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Archive for June, 2009

USA Hockey Announces Olympic Camp Roster

June 30, 2009 3 comments
Former UMass goalie Jon Quick was named to the preliminary US roster

Former UMass goalie Jon Quick was named to the preliminary US roster

34 players have been named to the roster that will be at the US orientation camp, to take place from August 17th-19th. Many college players are represented. They are:

Goalies – Ryan Miller (Michigan State), Tim Thomas (Vermont), Jonathan Quick (UMass),

Defensemen – Tom Gilbert (Wisconsin), Ron Hainsey (UMass-Lowell), Erik Johnson (Minnesota), Jack Johnson (Michigan), Mike Komisarek (Michigan), Paul Martin (Minnesota), Brooks Orpik (Boston College), Brian Rafalski (Wisconsin), Rob Scuderi (Boston College), Ryan Suter (Wisconsin), Ryan Whitney (Boston University)

Forwards – David Backes (Minnesota State), David Booth (Michigan State), Chris Drury (Boston University), Ryan Kesler (Ohio State), Phil Kessel (Minnesota), Ryan Malone (St. Cloud State), Kyle Okposo (Minnesota), TJ Oshie (North Dakota), Zach Parise (North Dakota), Joe Pavelski (Wisconsin), and Paul Stastny (Denver)

Whew. Lots of college guys on the team. I’m certainly excited to see that, but this team definitely underwhelms me. I think they’ll be good at the back as Miller is a top shelf goalie, and Thomas was the Vezina winner this year, not to mention they have many solid defensemen, but I don’t see where the goals come from. I am absolutely shocked that Brian Gionta wasn’t on the list given his speed (although the fact that the olympics will be played on an NHL rink might have something to do with it) and Blake Wheeler. Wheeler had a great rookie season for the Bruins, and honestly would have been one of the better goal scorers on this team. I’m also surprised that Keith Ballard didn’t get an invite. There isn’t a terribly obvious person to take off the list, but Gilbert could go in my opinion. No Jordan Leopold or John Michael Liles, a personal favorite of mine, was mildly surprising as well.

No matter who they took, the US is going to struggle to even have a shot at medaling in Vancouver.

Categories: International Hockey, NHL

NHL Draft Wrap Up

June 30, 2009 2 comments

I was out of town over the weekend, so I didn’t get to watch any of the NHL draft coverage. Although the first day was pretty light on the NCAA action, tons of college kids, and future college kids, were taken in the later rounds.

Let’s get it started with Jordan Schroeder, the first college kid taken at 22 to Vancouver. How his stock slipped so much is beyond me. I wish the Penguins would have traded up to draft him, because those teams in the back half of the top 10 are going to be sorry they didn’t take Schroeder. That kid will be a player in the league for a long time. Vancouver doesn’t usually like developing their kids in college, so Schroeder could be in Manitoba before long.

The Minnesota Wild’s first pick of the new regime was Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey Nick Leddy. The future Gopher is one of the best skaters in this class and will add to Minnesota’s impressive stable of defensemen, including Cade Fairchild, Aaron Ness and Sam Lofquist.

One first rounder I love is Louis LeBlanc, picked by the Canadiens at 18. LeBlanc will be going to Harvard next year, although he admits he’d like it to be only a year or two, but the French Canadian has a good frame and good vision, plus is one of the best stick-handlers in the class.

I was pretty shocked that Zach Budish fell all the way to 41. Granted part of it is because of his ACL injury, but the kid has definite first round talent.

Speaking of falling too far, Mike Lee went 91st and was the 7th goalie taken. Dean Blais has said Lee could win St. Cloud a national title. At most, one goalie should have gone ahead of Lee.

Speaking of St. Cloud State, I loved the Ben Hanowski pick at 63 by the Penguins. Hanowski has a knack for finding the net, and watching him play next to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or Jordan Staal should be tons of fun.

The two national championship game goalies went 124 to Colorado (Kieran Millan) and 164 to Buffalo (Connor Knapp) respectively.

Categories: NHL

Preseason Top 16: #12 St. Cloud State

June 25, 2009 1 comment

Howdy, folks. It’s that time of year again. Every so often The College Hockey Blog will be unveiling our Preseason top 16 teams, one by one. If you want to see the top 16 in order, and links to each individual preview, click the tab at the top of the page. Today’s team is #12 St. Cloud State

Last year I had the Huskies as a top 10 team, noting that not only were Ryan Lasch and Garrett Roe one of the best one-two scoring punches in the country, but that I thought the Huskies would have the secondary scoring needed to make the jump to the next level. Fast forward five months, and St. Cloud State finished 6th in the WCHA, losing in the first round of the playoffs to Minnesota. They scored 122 goals on the year, but finished 5th in the conference in that category. Roe was 7th in the country in points per game, and Lasch was 26th, but the only other forward with double digit goals was Sophomore Aaron Marvin. No Husky scored a goal even once every two games. Read more…

Categories: Preseason Preview, WCHA

Former, Current Collegains Part Of Offers For Heatley

June 18, 2009 4 comments

Former Wisconsin Badger Dany Heatley has, as you are probably aware by now, requested a trade from the Ottawa Senators. Teams have lined up, taking their best shot at acquiring the winger. According to NHLSnipers.com, here are some of the packages offered up:

Kings: Jack Johnson (Michigan), Alexander Frolov, 5th and 96th picks in 2009 draft.

Blues: Patrik Berglund, Barret Jackman, Aaron Palushaj (Michigan)

Sharks: Milan Michalek, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Riley Armstrong

Oilers: Dustin Penner (Maine), Tom Gilbert (Wisconsin), Riley Nash (Cornell), 10th overall pick of 2009 draft

Penguins: Chris Kunitz (Ferris State), Max Talbot, Alex Grant, 30th overall pick in 2009

Rangers: Scott Gomez, Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, 19th and 80th overall picks.

Those are some pretty strong packages. My two questions: For a team that isn’t a piece away from contention, what are the Kings doing offering one of the best young defensemen in the game and a forward with tons of potential, plus a top 5 pick, for Heatley? And secondly, why haven’t the Sens accepted? That has to be a bogus rumor.

Also, the Oilers clearly hate collegians.

Categories: NHL

Preseason Top 16: #13 New Hampshire

Howdy, folks. It’s that time of year again. Every so often The College Hockey Blog will be unveiling our Preseason top 16 teams, one by one. If you want to see the top 16 in order, and links to each individual preview, click the tab at the top of the page. Today’s team is #13 New Hampshire

Honestly, it was tough as all get out to rank teams 13-16. I can’t say I’m terribly excited about this UNH team. They scored 116 goals last year, good for 4th amongst all Hockey East teams. James van Riemsdyk wasn’t their leading goal scorer, but he was their leading scorer, and was the only Wildcat over 1 point per game. The next time Wildcat fans see van Riemsdyk however, he’ll be suiting up for the Philadelphia Phantoms (or possibly the Flyers, who knows).

After an up and down season in 2007-08, UNH lost in the Hockey East playoffs to Boston College before an epic comeback against North Dakota in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and then eventually succumbing to eventual champ BU in the second round.

Read more…

Pens Collegians

June 14, 2009 1 comment

First off, congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Granted I am a bit biased being a Pens fan, but this was one of the most enjoyable playoffs in recent memory. While Evgeni Malkin won the Conn Smythe and Marc Andre Fleury made the biggest save of his life in the waning seconds of game 7, this is about the former collegians who play for the Pens. What follows is a list of the Pens who played college hockey and appeared for the Penguins in their playoff run.

Craig Adams (Harvard, ECAC Hockey)

Bill Guerin (Boston College, Hockey East)

Chris Kunitz (Ferris State, CCHA)

Mark Eaton (Notre Dame, CCHA)

Hal Gill (Providence, Hockey East)

Alex Goligoski (Minnesota, WCHA)

Ben Lovejoy (Boston College, Hockey East and Dartmouth, ECAC Hockey)

Brooks Orpik (Boston College, Hockey East)

Rob Scuderi (Boston College, Hockey East)

Thoughts: There are some academic powers on this list (Dartmouth, Harvard, Notre Dame) but you might as well call them the Boston College Penguins with all the former Eagles on the roster. And what’s more, current BC defenseman Carl Sneep is a Pens draftee. John Curry must feel out of place on that team.

Categories: NHL

Preseason Top 16: #14 Air Force

June 10, 2009 2 comments

Howdy, folks. It’s that time of year again. Every so often The College Hockey Blog will be unveiling our Preseason top 16 teams, one by one. If you want to see the top 16 in order, and links to each individual preview, click the tab at the top of the page. Today’s team is #14 Air Force

Last year Air Force produced an upset in the first round of the NCAA tournament when they defeated Michigan – but it was an upset in name only. After all, this was a team that started out the season 13-0 including two defeats of a Frozen Four team and one of Colorado College (that was admittedly much more impressive at the time). Air Force had the top goal scorer in the country (and our inagural player of the year award winner) Jacques Lamoureux who is back for another year to lead the Falcons to perhaps yet another Atlantic Hockey title and NCAA bid. Read more…