Top Talent from Toronto Visiting NE
The Toronto Marlies ’95 Team, ranked atop the Greater Toronto Hockey League, will be in New England this weekend, playing at Phillips Exeter tomorrow, Sat. Nov. 6, at 12:15 pm in a game that was originally scheduled to be played at UNH.
They will also be playing at Boston University’s Agganis Arena Sunday morning at 9:00 am.
The squad, which will be up at the Heights watching the UNH-BC game tonight, features some ultra high-end talent. Forward Nick Ritchie could go #1 overall in next June’s OHL draft. Defenseman Jordan Subban, the younger brother of the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban, is another top round prospect, as is forward Bryson Cianfrone. Other top ‘95s on the team include forward Victor Mueller, a Swedish national; defenseman Jared Gilbert; forward David Perklin; goalie Alex Fontinos; and forward Cody Thompson.
In addition, there are two ‘96s with the team who are drawing a ton of interest in forward Joshua Ho-Sang and big d-man Jon Duchesne.
Reportedly, a dozen or so kids on the team are seriously interested in the NCAA route.
Due to issues with the GTHL, these games are technically intersquad scrimmages. For the Saturday game, with the Boston Advantage U-16 squad, teams will swap a few players. We believe both teams will be wearing generic jerseys supplied by 20/20, the tour’s organizers.
The game Sunday will feature players from the Seacoast Spartans.
A couple of new forwards at Phillips Exeter will also be playing: late ’94 John Cross, a new 10th grader from Quebec City whose father, Dan, played at Colorado College in the ‘80s, and ’95 Cody Rorick, a repeat 9th grader from the Syracuse Stars.
We have been told there will be programs available at the games.
Tier I U-16 Showcase This Weekend
Team Comcast’s U-16 AAA team will be hosting a Tier 1 Elite Hockey Showcase Fri.-Sun. Dec 3-5 at the Pennsauken Skate Zone in Pennsauken, New Jersey.
Philly Jr. Flyers
Ohio Blue Jackets
St. Louis Blues
Fri. Dec. 3:
3:30 pm – Philly Jr. Flyers vs. Dallas Stars
4:00 pm -- Pittsburgh Hornets vs. Ohio Blue Jackets
5:30 pm -- Team Comcast vs. Ohio Blue Jackets
6:00 pm -- Buffalo Regals vs. St Louis Blues
7:30 pm -- Boston Advantage vs. Russell Stover
Sat. Dec. 4
9:00 am – Philly Jr. Flyers vs. Madison Capitals
9:30 am – Team Comcast vs. Russell Stover
11:00 am – Buffalo Regals vs. Dallas Stars
11:30 am – Pittsburgh Hornets vs. Blue Jackets
1:30 pm – Boston Advantage vs. St Louis Blues
3:30 pm – Philly Jr. Flyers vs. Russell Stover
5:00 pm – Team Comcast vs. Dallas Stars
5:30 pm – Buffalo Regals vs. Blue Jackets
7:30 pm – Boston Advantage vs. Madison Capitals
7:45 pm – Pittsburgh Hornets vs. St. Louis Blues
Sun. Dec. 5
8:00 am – Philly Jr. Flyers vs. Ohio Blue Jackets
8:45 am – Pittsburgh Hornets vs. Russell Stover
10:00 am – Boston Advantage vs. Dallas Stars
1:45 am – Buffalo Regals vs. Madison Capitals
12:00 pm – Team Comcast vs. St Louis Blues
Gordon to RIT
6’1”, 195 lb. Sioux City (USHL) forward Nick Gordon has committed to RIT for next fall.
Gordon, who played four years at Northfield-Mt. Hermon (and three as a captain) is a 12/18/90 birthdate from Export, PA, about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Last year at NMH, he had a 19-27-46 line in 33 games. This year at Sioux City, Gordon has a 2-3-5 line in 18 games played.
Kaib a Friar
5’9”, 175 lb. RD Barrett Kaib of the U.S. Under-18 Team has committed to Providence College for the fall of ’12.
Kaib, a 2/7/93 birthdate from Upper St. Clair, PA, played at Culver Academy before going to the National Program last season. He started slowly in his first season, then hurt his shoulder and wound up missing 25-30 games. In 34 games with the U-17s, he posted a 1-5-6 line.
Kaib, who will play a year in the USHL before coming to Providence, is a bit undersized but well put together and very physical. He engages, and is difficult to play against.
He’s having a solid season thus far in ’10-11. He also has a bit of offensive upside, which may come out over his year in the USHL and at Providence.
Other schools seriously in the mix for Kaib were Union and Michigan Tech.
BC Nabs Top BC Rookie
Boston College got a commitment tonight from Coquitlam Express (BCHL) forward Destry Straight for either the fall of ’11 or ’12.
Straight, who we wrote at length about in the USHR News of 10/24/10, was watched closely by BC the weekend before last (Nov. 12-13) and then made his visit East for this past Sunday’s afternoon game against Maine. Straight continued his visit for a couple more days before heading home yesterday. He had also been scheduled to visit BU and UNH but canceled.
It’s likely that BC will lose a number of forwards to the pros after the season, so Straight is likely to come in right away. He could blossom in his sophomore yeara and be a 40-50 points-a-year guy for the Eagles.
Straight, who was given an “A” rating by Central Scouting for June’s NHL draft, has a 10-18-28 line in 27 games played to date. A 6’1”, 170 lb. left shot center, Straight is a 3/22/93 birthdate.
--- BC has also taken an interest in 5’8”, 170 lb. Evan Richardson of the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL). A 5/30/94 from Nanaimo, Richardson has a 2-11-13 line in 21 games.
East vs. West in Tier I Tournament
The Boston Advantage Midget AAA program will be hosting a Tier I Elite Hockey Showcase from Fri. Dec. 3 through Sun. Dec. 5 at the Pilgrim Arena in Hingham, Mass.
There are some very good U-18 teams, many from the far west, coming into town. Here’s who fans will be seeing:
Philly Jr Flyers
LA Jr. Kings
Phoenix Jr. Coyotes
Caito Picks RedHawks
Sorry we’re a little late on this one, but we have some catching up to do, and wanted to make sure to mention Salisbury defenseman Matt Caito, who committed to Miami last week.
An 8/13/93 birthdate from Coto de Caza, California, Caito, in his second year at Salisbury, is a very solid 5’11”, 198 lbs. We’re looking for him to have a big year. He’s pretty complete. In the defensive zone, he is very mobile, strong, and physical. At the offensive end, he has excellent vision and a quick, heavy shot.
“Matthew has worked extremely hard on and off the ice to develop his game and is one of the more coachable kids I’ve worked with,” says Salisbury head coach Andrew Will. “As good a player as Matthew is, and he’s very good, he’s an even better kid.”
Malts Fired (Again), then ‘Promoted’
The Philadelphia Revolution (EJHL) have fired Vince Malts as the team’s head coach for the second time in the past month.
Former South Kent School head coach Geoff Marottolo, an assistant in the organization for the past year, has been named head coach.
Malts has been promoted to Director of Player Development. That word – ‘promoted’ -- is the word actually used in the press release the team sent out this morning.
Wed. 11/17/10-Choate won 3-1, with the final goal an empty-netter. 0
Choate--Junior Bruins Scrimmage Tomorrow
The Junior Bruins (EJHL) will be heading down to Wallingford, Conn. to face off against Choate in a 3:45 pm scrimmage tomorrow (Thurs. 11/18).
Due to Choate forward Philippe Hudon’s high draft ranking, this game should hold special attraction to NHL scouts. The Junior Bruins will be leaving a few of their older players home – ‘90s and ‘91s – and bringing up the following younger players: ’94 forward Sam Kurker (St. John’s Prep), ’93 forward Paul Russell (Junior Bruins Empire), and ’94 defenseman Kevin McKiernan.
GBL Sweeps Mass Regionals
The GBL Junior Bruins won both the U-18 and U-16 divisions today at the Foxboro Sports Center and will advance to Nationals March 30-April 3 in Connecticut.
-- In the U-18 title game GBL’s Brendan Collier had a pair of great goals, twice beating the Whalers’ Don McGuirl, both times over the shoulder, once after walking it out of the corner and finding the inside of the post and the other time on a spin-around shot. Milton D Rob O’Gara, Dexter’s Stephen McKenna, and Cushing’s Robbie Baillargeon also scored for GBL, while Paul Burns, a PG at Cushing, had a pair of assists. Milton’s Sean Dougherty, who has committed to Williams, earned the win in net.
For the Whalers, Belmont Hill’s Jimmy Vesey came up big, scoring a pair of goals; Brandon Shea also had an excellent game. Mark Fidler and Joe Prescott also found the back of the net.
GBL head coach John Flaherty, who’s taking over at BC High this season, took his cap off to the Whalers, who had lost to his team 6-0 Friday night. “Cape Cod came out like they had nothing to lose. They didn’t quit; they just kept coming at us. It wsa a good back-and-forth game. They had a short bench, which may have helped us in the third. They didn’t quit."
Of Malden Catholic’s Collier, who is being recruited by UNH, Merrimack, Providence, and Harvard, Flaherty had high praise. “He was just tremendous today. For a kid his age, his poise is unprecedented. He does not panic. You can’t teach the things he does.”
-- In the U-16 game, GBL got goals from Bron Losielle, Stephen DeForge, and Austin Cangelosi (a beauty). New Cushing sophomore Michael Dion earned the win in net.
Fri. Nov. 12:
6:50 pm – U-16: GBL 2, EMass Senators 2
7:00 pm – U-16: Central Mass 1, South Shore 0
9:00 pm – U-18: Neponset 6, South Shore 3
9:10 pm -- U-18: GBL 6, Cape Cod 0
Sat. Nov. 13:
10:20 am -- U-16: South Shore 4, GBL 2
10:40 am -- U-16: Central Mass 7, EMass Senators 3
12:30 pm -- U-18: GBL 3, Neponset 1
12:50 pm -- U-18: Cape Cod 3, South Shore 3
6:30 pm -- U-16: South Shore 8, EMass Senators 3
7:00 pm -- U-16: GBL 3, Central Mass 1
8:40 pm -- U-18: GBL 8, South Shore 3
9:10 pm -- U-18: Cape Cod 4, Neponset 1
Sun. Nov. 14:
10:00 am -- U-16: Championship Game:
GBL Junior Bruins 3, South Shore Dynamos 1
12:00 pm -- U-18: Championship Game
GBL Junior Bruins 5, Cape Cod Whalers 4
A ’96 Commits To Maine
The first ’96 that we know of has committed to a Div. I school. His name is Liam Pecararo, and he’s a 5’9”, 151 lb. forward with the Boston Advantage who has committed to the University of Maine for the fall of ’14. This, of course, means that there is not a single current Black Bear who will still be at the school when Pecararo, now 14½ years old and a ninth grader, matriculates.
In 35 games this season, combined between the Advantage minor (his primary team) and major, Pecararo has an 8-30-38 line. He’s crafty, makes plays, skates well, and has a good hockey mind.
Pecararo is the fourth current or former Boston Advantage player to commit to the Black Bears. The Boston Advantage are coached by former Maine forward Tim Lovell.
Pecararo is a 4/6/96 birthdate.
Help Wanted – High Quality
Here at the US Hockey Report we have had good luck with interns and volunteers, and nothing is more rewarding than writing recommendations for those who have helped here. I am proud to say that several USHR interns have gone on to work in sports media in college and beyond.
In most seasons, we’ve had two or three interns. Some are young, in prep school, or, more likely, college (or just out of college), and aspire to make a career in hockey. Others – the volunteers -- are older, already have a career, but just love the game, have a bit of time, and are hockey lifers who would be at the rinks, anyway. In other words, our kind of people.
This season, we need help, more than in previous seasons.
Without any further ado, here is what we need. If you feel you can contribute something outside of these parameters, feel free to write with your ideas. In most cases, where you live is not a factor, though in one area (tech help) we would prefer someone in the Boston area. Some of the job descriptions below can be combined into one job or spread out among several people. We understand that interns and volunteers only have a limited number of hours to spare.
1) We very much need a technical guy. USHR has an excellent webmaster, but he’s not a hockey guy per se. What I am looking for is a guy who is web-savvy, yet also knows the game. Occasionally, technical glitches pop up when coaches upload box scores, make corrections to them, and update their schedules. This is especially true for new coaches in the league. In other words, they need tech support and it’s our job to provide it. And, by the way, the editor of this publication is also frequently in need of technical expertise! For this position, being from the Boston area would be a plus, but is not a deal-breaker by any means.
2) We also need a photo editor. Whenever a photo is uploaded, it goes through the USHR webmaster, which adds an unnecessary step. It would be much easier to have someone who can quickly call or email a coach or player and get a good JPEG, write a caption, and post it. We would also like to embed photos in articles. We have the setup, but we just need someone to take on the responsibility. A good eye for what constitutes a good photo is a plus.
3) We need two people to share duties writing the recaps of Wednesday and Saturday games, and maybe one person to help out as a proofreader or editor. The primary skill here is being able to look at a box score and quickly hone in on the main story of the game. Sometimes you will need to call coaches for clarification or comment. Brevity of expression, and the ability to work quickly, defines this job. It’s also important to be able to spell. Nothing is worse than misspelling players’ names, mainly because, with care, it is preventable. This is a job that looks simple – good writing always does, but never actually is. We’re not expecting Red Smith to rise from the dead. We just want someone who is interested in taking the first steps toward becoming a serious sports reporter. We feel that writing recaps is a good place to start because whoever is hired will basically be writing ledes, which, as you know, is the most important paragraph in any game story.
It is very possible this job description could expand to include writing full game stories for key tournaments.
4) We are also looking for someone -- or a bunch of people, actually -- who enjoy scanning the internet for items of interest while also following other amateur leagues in the US and Canada. For this typist, writing and doing USHR-related business leaves little time for perusing all the other sites devoted to amateur hockey in North America. We’re looking for more stuff from both outside and inside New England. We’re looking for trends, we’re looking for emerging players who are drawing interest, we’re looking for humorous, quirky, scandalous, and off-beat items. Most readers know the kinds of things we like. And the rule of thumb is this: if it’s something that interests you, it’s likely to interest us as well. I guess you could say we’re looking for tipsters, though tipsters with credibility and no personal agenda to push. There’s no guarantee we’ll use everything we get, but we sure will use some of it – if it’s accurate.
5) There are some hockey research projects that we would like to initiate, but have never really found the time for. We have some ideas, but we also expect that whoever would be interested in this kind of work would have ideas of their own as well. This is perfect for a self –starter, a kind of hockey Bill James.
6) The final job we need to fill is highly important, and also highly mathematical so, if you do not know what an algorithm is, read no further. We need someone to record every NEPSIHA game and then plug the results into the NEPSIHA ‘formula’ that determines which teams go to the prep school tournament. We already have someone who does a great job in this area, who really runs the show. But he needs backup, a cross-checker. It’s just too important to have only one person doing the calculations. There were over 1200 games that figured in the calculations last season. One mistake can make the difference between a team making the tournament and being left out. That’s not a chance that can be taken. The person who takes this position would be keeping his own standings and cross-checking data with us. Together, we would be sharing the findings with John Gardner and the NEPSIHA Tournament Committee. Needless to say, this, of all the jobs we are hoping to fill, is the one which requires the highest degree of responsibility. Whoever fills the position must commit themselves to doing it through the end of the season. It's a really fun job for those with the skill to do it, mainly because you develop a dead-on sense of what teams must accomplish to reach the postseason.
Please email Chris Warner if you are interested in any of these positions. The email address is cwarner (at) ushr.com
Prep Pages Now Open
Last season's prep news, results, rosters, schedules, and stats are now archived, and the '10-11 USHR Prep Pages are now open.
Please check it out. We have posted, in chronological order, schedules for jamborees and holiday tournaments.
In addition, coaches have begun to upload their individual schools’ schedules. Rosters will follow, in due time.
Mid-Fairfield Wins New Englands
In the U-18 district finals at the Berkshire School yesterday, Mid-Fairfield trounced the Rhode Island Saints, 10-0.
In the U-16 finals, Mid-Fairfield edged a very good Manchester Flames team, 2-1.
With that, both Mid-Fairfield squads advance to Nationals in the spring, along with the host Hartford Wolfpack.
Mass. District Playoffs Schedule
The U-18 and U-16 playoffs will run from Friday night through Sunday at the Foxboro Sports Center. All games will consist of three 17-minute periods.
Fri. Nov. 12:
6:50 pm – U-16: GBL vs. EMass Senators (Rink 2)
7:00 pm – U-16: Central Mass vs. South Shore (Rink 1)
9:00 pm – U-18: Neponset vs. South Shore (Rink 2)
9:10 pm -- U-18: Cape Cod vs. GBL (Rink 1)
Sat. Nov. 13:
10:20 am -- U-16: GBL vs. South Shore (Rink 2)
10:40 am -- U-16: Central Mass vs. EMass Senators (Rink 1)
12:30 pm -- U-18: Neponset vs. GBL (Rink 2)
12:50 pm -- U-18: Cape Cod vs. South Shore (Rink 1)
6:30 pm -- U-16: South Shore vs. EMass Senators (Rink 1)
7:00 pm -- U-16: GBL vs. Central Mass (Rink 2)
8:40 pm -- U-18: GBL vs. South Shore (Rink 1)
9:10 pm -- U-18: Neponset vs. Cape Cod (Rink 2)
Sun. Nov. 14:
10:00 am -- U-16: Championship Game (Rink 2)
12:00 pm -- U-18: Championship Game (Rink 2)
Here is the link to the games results:
Mass U-18 & U-16 Results
Cloonan Commits to Maine
5’6”, 138 lb. Boston Advantage Midget Minor forward Ryan Cloonan has committed to the University of Maine for either ’13 or ’14. A smart, skilled left-shot center, Cloonan is speedy, and an excellent playmaker. In 23 games with the midget minor team, the 7/29/95 birthdate has a 6-13-19 line. In eight games with the midget major team, he has a 1-8-9 line. Cloonan will be the third present or former Boston Advantage player to have committed to the Black Bears, joining defenseman Brian Harris and forward Cam Brown. Advantage coach/GM Tim Lovell played for Maine in the mid-‘90s.
The Boston Advantage is hosting a Tier I Elite League Midget Showcase from Dec. 3-5 at the Pilgrim Arena in Hingham, Mass. The Pittsburgh Hornets, Team Comcast, Philly Jr. Flyers, Buffalo Regals, LA Jr. Kings, LA Selects, Phoenix Jr. Coyotes, Colorado Thunderbirds, and Colorado Rampage will all be in town.
We’ll have the full schedule later.
New Englands at Berkshire This Weekend
The Mid-Fairfield Blues – with Phillipe Hudon, et al -- are the Connecticut representative at the New England Midget Major finals, to be held this Saturday and Sunday weekend at the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass.
Midget Major Schedule:
Sat. Nov. 6:
11:00 am – Mid-Fairfield vs. Seacoast Spartans
1:00 pm – Manchester Flames vs. RI Saints
7:00 pm – Mid-Fairfield vs. RI Saints
9:00 pm – Seacoast Spartans vs. Manchester Flames
Sun. Nov. 7:
10:15 am – Manchester Flames vs. Mid-Fairfield
10:15 am – Seacoast Spartans vs. RI Saints
4:15 pm – Championship Game
Here is the Midget Minor schedule, which has six representatives.
Fri. Nov. 5:
4:00 pm – Mid-Fairfield vs. Nashua Pro Ambitions
6:00 pm – Kickice Coyotes vs. Seacoast Spartans
8:00 pm – RI Saints vs. Manchester Flames
Sat. Nov. 6:
9:00 am – Kickice Coyotes vs. RI Saints
9:00 am – Nashua Pro Ambitions vs. Seacoast Spartans
11:00 am – Manchester Flames vs. Mid-Fairfield
5:00 pm -- Seacoast Spartans vs. Manchester Flames
5:00 pm – Mid-Fairfield vs. Kickice Coyotes
7:00 pm – RI Saints vs. Nashua Pro Ambitions
Sun. Nov. 7:
8:00 am -- #1 vs. #4
8:00 am -- #2 vs. #3
2:00 pm – Championship Game
Massachusetts will have its tournament the following weekend, Nov. 12-13-14, at the Foxboro Sports Center. We will have that info for you later today.
Mass. Districts Schedule
The Mass Midget Major and Midget Minor State Championships are scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 12-13-14 at the Foxboro Sports Center.
The four spots for the U-18s have already been clinched, with the Neponset Valley River Rats, Greater Boston League Junior Bruins, Cape Cod Whalers, and South Shore Dynamos all in.
At the U-16 level, the GBL Junior Bruins have clinched one of the spots. Five teams – the Central Mass Outlaws, South Shore Dynamos, Neponset Valley River Rats, Eastern Mass Senators, and Western Mass Blades – are in the hunt for the other three spots.
Schedule -- Foxboro Sports Center; Foxboro, Mass.
Fri. Nov. 12:
U-16 -- 6:50 pm and 7:00 pm
U-18 – 9:00 pm and 9:10 pm
Sat. Nov. 13:
U-16 – 10:20 am and 10:40 am
U-18 – 12:30 pm and 12:50 pm
U-16 – 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm
U-18 – 8:40 pm and 9:10 pm
Sun. Nov. 14:
U-16 – 10:00 am: Championship Game
U-18 – 1:00 pm: Championship Game
The winner, of course, goes on to Nationals, which will be held this year in Connecticut, from March 30-April 3, 2011, to be precise. The venues will be Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, and the International Skating Center in Simsbury.
Bauer NIT Rosters
Below you will find the rosters for this weekend's Bauer NIT Tournament at New Hope, Minn., hosted by the Upper Midwest High School Elite League.
In addition to two all-star teams drawn from the Elite League, there will be six other teams: Shattuck-St. Mary's, the Northwood School, the Dallas Stars, a team drawn from Michigan's versions of the fall elite league, a team of Massachusetts high school players, and a team from Manitoba.
The tournament gets underway on Friday and runs through Sunday.
Bauer NIT Program Book
Malts Suspended; Revolution Fined
The EJHL has suspended Philadelphia Revolution head coach Vince Malts for five games and suspended the organization $1,500 for actions taken during Sunday morning’s 17-5 loss to the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs.
Malts pulled his goaltender a minute or two into the third period, and never put him back in the rest of the way.
In accordance with current league policy, new EJHL commissioner Bob Mainhardt would not discuss the details of the suspension or fine. However, he said, “In my short tenure, this is the strictest penalty that I have enforced. Coach Malts did not act in a manner that is in accordance with EJHL standards, and we are not taking it lightly.”
Mon. 11/1/10 -- Tuesday's game at Merrimack is a noon start, not 1:00 pm. Also, add Ludvig Rensfeldt, Chicago's second round pick in the June draft, to Sweden's roster. He was in the lineup tonight, centering their top line. He also scored the game-winner in the second period as Sweden edged Harvard, 2-1. Early on, the tempo was fast and Harvard did a nice job skating with the Swedes, but got into penalty trouble in the second and got worn down on the PK. The second intermission couldn't come fast enough for the Crimson. Sweden skates extremely well, regroups nicely, is patient with the puck and, even though Harvard finished the game with a 28-27 edge in shots, Sweden had a pronounced edge in time of possession. Harvard did hang in there and have chances on the power play in the third, but couldn't cash in. Both goalies, Kyle Richter for Harvard and Johan Gustafson for Sweden were very sharp. Dennis Evberg scored Sweden's first goal, and junior defenseman Ryan Grimshaw scored Harvard's goal on a rebound to make it 1-1 after the first. This Swedish team is an enjoyable team to watch, and those watching at Bright Arena were mainly scouts. It looks to us as if seven, maybe eight of the players on the squad touring Mass. will wind up on Sweden's National Junior team in December. (Gabriel Landeskog, Rensfeldt, and Johan Sundstrom were all strong up front. If we had to pick one d-man it would have been Dallas fifth-rounder John Klingberg.)
Sweden Under-20s Tour Massachusetts
The Team Sweden Under-20s are taking a four game swing through Massachusetts, starting tonight at 7:00 pm when they face off against Harvard at the Bright Hockey Center. Admission is free.
Tomorrow (Tues.) afternoon at 1:00 pm, the Swedes will face off against Merrimack, who are their hosts during the week. (All practices are at Merrimack’s Lawlor Arena.)
On Friday night Nov. 6th, they will play at Williams College (7:00 pm) before facing off against UMass-Amherst on Sat. Nov. 7th (1:00 pm).
On Saturday night, most of the team will be returning to Sweden.
Who’s on this team, anyway? It’s usually kind of a mixed bag when European teams come through, as it’s difficult to get players released en masse from their elite teams back home.
However, this is not the Swedish National Junior Team that will be playing in the IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26-Jan. 4 in Buffalo, NY. It kind of looks like that on college press releases, but it just ain’t so.
As a matter of fact, only three of the players who were on Team Sweden in Lake Placid in August will be here. One of them – a player you will really want to keep an eye on -- is Gabriel Landeskog, an 11/23/92 birthdate who players for Kitchener (OHL). Landeskog, a 6’1”, 200 lb. RW, is not your typical Swedish player. He’s more of an intense Mark Messier type, to the point where he was named Kitchener’s captain last week. Not many Euros playing in the CHL get named captain, so that speaks volumes. Landeskog, it appears, has pushed his way into the top five of June’s draft, and is right behind 6’3”, 220 lb. RD Adam Larsson, a late ’92 who plays for Skellefteå and is projected to the top defenseman available for June’s NHL draft. Larsson, we should point out, is not with the team going to Massachusetts.
Kitchener certainly needs Landeskog, but they don’t play until Friday anyway – and country comes first. Landeskog, along with forwards William Wallén, a ’91, and Oscar Lindberg, also a ’91, were the only three players at Lake Placid who are on the team facing Harvard tonight.
Four players on the team touring Mass. have already been drafted:
G -- Johan Gustafsson (Minnesota, 6th round, 2010 draft)
D – John Klingberg (Dallas, 5th round, 2010 draft)
D – Petter Granberg (Toronto, 4th round, 2010 draft)
Six players on the team coming to the Bay State are eligible for the draft for the first time this summer. They are:
G – Thomas Steen, a Central Scouting “B” ranked player.
D – Victor Berglind, a Central Scouting “B” ranked player.
F -- Jeremy Boyce Rotevall, a Central Scouting “A” ranked player.
F -- Johan Sundstrom, a Central Scouting “B” ranked player.
F – Jeremy Landeskog, mentioned above, a sure-fire “A” player.
F -- Richard Rakell (Plymouth-OHL).
(Note: Central Scouting has not released their rankings of major junior players yet. Landeskog will certainly be an “A.” We have no idea where Rakell will fall. Maybe after tonight we may, though.)
Goaltender Gustafson (.918 save %), and d-men Berglind (7 assists from the blue line), and Granberg were on the team that bowed to the US, 3-1, in the championship game at last April’s Word Under-18 Championship in Minsk, Belarus.
Gustafson, Landeskog, Oscar Kindberg, Wallén, and Jonathan Johansson were played for Team Sweden at the 2009 World Under-18s, coming in fifth at Fargo, ND. Landeskog, the youngest player on the team had four goals and 24 pims. That’s when Kitchener head coach/GM Steve Spott decided he had to get him to stay in North America.
Both goalies, Steen and Gustafson, as well as defenseman Berglind, and forwards Landeskog, Sundstrom, Pettersson, and Rakell played against the U.S. in the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.
It is said that some of the players on the squad may be interested in the U.S. college route. We’ll see if we can find out more about that tonight.(Update: No indications of anything imminent brewing, though we have a feeling one or two might be possibilities.)
Sweden U-20 Roster