Some of the top players in the CCHA have departed for the professional ranks over the summer, but there are still plenty of players to watch in 2000, including an exciting crop of recruits. Despite the departure of Mike Comrie to the WHL and the loss of seniors like Shawn Horcoff, Brian McCullough, Roger Trudeau and J.P. Vigier, there will be no shortage of talent in the CCHA this season. In this first installment of the CCHA Player Watch, we will focus on several players at the University of Michigan who will be worth following this season.
Among the returning players this season is standout Michigan defenseman Jeff Jillson. Jillson was drafted in the first round by the San Jose Sharks in 1999 and had a chance to leave school and sign with the Sharks this summer, but he chose to stay at Michigan for his junior year. He is 6-3 220 pounds and is perhaps the toughest and most intimidating defenseman in college hockey. But what separates him from other defensemen is his offensive ability. He led all CCHA defensemen in scoring last season and become one of the best two-way blueline prospects in all of hockey. Jillson might be good enough for the NHL already, but the Sharks are currently loaded with young talent on the blueline and there is no need to rush him. Jillson will be the leader of a Wolverine defense that should be much improved over last season, when the team was short on depth after the unexpected departure of Mike Van Ryn to the OHL.
Florida Panthers Vice President and General Manager Bryan
Murray announced several roster moves following a preseason training
camp intersquad game today at Robert Guertin Arena. Three players were
returned to their junior teams for the 2000-01 season, while seven
players were reassigned to Louisville of the American Hockey League.
Rod Sarich, Chris Eade, and Morgan McCormick will return to their junior
teams. Mike Cirillo, Ryan Jardine, Paul Harvey, Eric Godard, Eric
Beaudoin, Mike Green, and Michel Periard will all report to the
Louisville Panthers’ training camp to compete for spots with Florida’s
top affiliate in the AHL.
The Florida Panthers will take on the Ottawa Senators on Friday evening
(6 p.m. EST) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The game will mark the first
preseason contest of the 2000-2001 season for both teams. Alexei Yashin
and Pavel Bure are both expected to play.
I must give many thanks go to the Panther Communications Dept for their full work on this game summary.
As always, feel free to write me with any comments or post on applicable team or general message boards
In the Florida Panthers intersquad scrimmage at Robert Guertin Arena this evening, Ray Whitney led the Blue Team to a
come-from-behind 6-3 victory. Whitney scored a pair of goals, and rookie Mike Green added a goal and two assists for the winners. After
giving up three goals in the first period, the Blue Team rallied to score the final six goals of the game. Goaltender Sean Gauthier, who played
the second half of the game for the winning squad did not allow a goal. Many of the veterans saw just limited action. Florida will take on Ottawa
in its first pre-season game of the year in Halifax, Nova Scotia tomorrow.
FIRST PERIOD: The Red Team exploded for three goals in a span of 1:14 as Len Barrie set up a pair of goals. Rookie Mike Cirillo
notched a goal and an assist, while Paul Laus and rookie Ryan Jardine each tallied once. Ray Whitney got the Blue Team on the
scoreboard on a pass from Mike Green.
SECOND PERIOD: Green, Paul Brousseau, and Morgan McCormick led the Blue Team, scoring three unanswered second period
goals. Goaltenders Trevor Kidd (16 shots, 13 saves) and Roberto Luongo (18 shots, 15 saves) both left the game at the midway
point. Each netminder allowed three goals.
THIRD PERIOD: Peter Ratchuk and Whitney secured the Blue Team’s victory by scoring third period goals. The Blue Team
outshot the Red Team in the game 33-25. The game ended prematurely when a pane of glass became dislodged with 4:15
remaining in the third period. Read more»
The Kings took on the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday for their first preseason game of the 2000 season. The lineup featured several youngsters. Here is a rundown of their performance.
Kevin Baker- Baker did not receive alot of ice time but showed some promise. Kevin’s stocky build and aggressive play showed when he got his shot on the power play. He drove to the net several times and was not afraide to crash the net. He appeared tough to move and got his stick on a couple rebounds. Baker also did not back down from veteran Brad May, even throwing a nice check on the Phoenix forward. Kevin may be a year away, but I definitely like his game.
Mike Pudlick- Pudlick started out strong. It is amazing watching him skate and pass because he moves like a left handed Rob Blake. His decisions with the puck were sound, although he made some mistakes in the third period. Mike was paired with Rob Blake and didn’t show much in the way of physical play, but he has a shot at the roster this season.
Andreas Lilja- Lilja is definitely big. His size gives him a shot at the roster this season, but other than that he didn’t do much. I thought he was sleepwalking through the first two periods. He had better show more of a physical presence if he wants to make the team.
Yesterday, nine players were sent packing by the blues, these players were junior returnees, european players or released tryouts. These type of players were released based on the fact that they are nowhere close to the NHL level yet and it is better for them to start their respective years off on the right foot.
The Blues had a chance to get a serious look at all 70 players in camp with the exception of Barret Jackman who has yet to play because of finger surgery that he had this summer. Also Todd Reirden and Marc Bergevin will both be out well into the season, meaning that there are two more spots open for defensemen. Jackman is likely returning for one last season with Regina as his junior team will be hosting this year’s Memorial Cup and should also lead the Canadian world junior team.
There are battles for spots at mostly D and the backup goalie position behind Turek. In terms of the goalie position, Johnson and Rolson will battle throughout the preseason for the rights to that position. Stephen Wagner was assigned to Worcester and Reinhard Divis should return to the Swedish Elite league. That leaves Rudkowsky and tryout Curtis Sanford. Rudkowsky will likely play in Worcester again this season and Sanford could sign a contract, as he has been impressive in both the rookie tourney and the camp tourney as well.