Friday, July 13, 2007

Notes from the Philadelphia Flyers Development Camp Scrimmage

Twelve CHL players attended the Flyers development camp this week, working out on and off the ice each day. This morning's scrimmage, three 20-minute periods, was the culmination of the week's activities. Several players were not on the ice this morning, most notably Steve Downie. As I was at the scrimmage taking notes on all the Flyers' prospects (for an article for another media outlet), I did not focus on just CHLers. Therefore, I only have remarks on seven CHL players that participated in today's game.

Claude Giroux (Gatineau Olympiques)-Very skilled with the puck. One of the fastest players on the ice. Highly creative with and without the puck.

Pat Maroon (London Knights)--Maroon made some very impressive plays today. He showed excellent puck control, and on two occasions weaved in and out of traffic with the puck with ease. However, at other times, he seemed not to make the best decisions with and without the puck. Some balance issues exist, which along with his skating will need to be worked on, but overall a good performance.

Mario Kempe (St. John's Fog Devils)--Great work ethic and good decision-making and anticipation on the ice. Excellent puck pursuit. Lost an edge and ran into goal posting the third period, may have injured his leg or knee, but very gritty player; one of the more impressive younger players.

David Laliberte (PEI Rocket)--Very strong on the puck, good protection and decent grit. Excellent effort today.

Garrett Klotz (Saskatoon Blades)--Big and aggressive; good protection of the puck.

Jeremy Duchesne (Halifax Mooseheads)--Looked very good in goal. Comes out to challenge the shooter well. Stays square. Very good anticipation, but does need some work on rebounds.

Dylan Quaile (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)--Tryout player who did not have his best day. Bad giveaway in own zone led to opposition scoring chance. He also had open shot from the blueline and waited too long to take it. Just a step too slow both in his shots and his skating.

Calgary Flames Development Camp Announced/NHL & AHL Entry Level Contracts

The Flames announced that their development camp will run from July 16-21, and will take place at the Don Hartman Northeast Sportsplex. All on-ice sessions are open to the public, and will run from approximately 9 am through 3 pm. The CHLers that will be taking part are:

John Negrin, D, Kootenay Ice (3rd round, # 70 overall, 2007)
Keith Aulie, D Brandon Wheat Kings (4th round, # 116 overall, 2007)
Mike Reneaud, C, Windsor Spitfires (5th round , # 143 overall, 2007)
Leland Irving, G, Everett Silvertips (1st round, # 26 overall, 2006)
John Armstrong, C, Peterborough Petes (3rd round, # 87 overall, 2006)
Hugo Carpentier, C, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (4th round, # 118 overall, 2006)
Juuso Puustinen, RW, Kamloops Blazers (5th round, # 149 overall, 2006)
Devin Didiomete, LW, Sarnia Sting (7th round, # 187 overall, 2006)
Matt Pelech, D, Belleville Bulls (1st round, # 26 overall, 2005)
Gordon Baldwin, D, Medicine Hat Tigers (3rd round, # 69, 2005)
Dan Ryder, C, Plymouth Whalers (3rd round, # 74 overall, 2005)
JD Watt, RW, Vancouver Giants (4th round, #111 overall, 2005)
Kevin Lalande, G, Belleville Bulls (5th round, # 128 overall, 2005)
Matt Keetley, G, Medicine Hat Tigers (5th round, # 158 overall, 2005)
Brett Sutter, C, Red Deer Rebels (6th round, # 179 overall, 2005)
Brad Cole, D, Saskatoon Blades (signed free agent)

In AHL and NHL entry-level contract news, yesterday it was announced that the Phoenix Coyotes signed their first round 2006 selection, Peter Mueller. Selected eighth overall in last year's draft, Mueller had a very offensively productive season with the Everett Silvertips. If Mueller does not make the Coyotes roster out of camp, he will be returning to the WHL, however, he has a good shot, so Everett may have seen the last of their star centre.

Thomas Beauregard, Acadie-Bathurst Titan's undrafted winger will play with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs this season. A recent invitee to the Montreal Canadiens development camp, Beauregard was immediately thereafter signed to an AHL contract.

Sutter Takes Job With Devils

As expected, Bent Sutter, who resigned his active management and coaching positions with the WHL Red Deer Rebels yesterday, will take the reins as head coach of the NHL's New Jersey Devils. TSN calls it "one of the NHL's least secure jobs," and that is bing kind. New Jersey is hurting after their free agent losses, so Sutter's start with the Devils will be a baptism by fire (if you will pardon the expression). No word yet as to what will happen to the coaching of the Canadian U-20 team.

Four More NHL Development Camp Roster Lists

Before I run off to this morning's Philadelphia Flyers' scrimmage, CHL News has recieved the list of CHLers in four NHL prospect development camps currently taking place. The players attending the camps held by the Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, and the Washinigton Caps appear below. Two other teams, the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks, held camps over the last week, but full rosters were not released. I am aware that the Sharks' camp included CHL stars Devin Setoguchi, Ty Wishart and Logan Couture.

Two other clubs, the Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers, held development camps prior to last month's NHL draft.

Here is the current list of the 4 teams mentioned above.

Anaheim Ducks
Logan MacMillan, C, Halifax Mooseheads (1st round, # 19 overall, 2007)
Eric Tangradi, LW, Belleville Bulls (2nd round, # 42 overall, 2007)
Maxime Macenauer, C, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (3rd round, # 63 overall, 2007)
Brett Morrison, C, PEI Rocket (5th round #151 overall, 2007)
Bryce Swan, RW, Halifax Mooseheads (2nd round, # 38 overall, 2006)
Matt Beleskey, LW, Belleville Bulls (4th round, #112 overall, 2006)
John Degray, D, Brampton Battalion (3rd round, # 83 overall, 2006)
Bobby Ryan, LW, Owen Sound Attack (1st round, #2 overall, 2005)
Brendan Mikkelson, D, Vancouver Giants (2nd round, # 31 overall, 2005)
Jason Bailey, RW, Ottawa 67s (3rd round, #63 overall, 2005)
Bobby Bolt, LW, Kingston Fronts (5th round, #127 overall, 2005)
Jean-Philippe Levasseur, G, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (7th round, #197 overall, 2005)
Matt Auffrey, RW, Kingston Fronts (6th round, #172 overall, 2004)
Brett Festerling, D, Vancouver Giants (free agent signing)

Colorado Avalanche
Camp dates: July 7-13

Chris Stewart, RW, Kingston Fronts (1st round, # 18 overall, 2006)
Nigel Williams, D, Saginaw Spirit (2nd round, # 51 overall, 2006)
Codey Burki, C, Brandon Wheat Kings (2nd round, #59 overall, 2006)
Kevin Montgomery, D, London Knights (4th round, # 110 overall, 2006)
Raymond Macias, D, Kamloops Blazers (4th round, #124 overall, 2005)
Jason Fransoo, D, Everett Silvertips (tryout)

Los Angeles Kings
Camp dates: July 8-14

Thomas Hickey, D, Seattle Thunderbirds (1st round, # 4 overall, 2007)
Linden Rowat, G, Regina Pats (5th round, #127 overall, 2007)
Jonathan Bernier, G, Lewiston MAINEiacs (1st round, # 11 overall, 2006)
Trevor Lewis, C, Owen Sound Attack (1st round, # 17 overall, 2006)
Joe Ryan, D, Quebec Remparts (2nd round, # 48 overall, 2006)
David Meckler, C, London Knights (5th round, #134 overall, 2006)

Washington Capitals
Camp dates: July 11-14

Karl Alzner, D, Calgary Hitmen (1st round, # 5 overall, 2007)
Josh Godfrey, D, Soo Greyhounds (2nd round # 34 overall, 2007)
Brett Leffler, RW, Regina Pats, (5th round, # 125 overall, 2007)
Justn Taylor, C, London Knights (6th round, # 180 overall, 2007)
Michal Neuvirth, G, Plymouth Whalers (2nd round, # 34 overall, 2006)
Francois Bouchard, RW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (2nd round, # 35 overall, 2006)
Oskar Osala, LW, Niagara Ice Dogs (4th round, # 97 overall, 2006)
Luke Lynes, C, Brampton Battalion (4th round, # 122 overall, 2006)
Maxime Lacroix, LW, Quebec Remparts (5th round, # 127 overall, 2006)
Mathieu Perreault, C, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (6th round, # 177 overall, 2006)
Patrick McNeill, D, Saginaw Spirit (4th round, #118 overall, 2005)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Brent Sutter Steps Down in Red Deer

This afternoon the Red Deer Rebels held a news conference and as expected announced that Brett Sutter will no longer play an active role in the every day hockey operations of the club. He has resigned his positions as Governor/General Manager/Head Coach effective immediately. Brian Sutter was named head coach, Jesse Wallin (the team's former assistant coach) is associate coach, and Jerry Van Someren was named Governor/Vice President of Business Operations. Randy Peterson will run the Rebels' Hockey Operations and today was named Vice President of that function. Dale McMullin, who has been a member of Red Deer's scouting staff, has been promoted to Senior Scout. The team also named Ralph Schmidt as a new addition to the scouting staff.

As for Brent Sutter, TSN and Rogers have him going to New Jersey to coach the Devils, but no confirmation of that today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday's CHL News

In the OHL, today the Barrie Colts signed winger Kyle Clifford, their second round pick in the 2007 Priority draft. Clifford is an excellent body checker who was one of the top hitters in this year's draft. A fast skater, who is has leadership potential, he should also be able to put up some e cent numbers over the next 2-3 years.

Signed yesterday was Sudbury Wolves defenceman Daniel Maggio. Selected seventh overall in this year's priority draft, Maggio will give the Wolves depleted blueline a great lift. A very good decisionmaker with an excellent shot, Maggio will attempt to fill some of the big shoes of Marc Staal.

The WHL teams made some coaching changes over the last couple of days. In Brandon, the Wheaties added former player Darren Ritchie to assist behind the bench for the 2007-08 season. This past season Ritchie was an assistant coach for the Brandon AAA Wheat Kings. The Prince Albert Raiders also announced a coaching addition. Bruno Campese brought his assistant in Penticton over to Prince Albert to be his assistant with the WHL team. This change will not leave room for Kris Knoblauch, who will be moving on. Also moving on will be Kootenay Ice Assistant Coach Brad Lauer, who resigned yesterday, has been with the WHL team for five seasons.

Prince Albert also announced the signing of 2007 first round Bantam Draft selection, Ryan Aasman. A very well rounded defenceman, Aasman has good vision, excellent speed and great hockey sense. He can quarterback the power play and is very good in his own end. Although only able to play in 5 regular season games during 2007-08, Aasman is a great addition to the Raiders' roster.

In our continuing coverage of NHL Development Camps, last night, the Dallas Stars announced the roster of players expected to attend camp, which will run from July 23-29.
The CHL players that are expected to attend include:

Colton Sceviour, C, Portland Winter Hawks (4th round, # 112 overall, 2007)
Ondrej Roman, C, Spokane Chiefs (5th round, # 137 overall, 2007)
Michael Neal, LW, Belleville Bulls (5th round, #149 overall, 2007)
Luke Gazdic, LW, Erie Otters (6th round, #172 overall, 2007)
Ivan Vishnievskiy, D, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (1st round, # 27 overall, 2006)
Aaron Snow, LW, Windsor Spitfires (3rd round, #90 overall, 2006)
James Neal, LW, Plymouth Whalers (2nd round, #33 overall, 2005)
Richard Clune, LW, Barrie Colts (3rd round, # 71 overall, 2005)
Aaron Gagnon, C, Seattle Thunderbirds (free agent signee)
Justin Soryal, LW, Peterborough Petes (tryout)
Eric Doyle, D, Swift Current Broncos (tryout)
Keven Dupont, D, Rimouski Oceanic (tryout)
David Stich, D, St. John Sea Dogs (tryout)
John-Christophe Blanchard, G, Victoriaville Tigres (tryout)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Saginaw Spirit Name GM--Redux

The Saginaw Spirit named their second General Manager in as many weeks today. Apparently former goaltender Don Edwards will actually take the helm this time. Edwards has acted as goaltending coach in the NHL and as GM and head coach of the OHA Oakville Blades. The Blades had announced on April 24, 2007 that Edwards "was no longer associated with the Oakville Blades in any capacity" as of that date. The press release from the OHA team went on to state, "Mr Edwards will be pursuing other opportunities that exist for him in the hockey world." Guess that means the Spirit. There is a story behind this, and frankly, I don't know it yet. But I am sure over the coming days, we will all find out more.

Monday, July 09, 2007

A Steamy Monday at CHL News

It is a very warm night here at CHL News, and both my brain and fingers have slowed down considerably with the more than 36 degree heat (about 93 for those in Fahrenheit land).

As I spent most of yesterday attending the Phila Flyers prospect development camp, there were no blog entries, but there was news, as Pat Maroon announced to me that on Friday, he decided to forgo a college education and play for the London Knights. While it is certainly Ferris' State's loss, it is without question the best move for the big forward. I will be back in camp on Friday for the scrimmage there, and I will give you a full report by Saturday morning.

Now back to the news (drip, drip, wipe, wipe).

First in NHL Prospects Camps. The Toronto Maple Leafs announced their development camp attendees over the weekend, Very few CHL members are in camp, which began today.

Camp Dates: July 9-14th

Dale Mitchell, RW, Oshawa Generals (3rd round, #74 overall, 2007)
Chris DiDomenico, C, Saint John Sea Dogs (6th round, #164 overall, 2007)
Jiri Tlusty, LW, Soo Greyhounds (1st round, #13 overall, 2006)
James Reimer, G, Red Deer Rebels (4th round, #99 overall, 2006)
Phil Oreskovic, D, Owen Sound Attack (3rd round, #82 overall, 2005)
Brent Aubin, RW, Quebec Remparts (free agent NHL contract)

In today's WHL news, there are two trades to report. The Lethbridge Hurricanes obtained big left winger Chris Inglis from the Tri-City Americans in exchange for defenceman Colin Frederickson. Inglis had 8 points in 56 regular season games for Tri-City last season. Frederickson (a 2005 9th round bantam draft selection) spent most of last season as a member of the Victoria Cougars of the VIJHL (Junior B). In the second trade of the day, Red Deer traded defenceman Pat Kozyra to Spokane for a sixth round pick in the 2008 Bantam Draft. Kozyra, 18 years old, had 5 points in 55 WHL games last season, along with 24 PIM, and a +2 rating.

The Americans also announced the signing of 16-year old centre Brendan Shinnimin today. A little small at 5'7", 150, Shinnimin is expected to compete for a WHL roster spot this fall. This after securing a commitment from winger Dan Mulhausen late last week.

Late last week, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan announced the hiring of a new head coach to replace John Chabot, who left to join Ted Nolan on Long Island. The new head man behind the bench will be Denis Francoeur. Francoeur was with the Shawinigan Cataractes for most of the ten years prior to the end of the 2005-06 season.