Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Evening Post

  • North Dakota received a verbal commitment from Fargo Force forward Bryn Chyzyk today. Chyzyk, who visited UND last Friday during the Wisconsin series, chose North Dakota over future NCHC foes Nebraska-Omaha, Minnesota-Duluth, and Western Michigan. Northern Michigan was also said to be in the mix for a player who has burst onto the USHL scene this season. Chyzyk is currently the second leading scorer for Fargo with 31 points (20G, 11A) in 37 games, and his 20 goals rank as the sixth best in the USHL. For a quick introduction to the latest North Dakota recruit, here is Chyzyk's Force in a Minute feature (CAUTION: Video contains Justin Bieber reference 1 of 2):

  • Luke Johnson and Jack Rowe each had big games this past weekend in USHL action. Johnson had a three point game (1G, 2A) Friday night to help Lincoln to a 5-2 victory over Des Moines, while Rowe had a five assist night Saturday in Cedar Rapids' 6-5 shootout loss to Waterloo. Johnson now has 30 points (10G, 20A) in 32 games this season, while Rowe, after missing the first month of the season due to injury, has 14 points (2G, 12A) in 25 games. He's been playing particularly well as of late, recording 12 points (2G, 10A) and a +8 rating in his last 14 games after recording just two assists and a -5 in his first 11.
  • Luke Voltin returned to the ice last weekend for the first time since leaving the USNTDP, going scoreless in two games with the Des Moines Buccaneers. Voltin was initially claimed off of USHL waivers by the Chicago Steel, who then moved the forward to Des Moines via trade.
  • Jordan Schmaltz took part in an interview on The Pipeline Show last week following the NHL/USHL Top Prospects Game.
  • Fighting Sioux centerman Corban Knight was recently interviewed by Litter Box Cats.  
  • According to a leading Toronto Maple Leaf blog, former Sioux and current Toronto Marlie Matt Frattin is considered one of the top prospects in the Maple Leaf system. Frattin has three goals and an assist in his last four games, including a two goal performance against former linemate Brad Malone's Lake Erie Monsters last Thursday. Malone also had a goal in the 6-2 Marlie win.
  • Chris Porter has been recalled by the St. Louis Blues following a two-game conditioning stint in Peoria (AHL), while Jake Marto is back with the Colorado Eagles (ECHL).
  • Oilers Nation recently caught up with Oklahoma City Baron (AHL) head coach Todd Nelson in order to see how things are going for Edmonton's top farm team, and Nelson gave a glowing report on former Sioux standout Chris VandeVelde: 
Chris VandeVelde has made excellent gains this year. He's a lot better player than he was last year. He's a pretty dominant centerman at this level. And what I mean by dominant is just his play; his all-around game. If you look at his numbers, they're nothing to get all excited about, but what he does for us is he plays a very good defensive role. He does excellent penalty killing for us, and he's strong on draws. He's a big strong centerman, and he has improved drastically from last year.
  • New Jersey Devils' center Travis Zajac has yet to resume skating since being shutdown earlier this month, but GM Lou Lamariello expects Zajac to be back with New Jersey at some point this season. As the article also points out, Zajac's wife gave birth to a baby boy last week, Zenon Nathan Zajac. Meanwhile, In Lou We Trust says New Jersey would be stupid to trade star winger Zach Parise.
  • Jonathan Toews is expected to return to action tomorrow night in Vancouver. The All-Star Break came at a great time for the Chicago center, allowing him some extra time to recuperate from a wrist injury suffered a week and a half ago.
  • ESPN's John Buccigross recently released his list of the Top 100 players in the NHL. North Dakota had two of the top 14, with Toews coming in at number two and Parise at number 14.
  • Matt Greene and the Los Angeles Kings have been playing some very good hockey recently, but perhaps they've been overshadowed a bit by the NBA's Clippers and Lakers. The Fame Makers are looking to change that (CAUTION: Video contains Justin Bieber reference 2 of 2):

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