Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday Morning Post

  • Midco Sports Net produced a nice segment honoring the original Ralph Engelstad Arena. It aired last night during the debut of North Dakota Hockey with Dave Hakstol:

  •  Here's another segment from last night's episode featuring Sioux alum Evan Trupp:

  • The Winnipeg Free Press says that while Sidney Crosby will likely wear the C for Team Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Jonathan Toews is the team's real leader. Meanwhile, The Calgary Sun says Toews has quickly developed a reputation for winning. My feeling is that Toews probably has a better chance to be named captain than most media outlets are signaling, and Zach Parise is definitely on the shortlist of candidates to be the next Captain America. Don't be surprised if either, or both, don the C in Russia come February.
  • The Hockey News' most recent Prospect Need To Know feature says maturation was a key step in Danny Kristo turning pro.
  • Big things are expected out of UND recruit Ryan Gropp as he assumes more of the spotlight for the BCHL's Penticton Vees.
  • Over the Boards has North Dakota's incoming freshman class ranked as the third best in the nation for 2013-14 and number one for 2014-15.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Morning Post

  • The 2013-14 roster for the UND men's team was released yesterday and the only real surprise was the absence of junior-to-be Dan Senkbeil. Senkbeil is transferring to Vermont and will be eligible to play in 2014-15 after sitting out this season to satisfy the NCAA's transfer rules. In 49 career games at North Dakota, he produced a goal and four assists.
  • continues its "30 in 30" series, with Brock Nelson being ranked third among New York Islanders prospects and Danny Kristo and Adam Tambellini coming in at one and nine, respectively, among New York Rangers prospects.
  • Surly & Scribe took a look at the top candidates to fill the LA Kings' second line LW position, and they say Matt Frattin would be a good choice. 
  • The roster for the 2013 All-American Prospects Game was released yesterday and four North Dakota recruits earned invitations. Ryan Mantha, Shane Gersich, Nick Schmaltz and Austin Poganski are all scheduled to take part in the American-born 2014 NHL Draft eligible showcase September 26 in Pittsburgh. An interesting omission was UND recruit and Tri-City Storm (USHL) forward Chris Wilkie. Wilkie was one of the NTDP U-17 team's top performers last season, including a very strong showing at last season's World U-17 Challenge. The United States of Hockey briefly highlighted a few of the players to watch during the event, and Schmaltz and Poganski were included. Schmaltz was also included in the latest edition of The Hockey News' Hot List.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Post

  • The Edmonton Journal says that North Dakota senior Dillon Simpson has worked his way into becoming a solid Oiler prospect who possesses top-four NHL potential as a complete defenseman. 
  • Sioux alums Zach Parise, Jonathan Toews, and TJ Oshie are among the Canadian and American Olympic hopefuls who will be attending Olympic orientation camps this week. Parise and Toews are all but locks to appear in their second consecutive Olympic tournament, while Oshie is a player who, with a strong NHL first half, could earn his way onto Team USA as a bottom six winger. This week's orientation camps will not include any on-ice activity for either nation as the cost of insuring the attendees' NHL contracts is too great.
  • As part of its "30 in 30" series, says Travis Zajac is the New Jersey Devils' X-Factor and that he must produce offensively for the Devils to achieve team success this season. His importance to the team became even more important when star winger Ilya Kovalchuk opted to return home to Russia to play in the KHL. 
  • Former Sioux defenseman Aaron Schneekloth has opted to retire after twelve professional seasons. Schneekloth, the ECHL's Defenseman of the Year just two seasons ago, will remain with the ECHL's Colorado Eagles as an assistant coach. He spent the final seven seasons of his career with Colorado.
  • According to a German sports website, former Sioux goaltender Jordan Parise is retiring after seven professional seasons. He spent last season with Valpellice of the Italian elite league, posting a 2.87 GAA and .906 save percentage.
  • The Los Angeles Kings Rookie Camp starts next Wednesday (Sept 4) and Derek Forbort will be in attendance. While he is expected to spend this season with Manchester (AHL), Kings executive Mike O'Connell says he expects Forbort to play with bigger goals in mind.
  • North Dakota goaltending commit Cam Johnson was interviewed during the Fargo Force (USHL) tryout camp this week. Here's the video of the brief interview:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Morning Post

  • UND incoming freshman defenseman Halli Krzyzaniak earned an invite to Hockey Canada's National Women's Program Red and White Series following her performance at the National Women's Development Team Selection Camp, and she says she is enjoying her time playing with Canada's big stars.
  • Earlier this week the UND athletic department and Midco Sports Net released the broadcast schedule for the 2013-14 season, with the vast majority of the programming being produced in high definition. MSN will also be airing quite a bit of original UND programming, including Through These Doors and the new ND Hockey with Dake Hakstol. For those non-Midco subscribers out there (myself included), HD webcasts of most home hockey games will be available through a UND Insider subscription. CBS Sports Net, which holds the exclusive rights of national NCHC broadcasts, also recently announced that it is moving to DirecTV channel 221, meaning the additional purchase of DTV's sports tier is no longer required to receive CBSSN's NCHC broadcasts.
  • Danny Kristo has been invited to the NHLPA's 2013 Rookie Showcase.
  • Hunter Bishop, who played a handful of games in a Fighting Sioux uniform before transferring to Ohio State, has signed with the AHL's Manchester Monarchs.
  • CBS Eye on Hockey is putting together All-Time teams for each NHL franchise, and former Sioux Ed Belfour earned the nod as the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars All-Time goaltender
  • A New York Islanders blog wonders if Sioux alum Brock Nelson will earn a spot with the Islanders this season. Hockey Prospectus also slotted Nelson in at number four in its rankings of the Islanders' top prospects, saying he "looks like he could be a very good two-way center" and that he "is a quality, do-it-all type of forward who could step into the NHL next season."
  • Hockey's Future is also producing organizational prospect rankings and Derek Forbort is ranked fifth among Kings prospects.
  • The Scouting Report took a look at some of the USNTDP U-18 team's NHL Draft prospects, and North Dakota recruit Shane Gersich was included.
  • ESPN recently analyzed some of the top 2014 NHL Draft prospects from the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup (ESPN Insider membership required for full viewing), and here's a sampling of what they had to say about North Dakota recruit Nick Schmaltz: "had a very good tournament, ranking second among all players in scoring and impressing scouts with his very high level of skill...pure offensive abilities drive his value, as he can make a lot of flashy plays...hand-eye coordination, creativity and vision are his best traits...he is small, a slightly above-average skater and needs to work on his all-around game...a potential first- or second-round prospect." 
  • The United States of Hockey took a long, hard look at the ongoing turf battle between the CHL and NCAA.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Post

  • As's "30 in 30" series continues, a pair of UND sophomores found their way into their respective organization's Top 10 prospect lists. Jordan Schmaltz came in at number 6 among St. Louis' prospects, while Rocco Grimaldi sits at number 8 in Florida's deep prospect pool.
  • The New England Hockey Journal published an outstanding feature on North Dakota sophomore goaltender Zane Gothberg, the Boston Bruins' 6th round draft choice in 2010. Gothberg says the goal for 2013-14 "is to win our last game, with that one coming in the national championship." 
  • The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are already very much on the mind of Sioux alum Jonathan Toews, who is a candidate to wear the C for Team Canada.
  • SportsNet NY put together a quick little profile on New York Ranger prospect Danny Kristo.
  • UND recruit Rhett Gardner, who will suit up for the AJHL's Okotoks Oilers this season, says the current plan is for him to spend two years playing juniors before heading to UND one year out of high school.
  • USA Hockey's Under-18 Select team, featuring North Dakota recruits Ryan Mantha, Austin Poganski, and Nick Schmaltz, fell one victory short of earning the gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. Despite dropping a 4-0 decision to Canada in the gold medal game, it was a strong showing for a hard-working Team USA, and a great individual tournament for Schmaltz. He led Team USA in scoring with eight points (5G, 3A) in five games, and his five goals were the most of any player in the tournament. Poganski and Mantha each picked up one assist in five games played.

Top Shelf Prospects has been running through each NHL team's top prospects this offseason, and a few Sioux alums have been featured:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Morning Post

  • Curious to where your favorite Sioux alum will be playing in 2013-14? The Sioux in the Pros page has been updated to reflect this offseason's signings. If I've missed a signing or have errors in the roster, please leave a comment.
  • All current recruit profiles have been updated to reflect last season's stats, awards, etc. and a fresh 2013-14 stat page has been added to The Recruit page. Again, if you see any errors or omissions, please let me know.
  • Jeff Ulmer has signed with Olimpija Ljubljana (Austrian elite league) for the 2013-14 season.
  • Team USA, featuring recruits Ryan Mantha, Austin Poganski, and Nick Schmaltz, advanced to the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup championship game yesterday by way of a 5-3 victory over the Czech Republic. Team USA takes on Canada for the gold this morning. Schmaltz continued his elite play, notching two more goals in the win while earning Team USA Player of the Game honors. He now has eight points (5G, 3A) in his last three games, and Hockey's Future did an interview following his three point performance against Russia during pool play (full post):

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Morning Post

  • The UND men will play a pair of exhibition games in British Columbia this coming season in what will be the team's second trip north of the border in the past three seasons. In a Brad Schlossman blog post, head coach Dave Hakstol commented on the BC trip.
  • At the Ivan Hlinka Cup Team USA defeated Slovakia 5-2 Wednesday to win their pool and advance to play the Czech Republic in today's semifinals (Noon CDT). Nick Schmaltz had his second consecutive three point game by notching two goals and an assist against Slovakia, and he leads the tournament in goals (3), assists (3), and points (6). Austin Poganski also picked up an assist Wednesday while Ryan Mantha was held off the scoresheet. If you want to follow along with today's semifinal, the tournament's website offers real-time in-game updates. 
  • The USA Hockey NTDP made its 2013-14 rosters official this week, and as expected, UND will have two recruits playing in the program this season. Shane Gersich will make the jump from Holy Family (MN-HS) to the Under-18 team, while Christian Evers transitions from the Omaha AAA U-16 team to the Under-17ers
  • Committed recruit Rhett Gardner will spend the 2013-14 season with the AJHL's Okotoks Oilers. Gardner spent last season with the SMHL's Moose Jaw Generals and got a taste of the USHL with a one game stint with the Green Bay Gamblers. UND has picked up some nice talent from Okotoks over the past handful of years with Derek Rodwell, Brad Eidsness, and Corban Knight having played junior hockey with the Oilers.
  • Drew Stafford and Ben Blood returned to their alma mater to take part in last night's Shattuck-St. Mary's vs. The World celebrity hockey game in Faribault, MN.
  • Single game hockey tickets go on sale Wednesday, August 15th, and here's the athletic department's promo video:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wednesday Morning Post

  • Junior forward Mark MacMillan is set to take on a significant leadership and scoring role for UND this season, an opportunity he is relishing.
  • Senior defenseman Dillon Simpson came in at number 13 on the Copper and Blue blog's "Top 25 Oilers Under 25" rankings.
  • The Ontario Reign (ECHL) caught up with the recently re-signed Mario Lamoureux, who is looking to build on last season's outstanding All-Rookie performance.
  • Michael Forney had a terrific summer playing hockey Down Under. He now goes from Australia to Austria, as he will join former Sioux teammate JP Lamoureux on Villacher of the Austrian elite league.
  • UND recruits Austin Poganski, Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Mantha and the rest of Team USA pulled out a clutch win yesterday at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, beating Russia 4-2 in pool play. Schmaltz scored a goal and added two assists in the victory, which put the Americans in solid position to advance to the tournament semifinals. They take on Slovakia later this morning (10:30 AM CDT), and a win would vault them into Friday's semifinal round. The UND contingent, by the way, has factored in on five of the six goals Team USA has scored in pool play and Schmaltz is tied for the tournament lead with three points (1G, 2A) in two games.
  • McKeen's Hockey has released its Top 30 Prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft, and Schmaltz comes in at number 14. Future Considerations, meanwhile, has Poganski (number 26) in its preliminary rankings. Poganski is also the main feature of The Hockey News' most recent edition of The Hot List, and he says his "hardcore, blue collar" game will fit right in with UND's style of play.'s "30 in 30" series is underway and a few Sioux alums have been featured thus far:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday Morning Post

  • Jason Gregoire has signed a one year deal with Södertälje of the Allsvenskan (Sweden Tier 2). He will be reunited with former Sioux and St. John's IceCap teammate Jake Marto, who signed with Södertälje earlier this summer.
  • Brent Davidson has signed with Valpellice of Italy's elite league after spending last season with Herning (Denmark).
  • The Hockey News featured former UND standout goaltender Darren Jensen in the print edition of its Backchecking segment several months ago, and it has recently found its way into the digital realm.
  • Tony Hrkac will be inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame next month, joining fellow Sioux alum Greg Johnson, who was inducted in 2010.
  • North Dakota goalie Zane Gothberg continues to impress Boston Bruins management.
  • UND forward Rocco Grimaldi is on his way to building a big NHL future.
  • UND sophomore forward Rebecca Kohler and incoming freshman defenseman Halli Krzyzaniak have been invited to Hockey Canada's National Women's Team Development Camp.
  • A trio of UND commits are currently representing USA Hockey in the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Nick Schmaltz was named USA's Player of the Game in a 1-0 exhibition game victory over the Czech Republic Saturday while Austin Poganski and Ryan Mantha each picked up assists in yesterdays 3-2 OT loss to Finland. They resume play this morning at 7:00 AM CDT against Russia. Below are recent features on each UND commit:
  • Nick Schmaltz
  • Ryan Mantha
  • Austin Poganski
  • The Scouting Report is taking a look at some of the top USHL prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft and aside from the above feature on Schmaltz, Poganski and fellow UND commit Chris Wilkie were also recently highlighted.
  • Incoming UND freshman defensemen Gage Ausmus and Keaton Thompson were invited to USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp, but they were both among the first round of cuts. They could potentially play themselves back into consideration with strong first halves to the NCAA season, and they will both be eligible for next year's World Junior Championship team as well.