Thursday, January 5, 2012

USHL Prospects Game, Rodwell Done For Season, Etc,

A quick Thursday night update:
  • Sioux recruits Luke Johnson and Jordan Schmaltz were both selected to take part in the inaugural USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game January 24th in Muskegon, MI. The game will feature 40 of the USHL's top players yet to be drafted by NHL teams. Schmaltz, who started the season with Sioux City but was later traded to the Green Bay Gamblers, has 16 points (8G, 8A) in 24 games and has twice been named the league's Defensive Player of the Week. Johnson, who has 22 points (7G, 15A) in 24 games  for the Lincoln Stars, is one of only three players chosen who are not NHL Draft-eligible until 2013. As a side note, players from the USNTDP teams were not chosen to play in this showcase event.
  • It was announced today that Fighting Sioux winger Derek Rodwell will miss the rest of the season in order to have surgery on his injured shoulder. He hurt the shoulder in last weekend's series against Harvard and his absence will make an already short bench even shorter as the team heads into the second half of the season. Rodwell has played in nineteen games, producing two points (1G, 1A).
  • Jason Blake made his return from injury last night in the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 loss to San Jose. Blake played on a line with Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, and the heavy second line minutes caused him to "run out of gas" down the stretch.
  • Matt Smaby, who is also looking to get on the ice for Anaheim, was placed on waivers today in the hope that he clears and can thus be assigned to Syracuse (AHL) for a conditioning assignment. Smaby has not played all year after suffering a torn thumb ligament in the preseason, and he says he's ready to do whatever it takes to return to action.
  • Team USA was defeated by Russia 7-4 yesterday in the gold medal game of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ontario. Sioux recruit Keaton Thompson had an assist in the gold medal game and finished the tournament with four assists in six games. Fellow recruit Luke Voltin also played in all six tournament games and produced a goal and an assist.

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