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.
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.
Now that the OHL season has opened, it is time to take a look at the teams and how they should fare in the upcoming season.
1> Sault Ste. Marie
The Sault should come out on top in the West this year. They will be led by Cory Pecker and Ryan Jardine up front and Daniel Passero on the blueline. With those combinations they will definitely be able to score some goals. Rookies Trevor Daley and Jeff Richards have impressed in the early going. They will be looked upon to add some depth. The only real question mark for Sault this season will be in net where Jason Flick will carry the load. Look for a trade for Ottawa goalie Seamus Kotyk at the trade deadline. If that happens, they will be a force to be reckoned with, leading up to the play-offs.
2> London Knights Read more»
Name: Ryan Jardine
Born: March 15, 1980
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Position: Left Wing
Weight: 170 lbs
So far this season in the OHL there have been a lot of players that have been tearing up OHL goaltenders. Bryan Kazarian lit up the Soo Greyhounds for 5 assists en route to 9 points in the first week of the season. Rookie defenceman Trevor Daley of the Soo Greyhounds has 9 points in 6 games so far this year.
Third year winger Ryan Jardine of the Soo Greyhounds is another player that has been tearing up the OHL early this season. In his first 6 games this season Jardine has 10 points, including 7 goals. In the first two games of the season Jardine potted 4 goals and, although he has cooled off a bit, he is remaining consistent.
In his rookie season Jardine scored 28 goals which is very good, especially for a rookie. Also in his rookie year he was named to the OHL’s all-rookie team. In his second year he scored 27 goals. This year he is on pace to score 74 goals if he continues his torrid pace. It’s highly unlikely that he will get 74 goals this year but, with the way that he has played so far this season, 50 is definitely not out of the question. If he does get 50 he would be the first Greyhound player to score 50 since Joe Seroski scored 54 in 1996-97. Remember though, Seroski was on a line with former 1st overall NHL draft pick Joe Thornton.
Name: Jeff Kugel
Born: February 7, 1980
Hometown: Roseville, Michigan
Position: Left Wing
Weight: 246 lbs
When Jeff Kugel was slapped with a lifetime ban by OHL commissioner David Branch last winter there were a lot of people that thought that he would never play hockey again. He jumped off the bench, sucker punched one player and chased another. When you look at the situation you must say that it was very serious.
Some people thought that a 25 game suspension was long enough and others thought that a lifetime ban was the perfect punishment. OHL Commissioner David Branch, who is also the CHL president, handed Kugel a lifetime ban as many of you know. Last summer Branch decided that Kugel had learned his lesson and re-instated him into the league.
A couple of weeks ago Kugel was attending the New York Rangers training camp. He apparently got into a couple of dandy fights. When Kugel joined his teammates at the Windsor Spitfires training camp he received word that he had been put on waivers by the team. It didn’t take long for him to create interest from other teams as there were a few teams that wanted him in their lineup.