Name: Jeff Whitfield
Team: Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHA)
Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Weight: 200 lbs
Many of you may remember a feature that I did around mid-October about
young defenseman Jeff Whitfield of the Soo Thunderbirds. Well, I’m back
to give you a report on his progress since then.
Whitfield has shown some steady improvement since the start of the
season, especially in the last month or so. The improvement has come
more in his defensive game than his offensive game, but both have
I believe one of the reasons for the improvement in Whitfield’s play
has to be the increase in confidence shown by Thunderbird head coach Jim
Capy. Capy has been giving the young defenseman a slight increase in ice
time and he plays in many different situations. Where some coaches may
hold their youngsters on the bench during a penalty kill or in the 3rd
period of a tight game, Capy does use Whitfield in some of those
situations. That increase in ice time from Capy also helps boost the
confidence of Whitfield.
I mentioned in my previous article that Whitfield had a short fuse.
Well, he is no longer letting his temper, and opponents, get the best of
him. This has helped Whitfield in the sense that he is on the ice more
working on his skills.
Whitfield needs to improve his upper body strength, but considering he
is so young that should come with some time as he still has time to fill
out. At. 6’2″ and 200 lbs it’s scary to think that Whi Read more»
Vitali Yeremeyev, the 25 year old goalie from Kazakhstan, has had a superb first season in North America. He started the year in the ECHL, then moved up to the AHL and was dominant there, and now he finds himself in the NHL wearing a 3rd different jersey this season.
Yeremeyev’s NHL debut came a few weeks ago as he relieved Kirk McLean in a 4-3 loss against the Hurricanes. But Yeremeyev got his first chance to start a game yesterday when goalie Mike Richter was unable to go because he had fluid drained from his surgically repaired knee a few days earlier. The game wasn’t a memorable one for Yeremeyev, as the Rangers put forth one of their worst efforts of the season in a 4-1 loss to the Bruins at the FleetCenter.
It all started 33 seconds into the game when Bill Guerin took an innocent shot from the sideboards that Yeremeyev deflected away with his stick, but the puck hit off Brian Leetch in front and trickled right back into the net. Since Yeremeyev doesn’t speak English, the lack of communication showed. Guerin scored another one, this time 13:49 into the 1st period. Guerin was allowed to stand right in front of the goalie and tap in a pass from behind the net to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. The Rangers defense just stood there and didn’t even make an attempt to knock Guerin down or not give him position. Radek Dvorak was able to put the Rangers on the board when he scored 17 seconds into 2nd period. But with the Rangers on the power play a few minutes later, the Bruins were able to score again. The third goal was another mista Read more»
Nr. 1 Marcel Goc
A 17-year-old center from the Schwenninger Wild Wings. He has more talent than his older brother Sascha Goc, who played this season 11-times for the New Jersey Devils in the NHL. The biggest german talent ever..?!Has his big breakthrough this season.
Stats: Schwenningen / DEL 36-8-19-27-8
(Marks: Team / League GP-Goals-Assists-Points-PIM)
Nr. 2 Thomas Greilinger
The second talent from Schwenningen. Thomas, a 19-year-old Left Wing, shots last year over 50 goals in the third german league and scored 9 points in 8 games during the B-Worldchampionship 2000 with the pros, where he was germans top-scorer. A Power-Play-Specialist and a very quick skater.
Stats: Schwenningen / DEL 32-5-9-14-12
Nr. 3 Christian Ehrhoff
Last years best defender in the 3rd german league plays a surprising season, scores and scores and scores… . With his “Coast-to-Coast”-Stile he excited the viewers. Also the jury named him the best defender during the B-Junior-U20-Worldchampionship.
Stats: Krefeld / DEL 36-2-10-12-59
Nr. 4 Christoph Schubert
Playing for the DEL-Champion Munich, he body-checks every player he wants. A hard defender with many offensive skills scored 14goals in 11games in his last junior season. A talent like Sascha Goc, who takes his chance in a DEL-team, but he plays harder and have no fear.
Stats: München / DEL 34-4-3-7-46
Nr. 5 Dimitri Pätzold Read more»
Welcome Fans. Please meet the Rangers top 30 prospects…
1. Pavel Brendl - Premier goal scorer who is a superstar in the making. Arguably the current best prospect in the NHL, Brendl flashed his talents on the World stage, leading the Czech Republic to the gold medal in the 2001 World Junior Championships with 4 goals and 6 assists in 7 games.
2. Mike Mottau - Surefire future top 3 defenseman in the NHL. Is currently rounding out his game in Hartford. An offensive-minded defenseman who loves to hit and play physical and a future power play Quarterback.
3. Jamie Lundmark - A hardworking, high-scoring center. Lundmark was traded to Seattle of the WHL early in the season and has turned that whole entire team around and now they are on their way to becoming legitimate playoff contenders. A future captain in the NHL, Lundmark plays with a lot of heart and has a great work ethic.
4. Johan Holmqvist - Although Vitali Yeremeyev has been the most surprising Rangers goalie prospect this year, the future still remains in the hands of Holmqvist. He’s only 22 and is having a very solid year in Hartford of the AHL.
5. Tomas Kloucek - Currently playing in the NHL with the Rangers, Tomas has a bright future ahead of him. A future top 4 defenseman, Kloucek plays a steady stay-at-home defensive game and very rarely makes a mistake on the ice. Brian Leetch was quoted as saying about Kloucek, “He’s going to be one heck of a hockey player.”
6. Jason Labarbera - Don’t let the numbers fool you. Labarbera has playe Read more»