Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NHL Central Scouting

 EDIT: The WHL Bantam Draft is May 2nd. I will be away from a computer for most of the day, so I may not be able to update  anything until the evening.

The NHL Central Scouting just released their year end lists.

North America Skaters

6th Hunter Shinkaruk  (-1)
66th Tyler Lewington (+1)
76th Spenser Jensen    (-11)
78th Ty Stanton       (-10)
82nd Curtis Valk   (+41)

The +/- is an indication of if they rose or fell from the Mid-Year Rankings.
Their are 211 picks in this years Entry Draft

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Where Are They Now?

The links will lead to individual stat pages within their respective Leagues. The European players all link to as I can't read their respective team pages! I'm probably missing a few players, and a few players I omitted that only played a handful of games.

Former Tigers Currently in the NHL (13)
Emerson Etem - Anaheim
Jay Bouwmeester - St. Louis
Joffrey Lupul - Toronto
Tyler Ennis - Buffalo
Derek Dorsett - New York Rangers (Fractured Clavicle)
Vernon Fiddler - Dallas
Darren Helm - Detriot (Injured Back)
David Schlemko - Phoenix
Kris Russell - St. Louis
Clarke MacArthur - Toronto
Cam Barker - Vancouver
Michael Sauer - New York Rangers (Injured)
Jason Chimera - Washington
Mathew Konan - Philadelphia Flyers

Former Tigers Currently in the AHL (7)
Thomas Kundratek - Washington(25 games)/Hershey (AHL)

Wacey Hamilton - Binghamton Senators
Linden Vey - Manchest Monarchs
Tyler Pitlick - Oklahoma City Barons
Josh Green - Oklahoma City Barons
Daine Todd - Texas Stars / UNB
Bretton Cameron - Texas Stars/ Greenville (Echl)

Former Tigers in the ECHL (9)
Sean Curry - Alaska Aces
Gord Baldwin - Idaho Steelheads
Jace Coyle - Idaho Steelheads
Tristan King - Sanfransico Bulls
Mark Isherwood - San Fransico Bulls
Tyler Bunz - Stockton Thunder
Tommy Maxwell - Utah Grizzlies
Trevor Glass - Utah Grizzlies
Cody Carlson - Utah Grizzlies

College/University (14)
Matt Lowry - Manitoba
Jordan Hickmott - Alberta
Brennan Bosch - Saskatchewan
Thomas Carr - Alberta
Sean Ringrose - Alberta
Thomas Frazee - Lakehead
Deven Dubyk - Manitoba
Scott McKay - Mount Royal
Ryan Holfeld - Saskatchewan
Spencer McAvoy - StFX
Cole Grbavac - StFx
Scott Wasden - UBC
Josh Koper - NAIT
Colton Grant - Calgary

Awarded Scholorships (Can't find stats or if their playing hockey)
Tanner Sohn - Saskatoon
Shayne Brown - Lethbridge
Sam Dezman - NAIT
Jerrid Sauer - Medicine Hat College
Bo Montgomery - Regina
John Stampohar - University of Alaska
Cody Carlson - Texas

Recently Retired From Hockey
Matt Keetley

Europe (31)
Roman Psurny - Czech
Steve Regier - Austria
Michael Psurny - EPIHL(england, step down from EIHL)
Curtis Huppe - EPIHL
Jakup Rumpel - Germany
Juraj Prokop - Slovakia
Chris St. Jaques - Germany
Pat Iannone - Italy
Rob Sandrock -  EIHL
Rory Rawlyk - Romania
Adam Rehak - Czech Junoirs
Adam Courchaine - Germany
Kevin Undershute - Netherlands
Ryan Kinasewich - Italy
Yannic Seidenburg - Germany
Stefan Myer - Germany
Patrik Parkkonen - Finland
Tyson Mulock - Germany
Martin Cibak - KHL
Marek Curilla - Slovakia
Vladmir Sicak - Czech
Chad Bassen - Germany
Zdenek Okal - Czech
James Bettauer - Germany
Mikael Ahlen - Sweden
Jaroslav Obsut - KHL
Matt MacKay - Germany
Sebastien Owuya - Sweden
Ryan Hollweg - Czech
Tomas Vosvrada - Czech
Kevin Nastiuk - Germany

CHL(2) (Step Below the ECHL)
Kellan Tochkin - Missouri Mavericks
Jarret Lukin - Allen Americans

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Next Season

Graduated Players (Will not be back)
Elgin Pearce
Derek Ryckman
Cam Lanigan

(* on guestimated roster)

Curtis Valk*  (Will he be drafted? will he be signed? and if so will he be back? I think  he will be back but their is a  decent chance that he may move up if signed and/or drafted by an organization that lacks depth, and a willingness to take a shot at a small player)

Likely to be Back
Hunter Shinkaruk*   (NHL or WHL, and IMO he is not ready for the NHL yet, I'll talk about that more in another post)

Overager Battles (Can only keep 3)

Dylan Bredo*
Jacob Doty
Curtis Valk*
Zach Hodder
Boston Leier*

Bredo is a lock. Valk is a lock if he comes back. I'd give Leier the edge for the 3rd spot. But the overager  question is a question that the Tigers don't have to make untill after training camp and their is no rush untill after Valk's situation is known. I'd give doty the 4th spot as the depth on Defense makes Hodder more expendable.

 Doty should be in the league as a 20. His combo of smarts, toughness, and some skill is fairly unique, and he would do well on a young team.  With Zach Hodder I could see him generate  interest because his value would be cheap but he's not a bad player. If a team is lacking in overagers and don't want to give up much in a trade Hodder would fit in very nicely as he can also play the PP, and would be a guy that could play in the top 4 on an average depth team.

Will Be Back
Gavin Broadhead(18)
Steven Owre (17)
Miles Koules (19)
Blake Penner (17)
Logan McVeigh (19)
Chad Butcher (17)
Chad Labelle (18)
Trevor Cox (18)
Ty Stanton(18)
Tyler Lewington (19)
Matt Staples (18)
Spenser Jensen (18)
Kyle Becker (19)
Marek Langhamer (19)

Guestimated Roster (Just for depth purposes, no thought on line combos)
Shinkaruk(19) Valk(20) Koules(19)
McVeigh(19) Leier(20) Cox(18)
Sanford(17) Penner(17) Broadhead(18)
Owre(17) Butcher(17) Labelle(18)
 + Prospects

Lewington(19) Bredo(20)
Jensen(18) Stanton(18)
Staples(18) Becker(19)
Ty Schultz(16) (1st round pick)



It will be pretty hard for incoming prospects to crack this roster. Even with the losses of this year,  their are 3-5 open spots. 1 of those is likely to go to the Tigers 1st round pick last year in Defenseman Ty Schultz, 1 of those will be a goaltending spot. The Tigers have a lot of depth on defense, so they could re-draft for 1 euro spot and try to go for a scoring forward with size, but they could just as easily draft a Dman. Still the Tigers have a bundle of  prospects in their system that will be knocking on the door. I think the Tigers have the depth to go for broke with their euro selection because an average euro may not be good enough to stick with this roster.

It is always possible Langhamer doesn't come back, and if that were the case the Tigers would be in a bit of a tough spot,  but next year Langhamer has a legitimate shot at being the #1 goaltender, and for his development, his NHL club will probably want him here as he is not ready for the AHL.

For backup goalies Kellan Williams made a very good impression last camp, and the Tigers signed youngster Zac Robidoux who had a good camp as well. Thanks to longetimefan for pointing this out, the Tigers listed Bo Didur from the BC major Midget league who went undefeated as a 15 year old in a 15,16,17 yr old age league. Bo went to camp last year with the Saskatoon Blades, so their is some good young competition in net this year and next.

The Tigers will need to address their lack of size up front. Based on  my guestimated roster the only forward above 6 feet is Logan McVeigh at 6'1. The Defense has lots of size. I could see someone like Labelle getting pushed back on the depth charts.

Quick Summary
I think the Tigers have pieces for a very  good team, especially if Curtis Valk, and Hunter Shinkaruk are back next season. Even more exciting is that their prospect pool is overflowing with talent. It's too early to tell if they have a 2nd tier pretty good team, or a team that has potential to make a run for a title, but they have the potential for a really special year if all the peices fall into place. 
Potential: Above average to High

Brief Look at the Eastern Conference 
Elite, High, Above Average, Average, Below Average, Low

On paper its hard to see one team that is expected to blow anyone away in the eastern conference. I don't see the calibre of a team like Edmonton of this year.

Kootenay had one of the best 2nd halve's in the league not dressing a 3rd overager, and limited production from their euro's They may only loose 2 players which is unheard of. They will have a dangerous top line, scoring depth may be a question. They way they play they don't need a lot of scoring though. They will be a big pain to deal with next season.

Potential: Above Average to High.

Red Deer could be strong with alot of returning players one year older. They didn't score a lot this season and loose Mathew Dumba, and Turner Elson.  They may not posses quite the offensive punch needed, but with Sutter's connections and a good euro forward that could change. Patrik Bartosak won them alot of games. If he returns I move their potential to High.
Potential: Above Average 

Saskatoon - They loose pretty much 2/3rds of their team. Its not what you loose but what you keep, but they dont have much depth from their returning players Potential: Low

Edmonton - They'll  loose  some talented players as they have 8 guys signed to NHL contracts.   They also have a defensive stud in Griffen Reinhart where its NHL or WHL, and he is near good enough to stick in the show.  Theyll likely retain high talents in Legault, Sameulesson, Kulda Moroz, Corbet, Sautner, Jarry, possibly Reinhart. They also have some good youngsters in Lazar, Benson and Bertolucci. They won't drop off the radar and should still be really competitive.  Potential:  Above Average

Calgary - Like Edmonton they have some highly talented players coming back, but will loose some big peices as well. (Macek,Sylvester,Humphries,Rask, and 3 of their 93's) They have some overagers to sell and some young talented players that should fill the void left by the current overager group. I expect them to be competitive, finishing behind edmonton again. Potential: Average to Above Average

Lethbridge - Their defense is still pretty young and their goaltending is questionable. They gave up a lot of goals last year. They retain their top 6 scorer so they should pack some real offensive punch, they are better setup up for the year after next, but unless their D takes a big jump, or the players take to a new coach I see them as a team that is starting to make some noise, but may have defense/goaltending issues. I could see them rip out of the gate next season on a tear. They do have a very small forward core like the Tigers do. Potential: Average to above average

Swift Current - They will loose Reece Scarlett, Richard Nedomlel,  Ryon Moser, Chance Lund,Dalton Reum, probably Adam lowry, and possibly Graham Black. Euro goaltender Eetu Laurikainen is questionable but could well return as a 20 yr old euro. I think they'll have a similar team to this season. If lowry,black, and Laurikanined dont return I'd drop them a rankl. At the same time if those players all return I would increase their potential slightly.
Potential: Average

Prince Albert - Loose 5 big peices in Ruopp,Mcneil,Bardaro, Vandane, and Siemens but they retain a lot of good young players, but I dont think they have enough depth to really be a contender. Goaltending maybe an issue. Josh Morrisey will be a stud on defense.  Potential: Average to Above Average

Moose Jaw - Very young team this past season.  They should only loose their overagers and  Morgan Rielly is NHL or WHL so he could be back. They scored one of the least amount of goals, and I'm not that familiar with most of their young players, but they were the 2nd youngest team last year and I'm not really sure how to rank them, but they will probably still be fairly young. They could be a bit of a dark horse, but it seems like every year I'm thinkin that about Moose Jaw.  Potential: Average?

Regina Pats - They will have a very good top line, goaltending remains a question, their depth doesnt look that great. They could be strong sellers at the deadline. I thought this season they suffered from confidence issues and were a better team that what the standings indicated when they were on their game.
Potential: Below Average to average

Brandon -  They gave up a lot of goals last season with 2 20yr old Dmen and upcoming NHL prospects in Pulock and Roy, last season.  They loose Buonassisi, Miller, Yaworski. Euro Marek Kalus had a pretty poor year in terms of production from the previous year, he could possibly come back.

Their offensive core will still be quite young. Last season  they had a 16 and 17 year old (Hawryluck, McGauley) who lead their offense up front, and Pulock, and Roy on the back-end who provided a big peice of their offense. Their core group of guys are still pretty young and they should be better but I think they may still be behind most teams

What's interesting about Brandon is for such a low scoring team they will have 9 guys who scored over 10 goals back.  So their is potential for them to push into the low seed spots

If Brandon is not in a playoff position come christmas they could get big returns for their 2 Offensive Defenseman in Pulock and Roy, big defenseman who could quaterback a powerplay.
 Potential: Below Average to Average

Tigers Prospects
Main List taken from Alan Caldwell's Blog
Note: This list is far from Complete. The Tigers do not release their 50 PPL and I'm sure their are a handful of these players that have since been dropped, and new players added. (The players who have ** are the players who lasted a long time in main camp last season, + last years 1st round pick)

Gabe Bast -- Acquired: listed player
Defense, 5'8", 145 lb, 2013-14 age: 17

Cole Bjugson -- Acquired: listed player
Defense, 6'0", 190 lb, 2013-14 age: 18

Matt Bradley -- Acquired: 2012 2nd round bantam pick
Center, 5'9", 147 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

Todd Bredo -- Acquired: 2012 10th round bantam pick
Defense, 6'2", 168 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

Mendell Dubuisson -- Acquired: 2012 6th round bantam pick
Right Wing, 6", 150 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

Mitchell Dyck -- Acquired: 2012 6th round bantam pick
Defense, 6'0", 184 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

Samuel Fejes -- Acquired: listed player
Center, 6'1", 190 lb, 2013-14 age: 19

Jake Fletcher -- Acquired: 2012 9th round bantam pick
Left Wing, 5'8", 155 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

Bradley Forrest -- Acquired: 2012 8th round bantam pick
Defense, 5'9", 135 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

Brennan Hunker** -- Acquired: 2010 2nd round bantam pick
Defense, 6'1", 200 lb, 2013-14 age: 18

Dennis Kravchenko -- Acquired: listed player
Center, 5'7", 155 lb, 2013-14 age: 19
Kravchenko has committed to NCAA Vermont for 2013-14

Josh McCulloch -- Acquired: 2011 8th round bantam pick
Center, 5'8", 155 lb, 2013-14 age: 17

Riley Morris -- Acquired: 2012 7th round bantam pick
Goaltender, 5'10", 157 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

Nathan Mortlock** -- Acquired: 2011 4th round bantam pick
Defense, 5'10", 150 lb, 2013-14 age: 17

Alex Mowbray** -- Acquired: 2011 4th round bantam pick
Right Wing, 5'11", 174 lb, 2013-14 age: 17

Zac Robidoux** -- Acquired: 2011 6th round bantam pick
Goaltender, 6'2", 195 lb, 2013-14 age: 17

Ty Schultz** -- Acquired: 2012 1st round bantam pick
Defense, 6'0", 160 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

Justin Szeto -- Acquired: listed player
Right Wing, 5'9", 150 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

Joseph Tambasco -- Acquired: listed player
Defense, 5'6", 160 lb, 2013-14 age: 17

Brayden Uhrich -- Acquired: 2012 11th round bantam pick
Right Wing, 5'9", 160 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

James Wade -- Acquired: listed player
Right Wing, 5'11", 167 lb, 2013-14 age: 18

Keelan Williams** -- Acquired: listed player
Goaltender, 6'0", 150 lb, 2013-14 age: 17

Ryley Wozniak -- Acquired: listed player
Center, 5'9", 165 lb, 2013-14 age: 17

Jordan Xavier -- Acquired: 2012 5th round bantam pick
Center, 5'8", 134 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

Justin Young -- Acquired: 2012 7th round bantam pick
Center, 5'11", 152 lb, 2013-14 age: 16

Sam Young -- Acquired: listed player
Left Wing, 5'10", 174 lb, 2013-14 age: 17

Bo Didur--Acquired: Listed player
Goaltender, 5'9'',154 lb, 2013-2014 age: 16

Connor Hobbs--Aquired: Trade with PA
Defenseman,  5'11'', 170lb, 2013-2014 age: 16  

Scott Allan--Aquired: listed player
Defense, 6'5''. 195 lb, 2013-14 age:17  

Tommy Vannelli-- Acquired: Listed Player
 Defense, 6'2'', 170 lb, 2013-14 age:
-Commitment to play for Minnesota Gophers

Daniel Hanson --Aquired: CHL Import Draft Defense  
Defense 2013-14 age: 18

Mark Rassell -- Aquired: Listed
Forward, 5'10'. 128 lb 2013-14 age: 16

Friday, April 12, 2013

Up Next

Thanks everyone for reading this blog throughout the year!

Even with the Tigers delving into Social Media with Facebook and Twitter, and getting a little burned out, the amount of readers is at an all time high and visitor comments really took off. I'm glad to see comments have been a lot cleaner lately.

Next year I still plan to keep going but probably not with as much frequency as this year. I will still try to do as many road recaps as I can.

Up Next

Working on a Next Year's Outlook which includes my thoughts on next years team, a Known Tiger Prospect List, and possibly a very brief outlook on the Eastern Conference. I'll post it next week.

After that I'll post an Arm-Chair GM scouting list of current Tiger players talking about my opinion of their pro potential.

May 2nd: WHL Bantam Draft
June 30th: NHL Entry Draft
Early July: CHL Import Draft

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Edmonton Moves On

Edmonton Oil Kings defeat the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-2 in game 4.

Game 1: 4-1
Game 2: 2-0
Game 3: 9-2
Game 4: 4-2

Brief Thoughts
The Tigers played really hard tonight and held the lead into the third period. It was a controversial High Stick goal that tied the game and a couple minutes later a long shot somehow found its way through Cam Lanigan's armour to give the Oil Kings the lead.

Lanigan played pretty phenomenal and gave the Tigers every chance to win.  The Tigers had their chances but It was a game like game 2 where the bounces went the Oil Kings way and Laurent Brossoit made some very good saves when he needed to.

I think the Tigers threw more body-checks in this game than the entire first half of the season. 

Cam Lanigan and Overagers
It was nice to hear Lanigan's interview on the radio after the game. Class act all the way!
Also Good Luck to Elgin Pearce, Derek Ryckman, and Can Lanigan for playing their last games in the WHL, and good luck to whatever their future holds. Pearce IMO deserves some sort of shot at the pro level. Derek Ryckman stepped up his game quite abit in playoffs and was one of the big reasons why the Tigers swept Saskatoon in Round 1.

I'd say overall the Tigers had a very successful season and did much better than expected.  Their cup was the Saskatoon series, and no-one expected them to win a game let alone win in four games.

 The early season looked pretty bleak and the jump they have made since the beginning of the season  is outstanding. I think it was also incredible experience playing a team like the Oil Kings, because that's the level of hockey they will need to achieve next season for a shot at a title.

The streak the Tigers have going in pretty amazing. 5 straight years making it past round one, and only once have they failed to make it past round 1 in the last 11 years.

 Next Season
Next season is looking to be a very exciting season. I'll do a little early season outlook a little later on, but the Tigers have potential to dress an extremely similar team albeit one year older and more experienced. They have some pieces for a pretty exciting team that could be capable of making a lot of noise.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Oil Kings Defeat Tigers 9-2

The score talks for itself. The Oil Kings came to play, and play they did. They were in a league of their own tonight, and obliterated any hope of a comeback.

It was amazing to see how spread out the Oil Kings were and how much speed they generated off their passing.  They were basically free-wheeling into the Tigers zone at top flight and those little split second hesitations they do made it look like the Tigers were skating in cement despite their best efforts.

Edmonton's D are very big and fast and the small Tigers forwards are having a difficult time maintaining any type of forecheck. 5 of Edmonton's 6 defenseman all have NHL potential, and their goal-tender just signed with the flames. Good luck to any team that can penetrate that.

The Oil Kings were also putting on heavy pressure on the Tigers D, exactly the opposite of what Saskatoon did and should have done in round one.

Game 4 Tomorrow

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Oil Kings Lead Series 2-0

Game 1:  4-1 Oil Kings
Game 2:  2-0 Oil Kings
Edm 2-0 Series Lead

I wasn't able to watch the webcast but it sounded like the Oil Kings dominated the first period and the Tigers dominated the second period.

It sounded like the Tigers put in a valiant effort against the Oil Kings Sunday night but just weren't able to Crack Laurent Brossoit.

You Could say the difference was the power-play as Edmonton went 2 for 4, while the Tigers went 0 for 7.

The Tigers have a day off and are back at it Tuesday and Wednesday night at the Arena.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Tigers Drop Game One 4-1

 Before the Game the Oil Kings broadcaster Mentioned that they had 8 guys who were signed by NHL teams.  That stat in itself is ridiculous as it doesn't include Curtis Lazar who is likely a first round pick in this years NHL Entry Draft.

 First Period
I thought the First Period was pretty even. The Oil Kings had a lot of zone time, but everything was from the outside. The Tigers rushes while few looked dangerous and had the better of the chances.

The Oil Kings opened the scoring on a controversial goal. The puck was shot off the backboards and you could clearly see Edgars Kulda and Tyler Lewington battling for positioning in front of the net. Edgard Kuldra leaned against Cam Lanigan which pushed him into the net. Lanigan tried to twist to stop the incoming puck that was coming into the crease and ended up doing a complete 180, and Kuldra scored with Lanigan turned around.    I thought that was Goaltender Interference. LEwington and Kuldra were battling for body possesion but Kuldra pushed Lanigan into the net by himself.
 1-0 Oil Kings

Second Period
Oil Kings would get the only goal. Oil Kings defenceman picked of a tiger forward pass and it resulted in a 3 on 2 the other way. Michael St. Croix would feed Stephane Legault near the middle of the ice and he shot against the grain beating Lanigan Low Blocker side. 2-0 Oil Kings

Third Period
Mitch Moroz would beat Lanigan on a wrap around as Lanigan hesitated for a split second and it was enough time for Moroz to stuff the puck in the net. 3-0 Oil Kings

The Tigers would finally get on the board. Elgin Pearce would walk the blueline, and fed Kyle Becker down Low. Becker would take a couple seconds, loads up and rip a shot up high on the short-side. 3-1 Oil Kings

Oil Kings would take a 2 goal lead on some Bad Luck by Spencer Jensen. Jensen attempted to whack the puck out of the zone but it hit someone in the shinpads. His second whack would miss the puck giving Travis Ewanyk and opportunity to one-time a puck in the slot.  4-1 Oil Kings

The Oil Kings had a ton of puck possession time in the Tigers end. They were shadowing the Tigers forwards coming out of their end making it hard to break out of the zone cleanly.

The schedule is fortunate for the Tigers as it allows them a day to watch some video and re-group.

Next Game: Sunday Night 4:00 PM Mtn time in Edmonton.