While Buffalo’s prospect depth at the center position is somewhat weak, they are slightly more blessed with talent on the right side. While there is only one virtual lock to play in the NHL (Norm Milley), there are at least 2 (and maybe 3) other prospects who, should they play to their potential, will have a shot at making the Buffalo roster in the future.
Buffalo’s top prospect at right wing, Norm Milley, is currently in his first pro campaign as a member of the Rochester Americans. Although Norm has not exhibited the goal-scoring prowess that he displayed in the OHL, he has nonetheless been an effective player for Rochester. Norm is currently 5th in scoring for the Amerks, but, more importantly, his +/- ranking is currently a +2. First-year players often sport minus figures, so this is no small accomplishment for Norm.
Norm has proven to be a versatile player for Rochester, as he has spent time on both the power play and penalty killing units. Milley is an excellent skater, an asset that allows him to be solid on both the forecheck and backcheck. And, while Norm may be smaller in stature, he has nonetheless played with some feistiness. As far as Buffalo is concerned, Norm’s best asset might be his right-handed shot, a trait shared by exactly none of the Sabres’ current group of right wings.
Milley had an impressive training camp, and has progressed enough this year that he could land a spot on Buffalo’s roster next season. Given Buffalo’s Read more»
Playing on a hockey club that is struggling can be difficult and the Trail Smoke Eaters are currently in last place.The Smokies only have one rear guard over 18 years old. Despite this Brett Skinner is having a good year. Skinner plays heads up hockey. He’s not a speedster but but he has a smooth stride and skates well. Not a overly physical defenseman Skinner uses other skills to showcase his game. At 6-1 170 pounds, Skinner has room to fill out and the hitting will increase with maturity. This first year player has his head up and makes alot of smart passes, short ones, a touch of the puck at the last moment springing a teammate free. Skinner seems to be able to find the guy on his club who is skating with a short solid pass not someone who is standing still. These type of passes are important in getting the biscuit out of your own end of the ice. This 17-year-old from Brandon, Manitoba had plenty of ice time including the power play. Currently,Skinner is third on the Smokies in points with 8G 23A in 54 games. Add in 37 penalty minutes and you have pretty impressive numbers for a 17-year-old, first year player in any junior league. This defenseman is smart, a player with good vision and good skills. If the Smokies can keep this player and the rest of this young group of d-men together they could make some noise in the future.Honorable mention to both goalies on this club, especially Isaac Reichmuth who played a good game in a 4-0 loss Feb. 16th against the Prince George Spruce Kings.
In other news the NOJHA defeats the BCHL 6-2 in Sault Ste. Marie. M Read more»
A Louisville First – Defenseman Brad Ference Named Sher-Wood’s Player of the Week
Interview by: Jennifer McCarty
“Live and learn” could be Brad Ference’s motto. It’s no secret, Brad Ference has had his ups and downs this season. From a broken jaw at the beginning of the season, until this week’s Player of the Week award, it’s been a rough road. I got the opportunity to interview Ference this week on his views of the season up until now. The highs and lows tend to come at you when you least expect it and for this defenseman, he knows first hand.
Ference currently leads Louisville defensemen in point scoring with two goals, 14 assists for 16 points.
Who, on the farm we audition?
As Alpo hopes for new actors in his theatre company, and Mike Smith runs out of players of any real trade value, now is when the Hawks will be evaluating just who might possibly help the team until the Mike Smith drafts are ready for their auditions.
Picked in the 1995 draft, defensemen Marty Wilford, and forward Casey Hankinson remain Hawk property and play as minor pros. Hankinson, presently playing in Hampton Roads, shows average scoring ability and steady defensive play possibly penciled in as a 4th liner. At present, the Blackhawk major league club has almost three lines of the same.
Wilford, also drafted as a Chicago Cub pitcher, is a chunky six footer who has played well on the minor pro level, but is probably not quick enough for the present pro game.
Geoff Peters and Jeff Paul are all that remains from the 1996 draft where the Hawks traded their first round pick for two numbers twos, the third being the departed Remi Royer. San Jose picked Marco Sturm with the #1 and has never looked back.
Geoff Peters produces good all around play and could project as the next Chris Herpinger, a utility forward who always plays hard and does many things decently. And he fits the Chicago salary structure.
Jeff Paul has not shown enough progress to expect him playing in Chicago at this time. The smaller Hawk defensemen are better transition players and it is clear the Alpo system is “transition is much more important than transgression.”
At present, Kyle Calder has be the most intriguing of the class of 1997. An un Read more»
Stats from the new top german junior-league DNL
(A junior league for the over ’83-born players) – Stats updated: February, 17th
1. SC Riessersee – 31 GP, 163:85 goals, 52 pts.
2. Mannheimer ERC – 29 GP, 149:73 goals, 47 pts.
3. Neue Eisbären Berlin – 32 GP, 107:89 goals, 39 pts.
4. Berlin Capitals – 30 GP, 123:118 goals, 30 pts.
5. Star Bulls Rosenheim – 31 GP, 149:127 goals, 30 pts.
6. Kölner EC – 27 GP, 120:109 goals, 25 pts.
7. EV Landshut – 31 GP, 111:143 goals, 25 pts.
8. Krefelder EV – 29 GP, 101:128 goals, 23 pts.
9. ES Weißwasser – 30 GP, 121:155, 21 pts.
10. Frankfurter ESC – 29 GP, 113:175 goals, 19 pts.
11. Augsburger EV – 29 GP, 94:149 goals, 17 pts.
Pos. / Player / Team / Born / Games played / Goals / Assists / Points
1. Marian Rohatsch (Rosenheim, 15-06-83) 30 GP, 22 G, 34 A, 56 PTS
2. Christoph Melischko (Riessersee, 25-07-83) 31 GP, 34 G, 21 A, 55 PTS
3. Danny Albrecht (Weißwasser, 17-01-85) 30 GP, 20 G, 34 A, 54 PTS
4. Markus Zappe (Mannheim, 22-06-83) 26 GP, 24 G, 29 A, 53 PTS
5. Stephan Gottwald (Rosenheim, 20-09-83) 28 GP, 33 G, 17 A, 50 PTS
6. Alexander Kanellopulos (Capitals, 11-02-84) 30 GP, 29 G, 21 A, 50 PTS
7. Frank Bertele (Augsburg, 28-03-83) 26 GP, 27 G, 22 A, 49 PTS
8. Yannic Seidenberg (Mannheim, 11-01-84) 27 GP, 13 G, 35 A, 48 PTS Read more»