With OHL training camps set to open up this week now would be the perfect time to take a closer look at the upcoming OHL season. Let’s start by taking a look at the Western Conference and, more specifically, the West Division.
Go-to-guys: Josef Vasicek had a fairly good rookie season and will likely improve on his totals from last season. Cory Pecker, after missing most of the 1997-98 season with Chron’s Disease, had a breakthrough season last year and will be looked to for more of the same. He will be a key in the Greyhounds success.
Key Departures: Chad Cavanagh scored 40 goals last season despite going into a scoring slump late in the year. Adam Nittel’s 18 goals and 336 penalty minutes will also be missed.
Breaking Through: After scoring just three goals and 10 points in his rookie season Tim Zafiris is starting to realize his offensive potential and could hit the 20 goal mark this season.
Newcomers To Watch: First-round draft pick Trevor Daley will be playing on a very experienced Greyhound blueline, but will get every chance to prove that he can play at the OHL level. Veteran winger Brent Theobald, acquired from the Mississauga IceDogs, will provide the Greyhounds with veteran leadership.
Go-to-guys: Rico Fata will be looked to for offense if he doesn’t crack the Calgary Flames lineup. Jay Legault and Tom Kostopoulos will also be looked to if they are brought back as overage players. Read more»
It is hard to believe that the opening of Boston Bruins Training Camp ’99 is less than 10 days away, but the summer has indeed flown by and this year’s annual camp and pre-season promises to be an interesting one for head coach Pat Burns, as the Bruins have added a lot of new faces to their system, to complement the talented nucleus of youngsters that led the Providence Bruins to the AHL’s 1999 Calder Cup Championship. Here is a look at what prospects are in and out, and which players you’ll probably see wearing the spoked B during the season.
Who’s In(New to organization):
Jeff Zehr LW(FA), Nick Boynton D(1-99), Matt Zultek LW(2-99), Mikko Eloranta C/LW(9-99), Joe Hulbig LW(FA), Vratislav Cech D(FA), Sean Pronger C(FA), Kay Whitmore G(FA)
Randy Robitaille(Nashville), Jim Baxter(Carolina), Bob Prier(Ottawa), Paxton Schafer, Matt Alvey, Terry Virtue(Rangers), Chris Taylor(Buffalo)
After winning its arbitration case with Denny Lambert earlier this month, Nashville opted to avoid any morale problems with the veteran forward by trading him to the Atlanta Thrashers for 23 year-old prospect Randy Robitaille. Lambert sought a one-year deal worth $700,000, but was awarded only $465,000 by an arbitrator. The disparity between Lambert’s asking price and the final value of the contract was a definite factor in general manager Dave Poile’s decision to make the trade. But the deal was also an effort to address Nashville’s need for scoring.
Robitaille has proven that he can score at the professional level, compiling 43 goals and 103 assists during the past two seasons with Providence of the American Hockey League. He was originally signed as a free agent by the Boston Bruins in the spring of 1997, after completing his sophomore year at Miami University in Ohio. Robitaille earned CCHA All-Rookie honors during his freshman year, when he posted 14 goals, 31 assists and 45 points in 36 games. As a sophomore, he increased his output to 27 goals, 34 assists and 61 points in 39 games. His performance earned him CCHA All-Star first team honors and selection to the NCAA All-American West first team.
June 30, 1999 Washington does not pick up the option on the following copntracts: Mike Rosati G, Kelly Miller RW, Brian Bellows RW.
July 7, 1999 Signed D/LW Mike Siklenka, the team’s fifth-round pick (118th overall) in 1998.
August 9, 1999 Signed D Jamie Huscroft, as a free agent.
August 18, 1999 Traded Beniot Gratton C to Calgary for D Steve Shirreffs.
August 19, 1999 Washington resigns G Martin Brochu.
Washington Capital Top 25 Prospects:
rank name (position) size age (DOB) 98-99 location
1. Kris Beach – C 6-2 178 18 (2/5/81) Calgary (WHL)
2. Alexei Tezikov – D 6-1 197 21 (3/2/78) Rochester (AHL) /
3. Scott Swanson – D 6-2 190 24 (2/22/75) Colorado College (WCHA)
4. Nolan Baumgartner – D 6-1 200 23 (3/23/76) Portland (AHL)
5. Matt Herr – LW 6-1 180 23 (5/26/99) Portland (AHL)
6. Michal Sivek – C 6-3 209 18 (1/28/81) Trenic (Czech Rep.)
7. Charlie Stephens – C/RW 6-3 229 18 (4/5/81) Guelph (OHL)
8. Mike Siklenka – D/LW 6-4 215 19 (12/18/79) Seattle (WHL)
9. Curtis Cruickshank – G 6-2 209 20 (3/21/79) Kingston / Sarina (OHL)
10. J-F Fortin – D 6-2 190 20 (3/15/79) Sherbrooke (QMJHL)
11. Ratislav Stana – G 6-1 161 19 (n/a) Moose Jaw (WHL)
12. Patrick Bolieau – D 6-0 190 23 (2/25/76) Indianapolis (IHL) Read more»
Local draftee Jordan Fox aims for a spot on the Battalion blueline
Like most endeavours, playing major junior hockey in your hometown has its advantages and disadvantages.
On the plus side, a player can live at home, possibly attend their regular high school and play their home games in front of an appreciative crowd of family and friends. On the other hand, all the distractions that come with playing in front of all those family and friends can undermine a player’s performance and the benefits of playing and living in another city are not always fully realized.
Brampton native Jordan Fox is looking forward to earning the opportunity to play in front of his hometown supporters. The 17-year-old, 6’1″, 205-pound defenseman was a 12th round draft choice (236th overall) of the Brampton Battalion in June’s OHL Draft. Fox, who spent part of last season patrolling the blueline for the Junior A Brampton Capitals, will be heading next week to the Battalion training camp, which is being held from September 1-5 at the Brampton Centre. Fox is the fourth local player selected by the Battalion. Last year the team picked local products Ryan Leard and Chris Garnham and this year, in addition to Fox, also selected Brampton midget winger Justin Myler in the 14th round.