Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chris Kreider Diary - Part Two

Just like that, Chris Kreider has posted a new diary entry from the NHL combines in Toronto. In this particular entry, Chris addresses the junior hockey vs. college decision he has to make very soon. It still sounds like the Stars might have a shot of getting him to play for Lincoln next season. Click on the quote below to read the entire article.

"For the most part, teams were asking a lot of the same stuff, but each team had a new twist or an interesting new question. A lot of teams are interested in what I’m doing next year. I told them I’m not 100 percent sure. Boston College is hopefully an option, but I don’t know yet."

"The Lincoln Stars have my USHL rights and the Saint John Sea Dogs have my QMJHL rights, but that’s not something that’s crossed my mind. I don’t want to lose my eligibility. Those Canadian kids grew up watching major junior; I grew up watching college. I’ll be plenty tested in college."


Read Part 3 here.

Read Part 4 here.

Chris Kreider Article

Thanks to Thumper from the Lincoln Stargazing Message Board for pointing out this article to me. Very informative. Click on the quote below to read the article.

Editor’s note: Phillips Andover forward Chris Kreider of Boxford, Mass., is participating in this week’s NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto. At No. 14, the 6-foot-2, 201-pound Kreider is the highest-ranked native New Englander in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings of draft-eligible North American skaters. Kreider is expected to be the first Massachusetts native selected in the first round since 2004, when Vancouver selected Marblehead’s Cory Schneider at No. 26. Working with writer Bill Keefe, Kreider has agreed to give readers a first-person account of his week at the Combine.

Sounds like a very smart kid who obviously has a lot on his plate right now. I'd love to see him in a Stars uniform (Lincoln owns his USHL rights) next season, but it sounds like he is trying hard to finish up school early and enroll at Boston College this Fall. I know the Lincoln coaches have tried very hard to get Chris to come to Lincoln next season. It's a story I'm sure to blog about this summer as information is provided to me. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Stars Affiliate List

With the tryout camp coming up in less two weeks, I thought I'd blog about the players on the Stars affiliate list. The players listed on this affiliate list was obtained from the Unofficial USHL Hockey Blog. This list is the most recent I have seen online.

Kyle Gibbons F
6'1" 182 1991
Click here for stats

Andrew Ammon F
5'11" 171 1990
Princeton University 2010
Click here for stats

Evan Accettura D
6'3" 200 1992
Click here for stats

Mike Montagna F
5'10" 165 1992
University of Vermont 2010
Click here for stats

Pete Stoykewych D
6'2" 180 1992
Winnepeg, Canada
Click here for stats

Nate Baumbick D
6'4" 210 1991
Click here for stats

Chris Kreider F
6'2" 201 1991
Boston College 2009 or 2010
Click here for stats

Chris DelMauro F
6'1" 180 1991
Click here for stats

Trade with Des Moines...coming to Lincoln:

Matt White F
6'2" 195 1991
North Dakota 2010
Click here for stats
Matt White, who will come to UND in 2010 or 2011, was traded to the Lincoln Stars in exchange for a pick in Monday's Futures Draft. White played for Des Moines last season. White was one of the younger players on the Bucs last season, scoring 10 goals and adding nine assists for 19 points in 53 games.

Defenseman Matt Bruneteau and Forward John McCarron were on the affiliate list before being called up permanently by the Stars during the '08-'09 regular season. Jay Camper was on the list, but was traded to the Chicago Steel for Eric Alexander. Also, defenseman Jack Callahan was on the list, but was obtained by the Youngstown Phantoms in their expansion draft.

Of the players listed, the two that I really hope to see at the tryouts are forwards Chris Kreider and Andrew Ammon. Kreider is a blue chip prospect who is going to be a first round NHL draft pick next month. There is talk of him completing his senior year of high school over the summer so he can enroll at Boston College in the Fall of '09 instead of '10. It would be nice to see him at camp, but I'm not going to hold my breath. The chances of Ammon attending the tryout camp are much higher, imo. Ammon graduated from high school this year, and will be attending Princeton in the Fall of '10. He has a year to play junior hockey somewhere, so I really expect to see him at camp. He has blazing speed, and could be a NHL draft pick next month.

Forwards Mike Montagna and Kyle Gibbons both posted very good numbers last season on their respective teams, so I will be excited to see them at camp also.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Post Draft Notes

Some interesting non-Lincoln draft picks made during the USHL Entry Draft:

-Former Stars forward Michael Henderson was selected in the 3rd round by the expansion Youngstown Phantoms.

-Jake Chelios was selected in the 4th round by the Chicago Steel. His dad is NHL'er Chris Chelios. Jake's brother Dean played for the Steel last season.

-David Bondra was selected in the 7th round by the Chicago Steel. David's father, Petr Bondra, played 16 seasons in the NHL, and scored 503 goals. Chicago is loading up on sons of NHL studs.

-Former Lincoln draft pick James McNulty was drafted in the 7th round by the Sioux Falls Stampede. McNulty is a kid I really wish the Stars would have protected. He's a big, rangy defenseman..and he really impressed me last year at tryouts. 6'4" 210 pounds born in '91.

-Kenny Brooks was selected by the Tri-City Storm in the 14th round. Kenny's father Kirk Brooks recently purchased the Storm and their arena. Big surprise here. New owner has the coach he hired draft his kid. Didn't see that coming.

-Former Lincoln forward Tyler Brickler was seleted by the Sioux City Musketeers in the 15th round.

-Alex Rigsby (goaltender) was selected by the Chicago Steel in the 16th round. Rigsby, from what I gather, is the first female ever drafted by a USHL team. Rigsby played for the USA Womens U-18 team, and also for the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals.

-Brice Geoffrion was selected in the 17th round by the Tri-City Storm. Brice is the younger brother of former Lincoln forward Sebastian Geoffrion.

-Derek Zike was selected by the Indiana Ice with the very last pick in the USHL Entry Draft.

The United States Hockey League (USHL) granted a special pick in the 2009 USHL Entry Draft to the Indiana Ice. With that selection, the Ice selected Derek Zike who spent this season with the Chicago Fury U16 team before being seriously injured in a tournament game on January 16th.

Zike's injury occurred when he lost an edge while trying to make a turn and fell head first into the boards at a high rate of speed. The impact with the boards resulted in a burst fracture of the 5th cervical vertebrae that left Derek in a state of paralysis.

After spending several weeks at the University of Michigan Children's Hospital, Zike returned to his home in Fishers, Indiana just outside of Indianapolis. His condition has shown considerable improvement since the accident and Zike's line of paralysis has moved down several levels which signifies healing in his spinal cord.

Very classy move by the Ice. Well done.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

USHL Entry Draft Results

The Stars did not pick first until the fourth round of the Entry Draft. However, they did have three picks in the fifth round. 15 total players were selected by the Stars: 2 goaltenders, 6 defensemen, and 7 forwards.

Selections made by the Lincoln Stars:

Round 4:
Steve West (Defenseman) Ohio State University
6'0 187 pounds. Born in 1990. Apparently will be leaving Ohio State after his freshman season. Spent two years with the U.S. National Team Development Program before OSU. Played in only seven games for the Buckeyes. With former Stars defenseman Matt Bartkowski patrolling the blueline at Ohio State, you wonder if he encouraged West to better his game at the USHL level, specifically in Lincoln.
West stats here.

Round 5: Brodie Reed (Forward) Penicton Vees (BCHL)
6'1" 191 pounds. Born in 1989 (overager). Committed to Northeastern University for 2010. Scored 39 points in 40 games for the Vees last season. In 2007-08, Reed scored 52 goals in 60 games for the Burnaby Express (BCHL). Plain and simple, this kid is a sniper.
Reed stats here.

Round 5: Steve Racine (Goaltender) Taft Prep
6'2" 175 pounds. Born in 1991. Will graduate high school in 2010.
Great info on Racine here.
I haven't had a chance to really research this kid, but I heard from a friend today that Racine has said in the past he wants to finish his high school days at Taft, and would not consider going to the OHL (Canadian junior hockey league) if drafted. Maybe the Stars coaches know more than I've heard. From what little I've read, he sounds like the real let's hope we see him at camp.

Round 5: Brent Tate (Forward) Detroit Little Caesars Hockey Club
6'1 165 pounds. Born in 1991. Will need to put on some serious pounds before he can compete at the USHL level.
Tate stats here.

Round 6: Dax Lauwers (Defenseman) Alaska Aces AAA
6'1" 175 pounds. Born in 1991.
Lauwers stats here.

Round 7: Jeff McMinimy (Forward) Dallas Stars AAA
6'0" 175 pounds. Born in 1992
Had 44 points and 118 PIM's in 70 games last season.
McMinimy stats here.

Round 8: Will Rayner (Defenseman) South Kent Prep High School
6'2" 195 pounds. Born in 1990. Graduated high school in '09.
Unable to find any stats on Rayner at this time.

Round 9: Chris Wagner (Forward) South Shore Kings (EJHL)
5'11" 185 pounds. Born in 1991.
Wagner stats here.

Round 12: William Brockett (Forward) Cleveland Barons (MWHL)
5'9" 172 pounds. Born in 1990. Played with Stars affiliate forward Kyle Gibbons with the Barons.
Brockett stats here.

Round 13: Ryan Dzingel (Forward) Team Illinois (MWHL)
5'11" 160 pounds. Born in 1960. Former Stars Rick Carden and Chris Forfar, and current Star Garrett Peterson played for Team Illinois before joining Lincoln.
Dzingel stats here.

Round 14: Izaak Berglund (Defenseman) Little Falls High School
Unable to locate any height or weight numbers for Berglund. Verbally committed to Merimack College ('10). Led all defensemen in the state (Minnesota) in scoring this season with 18 goals and 42 assists for 60 points in 31 games.
Berglund stats here.

Round 15: Jonathan Mleczko (Defenseman) Milton Academy (Mass.)
6'0" 170 pounds. Very little info about Mleczko on the web. Found this quote: "6’0” Jonathan Mleczko (#4 Grey/Milton Academy), whose speed has never been questioned, has been converted to defense and is drawing a lot of attention for his end-to-end rushes."

Round 16: Luke Curadi (Defenseman) Hartford Jr. Wolfpack (AJHL)
6'6" 245 pounds. Yes, you read that right. He's a big boy. Born in 1991. Recorded 167 PIM's in 36 games for the Jr. Wolfpack. He's getting attention from the NHL also.
Curadi stats here.

Round 17: Matt Green (Goaltender) Little Caesars (MWHL)
6'1" 172 pounds. Born in 1990. One of two goaltenders drafted by the Stars.
Green stats here.

Round 18: Luke Johnson (Forward) Red River High School
Unable to locate any height/weight numbers. "Red River's Luke Johnson went in the 18th round to the Lincoln Stars -- the team his dad, Steve, coached for 10-plus years. Johnson also was drafted in the WHL bantam draft, but is expected to play North Dakota high school hockey next season."As an 8th grader, Luke scored 26 points in 27 games for the varsity Red River hockey team. Very impressive numbers for someone that young playing with varsity team. Luke is definately a kid to watch for the future.

USHL Entry Draft - Results to Follow Later

The USHL draft bonanza continues today, as the 2009 USHL Entry Draft will conducted Wednesday afternoon starting at 1p.m. central. It appears that Lincoln will not have a draft pick in the first four rounds of this particular draft, because of past trades of draft picks. I will not be around a computer much at all today, so unfortunately I will be unavailable to blog the draft as it happens live. When I can, I will update this page with the draft results. Like with the Futures Draft, you can follow the Entry Draft live as it happens here.

A little info about the Entry Draft for those who might not know a lot about it:

2009 Entry Draft Order

1. Tri-City Storm
2. Des Moines Buccaneers
3. Sioux City Musketeers
4. Chicago Steel
5. Youngstown
6. Sioux Falls Stampede
7. Fargo Force
8. Omaha Lancers
9. Waterloo Black Hawks
10. Lincoln Stars
11. Indiana Ice
12. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
13. Green Bay Gamblers

Considering that the Stars lost both goaltenders (Doc and Borelli) from last season, and they have no goaltenders on the affiliate list, I expect Lincoln to draft at least two goaltenders today. Also, I would NOT be surprised if Coach McGroarty pulled off a draft-day trade, whether it be for a goaltender or a forward/defenseman.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

USHL Futures Draft Results

You can follow along with the draft online, here. The draft will begin at 3pm central. Lincoln will have the fourth overall pick in the first round pick first in the second round of the Entry Draft. Their first round pick was traded to the Des Moines Buccaneers. The draft will have a maximum of five rounds.

Selections made by the Lincoln Stars:

Round 1: No pick (Lincoln had previously traded the pick to Des Moines. The Stars will have two picks in the third round.) Stars traded their first round pick to Des Moines for Matt White (F).

Round 2: Kevin Zugec (Defenseman) - Pittsburgh Hornets
6'3" 190 pounds. Born in '93. Kid sounds huge to me for a '93.
Zugec stats here.
Note: Selected in the ninth round (170th overall) by the Erie Otters in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection Draft

Round 3: Austin Wuthrich (Forward) Alaska All Stars
6'0" 176 pounds. Born in '93. From Achorage, Alaska.
Wuthrich stats here.
Note: Selected in the 12 round (245th overall) by the Everett Silvertips in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft.

Round 3: Dominick Shine (Forward) Compuware (U-16)
5'11 160 pounds. Born in '93.
Shine stats here.

Round 4: Frank Shumacher (Defenseman) Victory Honda
6'1" 198 pounds. From Brighton, MI. Born in '93.
Shumacher stats here.
Note: Selected in the seventh round (130th overall) by the Saginaw Spirit in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection Draft.

Round 5: Kacper Guzik (Forward) Little Caesars (U-16)
5'11" 180 pounds. Originally from Poland. From his stats, he plays a physical game.
Guzik stats here.

That's it! Each team only picks five players. The 2009 USHL Entry Draft will be held tomorrow at 1pm central.

USHL Futures Draft

A reminder, the USHL Futures Draft will be conducted today (Tuesday, 5/12). The draft will start at 3pm. I plan on following along live, and posting the results here. You can follow the draft online as it happens live, here.

A little info about the Futures Draft for those who might not know a lot about it:

The USHL Futures Draft consists of five rounds and allows each of the 13 member clubs to draft players who were born in 1993. These 65 players will then be placed on the affiliate list of their respective clubs for the 2009-10 season. USHL teams retain the rights to players selected in the Futures Draft for three years and can add these players to the active roster at any time during the season.

Traditionally conducted in the fall since it became a part of the League's player procurement process, Tuesday's Futures Draft will be held in May for the first time. The move was made by the USHL to continue its commitment of aggressively promoting the American Development Model and offering a greater opportunity for North America's elite "U-17"'s to work towards a position in the USHL. The Futures Draft is held in conjunction and cooperation with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program (NTDP) selection process for U-17 players. The NTDP becomes a full-time member of the USHL for the 2009-10 season.

2009 Futures Draft Order

1. Youngstown
2. Cedar Rapids
3. Waterloo
4. Lincoln
5. Fargo
6. Sioux City
7. Sioux Falls
8. Indiana
9. Green Bay
10. Des Moines
11. Chicago
12. Tri-City
13. Omaha

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Indiana Ice are Clark Cup Champs

The Indiana Ice scored five straight goals to beat the Fargo Force, 5-1, and win their first ever USHL Clark Cup. The Ice beat the Force three games to one in the series. After winning seven straight playoff games, the Force lost three straight to the Ice. Fargo goaltender Mike Lee gave up 12 goals in the last three games against the Ice. Finally, Lee looked human.

Ice forward Mike Cichy earned the MVP award for his efforts in the playoffs. In 13 playoff games, Cichy led all scoring with total of 25 points (9 points more than the second place scorer). Cichy also accumulated 14 powerplay points in those 13 games. Without the acquisition of Cichy from the Tri-City Storm, I'm really not sure the Ice would have won the Clark this season. Another key trade was getting Sebastian Geoffrion from the Stars. Geoffrion gave the Ice a much needed boost in grit and toughness, which in my opinion...was something the Ice was seriously lacking in. Geoffrion scored 5 points in 11 playoff games, and added 30 penalty minutes. In the final game tonight, Geoffrion started on the Ice first line with Mike Cichy and Brandon Richardson.

I guess the greedy Stars fan inside of me is happy Fargo didn't win the whole thing. Lincoln is still the only expansion team to ever win the Clark Cup. Fargo just seemed to fall apart down the stretch. I wonder if fatigue finally caught up to them. Taranto and Lee disappeared in those last three games.

Edit: Sorry for the lack of articles lately. Just lots of stuff going on right now. Remember, the USHL Futures and Entry draft are next week. Look for something then.

Second Edit: A very interesting quote made by former Lincoln Stars forward Sebastian Geoffrion during the Clark Cup playoffs:

"Geoffrion still has hope, but if not, he looks forward to playing at a university that is not too far from the family home in Nashville.

And he'd love to get a USHL title, if only to prove his former coach in Lincoln wrong for trading him.

"It would be nice to put that in his face," he said."

I'm not sure why Geoffrion feels that he has to blast McGroarty in the media like that, but it is what it is. I had heard rumors that he wanted more ice time from McGroarty, and requested to be traded after not getting the ice time...but those are just rumors. I don't think we'll ever know the true story behind his trade to the Ice. I always thought he was a great player, with a ton of grit. It's a shame he has to shoot off at the mouth like this, but he's entitled to his opinion.