The Brampton Battalion’s two Jays – Jay Harrison and Jay McClement, earned invitations to the 2002 Canadian Junior Team selection camp to be held at York University’s Beatrice Ice Gardens in Toronto from December 10th to 17th. The two OHL veterans are hoping to join their coach, Stan Butler, to the Czech Republic to help Canada reclaim the gold medal that has eluded them since 1997.
Harrison (Toronto, 3rd round 2001), vying for a spot on the team for the second consecutive year, is a fourth-year defenseman enjoying his best offensive season thus far in 2001-02. With five goals and 13 assists in 26 games thus far, he has already reached a personal high in goals for a season and is two away from his personal best in points.
Harrison saw little ice time as the 7th defenseman on the Canadian team that won bronze in Moscow last year, but gained valuable experience and hopes to use that to his advantage during the selection camp and during the tournament. While his offensive numbers are relatively impressive this season, Harrison’s real and natural strengths are found in his own end. If he does in fact make the team, Harrison’s defensive abilities will likely see him called on to kill important penalties and to neutralize some of the opposition’s top marksmen.
However, despite his extensive experience in international play (he also played in the 1999 World Under-18 tournament, earning top defenceman honours) and his presence on last year’s National Junior Team roster, Harrison is no lock to make this year’s squad. Besides the fact that names like Bouwmees Read more»
Jackets CHL PROSPECT UPDATE
Western Hockey League
Shane Bendera – G – Red Deer Rebels
Shane Bendera was one of two Columubs goaltending prospects to be named to Canada’s World Junior Tryout for the 2002 World Junior Championships. And why not? The tale of the tape shows that Bendera definitely deserves to take the trip to not only the camp, but to the Czech Republic as well. Bendera has posted an impressive 11-3-3 record, registering a 2.03 GAA and a .926 GAA. Bendera leads the WHL in both statistical categories, and is 4th in the league in wins, only 4 back of the leader, despite playing 8 fewer games.
Ben Knopp – RW – Moose Jaw Warriors
When I see the statistics on the season Ben Knopp is having, I get discouraged with his progress. He’s managed 17 goals in 29 games, adding 12 assists as well (17-12-29). However, a trip to the +/- column quickly shows that Knopp is still a one-dimension player. His –12 is second worst on the team, and is easily the most disgusting stat on the team considering Knopps offensive production. He’s been much more of a liability on the ice than he should be, and needs to desperately work on defensive zone play.
Kiel McLeod – C – Kelowna Rockets
McLeod has began to have the season the Blue Jackets organization has hoped he will. Although he sits fourth in team scoring with 9 goals and 22 points (9-13-22), he’s second on the team in Points Per Game with 1.22, behind only Calgary superprospect Chuck Kobasew. McLeod i Read more»
After interviewing Raffi Torres and Juraj Kolnik, the Islanders staff still hadn’t thrown me out so I decided to get one more interview in. I had a chance to sit down with soft-spoken, first-year Swedish defender Dick Tarnstrom. Tarnstrom has the distinction of being the only player in the Islander organization not drafted or traded for by Mike Milbury. Here’s what the big Swede had to say when I caught up with after practice.
Hockey’s Future: What do you consider yourself, more of an offensive or defensive defenseman?
Dick Tarnstrom: I like to play a little of both, but I guess I’m more of a defensive defenseman.
HF: What’s it like being paired with Roman Hamrlik compared to Eric Cairns?
DT: It doesn’t really matter who you play with, you have to be responsible (on the ice), but they are both great to play with.
HF: Was it easier coming over (to the NHL) being that you are a little older? Was it an easier adjustment?
DT: I’ve had experience with the (Swedish) National Team and playing in Sweden, so yes, its been a little easier (adjusting).
HF: Does it help having fellow Swedes, like Mats Lindgren and Kenny Jonsson on the team with you?
DT: Yeah, they’re both good guys and I’ve played in the World Juniors with them.
HF: How has Chris Osgood helped the defense? Read more»
When the East Coast Hockey League subsided after a decade in Norfolk. The romance seemed to be over for the Hampton Roads fans and for the region. The golden years of ECHL hockey found a resting place in the pages of history. However, a new chapter with the American Hockey League sculpted a new beginning—not only for the local hockey connoisseurs but also for winger bruiser Aaron Downey.
Last season marked the first year of the AHL Norfolk Admirals and the return of former Hampton Roads Admiral (ECHL) (career total of 20 (G) 19 (A) 39 (PTS) 693 (P.I.M)) from a five-year absence. After his shift with the Hampton Roads Admirals, the Ontario native’s luggage spent a majority of time in Providence (Boston Bruins). Years later, Downey found himself back in Norfolk where it all began. Last season, the Norfolk Admirals opened its doors for the first time and needed an old fan favorite with a big presence on the ice. General Manager Al MacIsaac (Norfolk) insisted that Aaron have a homecoming and Chicago’s Mike Smith signed him as a free agent last August. The right wing recorded a career high in assists (15) and sealed last season with 6 (G) 15 (A) 21 (Pts) 234 (P.I M.). Yet, Chicago had other plans.
With Chicago’s anorexic start last season, morale needed to be fattened on the bench. Noted for his presence in the locker room, Norfolk’s former team captain caught the attention of Mike Smith. And in turn, Chicago sent Downey a ticket last season. Consequently, the ticket was a round trip, but his leadership already made an impression on the Hawks inner circl Read more»