)
Patrick Aufiero-Boston Univ. (HE)
Arto Laatikainen-Espoo (Finland)
Alexei Vasiliev- Hartford (AHL)
Mathieu Schneider- N.Y. Rangers (NHL)
Tomas Kloucek-Cape Breton (QMJHL)
Stephane Quintal-Montreal (NHL)
Mario Joly Hull- (QMJHL)
Rumun Ndur-NY.Rangers(NHL)**NOT IN CAMP**
Jeff Brown-Charlotte (ECHL)
Sylvain Lefebvre-Colorado (NHL)
Jason Doig-Springfield-Hartford (AHL) Read more»