Rene Bourque has remained a constant bright spot during what is becoming a disappointing season for the St. Albert Saints.
This past September Bourque, only 17 years of age, had to make the difficult decision between going the Major Junior route-he was very impressive while trying out for the Saskatoon Blades-or the US College Hockey route. Bourque chose the latter and so far has not regretted the decision.
“It was a tough decision but school-wise and for hockey I wanted to come here. I think there would be less pressure here and I would have a lot more fun,” Bourque told Jeff Hansen of the St. Albert Gazette.
Bourque is a visionary on the ice. He seems to have a knack for seeing everything that happens around him. His hockey sense is incredible. Because he has decided to go the college route, he will not be opting into the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. If he continues with his progress, however, he could easily go in the first round in 2001 pending a solid freshman year.
“Rene is one of those players that comes around every once in a while. He has good size and great skating ability and is good with the puck. I’d compare him to Jamie Lundmark,” said Saints’ general manager Marcel Viveiros. High praise considering that some say Lundmark-a former St. Albert Saint-just might end up being the best player from the 1999 Entry Draft in the long run.
Bourque’s goals are modest, however, given the high expectations that surround him.
The Carolina Hurricanes franchise had nine first round picks from 1990 to 1999. Here is a look at who was picked by the Whalers and Hurricanes and where they ended up.
1990 Mark Greig was chosen 15th by the Whalers
1991 The Hartford Whalers picked ninth and chose Patrick Poulin
1992 Robert Petrovicky was chosen number 9 for Hartford
1993 The Whalers chose Chris Pronger with the number 2 pick
1994 Jeff O’Neill was the number 5 pick by Hartford
1995 The Hartford Whalers chose Jean-Sebastien Giguere 13th
1996 No pick in first round
1997 With the 22nd pick of the draft, the Canes selected Nikos Tselios.
1998 Selecting number 11, Carolina picked Jeff Heerema.
1999 The Hurricanes selected David Tanabe 16th.
Who is still with the organization. Read more»
The Vancouver Canucks wrapped the show up last night against the Panthers with an excellent win of 3 – 2. Let’s all add another point to Schaefers list of assists. He assisted in Messiers goal as the Canucks triumphed last night over the Panthers.
Coming into the season Peter wasn’t believed to be a candidate for Rookie of the year, however with the absence of Jovo-Cop and Aucoin he was given an opportunity on the power play at the point, which was occupied by Aucoin previously. Now, he took this opportunity and now has himself listed as the NHL’s leading rookie scorer and just finished October as the Rookie of the month. Not bad for the native of Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan.
The Brandon Wheat Kings year after year seem to find a way to the medical ward. Injuries have been the story every season for the Wheat Kings and this year is no exception. As of this date Dan Tetrault has a groin problem, others on the shelf include Brett Thurston with a shoulder problem. Wade Skolney has an injured back; Richard Mueller has yet another concussion and Jamie Hodson is still laid up until late November from his knee problems. J.D. Kehler just returned from a long absence from well back in last year.
Add in the fact this Wheat Kings edition is the smallest team I have seen in the Western Hockey League and one would think you would have a recipe for disaster. Not necessarily so.
In spite of all the challenges there is a lot of good things going on with the Wheaties. Only two games out of third and 3 recent road wins on their West Coast swing and things look okay for a very young team.
Here is each player’s progress report so far this fall:
Jamie Hodson – still laid up from last years’ season ending injury, Hodson is the Wheat Kings best goalie as he proved last year and one of the best three in the Western Hockey League. Stay tuned for my prediction on his future. Brandon now has three 19 year old goaltenders in the fold…hmmmmmm?
Aleksey Morozov, the 6’1″ 180lb winger, who scored a mere 19 points (9+10) last year, is finally showing the flashes of brilliance Pittsburgh had hoped he would. Now, just 8 games into a brand new season, Aleksey already has 6 points (3+3) to show for his efforts. So what’s changed? The moment he hits the ice it’s all about finding the net. Defenders be warned however, Aleksey’s not as easy to shake off a puck as he used to be. Brilliant puck handling, incredible speed, and world of desire and determination are turning this young forward into a rising star. It’s not yet certain whether Aleksey has the ability to become a complete player, but he is definitely heading in the right direction. In the meantime, the Penguins organization and it’s fans are in for a real treat. The keys to a successful season for Morozov will be concentration and health. Currently, Pittsburgh anxiously awaits his return from an injury sustained in a game against Los Angeles last week.