AROUND THE WHL
With the Western Hockey League trade deadline of January 15th lurking just around the corner, it appears some teams are trying to get the jump. Last week, on December 13, the Kamloops Blazers sent centerman Derek Krestanovich (’83) to the Moose Jaw Warriors in exchange for right winger Ben Knopp (’82), a third round draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Blazers gain a legitimate scoring threat in Knopp (19goals, 14 assists in 31 games) who adds depth in scoring to an already potent line up with the likes of Canadian World Junior Team players Jared Aulin and Scottie Upshall, as well as 2002 draft eligible Eric Christensen, Ryan Annesley, Mark Rooneem, Scott Henkelman and Paul Brown.
Moose Jaw gives up some scoring, but gain an excellent checking center in Krestanovich who should help the Warriors cut down on the their 15th worst goals against total in the 19-team league. Krestanovich (7 goals, 13 assists) is effective in the face off circle and a premier penalty killer who can also chip in offensively. as his twenty points shows.
The Kelowna Rockets then entered the fray on December 18/01, dealing a pair of 19-year-olds, winger/center Carsen Germyn (10 goals, 19 assists, 21 games) and goaltender Jason Stone (2.99 GAA, .890 SV%, 12-9-2 record in 27 games) to the Red Deer Rebels in exchange for last seasons WHL Playoff MVP and the goaltender that backstopped the Rebels on their way to winning the 2001 Memorial Cup, 19-year-old Shane Bendera.
Kelowna obtains Read more»
The Montreal Rocket pulled the trigger on a deal with the Quebec Remparts
last Tuesday that changed the direction of the team. Whether it was for
better or worse remains to be seen.
Montreal sent Chris Montgomery, Karl St-Pierre, and Pierre-Olivier Beaulieu
to Quebec for Cory Urquhart, Jeff MacAulay, Mike Bray, and Yan Turcotte.
The surprise of the deal was Montreal trading the franchises first ever
draft pick and hometown boy, Chris Montgomery. All the recent rumors around
the Molson Center had Columbus prospect Pascal Leclaire on his way out, but
the play of back-up Jonathan Cayer since Leclaire left for Team Canada’s
Junior camp has been less than stellar and those trade rumor have been
tucked away until later on this season.
The Rocket are a team that lacks offensive punch, so trading their second
leading scorer might raise an eyebrow or two. The truth is, Montgomery
didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just that Michael Lambert did everything
Lambert, a 5th overall pick in 2000, has stepped up his offensive game in
recent weeks and has shown that he can be a legitimate 1st line player.
Since Montgomery has left Lambert has been shuffled between the first and
second line picking up 2 goals and 4 points in two games.
In moving Montgomery and company, it seems the Rocket are looking towards
the future. They didn’t really have a choice. If you take a look at who
Montreal had on defense before the trade you would see that they were
extremely thin with nothing promising for the future. In Jeff MacAulay,
Montreal gets a roo Read more»
An overview of drafted players and undrafted players with an NHL-career currently active in the Swiss league(s).
Apart from the traditional big 5 (Finland, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia) in Europe, Switzerland has made some siginificant progress the past few years and has established themselves as a genuine A-pool country. This upbeat is not only displayed on the national team level but as well in the Swiss Leagues (National Liga A and National Liga B). There are currently around 60 players which are either drafted or have had an NHL career playing in Switzerland, most of them being North-Americans. Where exactly are they playing now and what happened to them after they crossed the pond? An overview per NHL team
Drafted 1989, 2nd rnd, 34th overall
Current team: SC Bern
Juhlin enterred the NHL as a 25 year old after he was doing very well in the Swedish league. Owever 3 seasons later and 56 NHL games and 101 AHL games later he decided to return to Europe and went to Finland. After 2,5 good seasons with Jokerit Helsinki he moved to Switzerland in the 99-00 season. In Switzerland Juhlin is one of the top forwards in the league. In his first season he registerred 31 points in 37 games and that was followed by a 43 point saeson. This season Juhlin has already equalled that total and that after only 33 games.
With the Czech Extraliga adjourned for the Christmas break, the best players will be representing the Czech Republic at the Baltic Cup and the U20 World Junior Championships. A perfect time to update the progress of our monitored prospects.
Congratulations to Petr Cajanek, Libor Pivko and Marek Posmyk (all of Zlin) for representing the Czechs at the Baltic Cup.
In addition, Ondrej Nemec (Vsetin), Petr Puncochar (Vary), Miro Blatak (Zlin), Jiri Novotny (Budejovice), Tomas Plekanec (Kladno), Jiri Hudler (Vsetin), and Michal Vondrka (Budejovice) are prospects featured in this article which have been nominated for the U20 WJC.
Unfortunately for Puncochar and Ondrej Nemec, they were the last cuts from the WJC team, and will have to sit and watch their countrymen go for the “Gold Hat-trick” in Pardubice.
New in this update: Marek Chvatal, a smallish defenseman from Trinec who is ranked #6 on HF’s Czech Republic page.
The cold weather that swept over Scandinavia this week is the perfect
climate for looking at the Elitserien scoring race. It has never been
colder, with no one at the top averaging over a point per game.
The players who were supposed to score have either had rough seasons or have
been injured. That is the main reason that players such as veterans Ulf
Söderström of Färjestad and Mikael Wahlberg of MoDo is forming the top duo
in league scoring. Granted, they are good playmakers, but the scoring race
this season looks very pale compared to last season when Huselius was
scoring in every rink in Sweden, and Jörgen Jönsson and Mikael Renberg, now
with the Toronto Maple Leafs, battled to catch up with him.
Jörgen Jönsson, a team mate with Ulf Söderström in Färjestad, had a slow
start but is coming to life as he has now scored 28 points in 32 games. He
should be over a point per game when the season’s over. Henrik Zetterberg,
perhaps the players that most anticipated would take over the torch passed
on by Huselius has been living in a mightmare offensively in Timrå. Zetter
has scored only three goals and 14 assists in 31 games, but it seems nobody
in hockey is disappointed with his contribution. It is claimed that he has
taken a more defensive role this season, and because his team is struggling
he doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to score either. Zetterberg has had a
lot of success offensively internationally with Team Sweden – he even scored
four times in a game against the pesky Finnish team in the Sweden Hockey
Ga Read more»