Czech players at the CHL Top Prospects game

by Robert Neuhauser
on
Since 1996 all top prospects for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft gather in one weekend to take
part in an event, followed very closely by NHL scouts and general managers, the CHL Top
Prospects game. Almost every player who played at the CHL Top Prospects game got drafted
and some of them are already NHL regulars and future stars, for example Joe Thornton of the
Boston Bruins, Chris Phillips of the Ottawa Senators and Tim Connoly of the New York Islanders.
The Czech players play a significant role among the Euros playing in the CHL, so it is logic
that they already made their presence felt also at the CHL Top Prospects Game. Last year on
the rosters of Team Orr and Team Cherry were the likes of Rostislav Klesla and Libor Ustrnul,
WJC champions, or Tomas Kurka with Filip Novak. This year the lists which the NHL scouts
have submitted include five Czech players. They have a bright future ahead and can look
forward to the NHL Draft in Florida. Let’s have a look who is it.


Lukas Krajicek (Peterborough Petes, OHL)

Born: March 11th, 1983
Position: D
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 185 lbs.
Shoots: L
CSB rank: 16th
Last Czech team: HC Continental Zlin
Lukas Krajicek, a prospect born on the same day as fellow Czech prospect Daniel Volrab, plays
overseas for two years. In his last season with HC Continental Zlin Lukas posted solid numbers
in the midget league ELHD and became the 9th best scorer among ELHD defensemen. The next
year he chose to play for Detroit Compuware of the NAHL to get used to the North American
style. And he adjust Read more»

Expansion Team Explodes in AHL Southern Division

by Corine Gatti
on
There is a dynamic hockey story taking shape just south of the Mason Dixon Line! The Norfolk Admirals’ (affiliate Chicago Blackhawks) epic began on October 6, 2000. Mind you, this is not an article written about a lone ranger harnessing the team on his steed, nor is it an invitation to get a glimpse of a one-man show. This, hockey connoisseurs, is about a roster of players who support and carry each other on the ice. And how about off the ice? The comraderie with this group is very evident. Even though they are from all different parts of the world they treat each other like brothers with one cause, to win a championship. This combination will offer them a ticket and can set the stage for a chance to the 1st round of the play-offs. “The Chicago Blackhawks have put together a very competitive team, entertaining team with the management skills of Al MacIssac and coaching leadership of Trent Yawney. The future looks promising for even greater success as the season progresses,” said AHL President Dave Andrews.

What comes to mind when you think of the newest arrival to the American Hockey League, Southern Division? “Surprising… They amazingly come together no matter challenges they have faced,” said Channel 13 (ABC) sports anchor, Pete Potchowski. The fact is that many hurdles tend to orbit around a newborn team making the transition from infancy to adulthood. New players, coaches, and fans have a period of courtship in the first few months on and off the ice, it can be an awkward time. If a squad can stay above ground level at the 500 mark. The fans a Read more»

Women’s hockey growing by leaps and bounds

by Jeff Bromley
on
It is now safe to say that Women’s hockey is no longer on the peripheral of the hockey world. For years looked upon as a novelty on the outside looking in, female hockey is now coming into its own. The names on the roster of the Canadian National Women’s team are now more of the household variety rather than the obscure. Hayley Wickenheiser, the two sport Olympic star who participated on both the Women’s Olympic Hockey team in Nagano in ’98 and the Women’s Softball squad in Sydney is a given. But other names are starting to rise into the limelight in their own right. Names such as Cassie Campbell a three-year veteran of the national squad, Charlene Labonte a goaltender vying for a spot on the national team who played major junior last season with the Acadie-Bathhurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior League or newly appointed head coach of the national team, Daniele Sauvageau who spent a year as an assistant coach with the Montreal Rocket of the QMJHL last season. Slowly but surely, women in hockey are becoming hockey stars in their own right.

Cassie Campbell, three-year veteran of the National team and resident poster girl of the national squad says that these trips into the small towns of the West as well as the big games like the match-up with U.S. before the NHL All-Star game next week only enhance and expose the Women’s game. “I think that anytime that you get to mix with the NHL guys and get the exposure that they get it’s going to bring a lot of publicity to our game. With the U.S. winning the gold in Nagano it’s going to be a big hype down there – it’s Read more»

Sabres Report: Catching Up

by Ken McKenna
on

As the title of this article suggests, there is a fair amount of Sabres’ prospect news to catch up on. Some of the items may have already received a mention at the HF Sabres Message Board, but I think it is worth repeating them in this column so that those who had not previously seen these news items will now be caught up.

There is also some information that is new, including an assessment of the changes to the Top 20 list. A couple familiar names have been removed from the list, while some new prospects have moved up the charts, so there is definitely a minor changing of the guard amongst the Buffalo prospects.

The Graduates

D Dimitri Kalinin and LW Denis Hamel both have made the most of their rookie seasons, as they are inexperienced players who have stepped in and contributed immediately. Kalinin has been the more highly touted of the two, as he has performed at a high enough level to have some supporters whispering “Calder Trophy nominee” (Dimitri has struggled some of late, however). Dimitri was always known for his strong defensive play, but he has also exhibited some offensive ability which will only improve as he becomes more confident.

Meanwhile, Denis Hamel has quietly been playing solid hockey, mostly on Buffalo’s 4th line. Denis has chipped in the occasional goal while concentrating on playing a grinding, defensive style that is sure to please coach Lindy Ruff. Hamel has scored 7 goals, with 3 of those goals being game-winners.

Both players have played at least 25 games this Read more»

Women’s Hockey – The Last of the Amateurs

by Jeff Bromley
on
I’ll admit I approached it with cautious optimism. Women’s hockey, the Canadian national team against Team Sweden. Being a servant of the great Canadian game, men’s hockey is what I follow. It’s what I write about, criticize, celebrate and lament. Women’s hockey was, up until this point, still a novelty to me. The best comparison to the men’s level would be about Midget AAA I was told. That would be my first mistake over the past few days as I prepared to take in the Cranbrook Regional Hospital Foundation – sponsored Canada vs. Sweden Women’s Hockey game this past week.

The first thing I learned outright is that is it completely unfair to categorize women’s hockey in relation to its gender sibling. The difference’s between the men’s game and the women’s are many. Not the least of which are the obvious – size and physicality of the game. But that’s not the glaring difference that it’s made out to be. Once you start to watch these girls play you notice how they play the actual game with the puck. By not having the physicality of the Men’s game, the Women’s game contain’s the subtle nuances of the game in its purest form. Razor-sharp stick-handling, tape to tape passes and more dipsy-doodles in one game than I’ve seen in a few years. To clarify, I still advocate the men’s style of hockey. Give me a bone-crushing hit or a bout of fisticuffs anytime. But the women’s style of play probably exudes the actual skills of hockey on a more frequent basis and in all honesty, it was a treat to watch.

For the record, the game f Read more»