As the axe over Coach John Muckler`s head continues to move downward, the baby Rangers most promising picks continue on their journey to the National Hockey League. Their prospect listing is bright and here is a taste of what may come…..
PATRICK AUFIERO: Has tallied two goals and four assists for six points in eight games with the Boston University Terriers .. Leads the team with two game-winning goals . Is tied for first on the team with four points (two goals, two assists) in three conference games. Can he be like Jay Pandolfo? or Euro Pro… Dave Emma?
GARRETT BEMBRIDGE: Has skated in 17 contests with the Saskatoon Blades (WHL), collecting four goals and six assists for 10 points . Places seventh on the club with 10 points and ranks second on the team with a plus five rating . Is tied for first on the team and tied for fourth in the league with three game winning tallies.
The most significant early season play for young Alyn McCauley was not one where he blistered a wrist-shot past a stunned goaltender, or when he slipped a beautiful, blind pass to an open teammate for a goal. It was a play which caused the young, Leafs’ centerman to be shoved hard from behind as he was charging the net and run headlong into Blues’ netminder, Roman Turek. Alyn bounced off the crossbar and was sent sprawling between the pipes himself. As we all held our collective breath, Alyn got back up on his skates and came away in one piece. Despite his injury history, here was Alyn, in just his fourth game back on the ice, driving to the net leaving caution to the wind. The timing may still be off a bit, but the heart and soul of the player is still there.
To see what makes McCauley tick, one gets a glimpse into that heart and soul when you watch the Maple Leafs go through their rounds of a pregame skate. The last one off the ice is always Alyn McCauley. “When your best player is also your hardest worker, it makes it easier for the other players to follow his lead”, states Ottawa 67’s coach, Brian Killrea. “Alyn meant everything to us”. He should know, as he coached Alyn on the 67’s for four years.
They are the most talked about players in Swedish hockey at the moment, Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Together with another 19-yearold, Mattias Weinhandl (a 3rd round, 78th overall pick by the Islanders in the ’99 draft), they have formed the very succesful ”Line 19”. So far this season they have combined for a total of 54 points in 19 games in the Swedish Elite League. Daniel has 8 goals and 11 assist for 19 points and a +/- of +21, Henrik has 6-11–17, +18 and Weinhandl 10-8–18, +17. But the end of this season will mean the end of this succesful line for now. Next season two thirds of this line will be heading west, to Vancouver. Leaving buddy Weinhandl at home means the twins will be needing a new linemate. Because they will be playing together, otherwise all the pre-draft trades from GM Brian Burke would have been worth nothing.
Up until today they have been dominating the Swedish Elite League but they will not be able to dominate the game nearly as much next season. Not only because they will be rookies in the toughest league of them all, but also because the game in the NHL is so much different from the game in the Swedish Elite League. This brings out the question who Vancouver should play along side them. Should they try to convert ”Line 19” into ”Line 20” playing the Sedins with another young guy or should they let them play with a veteran? Should they play with a power-forward or a defensive-first forward?
Prince George may have come second in the Randy Lindros Memorial Tournament, held Nov. 11- 14 in
Kamloops, but their team speed and relentless work ethic was a pleasure to watch. Kelowna, another very
good team in their own right, won in overtime after allowing the Cougars to claw their way back from a 3-1
deficit in the third period, but it was a couple of Prince George kids who really caught my eye. Paul Brown, a
fourth overall pick by the Regina Pats of the WHL in the first round of this years annual Bantam Draft and
Gary Gladue, a third round selection, taken 46th overall by his hometown WHL P.G. Cougars were standouts
all tournament long and led a well coached, disciplined team to within one goal of the tournament
championship. Speedy and slick passing Mark Nelson and Tyler Scofield were another pair of young
Cougars who stood out but it seemed when the chips were down it was Brown and Gladue that took the
team to the next level.
Paul Brown was a highly touted prospect going into the 99 WHL Bantam Draft and ended up going to the
Regina Pats, who must be delighted with their pick if this tournament was any indication of his talents. In
the five games I attended, Paul totalled 3 goals and assisted on seven others and if it weren’t for goal posts Read more»
From pros to juniors – the best Swiss players were called to the
National Teams or regional selections. Read a little series about the
different national teams’ performaces. Today I start with the A- and
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THEIR ROSTER
While the top 4 European nations played the Karjala-Cup, Switzerland had
to be satisfied with travelling to Slovakia for two games.
After a disappointing 1:6 loss in the first game, the Swiss team was highly critizized by the Swiss press.
The only Swiss goal was scored by Edgar Salis, who is more known
for his rugged defense. The team had problems adjusting to the higher
intensity on the international level. (Maybe this is also the reason why
Lugano struggles in the Euro-League?)
In the second game the Swiss were down 0:2 after the first period. But
they didn’t give up and turned the game into a 4:2 victory.
Michel Zeiter, Julien Vauclair and Mattia Baldi (2) scored the
Swiss goals. Ottawa draftee Vauclair was called to the team, cause
Marc Gianola was injured. Baldi (drafted by Montreal) seldomly scores
two goals, but he is always working hard, and when he stays healthy he
could become more than just a great forechecker and defensive safeguard.