Mike Van Ryn Interview

by Brad Coccimiglio
on

Defenseman Mike Van Ryn of the Sarnia Sting came to the OHL after playing 2
years with the Michigan Wolverines in the CCHA. Van Ryn has made a very
smooth transition from the NCAA to the OHL. I had the opportunity to sit down
with Mike and ask him a few questions.

HF: What were the differences between the OHL and the NCAA?

Van Ryn: “There are a lot of differences. Mostly it’s just how the game is
played. It’s tough to say anything about the talent or anything like that
because the game is played so differently. The college game is a quick game,
it’s more of a speed type or a finesse type game. In the OHL there’s quite a
bit of fighting and in college you don’t have to worry about that. I never
saw a fight in my two years there. Guys tend to play bigger than they are for
the most part. The fact that there is no red line it’s faster and you gotta
be aware of guys sneaking behind you. In the OHL game it’s more of a
pro-style game, with the number of games you play. In college, because I
played in the World Juniors I only played in the high 30′s in terms of games.
I’ve only played about 38 games a season. In two seasons there I played just
over 70 games there. This year alone, with playoffs, I’ll end up playing over
70 games I’m hoping. It’s more of a pro game with the number of games.
There’s always the intimidation factor and just the way the game is played. A Read more»

Brampton Battalion: NHL Entry Draft 2000

by pbadmin
on

It has been a good year for the Brampton Battalion. After a frustrating, but promising inaugural season in 1998/1999, Brampton has improved significantly in their 2nd OHL campaign.

It hasn’t been easy … some would argue that the team’s success was not predictable by any means. In the off season, Brampton lost its leading scorer during the 1998/1999 season (rookie phenomenon Jason Spezza) to the Mississauga Ice Dogs in the OHL priority selection. Spezza was only 15 while playing for Brampton.

Lack of support at home games can have a negative impact on a team. This is also where Brampton has been suffering. Even though Brampton is a city with a population of well over 200,000 people, the Battalion are having trouble filling the stands, owning one of the worst attendance records in the league.

Still, the Battalion overcame the odds and have made the OHL playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The change in the team from its 1st to 2nd year is obvious. The players have matured, improving not only individually, but as a team as well. The rookies on the squad have also played a big part in the Battalions 2nd year success. Brampton’s turn around has not gone unnoticed. The Battalion have 8 players mid season ranked for the NHL entry draft in June, two of which are ranked in the top 10.

Here’s a look at Bramptons top 5 prospects for the 2000 NHL entry draft:

Rostislav Klesla
(mid season ranked 2nd / North America Defensemen and Forwards)
Position: Defense Read more»

OHL Western Conference Recap

by Jason Ahrens
on
The regular season has ended and the playoffs begin on Sunday. Eight teams still have
a chance to play hockey, while the London Knights and Owen Sound Platers have been
relegated to the sidelines, after being the in the conference finals the year before. Such is life in the OHL, where the cycles can be wicked if proper steps are not taken. The Platers tried to make a move up when they grabbed Kenny Coroupe at the trading deadline, but they never got a sniff of the playoffs. They have no drafted players and their top prospect for being drafted this June is Latvian defender Agris Saviels. Their offseason could be turmuoltuos as they may be moving to Cornwall. This is a team that I wouldn’t expect to be very strong next year, based on their current roster.

Read more»

OHL Prospect’s Game Report

by Bob Chery
on

Although just one game, the 2000 Prospect’s Game at the Air Canada Center
served as a microcosm for the scouting fraternity’s lukewarm response to this
year’s crop of CHL draft-eligibles. Complete packages are few and far between,
as players strong in one or more elements of the game leave you wanting for
more in other areas.

Trying to watch a game where everyone on the ice is a prospect can indeed be
a challenge. Sitting high behind the net in the first row of the upper deck, the
game has to be broken down into it’s most basic components. For starters,
who among the forwards can take the puck to the net on a consistent basis?
An ability to do so implies some combination of skating ability, acceleration,
stick-handling, and strength to fight off checks.

Mississauga’s LOU DICKENSON was the only player who was a consistent
threat throughout the game, utilizing his speed and acceleration to penetrate
the opposition net on several occasions. Unfortunately for Lou he came up
empty on each foray. Off this game, it would come as no surprise to anyone
that Lou showed well in the Prospect’s Skills Competition where he placed
in the top three for puck-control, the 60-foot dash, and the full lap.

Several more prospects gave a good account of themselves when the home-run
threat was dropped from the equation and other attributes were looked at.

TEAM CHERRY

Read more»

2000 Draft: OHL Prospect Report

by Bob Chery
on
As a follow-up to my November 26/99 report on the OHL’s draft-eligible
prospects, the schedule saw several of the top defencemen pass through the GTA
for a number of games versus the Battalion, Ice Dogs, and Majors in December
and early January. What follows is a more in-depth look at five of these prospects.

KURTIS FOSTER (Peterborough) — If it’s an offensive defenceman that you’re
looking for, this 6-5, 205-pound giant fits the bill. The lack of coordination one
expects to see from a youngster this size who has not yet grown comfortable
with his body is apparent, but not to the usual extent. Kurtis is a fluid skater and
puck-carrier while at the same time showing promise of further improvement. He’s
not TOTALLY fluid just yet, but that will come with time. The NHL comparison
at this juncture would be Kevin Hatcher. Of course it is hoped that Foster can be a
force in his own end of the rink as well as the offensive zone.

And this is the area where Foster requires the most improvement. Fortunately he is
well aware of that fact and is making the required efforts. His big stride allows him
to close a hole while skating backwards with one cross-over. The wing-span of his
poke-check also covers a lot of ice. It is the physical element of his game that needs
the most work. Early in the season he would engage opposing forwards with nothing
more than stick-checks. He is now beginning to apply the body more frequently. Read more»