Monday, September 25, 2006

Gron Long Gone?

One of the top prospects out of the Alberta Junior Hockey League is Tyler Gron. Gron was a third round pick of the WHL Prince George Cougars, but didn't want to report to the remote city in British Columbia. Yesterday, the Cougars traded Gron's rights to the Medicine Hat Tigers, a team in Gron's home province of Alberta. The question is whether Gron will report to Medicine Hat. Prince George received a somewhat promising prospect in Jordie Deagle, and a conditional third round bantam pick. My take on the trade is that the 3rd round pick is equivalent to where Gron was picked by Prince George. Thus, if Gron doesn't report, Prince George receive the equivalent value. That the trade contains this condition suggests that Gron's reporting to the WHL is far from a done deal.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

College Hockey Freshmen

With the startup of the college season just on the horizon, I've taken the opportunity to put together my pre-season ratings for the incoming freshmen. In the coming week I'll also try and assemble a listing of my pre-season all-rookie teams and all-conference teams.

I assembled this listing blind, meaning I did not refer back to the order in which they appeared on my 06 listings. While there are a few differences in order, that can best be attributed to the fact that this is more of an "art" than a science. With this listing I also tried to focus more on initial college impact, rather than overall impact, meaning that players such as James O'Brien and Michael Forney, younger freshmen, may struggle initially, while others will impact sooner.

1.Kyle Okposo, Minnesota
2.Billy Sweatt, Colorado College
3.Blake Gallagher, Cornell
4.Andreas Nodl, St.Cloud State
5.Ted Purcell, Maine
6.Michael Carman, Minnesota
7.Rhett Rahkshani, Denver
8.Ryan Flynn, Minnesota
9.Ryan Lasch, St.Cloud State
10.Matt Butcher, Northern Mich
11.Blake Geoffrion, Wisconsin
12.Michael Forney, North Dakota
13.Chris Auger, UM-Lowell
14.Doug Rogers, Harvard
15.Dion Knelsen, Alaska-Fairbanks
16.Mike Davies, Wisconsin
17.Josh Gillam, Dartmouth
18.David McIntyre, Colgate
19.Aaron Lewicki, Ferris State
20.James O'Brien, Minnesota

1.Erik Johnson, Minnesota
2.Kevin Montgomery, Ohio State
3.Jamie McBain, Wisconsin
4.Kris Fredheim, Colorado College
5.Brian Strait, BU
6.Alex Biega, Harvard
7.Chris Summers, Michigan
8.Nick Schaus, UM-Lowell
9.Keith Seabrook, Denver
10.Michael Ratchuk, Michigan State
11.Carl Sneep, BC
12.Ed Del Grosso, Nebraska-Omaha
13.David Fischer, Minnesota
14.Eric Gryba, Boston University
15.Jason Lepine, Ferris State

1.Joe Palmer, Ohio State
2.Alex Stalock, Minnesota Duluth
3.Brett Bennett, BU
4.Brad Theissen, Northeastern
5.Ryan Simpson, Providence

Monday, September 11, 2006

Training Camps Open

Sure, You're Good at 15, but...
The exceptional Western College Hockey Blog, a usual stopping point for me, contains an interesting analysis of the 2002 Select 15 Festival, and what that snapshot shows about player development.

Player Movement
With the major junior training camps now open and exhibition season in full gear, a few potential NCAA picks have made their decision about their future course. Two highly regarded Ontario '89 defenders, Steve Tarasuk and Kevin Mole each selected the OHL route, after having their rights traded from the Ottawa 67s. Mole, whose brother is at Yale, plays for the Kingston Frontenacs, and Tarasuk was traded to the Kitchener Rangers. Ottawa also had Scott Pitt ('88) leave the team after having earned a roster spot, choosing instead to take a scholarship with Mercyhurst. Lastly, Ohio State lost its first '90 commitment when Kelly Geoffrey, who had been picked in the 3rd round of the OHL draft, elected to play with the Erie Otters.

Early Returns
Getting out of the gate strong in the BCHL is Riley Nash, a highly regarded 89 with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. In Vernon, tiny '90 dynamo Kyle St.Denis, a top scorer in Jr.B and a member of this year's BC Under-17 team, recorded in 4 points in his first game of the year. In Alberta, highly regarded Tyler Gron has set an early pace that should make him one of the top recruits from the league.