IHL ROOKIE PROFILE
Player: Jeff Heerema
Birthday: January 17, 1980
Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 190 lbs
Position: Right Wing
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1997-98 Sarnia Sting OHL 63 32 40 72 88
1998-99 Sarnia Sting OHL 62 31 39 70 113
1999-00 Sarnia Sting OHL 67 36 41 77 62
2000-01 Cincinnati IHL 34 7 7 14 24
Jeff was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 1st round (11th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Jeff is an excellent skater who has a great shot and the ability to put the puck in the net. Has a sense where his teamates are at all time. Reads plays and sees the ice well. Jeff must learn that in the pro leagues, consistency and playing without the puck are essential. Maybe a season or two away from making the big team but when he does Hurricane management think Jeff can make a big contribution to the team.
TONIGHT IN THE IHL
Cleveland Lumberjacks 3
Utah Grizzlies 4
John Purves scored the game-winning goal early in the third period to rally the Utah Grizzlies past the Cleveland Lumberjacks, 4-3. Purves’ goal 6:20 into the third period broke a 3-3 tie and was the fourth unanswered goal scored by Utah after Cleveland took a 3-0 lead midway through the second frame. Ryan Christie scored Utah’s first goal with 4:56 remaining in the second period and Steve Gainey scored just 28 seconds later to make the score 3-2. Pat Neaton tied the game at 3-3 5:11 int Read more»
Cherneski calls it quits
A promising young career came crashing to an end as the year 2001 hit when Rangers prospect Stefan Cherneski called it quits after trying to battle back from a serious knee injury. Simply put it was a career ended before it could fully get started and an example of just how hard it truly is to make it to the big show.
A first round pick back in 1997, Stefan had all the makings of a solid, if not star winger for the Rangers. A physical force with skills he was projected as a player part John LeClair and part Adam Graves, he would become neither. A devastating knee injury two years ago put Stefan’s career on hold and though for a while it seemed hopeful he would make it, in the end there was no happy ending. Missing two whole seasons would throw anyone’s career off a cliff but it was Stefan’s heart and soul that lead many to believe that maybe, just maybe he could make it.
Though he trained hard, the lost development time proved too much to overcome and Stefan decided he should take a 2 million dollar insurance option and move on. Though his playing days are done, Stefan’s legacy may just be the work ethic he instilled in blue chipper Pavel Brendl who worked harder then ever before in his life this past summer with Cherneski and winger Adam Graves. So though there will be no 35 goal, 140 pim seasons from Stefan we might want to send him a thanks if Brendl ever becomes the 40 or 50 goal sniper scouts believe he can be.
Lundmark: Destination the Show
The Wolf Pack of Hartford, Connecticut are also struggling thanks to a myriad of injuries and call ups and to yet stiffer competition but there are some bright spots in Hartford.
THE SCORING: AHL journeyman Derek Armstrong who was so close to signing a contract to play in Europe to start the season is the Pack`s leading scorer with 14 goals and 44 points through 36 games. Brad Smyth continues to hit the net with 26 goals and 40 points through 36 games while center Mike Harder has registered 10 goals in 33 games. Mike Mottau leads the way on defense with 5 goals and 21 points while fan favorite Kenny Gernander with 7 goals and 20 points lead the way. Looking through the roster…defender Burke Henry continues to play better hockey registering a tough 87 penalty minutes, 4 goals and 14 assists. Newcomer Jeff Ulmer(7-10-17) and veteran Tony Tuzzolino(7-9-16)have also been noteables. Veteran defender Drew Bannister (4-14-18) has been positive. Ryan Bast acquired waivers from the New York Islanders started out quickly but then has down a major slump registering only one goal in 29 games.
THE NETS: Have seen many pucks this year due to the call ups and injuries to Jason Doig but Vitali Yeremeyev (6-5-1 1.94gaa 2sho) has shined in the pipes. With the bright play of Vitali, Swedish import Johan Holmqvist has posted (10-5-2 2.71 1sho) totals.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES: The Pack have struggled a bit this year at the gate average just over 6000 per game. For those who would wish to catch a glimpse of a few prospects take the trip up to Hartford for Read more»