Friday, June 30, 2006

Final Day of the Girls Select 17/18 Camp

Here are the final day stats for Wisconsin players at the Select 17/18 Camp, as well as their stats totals for the camp:

F Emily Kranz Green-1G Totals: 5 G, 2 P
F Holly Lorms Orange-1 A Totals: 2 G, 2 A, 1 P
D Maggie Mickelson Orange-None Totals: 1 P
F Abbey Olejniczak Red-1 P Totals: 1 A, 2 P
D Sue Schmitz Royal-1 P Totals: 1 G, 2 P
D Sam Turner Teal-1 A, 1 P Totals: 1 A, 3 P

Emily Kranz finished in the top 20 in scoring and top 10 in goals.

Boys Select 16 Camp-Day 4

Day 4 stats for each player at the Boys USA Hockey Select 16 Camp are listed, then totals for the camp:

D Ross Henry Gold-1 A, 2 P Totals: 1 G, 3 A, 5 P
D Taylor Kuypers Maroon-1 A, 1 P Totals: 2 A, 5 P
F Brock Montpetit Maroon-None Totals: 1 G, 1 A, 5 P
F Brett Bower Green-2 A Totals: 3 A, 2 P
F Alex Van Campen Gold-None Totals: 2 G, 1 A, 2 P
F Nate Condon Grey-1 P Totals: 1 G, 3 A, 2 P
F Andy Singerhouse Red-1 A Totals: 1 A, 3 P
F Jeff Grignon Black-1 P Totals: 1 A, 4 P
D Nick Pryor Gold-2 G, 2 P Totals: 3 G, 2A, 7 P

The defensemen are all doing very well with their point totals which is due in part to the fact that they are on the ice quite a bit more than forwards due to so many penalties being called and having to be killed off by 2 forwards and 2 defensemen. Also, there have been tons of power play opportunities which the defensemen seem to have been able to take advantage of (Pryor has 2 PPG and Henry has 1).

Thursday, June 29, 2006

UW Women's Hockey Schedule for 2006-2007 Released

The schedule for the Badger Women's Hockey Team for 2006-2007 has been released.

Boys Select 16 & Girls Select 17/18

The USA Hockey Boys Select 16 Camp did not have games yesterday, but the Girls Select 17/18 Camp had a full slate. Here are the 4th day stats for Wisconsin players at the camp, as well as their stats totals for the first four days:

F Emily Kranz Green-1G, 1 P Totals: 4 G, 2 P
F Holly Lorms Orange-1 G, Totals: 2 G, 1 A, 1 P
D Maggie Mickelson Orange-None Totals: 1 P
F Abbey Olejniczak Red-None Totals: 1 A, 1 P
D Sue Schmitz Royal-1 P Totals: 1 G, 1 P
D Sam Turner Teal-1 P Totals: 3 P

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Brock Montpetit Verbals to the Badgers & More

The fact that Brock Montpetit has now officially verballed to the Wisconsin Badgers is not much of a surprise as it has been rumored for quite a while, and even inaccurately reported by a Northen Wisconsin newspaper several months back. The surprise in the linked article from the Wisconsin State Journal is that Montpetit does not intend on playing for the United States National Team Development Program if selected, but rather feels that playing for Shattuck St. Mary's would be the best for his development. It has been widely assumed that Montpetit had already been extended, and accepted, a spot with the USNTDP. Montpetit would likely join the Badgers in 2009, although he could potentially be ready in 2008.

Andy Baggot also reports in the same article that Ben Winnett from the BCHL visited the Badgers over the weekend, as well as Michigan. The Badgers are believed to be pursuing Winnett, Colton Grant, Brett Bruneteau and Patrick Kane to join Kyle Turris at forward in the incoming class of 2007.

Day 3-Wisconsin Players at the Boys Select 16 Camp

Day 3 stats for each player at the Boys USA Hockey Select 16 Camp are listed, then totals for the camp:

D Ross Henry Gold-None Totals: 1 G, 2 A, 3 P
D Taylor Kuypers Maroon-1 A, 2 P Totals: 1 A, 4 P
F Brock Montpetit Maroon-4 P Totals: 1 G, 1 A, 5 P
F Brett Bower Green-1 A Totals: 1 A, 2 P
F Alex Van Campen Gold-1 G Totals: 2 G, 1 A, 2 P
F Nate Condon Grey-1 G, 1 A Totals: 1 G, 3 A, 1 P
F Andy Singerhouse Red-None Totals: 3 P
F Jeff Grignon Black-None Totals: 1 A, 3 P
D Nick Pryor Gold-1 G, 2 P Totals: 1 G, 2A, 5 P

There have been lots of penalties called (4 on Montpetit yesterday!) as I believe the officials for this camp are involved in their own Officials Camp and are enforcing next season's new obstruction rules involving what constitutes hooking, etc.

Nate Condon has the most points of the Wisconsin forwards contingent with four, while Ross Henry leads Wisconsin defensemen with three points. UW defensive recruit Nick Pryor, who is playing on Team Gold with Ross Henry, also has three points.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Day 3-Wisconsin Players at the Girls 17/18 Select Camp

Here are the 3rd day stats for Wisconsin players at the USA Hockey Girls Select 17/18 Camp, as well as their stats totals for the first three days:

F Emily Kranz Green-1G Totals: 3 G, 1 P
F Holly Lorms Orange-1 A, Totals: 1 G, 1 A, 1 P
D Maggie Mickelson Orange-1 P Totals: 1 P
F Abbey Olejniczak Red-1 P Totals: 1 A, 1 P
D Sue Schmitz Royal-1 G Totals: 1 G
D Sam Turner Teal-1 P Totals: 2 P

Emily Kranz has picked it up since starting without a point in her first game. Without +/- numbers in the stats, it's pretty hard to know how effective each player has been defensively.

Day 2-Wisconsin Players at the Girls Select 17/18 Camp

Here are the 2nd day stats for Wisconsin players at the USA Hockey Girls Select 17/18 Camp, as well as their stats totals for the first two days:

F Emily Kranz Green-2 G, 1 P Totals: 2 G, 1 P
F Holly Lorms Orange-1 G, Totals: 1 G, 1 P
D Maggie Mickelson Orange-None Totals: None
F Abbey Olejniczak Red-None Totals: 1 A
D Sue Schmitz Royal-None Totals: None
D Sam Turner Teal-None Totals: 1 P

Chris Hickey Interview

Badgernation has a new story on UW recruit Chris Hickey, based on an interview with him shortly after he was drafted by the Minnesota Wild. Hickey is likely a 2008-2009 UW recruit, unless he is needed a year sooner.

Day 2-Wisconsin Players at the Boys Select 16 Camp

Day 2 stats for each player at the Boys USA Hockey Select 16 Camp are listed, then totals for the camp:

D Ross Henry Gold-1 G, 1 A, 2 P Totals: 1 G, 2 A, 3 P
D Taylor Kuypers Maroon-None Totals: 2 P
F Brock Montpetit Maroon-None Totals: 1 G, 1 A, 1 P
F Brett Bower Green-None Totals: 2 P
F Alex Van CampenGold-1 G, 1 A, 2 P Totals: 1 G, 1 A, 2 P
F Nate Condon Grey-1 P Totals: 2 A, 1 P
F Andy Singerhouse Red-2 P Totals: 3 P
F Jeff Grignon Black-1 A, 3 P Totals: 1 A, 3 P
D Nick Pryor Gold-1 A, 2 P Totals: 2A, 3 P

Monday, June 26, 2006

Wisconsin Players at the USA Hockey Select 16 Boys Camp

I'm going to try to give an update on all the Wisconsin players at Select Camps throughout the Summer. Currently, the Select 16 Camp is underway. Also, I'm including future Badger Nick Pryor's numbers. Here's the position, player, team (color), and stats for yesterday:

D Ross Henry Gold-1 A, 1 P
D Taylor Kuypers Maroon-2 P
F Brock Montpetit Maroon-1 G, 1 A, 1 P
F Brett Bower Green-2 P
F Alex Van CampenGold-None
F Nate Condon Grey-2 A
F Andy Singerhouse Red-1 P
F Jeff Grignon Black-None
D Nick Pryor Gold-1 A, 1 P

I also noticed that F Brett Bruneteau of the Omaha Lancers has a younger brother Matt that is at this camp. Matt Bruneteau is listed as a defenseman. Brett is currently a recruiting target of UW's.

Wisconsin Players at the USA Hockey Girls Select 17/18 Camp

Wisconsin Players at the USA Hockey 17/18 Girls Select Camp include the following girls, as well as their stats for the first day of play:

F Emily Kranz Green-None
F Holly Lorms Orange-1 P
D Maggie Mickelson Orange-None
F Abbey Olejniczak Red-1 A
D Sue Schmitz Royal-None
D Sam Turner Teal-1 P

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Girls High School Summer Tournament in Fond du Lac

My spies have reported back from the Fond du lac Girls High School Hockey Summer Tournament that the Central Wisconsin Storm and new Wisconsin Rapids/Stevens Point coop faced off in the fifth place game. Fondy/Waupun faced Baraboo in the third place game. Appleton and Green Bay played in the Championship Game.

According to my spies, Baraboo apparently brought along some Capitol players for the tournament and had a full roster of at least 15 skaters while Fondy/Waupun had 10 skaters. Unless those Capitols players are making the jump to WIAA this coming season, I can't understand why you would bring them along. My preference as a Coach would be to develop my own players and get them as much ice time as possible at any time of the year.

Players Taken in NHL Draft with Wisconsin Ties

In last night's NHL draft, several players were taken with ties to Wisconsin. They are:

#51 Nigel Williams (COL)-USNTDP-He dropped much lower than any pre-draft rating I could find. Will attend UW next year.
#56 Blake Geoffrion (NSH)-USNTDP-Is from Tennessee so he'll eventually be playing close to home. Will attend UW next year.
#63 Jamie McBain (CAR)-USNTDP-Carolina has several older defensemen so there should a good amount of turnover there in the coming years. Will attend UW next year.
#116 Derrick LaPoint (FLA)-Eau Claire North H.S.-Will likely play in USHL next season, and has verballed to North Dakota.
#157 Brent Gwidt (WSH)-Lakeland H.S.-First round draft pick of Indiana Ice of the USHL where he will play this season. Potential UW target for 2008 or 2009.
#192 Chris Hickey (MIN)-Cretin Derham Hall-Has a chance to play for the hometown Wild. Verballed to UW for 2008.

One surprise was that UW Freshman Ben Street was not drafted. He had been ranked by several publications.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Girls High School Summer Hockey Tournament

There is a girls high school summer hockey tournament this weekend in Fond du Lac. Teams participating include Fond du Lac/Waupun, Appleton, Central Wisconsin, Baraboo, Green Bay and Wisconsin Rapids/Stevens Point. Games are from 10 AM-9 PM Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM-2:15 PM beginning with the fifth place game. If possible I'll dispatch a few spies to the rink in order to formulate a report.

Aaron Bendickson Hockey Fight Video

Check out this Aaron Bendickson hockey fight video. In the video he gets clobbered by Kevin Deeth of the Gamblers, who is listed at 5'7" and 158 pounds.....I would have to guess UW isn't bringing Bendickson in for his ability to throw down! Deeth is in the red sweater, Bendickson in the white.

Wisconsin High School Elite League

WAHA has established a boys Wisconsin High School Elite League which will begin this Fall. There will be six teams comprised from around the state at both the U-18 and U-16 levels, based on the current WAHA regions. Two practices will be held per week with games on the weekends. All the teams will be eligible to participate in the state Tier 2 playoffs, with the winner having the potential to advance to Regionals and Nationals.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Joe Pavelski Blurb From Hockeys Future

Hockey's Future has a blurb on Joe Pavelski in their draft preview for the San Jose Sharks. It reads "The Sharks also value players with strong work ethic and leadership abilities, especially in mid- and late-round picks. Current Sharks prospects such as Joe Pavelski, Torrey Mitchell, Derek Joslin, Steven Zalewski, Tom Cavanagh, and Will Colbert are all prime examples of this focus. Pavelski may epitomize this trait. The 2003 seventh round pick captained his high school team to the 2003 Wisconsin state championship, the Waterloo Black Hawks to the 2004 USHL championship, Team USA to a silver medal at the 2004 Viking Cup, and was a leader on the University of Wisconsin's 2006 national championship team. "

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Brent Gwidt's Tryout Camp with the Indiana Ice

It appears as if Brent Gwidt had a decent tryout camp with the Indiana Ice of the USHL, who drafted him 11th overall. The Ice Coaches had this to say about Gwidt...“He is a big, strong winger with great upside. His strength and size will fit in nicely along the wings.” For more on the Ice Tryout Camp and Brent Gwidt click here.

Nick Pryor Interview recently sat down with Badger recruit Nick Pryor for an interview (it is a free interview, no need to join). The interview focuses on his maturity and character, two qualities that really are amazing in any high school Freshman.

One thing I found interesting in the article is that it indicates Pryor is tentatively a 2008 recruit, while Heisenberg's list has him as a 2009 recruit. It could be that Nick is planning to accelerate his studies. This makes some sense as he will be playing for the USNTDP U-17 team as a Sophomore next season, could play for the USNTP U-18 team in 2007, and potentially be ready, hockey-wise, to attend Wisconsin by 2008.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Boys High School Hockey Losses via Graduation-Top 15 Teams That Didn't Advance to State

The highest ranking team following the regular season that did not make the State Tournament was Northland Pines. Oddly enough, they were the only team that managed to beat the eventual State Champions, Milwaukee University School. Pines loses a heck of a forward in All-State selection Nic Weight, as well as starting goaltender and Honorable Mention All-State selection Parker Wilkins, and forward Mike Otto who contributed 20-23 for 43 points. Six Seniors total graduated leaving the slack to be picked up by the likes of Peter Nesper who will be a Junior defender for the Eagles, and was an Honorable Mention All-State selection last season.

Eau Claire Memorial finished the regular season ranked number four, but found themselves bounced from the Sectional Final by cross-town rival Eau Claire North. The Old Abes graduate 9 players including All-State Honorable Mention forward Andrew McCabe and starting goaltender Kent Shanley. The good news is with the return of All-State forward Seth Soley as well as forward Jefferson Dahl, there is still lots of firepower returning at forward.

Finishing the regular season ranked sixth was the New Richmond Tigers, who eventually fell to Superior in the Sectional Final. They graduate a whopping 12 players this season, including 4 All-State selections. The best of the graduates include All-State defenseman Kyle Ensign who was a USHL draft pick of Tri-City and has already committed to play Division 1 hockey for the University of Nebraska-Omaha beginning in 2008. Defenseman Brandon Larson and goaltender Matt Knutson were also All-State selections, and forward Nic Sicsik was Honorable Mention All-State.

Madison Edgewood finished the regular season ranked 8th and will graduate only four Seniors. The best of those four were forward Dan Longo and goaltender Tim Mergen who were both All-State Honorable Mention selections. Returning is a large nucleus of players including an incredible 8 Freshman that saw action last season led by Jordan George who recorded a line of 15-30-45 pts.

Ninth in the regular season was Homestead. The Highlanders graduate just 3 Seniors, with the loss of All-State forward Ryan Siehr the toughest to swallow, along with forward Scott Schieble. Key returning players for Homestead next season include Honorable Mention All-State selections Tedd Falk at forward and Chris Rausch at defense, and both goaltenders from last season-John Schroeder and Alex Hemke.

The Thunderbirds of Lakeland ended up tenth in the regular season rankings, but will have to overcome the graduation of nine Seniors. The best of the Senior losses is Brent Gwidt who piled up 41-23-64, was an All-State selection, and was taken early in the USHL draft by Indiana as well as defenseman Cody Litvinoff who was also an All-State selection. Seth Johnson and Josh Abraham are key returning forwards for the T-Birds.

Arrowhead ranked as Honorable Mention at the end of the regular season. They'll look to improve on that finish in 2006-2007 after graduating 6 Seniors. Starting goaltender Alex Koeppen will be a Senior, as will Honorable-Mention All-State forward Alex Niestrom.

Honorable Mention was also the finish for Janesville in the regular season rankings. The Bluebirds graduate eight players including starting goaltender Max Giese who was Honorable Mention All-State as well as forward Michael Jacobson who finished the season with 15-19-34. As if that is not enough to overcome, it is rumored Honorable Mention All-State forward Daniel Olszewski is headed to play for the Madison Capitols. At that point, returning Senior Brad Layton would be the best forward left on the roster, and he recorded a stat line of 19-15-34 last season and wouldn't get nearly as much help next season.

The final team to finish ranked in the regular season and not advance to the State Tournament is the Marquette Hilltoppers, who finished with the rank of Honorable Mention. Nine Seniors depart their roster, headlined by Honorable Mention All-State forward Matt McLaughlin.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Offseason Rumor Mill is Underway

The offseason rumor mill is in full gear. It has been rumored that Amanda Kessel will be attending Shattuck St. Mary's next year. It makes sense as she's an ultra-elite player and SSM is the reigning National Champion, which will make it a fun rumor to follow.

It has also been widely rumored from every source imaginable that Keegan Meuer, Patrick Johnson, and Johnny Byce will be leaving Madison Memorial to play for the Madison Capitols. That rumor may hold water judging by the fact that the winningest Coach in the history of high school hockey, Spartan Head Coach Vic Levine, has decided to retire from coaching.

Daniel Olzewski of Janesville is also rumored to be re-joining the Madison Capitols.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Spotlight On: Blake Geoffrion

Blake Geoffrion is a highly rated forward coming to UW next season from the USNTDP. He has great hockey bloodlines dating all the way back to his great grandfather, as this article from Inch and this article from Center Ice Magazine attest. There's also a lot of great information in the Center Ice Magazine article on how much pressure Blake feels to be successful, as well as how structured the USNTDP operates.

You can click here to see Blake's profile from Hockey's Future.

Hockey in Wisconsin Global HQ Moving to New Facility

The Hockey in Wisconsin Global Headquarters is moving cross-town into a brand new facility so my posts have been a little bit sparse lately, and will likely be non-existent over this weekend as the "main part" of the move will be taking place then. Thanks for your patience!

Camps & Tryouts

It's the time of year when lots of camps and tryouts are taking place. The Capitols boys and girls tryouts have both taken place, and now it's just a matter of when the rosters are released. The Team Wisconsin boys have also had their tryouts, so the wait is on for their rosters as well. The Team Wisconsin Girls have tryouts this weekend and also in July. In the USHL, every team is having their tryout camps in June as they must have their rosters trimmed to 25 players by July 1st, meaning we'll have information on their rosters within the next two weeks. The University of Minnesota's Model Camp is underway as well, and while there is not a team to be made by excelling at this camp, there's plenty of Junior A, College and NHL Scouts there to impress!

Speaking of things we should find out soon, when the heck is Pat Kane going to make a decision on whether he's playing NCAA or Major Junior, and which team he's going to play for?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Garrett Suter not attending UW in 2006-2007?

It is being rumored that Garrett Suter is not going to be academically eligible for the 2006-2007 season and thus will not be attending the University of Wisconsin. This is the second year in a row that he has been expected on campus and has not been able to make it happen for whatever reason. I'll be on the lookout for official confirmation, and will be interested to see if he's going to try to play at UW at some point in the future, or just scrap the UW plan and take a different route.

Player Evaluation for the Upcoming Draft

Thanks to a post by Markwojo, I found this link to a player ranking and evaluation for the upcoming draft. Note that incoming Badgers Nigel Williams, Jamie McBain and Blake Geoffrion appear at numbers 17, 18 & 45 respectively. This ranking also features Derrick La Point at #34. Go and check it out and then come back to read the final paragraph of this post.

Believe it or not, that ranking and evaluation was put together by a high school Senior named Max Giese who was the goaltender for Janesville's hockey team! Pretty impressive.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Boys High School Hockey Losses via Graduation

Today I'm taking a look at the eight boys hockey teams that advanced to State Tournament to see what players have graduated, and what each team likely has coming back for next season.

The team with the most losses to graduation is, not surprisingly, Milwaukee University School. Ten seniors graduate including five of their top six scorers in Cole Holmes(All-State), Ryan McEnerney (All-State), Alex Graf, Will Bartlett (All-State) and Tim Olson. They also graduate starting goaltender Ben Jurken (Honorable Mention All-State). All told they graduate 6 forwards, 3 defensemen and their starting goaltender. Those numbers would seem to suggest that there is no way they could possibly make it back to the State Tournament next season, but if anyone can reload, University School is certainly the team. Key returning players are forward Karl Burns (Honorable Mention All-State), and defensemen Read Servis and Jack Wigdale.

Eau Claire North loses just 6 players to graduation, but three of them played vital roles. Derrick LaPoint (All-State) is off to the USHL, then to play for North Dakota in the WCHA, and is expected to be drafted in the second or third round of the NHL draft. He was the Huskies' third-leading scorer. Second-leading scorer Ryan Goodmanson (Honorable Mention All-State) also graduates, along with starting goaltender Justin Strehlau (All-State). In addition, two other forwards and a defenseman also graduate. Key Returning Players are forward Justin Johnson (All-State) and defenseman Nick Roscoe (Honorable Mention All-State). Also, keep an eye on Derek Lund who tallied 37 points as a Freshman forward this season.

Superior has 8 players who are outgoing Seniors. The toughest losses for the Spartans are goaltender Bryan Dalbec (Honorable Mention All-State), third leading scorer forward Jim Gotham (Honorable Mention All-State), and defenseman Steve Murray (Honorable Mention All-State). All told three forwards, three defenseman, one combo f/d, and their starting goaltender graduate. Key returning players are four of the top five scoring forwards from this past season: Sean Graskey, Brian Pierpoint, Tim Smith and Pat Dalbec, who will be just a Sophmore next season.

Middleton only graduates 5 Seniors, but they lose their top three scorers in Jeffrey Schmudlach(Honorable Mention All-State), Cole Schmitz and Alex Kracht. Two other forwards also graduate, but they do have back their entire defense and both goaltenders. They are going to need a lot of players to step up and score goals next season. Their key returner is Honorable Mention All-State Goaltender Taylor Whitmore.

Stevens Point's losses to graduation will be felt mostly in the defensive end of the ice. The Panthers lose a total of 7 players, with the losses of defenseman Brandon Busse (All-State), defenseman Nate Sutheimer (Honorable Mention All-State) and goaltender Alex Suchon (Honorable Mention All-State) the most difficult to overcome. In total three defensemen, three forwards and 1 goaltender move on. Key returning players for the Panthers are Travis Erstad (All-State) and Scott Pavelski (Honorable Mention All-State).

Wisconsin Rapids graduates only two forwards in Max Gillette (Honorable Mention All-State) and Jake Ruesch, but their big loss will be in net. All-State goaltender Tyler Ambroziak after having a stellar career. Although there were not many graduates for the Red Raiders, they will have to overcome suspensions to about half a dozen of their players just before the State Tournament that left them very shorthanded to end the season. In some ways that experience may have helped younger players get experience, etc. although the suspensions themselves can either bring the team together, or rip it apart. Key returning players for Rapids are forward Anthony Knuth (Honorable Mention All-State) and defenseman Josh Nelson (Honorable Mention All-State).

Fond du Lac was an extremely young team last season with 5 Freshmen and 7 Sophmores on their roster. As such, their graduation losses are not large in number. Four Cardinals skate off into the sunset including All-State selection and leading scorer Andy Kuechler. Forward Josh Todd, defenseman Kyle Schneider and forward Doug Jones also graduate. Key returners for the Cardinals include defenseman Ryan Smet (Honorable Mention All-State), goaltender Randy Willis, and three forwards: Sean Little, Cody Lettau and Joe Bertram.

The team with the worst nickname has the "least painful" of the graduation losses of the eight State Tournament teams. The Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago Lasers graduate six players, but none that jump out as vital to their State Tournament run. Defenseman Kasey Snyder and five forwards lead by Sam Miller and Kevin Layo graduate. Key returning players for K/M include goaltender Dustin LeClaire (Honorable Mention All-State), defenseman Evan Jeszka (Honorable Mention All-State), and their top four forwards: Tristan Krause, Andy Michels, Ron Chmill, and Andy Biwer.

At some point this offseason, I'll attempt to dig up some rosters of other top programs and evaluate their losses to graduation as well.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Derrick LaPoint is Likely a 2nd or 3rd Round Draft Pick

Wisconsin Prep Hockey has a new story online featuring an interview with Defenseman Derrick LaPoint who has just returned from the NHL Combine. While there, he was involved in both medical and physical tests, as well as interviews with 10 NHL organizations. His impression of his draft status after speaking with those organizations is that he is likely to be selected in the 2nd or 3rd round of the NHL Draft.

Alex McRae

Alex McRae, a forward from Mindoro, WI who played for North Iowa of the NAHL last season recently skated in the Indiana Ice's Rookie Camp. According to the Ice website, he scored a goal in the scrimmage finale of the camp.

For a complete listing of Wisconsin players with Division 1 potential, and lists of Wisconsin players in the USHL and NAHL, visit Hockey in Wisconsin's "sister" blog Wisconsin Hockey Players Division 1 Watch.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Girls High School Hockey Losses via Graduation

One of my typical offseason activities is to take a look at the program from the State Hockey Tournament and any other rosters I've accumulated over the season to see which players have graduated from different programs. This year is no exception, and tonight I'm taking a look at the Girls High School Teams.

Of the four programs that advanced to the State Tournament, Fond du Lac/Waupun is easily graduating the most talent/has the most talent to replace. The other three teams lose very little in the way of players that contributed to their teams last year with Superior probably next on the list for talent loss, followed by Hudson and Onalaska who lose about the same amount of talent.

Fondy/Waupun loses their leading scorer and Captain Maggie Bresser. They also lose their four-year starting goaltender Lauren Post who has been spectacular for them when needed. On defense, they lose Amanda Finnstad who was also their third-leading scorer as well as Julia Stollfus who played a regular shift.

Superior graduates first line winger Candace Zatko, but she's a player that only scored one point in the regular season. They also graduate Nicole Klobuchar who played a regular defensive shift for them. As they played as many as five defensemen last season they should be able to make up for Klobuchar, but will likely need to reload up front with an incoming Freshman as they didn't seem to have much forward depth last season.

Onalaska loses second line center Julie Scott who had 17 points in the regular season, as well as their two top Forward "reserves" in Melissa Fox (8 points) and Lacey Leppert (8 points). As they don't skate a lot of kids, I'm not sure anyone has been developed that can jump into their lineup, other than incoming Freshmen. Onalaska also only played three defensemen all season, so an incoming Freshman defenseman is a big need for them.

Hudson graduates Samantha Aarthun who played a regular defensive shift for them, as well as third-line forwards Ashton Hannack and Kirsten Weber. As the team that was clearly the weakest of the four teams at State Tournament, Hudson has the most ground to make up of the four, in addition to replacing their losses.

Four other teams had pretty good seasons last year that did not make the State Tournament....St. Croix Valley, Madison, Baraboo and Milwaukee North Shore.

St. Croix Valley retains all their top defensemen, but up front lose their leading scorer Alison Luunzer, third-leading scorer Alisha Ellertson, as well as some other forwards that contributed lead by Leah Peterson. They have a total of 6 Seniors graduating.

Madison graduates their "big gun" Rachel Dearth, who lead the WIAA in scoring this season with 51 goals, 19 assists for a total of 70 points. They also lose their starting goaltender Tina Worm, second line winger Samantha Archibald and Caity Laubach, a combo forward and defenseman.

Baraboo graduated a large and talented class of Seniors, leading them to carry on next season as a Co-op due to reduced numbers in their program. Unfortunately, I do not have a roster to name the specific players they lost, but with the new co-op there will be a lot of players to potentially improve their team. Also, as long as Danielle Vander Schaaf will be back for them in goal, they will always be competitive.

Milwaukee North Shore only graduated three Seniors. They are fourth leading scorer Lauren Franchi, defenseman Sarah Padway who also contributed thirteen points to their offense, as well as defenseman Kristy Parks.

Altoona and Appleton are probably the best of the nine incoming teams next season, but I don't have rosters with grade levels for either of those teams.

So what does all this mean for next season? Well, until we find out the quantity and quality of incoming players for each team, it's too early to tell. It is easy to see though that some teams have a lot more work to do than others to replace their losses.

2006 National Junior Evaluation Camp Invitees

USA Hockey has released the list of 45 players invited to attend their 2006 National Junior Evaluation Camp in August. This camp will be used to select the team for the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship held from December 26, 2006-January 5, 2007.

Three 2006-2007 Wisconsin Badgers have been invited to the camp. They are forward Jack Skille, incoming forward Blake Geoffrion, and incoming defenseman Jamie McBain. Wisconsin recruit Patrick Kane is also on the list.

One player missing from the list that surprised me is Nigel Williams, although he may be young enough to play with the U-18's next year as he has accelerated his arrival to UW from 2007 to 2006. Possibly he will be considered as an addition to that team.

If any of the Badger players make the roster for the World Junior Championship team, they will miss the Badger Showdown, as well as potentially the series in Denver on January 5th and 6th.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mike Davies

I wanted to pass along a little bit of information on a UW Men's hockey recruit for next year, Mike Davies. Here's what the UW Website has to say about him...

Davies, listed as 5-8 and 165 pounds, skated this past season for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. Playing in 51 games during the regular season, Davies tied for third in the league in points with 71 on 28 goals and 43 assists. In the playoffs, he went on to add four goals and seven points in nine games. A 2005-06 All-USHL selection, Davies was chosen as the team's regular season co-most valuable player.
Prior to joining the Stars, Davies skated for the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL. He recorded 30 goals and 57 points in 56 games played in 2004-05 for the Blues, where he was named league rookie of the year.
Mike Eaves on Davies - "Davies is another guy that can put points on the board. He is very competitive around the puck and has a knack around the net in terms of being able to put the puck in the net."

Andy Baggot also wrote a nice piece on Davies and past/future teammate Ben Grotting that you can check out by clicking here.

Finally, you can also learn a bit about Mike by visiting his Myspace site.

UW Women's Hockey Recruits for 2006-2007

The UW Women graduated four forwards and a goaltender following their National Championship run this season. The forwards are: Nikki Burish, Sharon Cole, Grace Hutchins and Cyndy Kenyon. The goaltender is Meghan Horras.

The incoming class closely mirrors what the UW Women are graduating...four forwards, a goaltender and one defenseman. I'm sure they are bringing in a defenseman for 2006-2007 since they will have 4 defenseman graduating following the upcoming season. The incoming recruits are:

Emily Kranz-F 5'7" (Shattuck-St. Mary's) Waukesha, WI
Ally Strickler, D, 5-6 (St. Louis Park) St. Louis Park, MN
Megan Duggan-F 5-9 (Cushing Academy) Danvers, MA
Kyla Sanders-F 5-6 (North American Hockey Academy) Parrish, FL
Jasmine Giles, F, 5-7 (All Saints) Ottawa, ON
Alannah McCready-G 5'6" (Centennial HS) Blaine, MN

UW Men's Hockey Schedule for 2006-2007

The UW Men's Hockey Schedule has been released for 2006-2007 and can be found here.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Summer Interruption

I'd like to interrupt your summer to bring you this great save from Shane Connelly. More videos to come as summer drags on and it feels like forever since you watched a hockey game.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Jeff Christiansen...A Comeback Story

Wisconsin hockey fans likely remember Jeff Christiansen, a power forward that played for University School, was among the best players in the state, and graduated in 2004. He was drafted by Omaha and began the 2004-2005 season with the Lancers in the USHL. His season was up and down. The up included a verbal commitment to Union to attend school and play hockey, just as his brother Doug had done. The down included pain in his hip that just didn't seem normal. The pain persisted throughout the season and he was eventually traded to Billings in the NAHL. He played the final 12 games of the season with Billings including six playoff games.

After the season Jeff had an X-ray taken on the hip that had been hurting. The result? Not only did doctors discover a fracture, but also a tumor. Suddenly hockey and Union didn't seem like the most important things in life. Fortunately, after a week of waiting for test results the tumor was found to be benign, but Jeff had a long road ahead of him. After surgeries, the insertion of a metal rod and five screws, and nine months of rehab, Jeff Christiansen made it back on the ice for Billings for the final 19 games of this season. He still doesn't feel 100% but hopes with a summer of hard work he can be at full strength as he starts out at Union.

You can check out a photo of Jeff and the story of his comeback from the Billings Gazette by clicking here.