Mid afternoon updates at the major junior level….
London Knights’ goaltender Michael Houser (undrafted) was named the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player receiving the Red Tilson Award. Houser has been passed over twice at the NHL Entry Draft and he will hopefully get nabbed in his third try. Houser suited up for an astonishing 62 games of a 68 game regular season and tied a league record of 46 wins en route to leading the Knights to the top of the OHL Standings.
Ice Dogs’ defenseman Dougie Hamilton (Bruins) received the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the OHL’s Top Defenseman after recording 72 points to lead all OHL rearguards.
Recently signed overage standout Brendan Shinnimin (Coyotes) was crowned the WHL’s Player of the Year as he led all WHL players as well as the entire CHL in scoring with his 134 points.
2014 draft eligible forward Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice was deemed the WHL’s Top Rookie with him notching 62 points in his freshman season. Sam is the younger brother of Flames’ prospect Max Reinhart and 2012 draft-eligible Griffin Reinhart. We will be hearing a lot more from the youngest Reinhart as the family name continues to become a staple in hockey.
Senators’ prospect Mark Stone was named the WHL’s Most Sportsmanlike Player.
Oilers’ netminder Tyler Bunz was name the WHL’s Top Goaltender after winning 39 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers posting an impressive 2.57 GAA and .921 save percentage. Bunz was the Oilers’ fifth round selection of the 2010 draft.
The Florida Panthers continue to select well at the NHL drafts as their 2010 second round selection Alex Petrovic was named WHL Defenseman of the Year as he racked up 12 goals, 48 points and 141 penalty minutes playing for the Red Deer Rebels. Petrovic is currently competing in the AHL playoffs for the San Antonio Rampage where he has registered an impressive four points through five games.
To get you started this morning, our European connection Miika Arponen has put together a list of non-NHL players to keep an eye on for the 2012 World Hockey Championships scheduled to tale place in Finland later this week.
– D Ryan Murray (draft eligible 2012)
It looks like the most-hyped defenseman in 2012 draft will make the Canadian team. He played well
in two exhibition games against Switzerland and will probably start the tournament as a 7th D-man.
– G Frederik Andersen (Carolina)
Andersen played his first season in the Elitserien this year and had both the best GAA and top save percentage in the entire league. Denmark is a dark horse in this tournament and the gigantic Andersen (6’4″ / 247 lbs) is a big reason why.
– D Joonas Järvinen (undrafted)
– F Mikael Granlund (Minnesota)
Everybody knows Granlund but the other name on my list is probably a lot less known. Järvinen is a really good two-way D-man with a large frame and lots of strength.
– F Charles Bertrand (undrafted)
Bertrand is a 21-year-old winger who made his breakthrough in SM-liiga this season displaying his quick speed.
– F Evgeni Kuznetsov (Washington)
– F Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis)
These two guys probably don’t need introductions but both will showcase their talents for Team Russia.
– G Viktor Fasth (undrafted)
– D Jonas Brodin (Minnesota)
– C Calle Järnkrok (Detroit)
– F Jakob Silfverberg (Ottawa)
Fasth was already Sweden’s number one goalie in last year’s tournament and will play most of the games this year again. He has been rumoured to have a contract with the Ducks. The other three players inmy list are well-known bluechip prospects of their respective teams.
– F Damien Brunner (undrafted)
Brunner, although already 26 years old, will likely sign an NHL contract somewhere next season. He won the NLA’s scoring title by a wide margin and is one of Switzerland’s big guns in the tournament.
– G Lars Volden (Boston)
Volden, a 6th round pick of the Bruins last summer, will be Norway’s go-to goalie in the tournament.
– F Ryan Lasch (undrafted)
Although small, Lasch made Team USA and has played in the 3rd line winger role through the exhibition games. He is very quick skater and won the SM-liiga scoring title this season.
Be sure to check back as we continue to follow prospects competing in the 2012 WHC over the following weeks.
The CHL Championships in the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League are set to begin Thursday, May 3rd with some of the top powerhouse teams in terms of NHL prospects
London Knights vs. Niagara Ice Dogs begins May 3rd
Knights – Greg McKegg (Leafs), Vladislav Namestnikov (Lightning), Austin Watson (Predators), Jared Knight (Bruins), Jarred Tinordi (Canadiens), Scott Harrington (Penguins), Olli Maatta (2012), Andreas Athanasiou (2012), Max Domi (2013), Bo Horvat (2013)
Ice Dogs – Ryan Strome (Islanders), Dougie Hamilton (Bruins), Freddie Hamilton (Sharks), Mark Visentin (Coyotes), Brett Ritchie (Stars), Jamie Oleksiak (Stars), Alex Friesen (Canucks),Mitchell Theoret (Islanders), Jesse Graham (2012)
Portland Winterhawks vs. Edmonton Oil Kings begins May 3rd
Winterhawks – Sven Bartschi (Flames), Joe Morrow (Penguins), Ty Rattie (Blues), Brad Ross (Leafs), Tyler Wotherspoon (Flames), Marcel Noebels (Flyers), Derrick Pouliot (2012), Brendan Leipsic (2012)
Oil Kings – Michael St.Croix (Rangers), Mark Pysyk (Sabres), Kristians Pelss (Oilers), Keegan Lowe (Hurricanes), Martin Gernat (Oilers), Travis Ewanyk (Oilers), Cody Corbet (2012), Griffin Reinhart (2012), Henrik Samuelsson (2012)
Saint John Sea Dogs (4th straight Championship appearance) vs. Rimouski Oceanic begins May 4th.
Sea Dogs – Jonathan Huberdeau (Panthers), Charlie Coyle (Wild), Zack Phillips (Wild), Tomas Jurco (Red Wings), Stanislav Galiev (Capitals), Ryan Tesink (Blues), Nathan Beaulieu (Canadiens), Charles-Olivier Roussel (Predators), Mathieu Corbeil-Theriault (Blue Jackets)
Oceanic – Petr Straka (Blue Jackets), Jakub Culek (Senators), Jerome Gauthier-Leduc (Sabres), Francis Beauvillier (2012)
The defending Memorial Cup Champions will be without their top forward. Saint John Sea Dog forward Jonathan Huberdeau (Panthers) has been suspended two games for his hit on 2012 draft-eligible Charles Hudon of Chicoutimi.
The Devils’ 4th overall selection last year, Adam Larson, scored his first career NHL goal last night. The big Swedish defender was named first star in his first game back in New Jersey’s win.
Evgeny Kuznetsov (Capitals) has signed a two-year extension with Traktor of the KHL. This news will certainly upset owners of Kuznetsov but when (and I mean when) Evgeny arrives in North American he will be ready to play top minutes. Patience is a virtue with these Russian prospects as frustrating as it can be at times.
It has been reported that top 2012 NHL Draft prospect Mikhail Grigorenko has been diagnosed with mononucleosis. There have been questions surrounding Grigorenko’s work ethic and drive but there’s no denying that his offensive skills are among the best in this year’s draft class.
The 2012 NHL Entry Draft is shaping up to be one of the more interesting drafts with plenty of contraversy surrounding the top picks. There are plenty of good defensemen available and only a few offensive forwards so projecting where players will fall has been difficult.
Dobber Prospects will be ramping up our coverage of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft as we near the June draft scheduled in Pittsburgh. Stay tuned.