Wednesday, June 30, 2010

DIDO DEALT TO BLACKHAWKS

Late Wednesday night, a former star Sea Dog saw his rights traded in a major National Hockey League transaction.

Chris DiDomenico, drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the sixth round of the 2007 NHL draft, was traded to Chicago in a deal that saw the Leafs acquire Chris Versteeg. There were several other pieces involved in the deal as well.

From a Maple Leafs press release:

Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced a multi-player trade with the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday evening. The Maple Leafs have obtained right-winger Kris Versteeg and the rights to left-winger Bill Sweatt (pronounced SWEHT). In exchange, the Blackhawks will receive forwards Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis.


In the post-season, DiDomenico has 19 goals and 56 assists in 43 games. That includes a league championship with the Voltigeurs in 2009, a Final that saw him severely break his leg by going feet first into the end boards.

The Woodstock, Ontario came back to play in the post-season with Drummondville last year before the squad bowed out in the semi-finals against the Moncton Wildcats. He is expected to will likely play in the American Hockey League next year.

DiDomenico is famously known across the land for his work with the gold medal winning 2009 Canadian national junior team.

The center is the first Sea Dog to ever be dealt in a NHL trade.
DiDomenico recorded 90 goals and 161 assists in 203 career QMJHL games. He played three-and-a-half seasons in Saint John before being traded to Drummondville at the 2009 trade deadline.

HOFFMAN'S JOURNEY GETTING LOTS OF ATTENTION AT SENATORS CAMP

Mike Hoffman has been an underdog his entire career. But even if he is long shot to make the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators this season, he will accept it.

"If I'm not ready to make that jump (up to the National Hockey League), I don't want to make that jump and just be sitting on the bench or not playing," said Hoffman to NHL.com.

"I've got to get bigger and stronger, put on some weight and battle more," admitted Hoffman, who is more than willing to start his pro career in the American Hockey League with the Binghamton Senators.

The now-former Saint John Sea Dog standout is attending the Senators’ Development Camp for the second straight year after being selected by the club with the 130th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

But Hoffman went undrafted his first time around, which allowed him to rip up the QMJHL in 2008-09 with the league champion Drummondville Voltigeurs.

“I was a late bloomer growing up, and I didn't develop as quickly as most guys did, so it just took me a little time to catch up to them," said Hoffman to the Ottawa Citizen, one of 30 players attending the Senators' development camp, that runs through Friday.

"Maybe if I got picked in my actual draft year, maybe it would have only been late in the seventh round," he said. "But waiting and coming back, and having another good year as a 19-year-old (in 2008-09) helped out."

With 46 goals last season, the Kitchener native broke Saint John’s single season goal record. He added 39 assists in his 56 regular season games.

"That's my job on the ice, that's what I have to do," Hoffman said when asked about the offensive numbers he produced in his final two seasons of junior hockey. "I'm a points guy and I have to put the puck in the net. If I'm not doing that, I'm not on my game ... That's my type of game and if I'm going to succeed in the future at the professional level, that's what I'm going to do."

His remarkable and unique story is getting a lot of attention at Senators camp. Not drafted into the Ontario Hockey League, Hoffman was signed by the Gatineau Olympiques and eventually picked up by Drummondville. He was then an integral part of a blockbuster deal that saw him end up in Saint John last year. With some hard times behind him, Hoffman has become a legitimate NHL prospect.

"Tremendous offensive talent. Tremendous offensive upside," said Pierre Dorion, the Senators' director of player personnel. "He really snaps the puck really hard and has the ability to score, and he's got NHL speed. He's just got to compete more on a consistent basis."

The 20-year is not projected to make the Sens this year.

The Senators are hosting a five-on-five scrimmage tonight at the Bell Sensplex beginning at 7:30 ADT. Hoffman will play on Team Black with Bobby Butler, Mike Clemente (G), Corey Cowick, Eric Gryba, Taylor Nelson (G), Jim O’Brien, Michael Sdao, Marcus Sorensen, Mark Stone, Shawn Szydowski, Chris Wideman, and Patrick Wiercioch.

DALLAS INVITES KIRKPATRICK

Despite going undrafted, Michael Kirkpatrick still has a chance at fulfilling his National Hockey League dream.

That dream could take a step forward this week as the Saint John Sea Dogs center was invited to the Dallas Stars’ development camp yesterday.

The daily schedule includes both on- and off-ice workouts, and all on-ice practice sessions are open to the public and will be held at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas. According to a Stars press release, the session will feature “over 30 of its top prospects.”

The camp begins this Thursday, July 1 and ends on Wednesday, July 7.

Kirkpatrick attended Minnesota Wild rookie camp last fall after a breakout 2008-09 campaign that saw him lead the Sea Dogs in scoring. Despite his efforts, he has gone undrafted in the NHL Draft both this year and last.
Last season, the North Sydney native scored 29 goals and added 54 helpers in 67 games, improving his point total from the previous season by 19. In the playoffs, the third year Sea Dog registered 15 goals and 16 assists in 21 games.

All-time, Kirkpatrick has 77 goals and 92 assists in 203 career QMJHL games. He also played with the league all-star team at the 2009 Subway Super Series.

To view the full schedule for the camp, click HERE.

To view the full roster for the camp, click HERE.

OLIVER-DARES INVITED TO U-17 CAMP

A 2010 Saint John Sea Dogs third round draft pick has been invited to Hockey Canada's Atlantic Centre of Excellence Summer Evaluation Camp for Team Atlantic U-17 , which will run from July 11th-15th, 2010 at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

Devon Oliver-Dares, drafted 54th overall by Saint John in this past month’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft, was one of 44 players invited to the summer camp. Of those players, twenty-two will be selected over the coming months to be part of the squad which will compete in the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg, Manitoba from December 29th, 2010 - January 4th, 2011.

Team Atlantic will be joined at the event by four other Canadian regional teams and five international delegations.

Team Atlantic's final roster is expected to be announced in November.

With their second pick of the draft, Saint John selected the Dartmouth Subways forward. With the Subways last year, the 5’10”, 175 lbs Olivier-Dares recorded 18 goals and 22 assists in just 30 games played. Olivier-Dares was ranked by QMJHL Central Scouting to go in the middle of the third round.

Greg Leland, the Sea Dogs’ Hockey Administration Coordinator, is the Head Coach of Team Atlantic. His assistants are Stephane Leblanc and Doug Jackman.

“With the top 44 players in our region of Canada able to participate in a highly competitive environment, it should prove to be a terrific opportunity for these elite athletes to be challenged amongst their peers," said Leland in a release.

Last year’s U-17 team finished seventh with a record of 1-3-1 while playing in Timmons, Ontario. The squad featured Sea Dog Aiden Kelly and Saint John’s first round pick in June’s Entry Draft - Ryan Tesink.

Team Atlantic’s best finish came in 2005, when an entry featuring James Sheppard (Minnesota Wild, NHL), Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins, NHL), Alex Grant (Wilkes-Barre Penguins, AHL), Andrew Bodnarchuk (Providence Bruins, AHL), and Robert Slaney (Toronto Marlies, AHL) captured bronze in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Oliver-Dares joins Jonathan Huberdeau and Simon Despres as Sea Dogs who will be attending Team Canada evaluation camps.

To view the full roster and Sea Dogs press release, click HERE.

Some moving pictures of Oliver-Dares’ work after the jump.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

DOGS PASS ON IMPORT DRAFT

By Bert Richardson
Station Nation Staff

As expected, the Saint John Sea Dogs were silent on Canadian Hockey League Import Draft day.

The Port City squad passed on both of their picks. The first was 54th overall and the second was at 114th overall. With such low picks, there was likely a small market in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to trade either of the selections.

Saint John was one of only two teams to pass on a pick in round one. The other team was our good friends located in Moncton.

Each team in the CHL is permitted to carry two European Import players each season. These players are selected annually at the Import Draft, with the order of selection rotating through each of the three leagues in the CHL using an inverse order of their final regular season standings from the 2009-10 season.

With solid imports Stanislav Galiev and Tomas Jurco already on board for next year, the Sea Dogs had no choice but to skip on their picks. The Wildcats are expected to have Sea Dog killer Marek Hrivik back next season and, who knows, maybe even Kirill Kabanov will show up for a game or two.

The Prince George Cougars selected defenseman Martin Marincin with the first overall pick. The first QMJHL team to pick, the Halifax Mooseheads, took Czech forward Martin Frk third overall.

To view the full list of selections, click HERE.

With that, all expected off-season events are now completed. The Sea Dogs will likely (as they have done in season's past) kick off the 2010-11 campaign on August 1 with their marketing and season ticket launch. Training camp is set to start a few weeks later.

DOGS NOT EXPECTED TO PICK TODAY

The Canadian Hockey League Import Draft begins this morning at 10:00 am ADT as all 60 teams from across the country will select up to two players as the day goes on.

Each team in the CHL is permitted to carry two European Import players each season. These players are selected annually at the Import Draft, with the order of selection rotating through each of the three leagues in the CHL using an inverse order of their final regular season standings from the 2009-10 season.

The Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars currently hold the number one selection in the 2010 CHL Import Draft followed by the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Halifax Mooseheads.

Metro Halifax, in partnership with International Scouting Services, created a list of five of the top prospects expected to go early in this morning’s action. Martin Frk, Victor Rask, Nicklas Jensen, Joel Armia, and Sondre Olden are all listed as possible top five picks.

The Saint John Sea Dogs will likely not select in today’s draft with two impact imports already on their roster in Stanislav Galiev and Tomas Jurco. Teams can either trade their pick or choose not to use at all. With Saint John scheduled to make their first selection at 7:20 pm with the 54th overall pick, there likely will be no market for the pick. Thier second selection is 114th overall.

The Dogs were in the spotlight of last year’s event, selecting first and fourth overall.

It was announced in the Telegraph-Journal the same morning that the team would take Russian forward Stanislav Galiev with the first overall pick. The Sea Dogs would then select 16-year old Slovakian Tomas Jurco fourth overall.

Galiev recorded 15 goals and 45 assists in 67 regular season games and added another eight markers and 11 helpers in 21 playoff matches. Along with playing the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, the right winger was selected by the Washington Capitals in the third round of this past weekend’s NHL Entry Draft.

Jurco, already a top prospect for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, recorded a team rookie record 26 goals in 64 games while adding another 25 assists. In the post-season, Jurco scored seven goals and recorded 11 assists.

Despite both players having an impact last season, the majority of fans were confused  with the fact that Saint John did not take the highly touted Kirill Kabanov. The troubled Russian would be selected by Moncton with the seventh overall pick – beginning an epic soup opera that took place all year.

The Mooseheads are expected to take a skilled forward who can score goals with their first pick. The Herd finished dead last in the league last year and at the bottom of the circuit in goals scored.

Yahoo! Sports “Buzzing The Net” has several items to watch for today.

For pick-by-pick results, visit the CHL website.

Monday, June 28, 2010

THE CURIOUS CASE OF GALIEV'S DRAFT SLIDE

Despite a slide in the National Hockey League Entry Draft, Stanislav Galiev appears to be enjoying life as a Washington Capitals prospect.

Selected in the third round, 86th overall by the Caps, Galiev had a smile on his face during the entirety of press conference than was featured on the team’s website.

"He went a lot later than he thought," said Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant- who attended the draft - to the Telegraph-Journal. "Once it happened, he was very excited."

TSN ranked Galiev as their 40th best prospect, NHL Central Scouting listed him at 20 among North American players, International Scouting Services at 24, and The Hockey News had him at 37.

The reasoning behind the Saint John Sea Dog forward’s slip in the has been widespread. Whether it be his work ethic, size, or defensive play, everyone seems to think that Galiev can – and will have to improve his play significantly over next season.

“He needs to fill out a bit and will spend another season with Saint John of the QMJHL,” said a RotoWorld.com’s scouting report.

"The reasons I was given by an NHL scout was that he did not improve much from last season and his overall lack of strenght," said Rick Springhetti of McKeen's Hockey magazine on Twitter.

"He has to get to that net and make sure he pays the price to score some goals," Gallant said.

The 18-year olds production as a rookie has also been questioned by some. Galiev scored 15 goals and added 45 assists while playing on one of the most productive lines in the league last season with Mike Hoffman and Nicholas Petersen.

“I’d say Galiev is more of a playmaker than (Capitals first round pick and fellow Russian Evgeny) Kuznetsov,” said Capitals scouting director Ross Mahoney to CSN Washington. “Kuznetsov probably will score a little bit more. Galiev played right wing in the Quebec league this year, but he was a center for Russia in the summer tournament on the first line.”

Despite playing on the right wing with Saint John last season, “the Capitals envision him as a playmaking center,” reports CSN.

One item of baggage that does not come with Galiev is the “Russian Factor,” a term used to describe Russian players who may stay and play in Europe.

“Like three years ago I came here in my last year with Dynamo for a Nike Bauer tournament and after when I came home I told my mom, ‘Mom I want to play in North America,’ ” Galiev said. “I really like North American style of hockey.”

Despite being listed as the second best player from the QMJHL available by most publications, eight players from the circuit went ahead of him. They were: Round 1 - 13, Phoenix - Brandon Gormley D (Moncton); Round 2 - 55, Columbus - Petr Straka F (Rimouski); Round 3 - 65 - New York Islanders - Kirill Kabanov F (Moncton); 68 - Buffalo - Jérôme Gauthier-Leduc D (Rouyn-Noranda); 71 - Colorado - Michaël Bournival F (Shawinigan); 72 - Tampa Bay - Adam Janosik D (Gatineau); 76 - Ottawa - Jakub Culek F (Rimouski) and 81 - Detroit - Louis-Marc Aubry F (Montreal).

To read what Capital fans are saying about Galiev on the blog Japers’ Rink, click HERE.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

THE GATEWAY CITY COMES KNOCKING

Stephen MacAulay responded to his selection at the National Hockey League Entry Draft today in the Halifax Chronicle Herald.

"It was really slow on my computer but then my phone started vibrating and it was Gerard Gallant, my coach in Saint John," MacAulay said. "I knew he was going to be there so when I picked up the phone I knew it was going to be something good. He said ‘Congrats, buddy’ and I just asked him what happened. He said ‘St. Louis just picked you.’ I just asked him if he was kidding me and he said ‘No, I wouldn’t lie to you.’ Then I just tried to (digest that) and I have a bunch of friends and family here so I told them and we kind of celebrated. It’s pretty crazy.

"I knew I had a chance and I knew it would be in the later rounds if it happened so I tried to go into the day kind of expecting the worst so I wouldn’t get crushed if it didn’t happen," he added. "But I guess now I can enjoy it."

The Saint John Sea Dogs forward was drafted by the St. Louis Blues on Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California with the 164th overall pick.

“Just talked to Stephen MacAulay: still having a hard time catching his breath,” said Willy Palov – the writer of the article – on Twitter yesterday.

Just like Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant, MacAulay found himself taken in the sixth round. Gallant went on to play 11 successful years in the NHL.

“Turk” was selected by the Detroit Red Wings with the 106th overall pick in 1981 draft.

St. Louis missed the playoffs by just five points last season, finishing ninth in the Western Conference with a record of 40-32-10. The Blues play in the same division (central) as the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

On another note, MacAulay was the only Nova Scotia born player selected in this weekend’s selecting process. A native of Cole Harbour, the 18-year old spent the day clicking the refresh button on NHL.com.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

MacAULAY FEELING THE BLUES

By Bert Richardson
Station Nation Staff

A player not known for being in the spotlight, Stephen MacAulay stayed true to form.

On Saturday afternoon, the Saint John Sea Dogs forward was drafted by the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues in the sixth round, 164th overall at the Entry Draft in Los Angeles, California.

MacAulay was ranked 85th among those playing in North America by Central Scouting.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said MacAulay to Metro Halifax on Friday about the draft.

“I think it will be a long day but hopefully by the end of it, it will be worth it.”

The Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia native did not attend the draft but said he would be following along on the internet. MacAulay was no sure bet to be drafted but joins Stanislav Galiev as the only Sea Dogs to be selected on draft weekend.

The 18-year old played more a defensive forward role then offensive last year. He played most of the season along side Mike Thomas and Danick Gauthier on the teams checking line. Although not high octane in terms of points, the line always played hard and were often rewarded.

In 56 regular season games, MacAulay scored eight goals and added 13 assists. In the post-season, he added two goals and eight assists en route Saint John earning a birth in the Presidents Cup Final.

Drafted by Saint John in the third round of the 2008 Quebec Major Junior Hockey league Entry Draft, the center recorded two goals and four assists in 47 games during his rookie year.

He was the final pick of the day by the Blues.

CAPITALS STICK WITH RUSSIAN ROOTS

By Bert Richardson
Station Nation Staff

Ranked as a late first or early second round pick, Saint John Sea Dogs forward Stanislav Galiev found himself sitting in the stands a little longer than most expected.

But despite the 18-year olds hardship, perhaps it was worth the wait.

“My preferences in the NHL Draft? I don’t know, maybe Washington or Pittsburgh or Detroit. I cheered for the Capitals in my childhood but I didn’t follow the NHL too closely,” said Galiev to Russian Machine Never Breaks prior to the draft.

The National Hockey League’s regular season champion Washington Capitals selected the Russian in the third round, 86th overall at Saturday’s portion of the NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles, California.

His slip down to the third round was a surprise to almost everyone. TSN ranked Galiev as their 40th best prospect, NHL Central Scouting listed him at 20 among North American players, International Scouting Services at 24, and The Hockey News had him at 37.

“He should end up as a second-rounder but may slip into the third,” said Willy Palov in the Chronicle Herald on Friday, one of the only persons to say that he may slip to the third round.

Even more surprising than his fall in the draft was the fact that several QMJHL players were taken in front of him. Nearly every publication had the first year player rated a distant second behind first round pick and Moncton Wildcat defenseman Brandon Gormley.

In total, 22-players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League were selected in the draft.

Selected first overall in the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft last summer, Galiev had a strong season and played primarily on the first line with Mike Hoffman and Nicholas Petersen. In 67 regular season games, the right winger registered 15 goals and 45 assists.

In the playoffs, Galiev recorded eight goals and 11 assists in 21 matches that helped Saint John reach the league final. Playing a long season seemed to hurt “Staz” however and failed to contribute on the score sheet in the Presidents Cup Final against Moncton.

While being selected by the Capitals may be a dream for the Russian rookie, Galiev may also play with his favourite player someday – Alexander Semin.

“Semin, he's my favourite player. I want to be him," said the Sea Dog to NHL.com.

Along with putting up some solid offensive numbers, he also played in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team. His 19 playoff points also led all first-year players.

POST-DRAFT INTERVIEW

SEVERAL DOGS ON DRAFT RADAR

By Bert Richardson
Station Nation Staff

By day’s end, at least one Saint John Sea Dog will be affiliated with a National Hockey League team.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Sea Dogs forward Stephen MacAulay to Metro Halifax Friday. The Nova Scotia native is by no means a lock to be selected as he ranked 72nd among North Americans by Central Scouting.

“I think it will be a long day but hopefully by the end of it, it will be worth it.”

The 18 year old will not be attending the draft in Los Angles which continues this afternoon with rounds two through seven going down.

Last season, MacAulay played the role of a shut down forward more than an offensive weapon. In 56 games with the regular season champion Sea Dogs, MacAulay scored eight goals and added 13 assists. In the post-season, he registered two goals and eight assists.

“I put up some points, but (did well) in a defensive role, too. I threw the body a lot and our line played really well.”

Another long shot to be drafted today is Danick Gauthier, who was ranked at number 147 amongst North Americans by Central Scouting.

“I thought about it a little during the season, but when the playoffs started all I was thinking about was winning the series,” said Gauthier to HockeyProspect.com when asked if he was nervous for the NHL’s annual player picking process.

“Now that the season is over I am thinking about it, but not nervous.”

Gauthier recorded 13 goals and nine assists in 66 games during the regular season. In the playoffs, the 19-year old right winger scored six goals and four assists. Much like MacAulay, Gauthier is known more for his grittiness then offensive skills.

One guarantee today involves Stanislav Galiev, who will hear his name called in the early parts of today’s events. Most agencies had the Russian rookie going late in last night’s first round or in the opening half of the second round. Although not drafted in the opening 30 picks, there are still a number of players who could have gone in what was a wild first round.

TSN ranks Galiev as their 40th best prospect, NHL Central Scouting lists him at 20, International Scouting Services at 24, and The Hockey News has the 18-year old going at 37.

One final Sea Dog could be selected this afternoon. Like Mike Hoffman and Nicholas Petersen a year ago, Michael Kirkpatrick will hope to hear his name called today in his second go around. The now-overage forward attended Minnesota Wild rookie camp last season as an invitee but was not signed.

The North Sydney, Nova Scotia native recorded 29 goals and 54 assists in 67 regular season games. In the post-season, Kirkpatrick added 15 goals and 16 assists.

If Kirkpatrick is not selected today, he could still be signed as a free agent much like Robert Mayer was in 2008.

GORMLEY SLIDES TO PHEONIX

By Bert Richardson
Station Nation Staff

Moncton Wildcats defenceman Brandon Gormley was the only Quebec Major Junior Hockey League player selected at the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft in Los Angeles on Friday.

Gormley was expected to be taken in the top five if the first 30 selections at the Staples Center but slipped all the way down to 13th overall. He was not alone, as Windsor Spitfire defender Cam Fowler fell alongside him and heard his name called just one pick prior.

Gormley had nine goals and 34 assists in 58 games last season for Moncton. He also had a plus-31 rating, which ranked third best on his team.

In the playoffs, Gormley had two goals and 15 assists in 21 games as the Wildcats took the QMJHL title.

Gormley won a gold medal with Team Canada at the under-18 tournament in the Czech Republic last year and was the only 17-year-old defenseman to attend this year's World Junior evaluation camp.

The Saint John Sea Dogs’ Simon Despres will remain the only player in franchise history to be selected in the opening round for at least one more year. Stanislav Galiev, who many had going in the late stages of the round one, was not selected.

“Another scout I talked to said he's pretty sure Galiev is going in the first round, not a huge surprise,” said Corey Pronman on Twitter prior to the draft.

Unsurprisingly, the Edmonton Oilers used the first pick of the draft to select two-time MasterCard Memorial Cup MVP Taylor Hall. Then, the Boston Bruins took Tyler Seguin of the Plymouth Whalers.

Once again this year, the Canadian Hockey League led the way in terms of the top selections. Nine of the top ten players selected were taken from the CHL (WHL, OHL & QMJHL).

Rounds two through seven take place tomorrow in California.

For a complete list of the first 30 selections, click HERE.

- With files USA Today and QMJHL.com

Friday, June 25, 2010

GALIEV WILL MAKE HISTORY THIS WEEKEND

Editors Note: The following post originally appeared on Station Nation on December 21, 2009.

Martin Bartos, David Stich, and Robert Mayer. What do these names have in common?

Do you give up?

Well, you probably guessed that they are all import players that have played for the Saint John Sea Dogs. All also played in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. But most importantly, none were drafted by an NHL team.

On December 21, 2009, Russian import Stanislav Galiev was named to the 2010 Top Prospects game. The Sea Dogs import that is widely projected to go in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, will try and break the curse by being drafted into the NHL this summer.

Two Sea Dogs have played in the game and have been drafted. Yann Sauve went in the second round of the 2008 entry draft to the Vancouver Canucks. Last year, Simon Despres went in the first round to the Pittsburgh Penguins. But neither of the Quebec natives have links to Europe.

Bartos, Stich, and Mayer were not as highly touted as Galiev, however. Bartos is now playing in Europe, Mayer in the East Coast Hockey League after signing a contract with the Montreal Canadiens, and Stich is an overage defenseman for the Montreal Junior. Even Sauve and Despres slipped a bit the draft.

Galiev is looking to go through the front door on his way to the NHL by hearing his named called at the NHL draft.

Breaking the curse - something to watch for this June in Los Angeles.

Imports in Sea Dogs history:
2005-06: Martin Bartos and Felix Schutz
2006-07: David Stich and Felix Schutz
2007-08: Robert Mayer and David Stich
2008-09: Robert Mayer and David Stich
2009-10: Stanislav Galiev and Tomas Jurco

Photo credit: The photo above is of Galiev and his billet family. The group in the Buckley's Billet Family competition.

GALIEV ON THE FENCE HEADING INTO FIRST ROUND

By Bert Richardson
Station Nation Staff

Stanislav Galiev will find out tonight if he is worthy of being selected in the opening round of the National Hockey League entry draft.

The Saint John Sea Dogs forward will be selected by a NHL club at some point over the next two days. But where he will be eventually selected is the million dollar question.

Galiev is a borderline first round pick by many agencies while others have him going in the middle of the second round. The first 30 selections of the draft take place tonight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California at 8:00 pm on TSN. The following rounds begin tomorrow morning at the same venue.

TSN ranks Galiev as their 40th best prospect, NHL Central Scouting lists him at 20, International Scouting Services at 24, and The Hockey News has the Russian going at 37.

“Saint John Sea Dogs forward Stanislav Galiev started the year with a strong chance to be taken in the first round but gradually turned scouts off with his lukewarm production,” said Willy Palov in the Chronicle Herald. “He should end up as a second-rounder but may slip into the third.”

Galiev’s production this past season with the regular season champion Sea Dogs is being put into question by several members of the scouting community. The left winger registered 15 goals and 45 assists in 67 games while playing on the top line with Nicholas Petersen and Mike Hoffman for much of those matches.

Also put into question is his work ethic, as Station Nation reported last week.

“He's a really crafty player,” Sports Illustrated says. “Strong on his feet and really creative with the puck. He's having trouble finishing right now, but he's piling up points with his playmaking skills.”

“Galiev is a dynamic forward with a lot of offensive flare, much like the other high end Russians available in this crop,” TheScoutingReport.org says. “He’s a little inconsistent right now and needs to do a better job of capitalizing on his chances, but there is no doubt that the talent is there. The other thing that is good to see with Galiev is that he obviously has the desire to play in the NHL which is something that scouts will like to see and should alleviate any concerns of the ‘Russian Factor’.”

“Galiev didn’t get the hype that Kirill Kabanov received this year, but Saint John got way more bang for their buck than Moncton did,” said Dean Millard of The Pipeline Show, who has Galiev going 24th overall to the Atlanta Thrashers. “Galiev carries the puck like it’s taped to his stick and while he might not ever be confused with a goal scorer he’s a terrific set up man. He played in the USHL before joining Saint John and was snubbed by Russia at the World Junior Championship. He’s also very responsible in his own end and works very hard. Galiev isn’t as flashy or talented as Atlanta’s last Russian but he’ll be a slick pro, especially once he gets a little stronger.”

“Galiev has been called a good all around player and is compared to Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk,” said the Bleacher Report, who selected Galiev with 23rd overall pick of their mock draft.

“Galiev recently completed his first season with the QMJHL powerhouse Saint John Sea Dogs,” said the Columbus Blue Jackets blog The Cannon. “The team had a bevy of top forwards, so Galiev's numbers aren't that of a number one sniper- but that doesn't take away from the fact that he is an offensive dynamo. Of all the Russian-born players in this year's draft, Galiev is the least-likely to be a flight risk. By playing in the USHL for a year before joining the Q he has shown a commitment to playing pro hockey in North America.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

SEA DOGS SCHEDULE TWEAKED

By Bert Richardson
Station Nation Staff

The Saint John Sea Dogs and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League announced a couple of changes to the Port City’s 2010-11 regular season schedule today.

According to the Sea Dogs’ official twitter page, the motion set forth by the team to have all Sunday games played at Harbour Station start at 3:00 pm has been voted down by the QMJHL. Instead, all Sunday home games will start at 4:00 pm as they have over the past five seasons.

No reason as to why the league voted down the time change was given.

The Dogs have said publicly in the past that they wished to have Sunday games start earlier but were not allowed to do so for all games because of league travel restrictions. Saint John management also said at the 2008 fan symposium that having only some Sunday games – and not all – start at an earlier time would not be satisfactory.

Also reported on twitter, the Wednesday, November 10 home game against the PEI Rocket has been rescheduled to Wednesday, December 8. Game time remains at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station.

Once again, no reason for the move was given, but the game would have originally taken place a day prior to the Remembrance Day ceremonies at Harbour Station..

The new schedule does, however, create a home-and-home between the two squads that begins at the Charlottetown Civic Centre on December 7. The move also means that Saint John will start December by playing six games in 10 days.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

SEA DOGS NOTEBOOK

STREET RACE
According to Facebook, the Sea Dogs will be participating in the “Kids n Karts” event this Sunday at noon on King Street in Saint John.

From the official page of the street race:

DON'T MISS...
-'B.B.Q' with our very own Fleaburn!
-Bus Pull!
-Sea Dogs!
-50/50 Draw!

Awards will be given; raising money for a Great Community Charity, The Joshua Group.

"Let help them in their goal to build a Summer Camp so these Kids can be Kids"

THOMAS, PHILLIPS TO APPEAR AT FREDDY CAMP
The annual hockey camp in Fredericton, held by the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, is set to run from July 18-24.

"We want to make the week of of the Skills and Drills camp the best week of the summer," said Todd Sparks to the Daily Gleaner, the UNB Varsity Reds' associate head coach and the co-ordinator of the 11 different camps that will run out of the Aitken Centre again this summer, and offer, as Sparks says, "something for everybody."

On hand will be several major junior players from the area, including Saint John Sea Dogs captain Mike Thomas, Taylor MacDougall - son of UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall - of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles; Zack Phillips of the Sea Dogs, Zach Shannon of the Lewiston Maineiacs, and St. Louis Blues goaltending prospect Jake Allen.

HITTING THE GREENS
By SaintJohnSeaDogs.com

Three members of the Saint John Sea Dogs took part in the 2010 Bell Aliant Charity Golf Classic on Thursday, with New Brunswickers Zack Phillips, Kevin Gagné, and Aidan Kelly all donating their time to a noble cause by spending the day at Rothesay's Riverside Golf & Country Club.


Golfers participating in the tournament were able to challenge the young hockey players to a putting contest in exchange for making a charitable donation. All proceeds went to the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation for their Care Connections capital campaign, which benefits southern New Brunswick communities.


All three Sea Dogs players had their fair share of decent putts throughout the afternoon, with Gagné draining a sixty-footer at around 3pm to earn bragging rights over his teammates. Photos from this special event can be seen by clicking HERE.

SCOUTING SAUVE
Scott Cullen of TSN with his thoughts on Sea Dogs defenseman and Vancouver Canucks prospect Yann Sauve:

Yann Sauve has good size and could be an effective defensive defenceman with some time in the minors. Consistency hasn't been Sauve's strong suit, but he does have the physical package to be an NHLer. 

YARMOUTH LOVIN’
Coincidence or not, the Yarmouth Mariners drafted three Sea Dogs prospects at the Maritime Junior Hockey League draft on Saturday in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. An unnamed representitve from the Mariners gave his thoughts on Brock Morrison, Colin Campbell, and Alex Simpson to the fine crew at AtlanticProspects.com.

“Brock is an extremely gifted scorer,” said the source. “Yarmouth feels extremely fortunate he was still available in the second round. He skates well and has great instincts. Brock competes hard both offensively and defensively and is a very exciting player to watch.”

“Campbell tied for the scoring lead of the NSMMHL, averaging two points per game for a total of 68 points. With a slender frame Campbell has great vision and playmaking skills. He works very hard and is just a responsible in the defensive zone as he is offensively. Colin competes every shift and makes everyone around him better.”

“Simpson brings a big body presence already standing tall at 6′4”. He will need to fill out his lanky frame however as he is only 170 lbs. He skates very well and is very solid in his own end. He has the ability to simply over power players in one on one battles. He makes good decisions with the puck and has a great first pass.”

COULD CAMERON SOON BE A DOG?
Summerside Western Capitals general manager Gabe Keough told the Journal Pioneer last week that it’s a possibility Jason Cameron makes the Sea Dogs this season.

"We only had one 20-year-old on the team, so all of them would be eligible to come back, but a couple might go and make major junior. I think there's a possibility you'll see both (Halifax Moosehead draft pick Darcy) Ashley and Cameron playing in major junior this year," Keough said.

"It's getting to be a fine line with the draft. You're asking yourself whether the player you pick is going to be better than this league. Other teams will say, 'If he went in the second round for the Q, why would I take him this year?'"

With Summerside last year, Cameron registered 10 goals and seven assists in 47 games.

Friday, June 18, 2010

SCOUTS CRITICAL OF GALIEV'S WORK ETHIC

A week prior to the first round of the 2010 National Hockey League entry draft, Stanislav Galiev’s work ethic is being put into question by some.

“He doesn't work, I don't see him working hard enough every shift,” said Kim Houston of NHL Central Scouting to Hockey’s Future. “Every shift you've got to play and sometimes he'll float through some shifts. I always notice when they have the puck and he seems to exert himself a little more.”

The first overall pick of the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft by the Saint John Sea Dogs has been criticized quite a bit over the past month by a number of publications. The work ethic comments began after the Galiev struggled at the NHL Combine in Toronto on June 4.

“Last year’s USHL scoring star has ALWAYS scored but his Combine job = poor work ethic,” said Mark Seidal on Twitter.

“He's kind of one-dimensional,” said Houston. “He makes one nice move, but then what does he do the rest of the night? He doesn't play away from the puck that well and in the defensive zone, you're going to have to learn to a lot better than that to move on to the next level.”

Criticism comes with the job when you are a projected high pick for the NHL draft. But Galiev’s stock has slipped since the first half of the 2009-10 QMJHL season. Most so called “experts” have the skilled and speedy Russian forward going anywhere between the 23rd and 40th picks.

Willy Palov, the Halifax Mooseheads beat reporter for the Chronicle Herald, has evened placed the Sea Dogs sensation as the third best first-time-draft-eligible player available in the QMJHL behind Moncton’s Brandon Gormley and the Herd’s Mathieu Corbeil. Just about everyone under the sun has listed Galiev as the second best prospect in the Quebec circuit all season.

“The Russian winger "looks" like a player but his production doesn’t always measure up,” stated Palov in his weekly column. “He is a great skater who looks comfortable in the offensive zone but he only managed 15 goals playing on a line with two of the best forwards in the league — Mike Hoffman and Nicholas Petersen. The knock is he has trouble finishing, despite his wealth of talent.”

The opening round of the NHL Entry Draft is next Friday from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The other rounds begin the following morning.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

LIVE BLOG: ROCKET VS SEA DOGS

LELAND PROMOTED

PRESS RELEASE

Saint John Sea Dogs Director of Hockey Operations Mike Kelly has announced that Video Coach Greg Leland has been promoted to the position of Hockey Administration Coordinator. In his new role Leland will be involved in the execution of player transactions and will oversee all aspects of team education. He will also continue to assist the coaching department.

“We’re very pleased to be promoting Greg to this newly-created post,” says Kelly. “He’s been an invaluable member of our coaching staff and we’re excited to be expanding his role within our organization.”

A long-time teacher at Quispamsis Elementary School, Leland has been involved with Hockey Canada’s Atlantic Centre of Excellence for several years. It was announced in April that he will be serving as Head Coach with Team Atlantic at the 2011 World U-17 Hockey Challenge. Leland has also served as the Director of Hockey Operations with Team Atlantic on several occasions and coached Team New Brunswick at the Canada Games in both 1991 and 2003.

As a player, Leland skated as a defenseman with the Acadia Axemen of Canadian Interuniversity Sport for four years while earning a Bachelor or Arts in Physical Education. He also has a Bachelor of Education from the University of New Brunswick. Previously a member of the AHL Saint John Flames’ coaching staff in 2002-03, Leland joined the Sea Dogs’ hockey operations department in the summer of 2007.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

SIX DOGS TAKEN IN MHL DRAFT

The league formally known as the Maritime Junior ‘A’ Hockey League held its annual entry draft on Saturday. This past week, the MJAHL held their annual meetings and announced that the circuit will from here on in be called the "Maritime Junior Hockey League."

This year, the annual draft was held in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia with several Saint John Sea Dogs prospects and players being selected on the day.

MHL teams often select players who are already associated with a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League club. If that player is to not make their ‘Q’ team in training camp, he will most often be assigned to the junior ‘A’ club that owns his rights to further his developement.

The first Saint John prospect selected in the draft was Brock Morrison who was taken by the Yarmouth Mariners with the fifth pick of the second round. Morrison was selected by the Sea Dogs in the eighth round of this year’s QMJHL draft. The forward scored 30 goals and added 31 assists with the Cape Breton Tradesmen last year and finished third on team scoring.

Current Sea Dog Aiden Kelly was taken with the ninth pick of the third round by the Woodstock Slammers. While spending the majority of the first half with the Saint John Vito’s, Kelly appeared in 19 games with the Dogs and scored one goal and added five assists. In the post-season, the Saint John native registered no points in three appearances.

Richard Tingley was taken in the fourth round by the Amherst Ramblers. Tingley, a Halifax native, was selected by the Sea Dogs in the fifth round of the 2009 QMJHL Entry Draft.

In the fifth round, 2010 Sea Dogs draft choice Jason Thorpe was picked by the MHL Champion Slammers. With the Saint John Vito’s last season, Thorpe had a goal and six assists in 19 games.

Fast forward to round eight, Alex Simpson was taken by the Mariners. The Saint John native was taken by the Sea Dogs with the 162nd selection of the QMJHL draft held last weekend. At 6’4”, 162 lbs, Simpson was the biggest player chosen by Saint John on player picking day. In 34 games with the Saint John Vito’s last year, the 17-year old scored one goal and five assists in 34 games. He was also the only Atlantic Canadian born defenseman taken by the Dogs.

With the third overall pick in the territorial draft, Yarmouth selected Colin Campbell. Campbell – who played with the Cape Breton Tradesmen last season – recorded 30 goals and 38 assists in 35 games.

To view the full list of selections, click HERE.

Station Nation recently discussed Saint John’s Atlantic Canadian born prospects with AtlanticProspects.com.

Friday, June 11, 2010

HUBERDEAU INVITED TO U-18 CAMP

Jonathan Huberdeau and his sensationally slick skills are heading to Team Canada’s Under-18 selection camp in Calgary, Alberta.

Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Friday the 38 players who have been invited to attend Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp, which runs from July 31-August 3 at Father David Bauer Olympic Arena in Calgary, home of Canada’s national teams.

The roster includes 14 defencemen and 24 forwards. Four goaltenders will be added to the camp roster following the June 17-20 Program of Excellence goaltending camp in Calgary. Five U18-eligible goaltenders will be in attendance for that camp.

Huberdeau, drafted by the Saint John Sea Dogs in the first round of the 2009 Quebec Major Hockey League entry draft, is already a top prospect for the 2011 NHL entry draft.

Last season with the Sea Dogs, the rookie scored 15 goals and 20 assists in 61 games. Famously known for his sick shootout moves, the St. Gerome, Quebec native went 6/6 in the breakaway challenge.

Use to the pressure of shootout situations, Huberdeau tore up the league in the post-season, registering 11 goals and seven assists in 17 games.

The Sea Dogs star will be joined by Halifax’s Brent Andrews, Val-d’Or’s Olivier Archambault and Jean-François Leblanc, Baie-Comeau’s Raphaël Bussières, Victoriaville’s Phillip Danault, and Bathurst’s Bryce Milson as forwards who will represent the QMJHL.

Q-league defensemen include Shawinigan’s Dillon Donnelly and Jonathan Racine, PEI’s Jimmy Oligny, Montreal’s Xavier Ouellet, and Lewiston’s Stephen Woodworth.

To view the full roster, click HERE.

“The upcoming National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp will be competitive and exciting,” Hockey Canada head scout Al Murray said in a release. “These players represent the future of Canadian hockey and are a testament to the strength of the Canadian Hockey League and the skill development taking place in minor hockey across the country.”

22 skaters will be chosen from the camp to represent Canada at the 2010 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament. The event runs from August 10-14 in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

DESPRES OFF TO CAMP

Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Despres has been invited to Team Canada’s national junior development camp. The news was announced this afternoon by Hockey Canada.

41 skaters (not including goaltenders) were selected to take part in the camp that will take place this August at Mile One Center in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Of those 41 players, 17 are defenseman and 24 are forwards.

The four goaltenders and the official dates for the camp will be issued shortly.

The 41 individuals will then be rounded off to roughly 35 for the official camp that will be held in December. 22 players will then be selected to play for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, New York.

Despres will join Moncton’s Brandon Gormley, Gatineau’s Nicolas Deslauriers, Rimouski’s Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, and Shawinigan’s Charles-Olivier Roussel as defenseman selected from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Drummondville’s Sean Couturier was the only QMJHL forward invited. Harvard University’s Louis Leblanc, who is in rumoured to be moving to the Montreal Junior organization, was also invited.

To view the entire list of invites, click HERE. Yahoo! Sports blog Buzzing the Net also has an impressive breakdown of the list.

Despres, a first round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, scored nine goals and added 38 assists in 63 games with Saint John last season. In the playoffs, Despres recorded two goals and 17 assists in 21 games.

In his three year QMJHL career, the 2007 first overall pick in the QMJHL Entry Draft has 12 goals and 81 assists in 193 games. He has also obtained an impressive plus-60 rating over that time.

This will mark the first time that the “Big Horse” has been invited to the camp. Only one Sea Dog, Chris DiDomenico, has ever played for Canada at the prestigious event.

“There are a number of tremendously talented players across Canada in this age group, and the players named today will have a terrific opportunity to showcase their abilities against the best the country has to offer,” said Hockey Canada head scout Al Murray in a release. “We are looking forward to a very competitive, high-energy camp.”

The invitation list includes five players from Canada’s silver medal-winning team at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatchewan: Jared Cowen, Calvin de Haan, Ryan Ellis, Taylor Hall and Brayden Schenn.

The camp will include 24 skaters with international experience at the under-18 level (Cizikas, Cowen, de Haan, Després, Doherty, Eakin, Elliott, Ellis, Gormley, Gudbranson, Hall, Howden, Howse, Kassian, Leblanc, McNabb, Olsen, Pysyk, Ross, Schenn, Schwartz, Seguin, Skinner, Toffoli) and 30 skaters who have represented their region at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and/or Canada Winter Games (Ashton, Barrie, Beck, Cizikas, Couturier, Després, Doherty, Elliott, Ellis, Gallagher, Gauthier-Leduc, Glennie, Gormley, Gudbranson, Howden, Howse, Kassian, Leblanc, McNabb, Olsen, Pysyk, Ross, Roussel, Schenn, Schwartz, Seguin, Skinner, Toffoli, Vey, Werek).

Speaking of St. John’s, the ‘Q’ is seriously looking into having one of the two Subway Super Series games played at Mile One Center.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

GALLANT STAYING NORTH

If you listen closely, you can probably hear it. What you’ll hear is a collective sigh of relief from Saint John Sea Dogs fans as the “Gerard Gallant to Tampa Bay” rumours were halted this afternoon.

Former Drummondville Voltigeurs head coach Guy Boucher was hired by the Lightning today, ending a few weeks of rumours that the Sea Dogs bench boss was heading south.

The 38-year old Boucher, who was the head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, is now the youngest coach in the league.

"Guy is an extremely intelligent, educated and knowledgeable hockey person who has been a part of successful programs at every level he's coached at, both as a head coach and an assistant," said Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay’s general manager and good friend of Gallant to TSN.ca.

Gallant was considered to be strong a candidate for the position by many publications. His friendship with Yzerman and his expertise with young players was said to make him a “front-runner” for the job.

“More than one NHL source suggests Yzerman will lean on a familiar quantity he can trust, and Gallant fits that requirement to a T. Consider him the front-runner,” said Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated on June 1.

The news of Gallant possibly departing Saint John began in late May after Yzerman was hired by the Bolts to rebuild the squad. But although Gallant has proven he can have success with young skaters, Boucher has much more experience at the junior level.

Gallant a Summerside, Prince Edward Island native has coaching experience with both the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders of the NHL.

A rookie coach this past year with Saint John, Gallant took the Sea Dogs to within two wins of the President’s Cup. He was named both QMJHL and CHL Coach of the Year after the leading the Dogs to a franchise record 53 regular season wins.

"When you win individual awards, especially when you're a coach, it's all about your team," said Gallant in a phone interview Sunday to the Journal Pioneer. "We've had a great season and the team has done a very good job.

"It's always fun to get recognized, but it's more about what our team did and it's a team award for me."

“Turk” also credits associate coach and director of hockey operations Mike Kelly for his success.

"The way we did it was Mike and I shared the duties," said Gallant, who also praised ownership for providing staff with all the tools to build a championship-calibre team. "Anything he (Kelly) wanted to do we talked about it, and anything I wanted to do as a coaching staff we talked about it.

"We basically sat there during the day when the kids were in school, threw things at each other and chatted about them. It was fun and it worked out real well."

- With files from TSN.ca

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

MILLRATS ANNOUNCE ANNOUNCEMENT DATE

The Manchester Millrats have called a press conference for June 21st at Harbour Station, where they will likely announce that they are moving to Saint John for the 2011 Premier Basketball League season.

According to the Millrats Facebook page, the PBL officially announced their approval of the move at the league’s meetings in Chicago this weekend.

“We knew it was going to be approved, but it was officially approved at the meeting,” said Station Nation fan and one of the Millrats owners Ian McCarthy in the Telegraph-Journal.

“The Millrats have been in negotiations with arena management of Harbour Station and City Officials for several weeks regarding the possible move of their team to Saint John, and are prepared to make several announcements on the 21st and answer questions regarding the progress of the venture,” said the team in a press release.

The presser will be open to the public and will begin at noon inside Harbour Station. According to the release, the new high definition video board will be used in some way.

Speakers are expected to include Millrats team owners, Andre Levingston - the President of the Premier Basketball League, Harbour Station Management, Saint John Sea Dogs President Wayne Long, Saint John Mayor Ivan Court, and others.

Currently, the team is still being called the “Millrats” but their Facebook page is asking folks about what they would like the team to be named. Whether the name changes or not, the logo will have to be changed because it features the Manchester skyline.

From T-J:

"Once the team is announced, we're probably going to have a naming contest," McCarthy said.

He added ownership would like the Millrat name to remain, but they're going to change the logo from a rat to a millworker in construction gear.

"The rat was for the kids," McCarthy said.

The page, entitled "Saint John Millrats Pro Basketball Page,” has over 800 fans after starting just a few weeks ago.

TESINK READY FOR ACTION

Ryan Tesink has made his intentions clear.

"I'm hoping to crack the squad first obviously,” said Tesink to the Times & Transcript following his selection at the QMJHL Entry Draft on Saturday. “There's no guarantees, but I want to be on the third line as a 17-year-old.”

Tesink was selected by the Saint John Sea Dogs with the last pick of the first round – 18th overall at the Marcel Dionne Centre on Drummondville, Que. on the weekend.

The Saint John native certainly seemed pleased to be drafted by his hometown club as a picture of him smiling like a maniac appeared on the cover of Monday’s Telegraph-Journal.

"I'm very excited to play in my hometown,'' Tesink said to T-J. "It's going to be fun. There's obviously some added pressure being a local guy, but I think having the support of my family and friends will help me a lot. I think I can deal with it.''

The left winger already has some key experience at the junior level. Along with following his brother, Brad, a former Quebec league player, Tesink already has a year of Junior ‘A’ under his belt with the MJAHL Champion Woodstock Slammers.

“I feel like I have junior experience already and I've won a championship (with Woodstock) so I know what it's like," said Tesink.

With the Slammers last year, the forward registered 10 goals and 19 assists in 44 regular season games. In the post-season, he added four goals and six assists in 14 games while helping Woodstock capture the league title.

Along with his playoff experience, the Port City son skated with Team Atlantic at the World Under-17 Hockey Championships in Timmons, Ont. this past winter. In five games, the 5’11” skater scored two goals and recorded four assists in just five games.

Here is a scouting report from HockeyScene.com:

Tesink, who just turned 17 in late May, played the past season with the Woodstock Slammers of the Maritime Junior Hockey League. He’s an in-your-face forward who doesn’t shirk from the corners and seems to enjoy heavy going and hard hitting play.

The 5’11, 160 pound is an above-average player who is a fiery attacker who scored 41 points the past season while accumulating 183 penalty minutes.

Always in proper position he is efficient in both the defensive and offensive zones and is rated an above avergae skater. He was excellent in the Under 17 Championship in Timins this past season accoring to reports.

One of the coaches from another team in the MJAHL said he was an "in your face competitor that any coach would love to have although most hate to see him on an opposing team. He has experience at the junior level and is very nearly the complete package."

Monday, June 7, 2010

André Touringy named assistant coach of 2011 National Junior Team

PRESS RELEASE

CALGARY – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced on Monday that Dave Cameron, head coach of the OHL’s Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors will be head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, scheduled for December 26, 2010 to January 5, 2011 in Buffalo and Niagara, N.Y.

Cameron will be joined behind Canada’s bench by assistant coaches Bob Boughner (head coach of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires), Ryan Huska (head coach of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets) and André Tourigny (head coach and general manager of the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies).

Dave Cameron, 51, will be a part of the National Junior Team coaching staff for the third-consecutive year, having won gold as an assistant coach in 2009 in Ottawa, Ont., before taking silver as an associate coach in 2010 in Regina/Saskatoon, Sask. Cameron also served as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2004 Junior World Cup, winning a gold medal. The Kincora, P.E.I. native has been head coach and director of hockey operations of Mississauga St. Michael’s since the 2007-08 season.

"I am truly honoured and humbled to be named head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team," said Cameron. "I look forward to working with the great staff that we have assembled, and our first objective will be to reclaim gold for Canada at the World Juniors."

Bob Boughner, 39, was the head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2009 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka, leading it to its second-consecutive gold medal. Boughner, an 11-year NHL veteran, has led Windsor to Memorial Cup championships in 2009 and 2010, and was named OHL and CHL coach of the year in both 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Ryan Huska, 34, will make his international debut behind the bench at the 2011 IIHF World Championship. The head coach of the Rockets since 2007, Huska is a veteran of seven Memorial Cups as both a player and a coach – he won championships as a player with the Kamloops Blazers in 1992, 1994 and 1995 and as an assistant coach with Kelowna in 2004, and also appeared in the tournament as Kelowna’s assistant coach in 2003 and 2005 and as the team’s head coach in 2009.

André Tourigny, 36, will be an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team for the second year in a row, having served under Willie Desjardins at the 2010 tournament. The Nicolet, Que., native was an assistant coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team for the 2008 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka, winning a gold medal. He has been head coach of the Huskies since 2001 and was named QMJHL coach of the year in 2005-06.

"We are very excited about the coaching staff we are naming today for Canada’s National Junior Team," said Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s senior director of men’s national teams. "All four of these coaches bring a wealth of experience, and we look forward to working with them this winter in Buffalo."

Hockey Canada will announce details for the National Junior Team’s summer development camp shortly, including the players that will be invited to camp.

Bert’s Bananas – My Thoughts on Draft Day

By Bert Richardson
Station Nation Staff

With one of the holiest days of the calendar year now complete, it is time to look back at just what went down on QMJHL draft day.

WELL DONE
First off, I want to state that I love the Q draft more Barbeque flavored Pringles. The time, effort, and money that the league spends to make the draft top notch is really superb. By making it a miniature version of the NHL’s draft, it is much more enjoyable for fans to watch and follow compared to the WHL and OHL selection processes.

But, finally, the draft went much more “smooth” than in years past. For once, at least in the first round, players that were chosen were the ones that wanted to be chosen. There were no Angelo Esposito’s or Jonathan Huberdeau’s – just legitimate picks that didn’t appear to involve previous meetings in some dark ally about NCAA asperations.

“The matter had become such an embarrassment and headache for a public relations-conscious league — players who stated they weren’t available in the draft naturally also didn’t attend the top prospects luncheon or the draft itself — that something had to be done,” says Chris Cochrane of the Chronicle Herald.

New rules were put into place this past December to try and stop the “I haven’t decided on whether or not I will play junior or NCAA next year” shenanigans. Whether the rules worked or not is a question that may never be answered, but they certainly did not hurt the process.

Whatever stopped the trend, it certainly made for a more enjoyable draft day.

MATHESON SLIDES
The top ranked skater available in the draft – Michael Matheson – slid all the way to the second round because of his believed intentions of continuing his journey to the NCAA ranks.

Matheson was picked up by the Shawinigan Cataractes with the 27th pick of the draft. With all the hype surrounding the new drafting guidelines, Commissioner Gilles Courteau no doubt would have been a bit suspicious if a team wasted a first round draft pick on Matheson. Instead, the Cataractes picked him up in the early part of the second round with their third pick of the day.

It is still unclear if Matheson will join the hockey club, but, as someone pointed out on Twitter, you have to wonder if the 16-year old is not intrigue about playing for a Memorial Cup contending team next season.
UPDATE: Steve Turcott says that the Cataractes have reportedly spoken with the Matheson family.

TWITTER SAVED CHRISTMAS
As we stated in our guide to surviving draft day, the QMJHL website would, without question, blow up at some point. Right on cue in the early parts of the first round, the website broke, throwing fans and media into their usual tailspin.

But, thanks to an amazing invention called Twitter, the annual entry draft was saved. With a number of reporters tweeting live from Marcel Dionne Centre (mostly from Halifax), everyone was kept in the loop with up-to-the-minute news.

You have to wonder, though, why the league doesn’t come up with a better way to broadcast this event. The website crashes every single season – but they don’t change or try to update the site. Just look at Harbour Station, their ticketing website collapsed every five minutes a few years back, but after some updates, the entire process has changed for the better.

Brought up by someone on Twitter was the wondering of why the league didn’t just tweet the entire draft like the USHL did. Yes, it would be time consuming for a particular individual, but I’d image they could easily hook up a feed to the drafting page.

I FEEL BAD FOR… WILDCAT FANS
Here are some words I never thought I’d say: “I feel bad for Moncton Wildcat fans.”

The team easily had the worst coverage of any of the maritime squads on Saturday. They had no Twitter updates, no Facebook updates, no website updates, and no live coverage from any media source. All of this while the Q site failed like my final history project last year.

They did, however, put up some solid videos following the draft. But, I mean, when we are asked by ‘Cat fans who their team drafted, you now there is a problem.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

SEVERAL DEALS GO DOWN ON DRAFT DAY

A number of transactions took place on Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Draft Day on Saturday at the Marcel Dionne Centre in Drummondville, Que.

The trades included a few big names trading places in some blockbuster deals.

The action got going early in the great state of Maine. It was a complex deal that was broken down beautifully by the Maine Hockey Journal:

A day after the Lewiston Maineiacs acquired the former Cape Breton Screaming Eagle netminder, Roy was sent to Acadie-Bathurst for two first round picks (5th overall in 2010 and a 2012 1st round pick), a third and fifth round pick in 2010.

In another draft deal saw the Maineiacs acquire the first overall pick from the Baie-Comeau Drakkar for the fifth overall pick, a first round pick in 2012 which was acquired from Acadie-Bathurst, a 2010 second, third, and fifth round pick. Marc-Andre Carre is also heading to the Drakkar. Carre played a couple of games with Lewiston last December and January.

In return Baie-Comeau sent the 21st overall selection to the Maineiacs.

Lewiston Sun Journal reporter Justin Pelletier was first to break the news on the Big Jab morning show.

Just prior to the eighth overall selection of the draft, the Shawinigan Catarctes traded Charles-Olivier Roussel to the Montreal Junior for the number eight pick, Dillon Donnelly, Loik Poudrier, and a fourth round pick in 2011.

The Gatineau Olympiques dealt Denis Kindl to the Junior for a second round draft choice.

Alex Wall of the Moncton Wildcats was traded to the Quebec Remparts for a second round draft pick. It was the ‘Cats highest selection of the draft.

After dealing away Oliver Roy, the Maineiacs managed to their hands on another goaltender. Former Acadie-Bathurst Titan net minder Nicholas Champion was traded from the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to Lewiston in exchange for Mathieu Brisebois, a fourth round draft pick, and a fifth round pick in 2011.

Kevin Bissonneau was sent to Victoriaville from Gatineau for an eighth round pick.

Pierrick Martel was acquired by Baie-Comeau, sending a fourth round pick back to the Cataractes.

In an expected deal, goaltender Francois Lacerte was traded to Cape Breton along with a 2011 sixth round pick. Bathurst received a 2011 fifth round draft selection in return.

Anthony Courcelles was sent from Montreal to Rouyn-Noranda for a ninth round pick.

Finally, one of the biggest deals of the draft took place in the final hour of picking. Highly touted Montreal Canadiens prospect Louis Leblanc had his QMJHL rights traded from the Chicoutimi Sagueneens to the Junior in a blockbuster deal. The Montreal junior squad gave up Guillaume Asselin and a 2011 first round pick to acquire the 2009 Habs first round draft pick and a 2011 third round pick.

It is still unclear if Leblanc will report to the Junior next season.

"They only wanted Asselin and I didn't want to trade him," Montreal Junior general manager Pascal Vincent said to Willy Palov about the transaction - a deal that took all day to hammer out.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

DOGS HARVEST A NEW CROP

DRUMMONDVILLE - The Saint John Sea Dogs completed their sixth Quebec Major Junior Hockey League entry draft earlier this afternoon at the Marcel Dionne Centre in Drummondville, Que.

Some clubs were busy wheeling and dealing all afternoon while other teams completely rebuilt their roster. But the Port City squad stayed relativity quiet on draft day 2010, making no huge splashes that created much commotion.

The Sea Dogs drafted local boy Ryan Tesink of the Woodstock Slammers 18th overall, closing out the opeing round at the draft.

To read the full story on Tesink, click HERE.

In the second round, Saint John was without a pick after trading it at the draft last season to acquire Zach Phillips from the Lewiston MAINEiacs.

The Sea Dogs were busy in the third round, selecting two players.

The first was Guillaume Cloutier, a defenseman who plays with Collège Charles-Lemoyne of the Quebec Midget ‘AAA’ League.

Here is a scouting report on Cloutier from a Quebec ‘AAA’ blog:

A big framed offensive defenseman with all the right tools. He only lacks that 'quarterback' mentality of taking the puck and initiating a rush/play. He tends to let others bring it to the net and he'll rush there without it. (thanks to Lorne for pointing this website out)

Cloutier was not ranked by QMJHL Central Scouting. He is 6’01" and weighs 160 lbs.

With their other pick, 54th overall, Saint John selected Dartmouth Subway Devon Oliver-Dares. The forward played in 30 regular season games with the Subways, registering 18 goals and 33 assists. He added five assists in seven playoff games.

Oliver-Dares competed in one MJAHL game this past year, recording no points with the Bridgewater Lumberjacks.

In the fourth round, Saint John selected Quebec Cyclones defender Benjamin Hade. Hade was named to the all-star team as his squad fell 2-1 in the Midget Espoir Tournament Final. Not only was Hade not ranked by CSR, but he was not even predicted to go in any particular round.

The Sea Dogs drafted their first goalie of the draft when they selected Sebastien Auger in round five – 74th overall. Auger won the Mario-Gosselin Trophy as one half of the QCMAAA's top goaltending duo in 2009-10 with Maxime Lagacé.

In the sixth round, Saint John drafted Jason Cameron – the brother of Moncton Wildcat Randy Cameron. The forward recorded 10 goals and seven assists in 47 games with the MJAHL’s Summerside Western Capitals.

With their seventh pick at 120th overall, Saint John looked south of the border by drafting Newburyport, Massachusetts native Chris Eiserman. The goaltender had a record of 14-4 with a 3.35 G.A.A. and a 0.901 SV% in the EJHL.

Brock Morrison of the Cape Breton Tradesmen was selected in the eighth round, 120th overall by Saint John.

“Morrison netted 30 goals and dished out 31 assists for 61 points in the NSMMHL last year, finishing third on his team in scoring in the process,” reports SaintJohnSeaDogs.com.

Also in the eighth round, Anthony St-Onge-Dostie was selected with the 144th pick. The 6’0” defenseman recorded two goals and 10 assists in 38 games with the St. Francois Blizzard last season.

Colin Campbell, who is not THE Colin Campbell, was taken in the ninth round, 151st overall. Campbell recorded 30 goals and 38 assists last season with the Cape Breton Tradesmen in 68 tilts.

Soon after, Saint John Vito Alex Simpson was taken with 162nd pick of the draft. Simpson scored a goal and added an assist in 34 games with the ‘AAA’ club.

Michael Paliotta from the United States National Team Development Program was taken with the 180th pick of the choosing process. The 6’4”, 185 lbs. defenseman scored one goal and registered six assists in 32 games with the program last year.

Paliotta seems like a long shot at this point as he is expected to go the NCAA route.

With their final pick, Saint John drafted Vito Jason Thorpe. The forward had a goal and six assists in 19 games with the Saint John club last season.

A full list of players drafted by the Sea Dogs on Saturday can be found below:

ROUND 1 – 18th Overall: Ryan Tesink, Forward (Woodstock, MJAHL)
ROUND 3 – 44th Overall: Guillaume Cloutier, Defenseman (C.C. Lemoyne, QCMAAA)
ROUND 3 – 54th Overall: Devon Oliver-Dares, Forward (Dartmouth, NSMMHL)
ROUND 4 – 55th Overall: Benjamin Hade, Defenseman (Quebec Cyclones, Midget Espoir)
ROUND 5 – 74th Overall: Sébastien Auger, Goaltender (St. Francois, QCMAAA)
ROUND 6 – 91st Overall: Jason Cameron, Forward (Summerside, MJAHL)
ROUND 7 – 120th Overall: Chris Eiserman, Goaltender (New Hampshire, EJHL)
ROUND 8 – 128th Overall: Brock Morrison, Forward (Cape Breton, NSMMHL)
ROUND 8 – 144th Overall: Anthony St-Onge-Dostie, Defenseman (St. Francois, QCMAAA)
ROUND 9 – 151st Overall: Colin Campbell, Forward (Cape Breton, NSMMHL)
ROUND 9 – 162nd Overall: Alex Simpson, Defenseman (Saint John, NBPEIMMHL)
ROUND 10 – 180th Overall: Michael Paliotta, Defenseman (USNTDP)
ROUND 11 – 198th Overall: Jason Thorpe, Forward (Saint John, NBPEIMMHL)

DOGS TAKE SJ NATIVE WITH FIRST PICK

With their first selection in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft on Saturday morning, the Saint John Sea Dogs didn’t look too far.

With the last pick of the opening round, the regular season champion Sea Dogs took Saint John native Ryan Tesink.

The native son played with the Woodstock Slammers of the Maritime Junior ‘A’ Hockey League last season, scoring 10 goals and adding 19 assists in 44 games played. In the post-season, he added four goals and six assists in 14 playoff games.

"I'm excited and proud to be a member of the Sea Dogs,” said Tesink to the Sea Dogs’ official Twitter page after the selection.

Tesink was ranked by QMJHL Central Scouting as the 22nd best player available in the draft. Rumours had been flying all week that the Sea Dogs were going to select PEI native Darcy Ashley with their first round pick. But with both players still available when Saint John’s pick came around, the team chose Tesink.

With an entire season of junior ‘A’ hockey under his belt, Tesink will adjust to the major junior level much more quickly than most rookies would.

Tesink describes himself as a 'strong skater that doesn't back down from anyone.'

The left winger played with Sea Dogs forward Aiden Kelly and Team Atlantic at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Championships in Timmons, Ontario this past winter, helping the squad to a seventh place finish.

Tesink, who is listed at 5’11” and weighs 160, is the brother of former QMJHL first round draft pick Brad Tesink.

The elder of the two had a difficult career however, spending time with three different clubs. In 233 career QMJHL games, the defenseman scored 19 goals and recorded 34 assists. He was released by Cape Breton this past season as an overager and fell into the junior ‘A’ ranks.

Also of note, this is the first time is franchsie history in which the Sea Dogs have not taken a defenseman with their first pick in the draft.

Tesink joins the club below as players who have been taken in the first round by the Dogs:

2005 – Alex Grant
2006 – Yann Sauve
2007 – Simon Despres ans Steven Anthony
2009 – Pierre Durepos and Jonathan Huberdeau