Friday, June 22, 2007

NHL Draft Live Blog

I guess I'll try this. I'm going to try the NHL's live video stream, but my internet connection isn't quite strong enough to handle video, so we'll see how long that sticks.

6:08- It looks like Jim Balsillie won't get his NHL team in Hamilton. Yippee.

6:10-The Blackhawks could probably get some serious eBay money for the jerseys of the two guys they don't pick.

6:11-Bob McKenzie is pretty confident that Pat Kane will be the first pick. Kyle Turris got to meet his idol, Steve Yzerman, which is pretty cool.

6:12-It looks like Columbus has drawn a pretty nice crowd for this. The TSN guy just made a reference to "Maggie the Monkey". This is way better than ESPN's draft coverage.

6:17-My video is really choppy. Chicago is on the clock.

6:20-And the first pick is............Pat Kane. The second American in a row. Congratulations, Mr. Kane.

6:26-Everyone is talking about Kane having the chance to play right away next season. I think that was probably one of the deciding factors for the Hawks over van Riemsdyk and Turris, who will hopefully be playing college hockey next season.

6:27-Philly is at the podium and selects..........James van Riemsdyk. Another American. That's pretty cool, and a nice feather in the cap of the NTDP program.

6:30-I think my video is pretty much dead for now. Sad.

6:36-Kyle Turris goes third to Phoenix. I think he'll play at least a year at Wisconsin, possibly two. I'm 3 for 3 with my mock draft. I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

6:38-LA's GM is going up to the podium. He didn't pass any mirrors, so I couldn't check for a reflection. LA selects........Thomas Hickey. Wow. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off the board. Interesting.

6:43-Well, I suppose I expected things to get crazy. This should make things even more interesting. I guess if you can't trade down to the middle of the first round, you may as well take your middle of the first round pick early.

6:45-The Kings did try to move down, but like I said Wednesday, I didn't see anyone dying to get that 4th pick. The LA guy looks defeated.

6:49-Washington is up next. They keep showing Cherepanov, who came to the draft fully mulleted. Washington selects.................Karl Alzner. It sounded like he was going to take Sam Gagner, then he switched midway through and took Alzner. Odd.

6:53-Pierre McGuire is skeptical that JVR will go to New Hampshire, and cites UNH's lack of development of pros. Ouch.

6:55-Edmonton is coming up to the podium. Edmonton selects.........Sam Gagner. Very nice pick.

6:58-Hometown Columbus is up. Voracek maybe?

7:00-The overheard camera shot is not flattering for Dave Gagner.

7:02-Four of the top six picks will play at least one season in the US. That's pretty cool.

7:03-A lot of enthusiasm in Columbus. That's pretty cool. Columbus selects..........Jakub Voracek. Not a bad pick. He's the first European-born player to be selected.

7:07-People are saying Columbus wanted someone else, but basically had to take Voracek since he slipped. Basically, they got Voracek because LA couldn't trade their pick and had to take Hickey.

7:10-The Bruins are up next. Cherepanov looks like a stupid pick, so that's probably who they'll pick.

Cam Neely selects.........Zach Hamill. Interesting. He dropped quite a bit this past year, but I think he's got a lot of talent. This shakes things up a little bit more.

7:15-San Jose selects........Logan Couture. Another kid who slipped a little this past year.

7:23-They keep talking about Cherepanov falling. That seems to be the big story. Florida is up next.

Florida selects.......Keaton Ellerby. They had to be pretty happy that he was still available at number 10.

7:26-Pierre McGuire doesn't care if you can't sign Cherepanov. You should still draft him. Apparently he's so good that he can score goals all the way from Russia.

7:30-Carolina selects............Brandon Sutter. Probably one of the better forwards still available, which Carolina kind of needed, though they also need some young defenseman, so I'm not sure why they passed on the defense.

Still no Cherepanov. This is like Kyle Woodlief's dream.

7:35-Montreal passes over the local kid in Esposito and takes their second straight Mr. Hockey winner in Ryan McDonagh. I think McDonagh will be a great player someday.

7:39-John Davidson steps out of his tanning booth to make St. Louis' pick. I guess the Blues are my new favorite NHL team. St. Louis selects..........Lars Eller. I don't know much about Eller, so I'm not sure how I feel about that.

7:44-Colorado is up next. They select...........Kevin Shattenkirk. Good for him. Everyone I've talked to you says he's a great kid. He's pretty talented too.

7:50-Edmonton picks next. They already have Sam Gagner. Edmonton selects..........Alex Plante. I saw Planet all over the place. Edmonton may have been able to get him with their next first round pick, but they really liked him, I guess.

7:53-Vancouver apparently tried really hard to get Kyle Turris. They can go commiserate with the Vancouver Giants.

7:54-Anaheim trades pick 16 to Minnesota for picks 19 and 42 of this year. Minnesota is on the clock.

7:55-Minnesota selects...........Colton Gillies. Hey, the Wild got a grinder. I think they're lacking those. I think that one day, they'll figure out how to score less than zero goals in a game.

8:02-New York Rangers select.....Alexei Cherepanov. Now we don't have to hear about him, or look at his awful anymore.

8:09-St. Louis selects...........Ian Cole. A bit of a reach, but I really like this pick. Cole is a nice player, and something that STL needs.

I'm giving up on the live-blogging until later. See you then.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

2007 NHL Mock Draft

Here is my Mock Draft for the first round of this year's NHL Draft.

1. Chicago Blackhawks: Pat Kane, Forward, London Knights(OHL)

Kyle Turris is also a possibility. When I first saw Kane play two years ago, my first thought was that he reminded me of Brendan Morrison. If he lives up to the hype, he could be even better.

2. Philadelphia: James van Riemsdyk, Forward, US NTDP

JVR is big, talented, and a fairly local kid since he hails from New Jersey.

3. Phoenix: Kyle Turris, Forward, Burnaby Express(BCHL)

Phoenix will probably run to the podium to select whichever one of the top three fall to them, unless the guy they really want is already drafted, in which case, another team with a lot of picks will try to trade up.

4. Los Angeles: Karl Alzner, Defenseman, Calgary Hitmen(WHL)

People have mentioned the possibility of LA trading down, but is anyone really going to be clamoring to get this pick? The Kings would like another defenseman and they’ll take the best available.

5. Washington: Alexei Cherepanov, Forward Omsk(Russia)

This is where things get crazy. If the Caps select anyone short of me, I won’t be surprised. I went with Cherepanov since I think he might have the most upside

6. Edmonton: Jakub Voracek, Forward Halifax Mooseheads(QMJHL)

Almost everyone seems to have Voracek here, so I’ll be a sheep. The Oilers could try to move up since they’ve got a couple first round picks to work with.

7. Columbus: Keaton Ellerby, Defenseman Kamloops Blazers(WHL)

Conventional wisdom seems to have Columbus taking a defenseman. I think Ellerby will be the second one to go.

8. Boston: Sam Gagner, Forward, London Knights(OHL)

I think this would be a nice steal for the Bruins. Gagner is probably more talented than he’s been credited for.

9. St. Louis: Ryan McDonagh, Defenseman Cretin-Derham Hall(USHSW)

Instead of waiting until their later first round picks to get a defenseman, St. Louis grabs an extremely talented player early on, and then will gamble on forwards later on.

10. Florida: Kevin Shattenkirk, Defenseman, US NTDP

I don’t really like anybody in this spot. There’s a lot of talented players, but none that seem to fit Florida’s needs. Florida desperately needs a goalie, but there’s none to be had this early, so they may try to trade down with somebody who really wants one of the good centers available.

11. Carolina: Brandon Sutter, Forward, Red Deer Rebels(WHL)

Carolina mortgaged their future for their Stanley Cup run two years ago, so they need lots of help to refill their prospect pool. They’ll take the best player available.

12. Montreal: Angelo Esposito, Forward, Quebec Remparts(QMJHL)

This seems like kind of a no-brainer if Esposito does indeed last this long.

13. Toronto: Logan Couture, Forward, Ottawa 67’s(OHL)

Another fairly local player that has dropped a little bit.

14. Colorado: Lars Eller, Forward, Frolunda(Sweden)

Eller is Danish. I find that funnier than I probably should.

15. Edmonton: Max Pacioretty, Sioux City Musketeers(USHL)

The third piece of the Ryan Smyth trade is a prototypical power forward to replace Smyth.

16. Anaheim: Jonathon Blum, Defenseman, Vancouver Giants(WHL)

Maybe a bit of a reach, but the Ducks need some new blood on defense, and Blum is a Southern California kid.

17. New York Rangers: Mikael Backlund, Forward, Vasteras(Sweden)

He’s another kid that has dropped a lot over the past couple of months. This is probably low enough that the Rangers will be willing to gamble.

18. Calgary: Colton Gillies, Forward, Saskatoon Blades(WHL)

I would not be shocked to see Calgary take any WHL player here.

19. Minnesota: David Perron, Forward, Lewiston Maineiacs(QMJHL)

The Wild will try to add a little skill and flash to go with their legions of grinders. Plus, he plays in the Q, which automatically bumps him up a couple spots on the Wild’s board.

20. Pittsburgh: Maxim Mayorov, Forward, Leninogorsk(Russia)

The Penguins already have some excellent young talent. They’ll take the gamble on being able to sign Mayorov for the potential to have the most exciting forward corps in the NHL.

21. Phoenix: Tommy Cross, Defenseman, Westminster Prep(USHSE)

A lot of good defensive prospects here, but I think Phoenix will go with Cross.

22. Montreal: Nick Petrecki, Defenseman, Omaha Lancers(USHL)

Montreal likes American prospects, and should be pleased that either Petrecki or Cross will be available here.

23. Nashville: Thomas Hickey, Defenseman, Seattle Thunderbirds(WHL)

A bit of a drop for Hickey. He could easily swap positions with Kevin Shattenkirk

24. St. Louis: Zach Hamill, Forward, Everett Silvertips(WHL)

The Blues took a bit of a gamble taking a defenseman with their first pick, but it pays off with a talented offensive player still available at 24.

25. Vancouver: Brett MacLean, Forward, Oshawa Generals(OHL)

MacLean is probably the best player available at this point

26. St. Louis: Oscar Moller, Forward, Chilliwack Chiefs(WHL)

I’d be kind of surprised if St. Louis kept all three first round picks, but if they do, I think they’d try for another forward that can score.

27. Detroit: Billy Sweat, Forward, Colorado College(WCHA)

In honor of the Blog That Yost Built, I wanted to say Detroit would select “the best available Jiri or Tomas” I don’t think they should pass on Sweatt though, who looks like he’ll be able to contribute at the NHL level some day, and who I think has more offensive ability than he is credited for.

28. Washington: Logan MacMillan, Forward, Halifax Mooseheads(QMJHL)

MacMillan is a safer choice after the Caps gambled on Cherepanov.

29. Ottawa: Riley Nash, Forward, Salmon Arm Silverbacks(BCHL)

*shrug* I’ll take a shot at a wildcard in the draft.

30. Edmonton: Tyson Sexsmith, Goalie, Vancouver Giants(WHL)

We can’t go the entire first round without a goalie. If Edmonton keeps all of their picks, I think they’ll take the first goalie of the draft.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Model Camp Report

Disclaimer: I only made it to the Model Camp last Friday, and with games on two different rinks, I missed decent chunks of pretty much all of the games, so if I missed someone doing something crazy-awesome, I apologize. I'm just writing about what I saw. Also, comments on the goaltending are probably a little thin, since I'm only seeing such a small sample. I used the rosters provided by Iceburg of GopherPuckLive, which looked fairly accurate to me, but if someone was wearing a different jersey number or something, let me know.

Team 8 vs. Team 9

I think Team 9 ended up being one of the better teams in the camp. The player I was probably most impressed with off that team was Little Falls '91 defenseman Izaak Berglund. I think he barely made the national Select 15s last summer as an alternate, but now he looks like he's one of the best in his age group.

I think Hill-Murray's Dan Cecka will score a lot of points next season. He's a big, strong kid with good finishing ability. His Hill-Murray teammate, Tyler Zepeda('91 birthdate) showed off some nice speed and scored a pretty goal. He didn't do much on the defensive end, but given the setting, I wouldn't read too much into it.

Breck teammates Tyson Fulton and Riley Borer are two talented kids, but extremely young, and need some time to develop before they're serious college prospects, but are definitely two kids to watch for the future.

Team 2 vs. Team 3

This was a pretty fun game to watch with a lot of good players.

Ben Arnt was back playing in Minnesota after playing in the USHL last season. He's still not a great skater, but looked to have bulked up even more over the past year. It looked like playing in the USHL helped him get a little better at controlling the puck, and he still has a cannon for a shot. He also delivered one of the better open ice hits I've seen in a while.

Jared Maetche from St. Cloud kind of looked like a smaller version of Arnt. He's over a year younger, so he's not as strong, but he's a better skater. He's got soft hands and always works hard. He's also got a pretty nice shot. He needs to develop and fill out a little bit more, but I think he'll be a solid college hockey player some day.

Another very talented player is Rogers defenseman Nick Jensen. Jensen is a '90 birthdate, and is a great skater. He's got decent size, and is still incredibly agile. I don't think he gets as much hype playing for Rogers, but he's definitely a high-end prospect. White Bear Lake defenseman Taylor Johnson, who will be a senior next year, was also very impressive.

Ben Hanowski was also on Team 2. He seemed to be skating harder than he did at last year's Model Camp. He's still exceptional along the boards, but it seemed like he never developed great chemistry with his linemates to generate a lot of offense. That tends to happen in these types of events.

Speaking of chemistry, on Team 3, Roseau's Ben Nelson and Roseville's Adam Mueller played on the same line and were exceptional. Nelson didn't stand out to me too much during the high school season, but he looked great at the Model Camp. He was probably the best stickhandler at the camp. Mueller isn't particularly flashy, but he's able to get the puck to the net and create goals. That duo combined for at least four goals while I was watching.

Duluth East's Joe Arbour made an all-star game at a USHL tryout camp. He kind of reminded me of former Duluth East defenseman Brian Downing. He's not a great skater, but he's a big guy that uses his size well, and plays a nice, physical style of hockey.

Goalie Keegan Asmundson made some very nice saves in his half of the game. I didn't see a lot of Brady Hjelle in goal, but he looked like the best goalie there. He's very quick, and looked pretty sound positionally.

Team 7 vs. Team 10

Blaine defenseman Nick Carson will probably be one of the top defenders in the state next season. He played a little bit for Southern Minnesota after the high school season, and is a very reliable defenseman. His Blaine teammate, forward Ryan Johnson also played a very nice game.

Danny Mattson is very talented. He's probably one of the better uncommitted players left in Minnesota.

One kid I hadn't heard of was Cretin-Derham Hall's Mychal Bangs. He's only a '91 birthdate, and I don't think he played much for the Raiders last season, but he looked very good. He could have a breakout year next season.

Team 10 had Nick Mattson, who is the sole Minnesotan selected to the NTDP so far this year. Mattson is tremendously talented, but he also looked a little raw. He also still has to fill out a lot physically. Of course, he was one of the youngest players at the camp. After two years with the NTDP, he should be an outstanding player.

Team 1 vs. Team 4

Team 4 had two of the most talented players in the state in Jared Festler and Mike Fink. They played a couple shifts together, but I never felt like they really clicked. They generated some offense, but most of it was off of individual efforts. Fink had a couple great rushes up the ice, and Festler showcased his stick-handling ability. I didn't start off as a big fan of Festler's, but the more I see him, the more impressed I've become, and I think he'll really surprise some people with how far he goes in hockey.

To contrast Team 4, Team 1 had '91 birthdates Zach Budish and Nick Oliver, who have played together in the past and had pretty good chemistry together. Budish was one of the best players I saw, and it sounds like he scored a lot of goals. I saw him score twice on two beautiful snap shots from high in the slot. Not many high schoolers have the strength to finish from where he did. I guess some people have questioned his consistency, but he's looked very good every time I've seen him, and I don't see any '91 forwards in the state being better than him. Oliver also played pretty well. He always gives 100%. He even managed to take two penalties, which given how the games are officiated, is quite a feat.

'91 defenseman Nick Leddy also stood out as a talented player, as did Edina's Brendan Baker. Baker sometimes struggles against top-end players, but given time to develop, he should become better defensively.

Team 11 vs. Team 12

I ended up not watching a lot of this game, since I was more interested in the games on the other rink.

One kid I was interested in seeing was Matt Farris, who scored a lot of points playing high school hockey in South Dakota. He was a pretty decent player, though his point totals definitely look inflated due to his competition. If he gets a little stronger, he may get some looks by junior teams.

Burnsville's Jake Hendrickson is a kid that should get a lot more attention next season. He played pretty well.

Team 5 vs. Team 6

This was the game I was most interested in seeing. There were a lot of great players on both sides.

I was interested to see how Seth Helgeson would do against a little tougher competition. He looked pretty raw. I think it will take some time before he learns when to pick his spots to rush up the ice. He's got all the tools though, including great skating, size, and an absolute cannon for a shot. It'd be a shame if he left Faribault HS, but it'd also probably be in his best interest.

Another duo that had really nice chemistry together was Jake Youso and Anoka's John O'Neill. Youso is probably the fastest player in the state. He's really thin, but I think he's stronger than he looks. O'Neill is an incredibly smooth player, with a lot of talent. He'll be a very nice recruit for somebody.

Wausau's Nate Condon is a young player, but I think he's one of the more talented players in Wisconsin. He's a definite college prospect.

Team 6 had three of the best defenseman in the state in Aaron Ness, Joe Gleason, and Anthony Raiola. Ness and Gleason were paired together and were fun to watch. Ness is almost the exact opposite of Helgeson, in that he has none of the physical ability, but his game is so refined and he almost never makes a mistake. Also, being so light gives him a ridiculous amount of agility. Ness and Gleason took a shift at forward and they ended up scoring a goal.

Raiola isn't flashy like some of the other '90 born defenseman, but he's probably one of the better defensive defenseman at that age group.

The Edina duo of Marshall Everson and Connor Gaarder were also on Team 6. Everson isn't a pretty player, but is very effective. He's not the greatest skater, but he's got a decent amount of size, and uses it to his advantage. Gaarder is a talented kid, but probably needs some more time to develop.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Tavares Question

The Oshawa Generals John Tavares had a great season last year. He led the Ontario Hockey League in goal-scoring by 10 goals with 72 goals(a CHL record for a player of his age), and his 134 points trailed only Pat Kane, who may be the first overall pick in this year's draft. Tavares' only problem? He was born on a Thursday, instead of the previous Sunday. Tavares was born on September 20, 1990, meaning that he is five days too young to qualify for the 2008 NHL Draft, and will instead have to wait until 2009 before he can suit up in the NHL.

There isn't a way around that rule, either. The Florida Panthers once tried, selecting Alexander Ovechkin in the 6th round of the 2003 draft, and arguing that Ovechkin, born September 17th 1985, had lived for 18 years, due to leap years. The NHL disagreed and Ovechkin had to wait until 2004 to be drafted.

But should there be a way around that rule? After all, Tavares would seem to be ready for next year's draft. Tavares would likely be a shoe-in for the top pick in the 2008 draft. Steven Stamkos, who is currently considered the top prospect for next year's draft, scored 92 points in the OHL last season, which is exceptional, but still 42 points behind what Tavares did.

If the NHL made an exception for Tavares, it wouldn't be the first time an exception was made for him. The OHL, who had seen Tavares dominate against players a year older than him, and fearing Tavares might seek a league outside of Canada to play, decided to grant him an "exceptional player" exemption, which allowed him to be taken in the draft a year earlier.

The NHL doesn't really have to worry about losing Tavares, since he'll end up in the NHL eventually, but they do have to worry about losing fans. The NHL's biggest problems are all of the negative publicity they receive in the media and a lack of TV ratings. A 17 year-old phenom could bring some good publicity and interest back into the game. If nothing else, the sports world would have to pay attention to see how the young kid would do.

There is one small caveat though. I think it's absolutely essential that Tavares ends up in the Western Conference. The NHL has done a great job marketing Sidney Crosby, and to a lesser extent, Alexander Ovechkin. The problem is that both of those players play in the east, meaning Western Conference teams only get to see those players maybe once a year. Sidney Crosby helped draw a sellout in Phoenix when Pittsburgh came to town earlier this year. But Pittsburgh only played once in Phoenix, and with so many teams in the league, there's only so much Sidney to go around. Meanwhile, the West lacks a true young star. Joe Sakic is great, but on his way out. Joe Thornton scores a lot of points, but last year he had 4 assists for every goal he scored. And Jarome Iginla plays in Canada. Someone young like Tavares that can score a lot of goals would draw a lot of attention in the West.

Of course the NHL can't rig their draft order so a western team gets the first pick. It's not like this is professional wrestling or the NBA. I'm just saying that it would be really nice if it worked out that way.

It's really in the NHL's best interest to let Tavares into the draft a year early. It would be easy to do, as well. They'd just have to do the same thing that the OHL did. Create an "exceptional player exemption" that players must apply for, and allow the NHL to make the final decision. They could even call it the "Tavares Rule".

John Tavares will be ready for the NHL in 2008, and the NHL is more than ready for another superstar like Tavares. It only makes sense to not force him to wait just because of when he was born.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sioux Falls Camp Report

Here are the rosters from Sioux Falls Tryout Camp All-Star game. Sioux Falls also had had a recap of the game I saw.

White's top line featured returning '89 birthdates Jake Hansen, Robbie Vrolyk, along with former Buffalo(MN)forward Ross Trousdale. I was really surprised when I checked back and saw that this line didn't have any points. Hansen and Vrolyk were easily the two best players on the ice. Vrolyk is an east coast kid that isn't that big, but is very quick. Hansen was the best player I saw all day. He's got a great combination of speed, strength and hard work. He's very fun to watch.

Michael Juola was the LA Jr. Kings was probably the next best forward for the White team. I was once again impressed with Minnetonka HS defenseman Anthony Raiola. Raiola will be a senior at Minnetonka, but he's talented enough to play in the USHL. Duluth recruit Scott Kishel has a lot of talent, but I think his decision-making needs to get a little better before he's ready for college hockey. He had one awful turnover in his own zone that led directly to a goal. I'm sure a year of playing in the USHL will help that. Max Grover played a solid, dependable game and should make the team.

Jordy Christian probably would have been Blue's best player, but he wasn't playing on Sunday night. Jack Connolly was probably Blue's best forward. It was a little difficult for him to be as creative with unfamiliar linemates, but he was still fun to watch. Team Illinois' Marc Rodriguez scored a nice goal and looks like he has a lot of offensive talent. Travis Belohrad, from Colorado, was the only '91 birthdate to make the all-star game and he didn't look out of place. Nick Dineen is a very nice two-way player.

On defense, Sam Zabkowicz had a rough first half of the game. He was one of the better players on the ice, but looked like he was trying to force things too much, and made some bad decisions. He settled down and played very well in the second half though. Dallas' Kris Reinthaler played a nice game and scored a pretty goal. Ian Ruel is a very physical defenseman, but I don't think he's ready for the USHL level yet.

All in all, Sioux Falls looked like they'll have another very good team next season. I think that Hansen will be one of the league's best players, and they'll get great leadership from some of the '87 birthdates on the team.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tri-City Camp Report

For Tri-City's All-Star game, they had two 25 minute running time halves. Instead of penalties, players got a penalty shot, and there was a shootout and the end of each half. Here is the roster from the game.

The White team looked to be the stronger of the two teams. White's best line was Wisconsin commit Chris Hickey, Mario Lamoureux, and Yannick Offret from France. Hickey was probably the best player on the ice. He had a goal, and probably would have had a couple others if he was in mid-season form. Jordan Van Guilder and Cameron Cooper were two other returning players that stood out.

White's second best line was a bit of surprise with three pretty young kids. That line had SCSU commit Nick Oliver, another '91 birthdate in Matt Tabrum, and a '90 birthdate named Tyler Johnson.

Oliver really played exceptionally well. His dad is the head coach at Roseau HS and I doubt he'd leave, but he almost looked like he could have made Tri-City's team. He also scored a very nice goal. Tabrum came from the Pikes Peak Miner's AAA program. He looked like he still needs to fill out a lot, but he looks like he has a lot of potential.

I wasn't familiar with Johnson either prior to the camp. He's a speedy forward with pretty good hands. He was drafted by the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. He's an Idaho native that had a great year last season playing in the NPHL. The NPHL(or NORPAC) is a Jr. B league that drew quite a bit of attention last season for a fiasco involving Fort Vancouver's team. Johnson led that league in scoring with an eye-popping 120 points in 39 games.

Oklahoman Josh Berge also played pretty well, but he's probably a little too small for the USHL this year. He was one of the best players in terms of controlling the puck, however.

Mike Cichy wasn't overly impressive. It looked like the speed of the game was a little faster than he was used to.

Black's team had three overage players on it in Sean Wiles and two Omaha recruits: Alex Hudson and Jordan Willert. All three weren't necessarily the slickest players, but they had a big advantage in terms of maturity and strength and were probably the best players for Black.

I was also impressed with Brendan Berquam. He played for the LA Jr. Kings, and prior to that, at Shattuck. He's not a big guy, but showed very good skating and passing ability.

His LA teammate Troy Power was also on the Black team. I continue to be impressed with Power's talent, though the up-and-down loose flowing style of play in the game didn't really suit his talents. I think he could have a nice year in the USHL though.

Colin Smith and David Chaney were two kids from the Belle Tire program that I wasn't familiar with that played pretty well.

Minnesota Tom Kleidon will probably make the jump from the NAHL to the USHL this season. He plays like a solid, dependable defenseman.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sioux Falls Stampede All-Star Game

Here is the roster from the Sioux Falls Stampede Tryout Camp All-Star game.

Team Blue
D Sean Escobedo Apple Core '90
D Kris Reinthaler Dallas Stars '88
D Joe Brehm Edina HS '88
D Ian Ruel Victory Honda '90
D Justin Lee Chaska HS '89
D Sam Zabkowicz Sioux Falls '87 (St. Cloud)
F Nick Dineen Sioux Falls '89 (Colorado College)
F Jack Connolly Duluth Marshall '89 (Minnesota-Duluth)
F Patrick Divjak WE-V '89
F Marc Rodriguez Team Illinois '90
F Jordy Christian Moorhead HS '88
F Jordan Singer Centennial HS '88
F David Grun Sioux Falls '87
F Travis Belohrad BUH/Pike to Peake '91
F Tom Healy Team Illinois '88
F Tony McDonald Totino-Grace HS '88
F Matt Leer Edina HS '89
F Matt Farris Pierre HS '90
G Eric Hartzell Dallas Stars '89
G Connor Toomey St. Sebastien's '89
G Doug Carr Hanover HS '89

Team White
D Max Grover Little Caesar's '88
D Scott Kishel Virgina HS '89 (Minnesota-Duluth)
D Anthony Raiola Minnetonka HS '90
D Gabe Guentzel Southern Minnesota '88
D Mike Baran Thayer Academy '89
D Austin Accettura Honeybaked '90
F Dan Sexton Sioux Falls '87
F Terry Broadhurst Chicago Chill '88
F Britton Smith Holy Angels '88
F Kyle Politz Apple Valley HS '89
F Jake Hansen Sioux Falls '89 (Minnesota)
F Michael Joula LA Kings '89
F Josh Holmstrom Colorado Rampage '89
F Robbie Vrolyk Sioux Falls '89
F Kevin Czepiel Northfield Mount Hermon '88
F Ross Trousdale Buffalo HS '88
F John Kruse Eden Prairie HS '89
F Jeff Rohrkemper Grosse Pointe North '89
G Derek Mohney Buffalo Saints '90
G Max Strang Sioux Falls '89

Tri-City Storm All-Star Game

Here are the rosters for the All-Star game at the Tri-City Storm tryout camp.

Team White
D Nick Jaskowiak Salisbury Prep '89
D Charlie Raskob Holy Angels '89
F Tyler Johnson Couer d'Alene NORPAC '90
F Mario Lamoureux Tri-City Storm '88
F Yannick Offret Amiens, France '88
F Chris Hickey Cretin-Derham Hall HS (Wisconsin) '88
F Colin Phanuef Winnipeg South Blues '90
D Jordan Lolar Springfield Falcons '88
D Danny Heath PF Chang's '90
D Ryan Peltoma Tri-City Storm '88
D Greg Thocker Fargo-Moorhead Jets '90
F Anthony DeCenzo Hibbing HS '89
F Matt Tabrum Pikes Peak AAA '91
F Jordan Van Guilder Tri-City Storm '88
D Cameron Cooper Tri-City Storm '88
F Josh Berge Dallas Alliance AAA '90
F Mike Cichy Jr. Bruins '90 (North Dakota)
F Nick Oliver Roseau HS '91 (St. Cloud)
F Bryce Ravndalen Warroad HS '89

Team Black
D Grant Fahnhorst Wayzata HS '89
D Shawn Jameson Dubuque '88
D David Chaney Belle Tire '90
D Chris Franks Burnsville HS '89
D James Geerin North Iowa '90
D Brandon Martel Elk River HS '89 (Minnesota)
D Tom Kleidon Santa Fe '89
F Brandon Berquam LA Kings '89
F Brett Beebe Anaheim Jr. Ducks '90
F Dan Cecka Hill-Murray '89
F Troy Power LA Kings '90
F Troy Mattila Springfield '88
F Sean Wiles Tri-City Storm '87
F Alex Hudson Tri-City Storm '87 (Nebraska-Omaha)
F Colin Smith Belle Tire '88
F Jordan Willert Tri-City Storm '87 (Nebraska-Omaha)

Jake Kremer Russell Stover '88
Ian O'Brien Pittsburgh Penguins '90
Aaron Rock Tri-City Storm '87
Hakan Yumusaklar Lakeville South HS '89