Thursday, November 3, 2011

Commodore to Debut Tonight, Recruit Scouting Reports, Toews Best NHL Leader, Etc.

Mike Commodore was cleared to return to game action last week after sitting out for a month while recovering from a preseason knee injury, but the big defenseman has been a healthy scratch during the recent Red Wings' swoon. That all changes tonight as Commodore will make his Red Wings regular season debut against the Calgary Flames at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena. Commodore says he'll surely have some nerves, but he'll try to keep it simple. Commodore played in 18 games for the Flames from 2002-2004, and he will be the tenth Sioux hockey alumni to play in the NHL this season.

That number might grow to eleven pretty quickly, as indications are that Taylor Chorney could be in the St. Louis Blues' lineup tomorrow night against Vancouver. Since being waived by Edmonton and eventually claimed by St. Louis, Chorney has waited patiently for an opportunity to get on the ice in what he says is the longest stretch of non-injury imposed inactivity of his career.

Yesterday it was announced that recruit Nick Schmaltz will be representing Team USA at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in January. Much of the scouting and evaluation for selecting the players for the team occured at USA Hockey's summer select player development camp. US Hockey Report ranks the top performers, and here's what they had to say about the Sioux recruits that took part in this past summer's camps:

Select 15 Camp:
4. Nick Schmaltz (#10 Grey) 5-10/155 – 3-9-12 – Center has soft hands, sees the ice very well. Gets open, and finds the open man. He’s the brother of North Dakota recruit Jordan Schmaltz. From Verona, Wisc. and Chicago Mission U16.

Select 16 Camp: 
3. Luke Voltin (#15 Kelly Green) 6-1/185 – 4-3-7 -- From Hill-Murray (Minn.) HS; going to NTDP. Good hands. Good feet. Extremely athletic.

Note: Voltin's performance was ranked ahead of the likes of Hudson Fasching (#4, uncommitted), Michael McCarron (#5, Michigan St recruit), and Vinni Lettieri (#21, Minnesota recruit). Minot's Alex Schoenborn (uncommitted, potential Sioux recruit) also attended the camp:

12. Alex Schoenborn (#18 Grey) 6-1/190 – 3-2-5 -- 12/12/95 DOB from Minot HS. Lincoln first round pick. A very late ’95, but already a big strong kid.

6. Keaton Thompson (#6 Red) 6-1/170 – 0-2-2 -- From Devils Lake HS. Joining NTDP. Good defensively, nice outlet passes, and judiciously picks his spots to join the rush.

13. Charlie Pelnik (#7 Forest Green) 6-4/190 – 0-0-0 -- From Carolina Jr. Hurricanes. North Dakota recruit. Quite raw, didn’t have a great week, but there’s a lot to work with here. Fargo’s top pick. Also picked by Plymouth in OHL draft.

Also, former East Grand Forks and current USNTDP U-17 defenseman Gage Ausmus (Denver recruit) was the 16th ranked blueliner.

And here are a few odds and ends:

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