When the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds were preparing to select a player with the tenth overall selection in the Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection Draft, they knew they had a big hole to fill on their team. They lacked within the organization a young offensive defenseman who would take over the significant ice time logged by returning overager defenseman Daniel Passero. Young Derek Fox, whom the Greyhounds had selected in the first round last year was evolving into a two-way defenseman but he had a tendancy to play a more defensive style and not join the rush a lot. Who to pick? was the question going into the draft.
Enter Trevor Daley, the (just turned) sixteen year old defenseman from Toronto, Ontario. Listed at 5’11 170, the gifted young defenseman had been with the Vaughn Junior A team the season before putting up promising offensive numbers. In forty four games, Daley scored ten goals, had sixteen assists for a total of twenty-six points along with seventy-nine penalty minutes.
He looked small even on skates, which is why he slipped to tenth overall, but is it normal for a kid who’s only fifteen to be 6’2 200? The Greyhounds took a long look at this young player and decided he would be a valuable asset regardless of his size. Now only a handful of games into the season the nine teams that passed on the swift skating defenseman are starting to regret that decision.
After starting the season off on the wrong foot the Knights have made a couple key trades to boost the roster to a competitive team. Disgruntled defenceman Peter Reynolds was dealt to North Bay for Sniper Brett Gibson and big D-Man Brett Angel. Gibson has been nothing less than spectacular. As in the first three games he played he was in all on 7 goals the Knights scored. Brett Angel has also added some height to the Defence in the loss of Alex Henry to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. This trade has also seemed to spark Chris Kelly as he is on fire and is up to 15 points on the season.
Coach Agnew has also tried to spark talented rookie Matthew Albiani by placing him on the 1st line with Kelly and Gibson so far it has worked. In the four games they have tried him on the 1st line he has four points. The Knights then traded Mike Mazzuca to the Kitchener Rangers for a draft pick which will probably turn out to be nothing at the end of the road. A few days after the Mazzuca deal the Knights dealt 17 yr. Old Steven Rawski to the Windsor Spitfires for Over-Ager Max Linnik, In his first game as a Knight Max recorded 2 points. With the trading done for a while the Knights will finally be able to gel as a team and be back up in the standings where they belong.
With the NHL season in Full Throttle the once dead Rangers are starting to head in the right direction. With Mike York adding two assists to his already impressive season the Rangers believe they have found their no.2 center. Swedish defenseman Kim Johnsson continues to play like a veteran with his smooth skating style and soft passes. Around the local media, Johnsson has been noted as New York`s Best Defenseman. Erstwhile Rangers first year goalie Milan Hnilicka did not fare well in his first game against Pittsburgh, getting beat through the “five hole”, Hnilicka stopped 4 of 6 shots but looked nervous between the pipes in MSG as the Rangers fell 5-2. With Mike Richter`s return against Atlanta in a 4-1 win, Hnilicka was returned to Hartford of the AHL.
Newly acquired Alexander Daigle garnered player of the week honors Daigle had two goals and three assists in two games for the Hartford Wolf Pack. He leads his team in scoring and ranks second in the AHL with 10 points with (3 goals and 7 assists) in five games.
The former top pick in the NHL draft has played for Ottawa, Edmonton, Philadelphia and Tampa before being acquired by the Rangers just two weeks ago. This may be Daigle`s last shot at reviving a once promising AHL career.
Three teams rolled into Portland, Oregon to start off the Winter Hawk’s season and all three left feeling pretty good about themselves.
Here is another installment of the Canadiens’ junior prospects update.
Stand Outs -Michael Ryder had a superb week with 7 points in 2 games, including a 6 point night.
-Jerome Marois had a strong week with 4 points in 3 games.
-Marc-Andre Thinel had a ver good week with 8 points in 3 games.
Awards -Michael Ryder was named the QMJHL’s offensive player of the month for September.
POS HT/WT AGE DRAFTED
Eric Chouinard (c) 6’4″/192 Lbs. 18 D-Mtl98(1/16)
GP G A PTS +- PIM PPG SHG
1999-00 Quebec 10 11 6 17 +3 16 2 0
#1 Strength- Scoring ability
#1 Weakness- Doesn’t use size
Chouinard played 1 game this past week. He scored 1 goal in a 2-2 tie with Sherbrooke. He was also +1 for the week.
NHL Projection – Second line center
Current Stock Status- Stagnant
POS HT/WT AGE DRAFTED
Francois Beauchemin (D) 6’0″/190 Lbs. 19 D-Mtl98(3/75)
GP G A PTS +- PIM PPG SHG
1999-00 Acadie-Bathurst 14 4 7 11 +7 39 0 0
#1 Strength- Intelligence
#1 Weakness- Injuries
Beauchemin played 1 game this past week. He scored the Titans’ lone goal in a 5-1 loss to Sherbrooke. He was also -1 for the week.
NHL Projection -Fourth defenseman
Current Stock Status- On the rise.