Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Afternoon Tea

Having been unable to get this post out earlier today, the Morning Coffee has been replaced with Afternoon Tea:
  • Derek Forbort is currently participating in Team USA's World Junior Championship selection camp in Camrose, Alberta. The final roster will be announced tomorrow morning, and expect Forbort to be on it, particularly now that defenseman Seth Jones will not take part due to an injury suffered in last night's exhibition game against Russia. The tournament kicks off for Team USA Monday, December 26th at 7:00 PM CST when they take on Denmark. The tournament takes place in Edmonton and Calgary and all of Team USA's games will be aired live on the NHL Network.
  • The College Hockey News recently published their WCHA Midseason Awards. They have Brock Nelson as a 2nd Team All-Conference performer, while Ben Blood is a 3rd Teamer.
  • Recruits Keaton Thompson and Luke Voltin will be participating in the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge beginning December 28 in Windsor, Ontario.
  • Recruit Jordan Schmaltz was recently profiled by 
  • Jordan Schmaltz (#22) and Stefan Matteau (#30) each find themselves among McKeen's Top 30 2012 NHL Draft Prospects.
  • Jordan Schmaltz's younger brother and fellow Sioux recruit Nick will be leaving the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers in order to rejoin the Chicago Mission U-16 team. Nick has now played 11 games with the Gamblers, meaning his USHL rights will be retained by Green Bay without the team having to draft him this spring. In his 11 games with Green Bay he scored one goal to go along with three assists while posting an impressive +7 rating. Here's what Gambler head coach Derek Lalonde had to say about the younger Schmaltz's brief USHL stint: "That's a world-class player. He's arguably in his age group the best in the world. I don't know if people can put it in perspective and appreciate that. Obviously a lot is going to change, but what people are seeing out there - that's special."
  • Travis Zajac scored his first goal of the season last night against the New York Rangers. Though New Jersey originally hoped to gradually increase his playing time, he was moved up to the Devil's second line last night when Patrick Elias was unable go. He missed the team's first 30 games recovering from Achilles surgery and made his season debut last Friday night. New Jersey has been playing its best hockey of the season as of late, and getting Zajac back will only make them stronger.
  • New Jersey missed the NHL playoffs last season after 13 consecutive appearances, but Zach Parise's return to full health has the Devils right back in the thick of the playoff chase. Parise will become an unrestricted free agent this summer if he and the Devils are unable to agree upon a contract extension, and The Hockey News recently speculated on what the future might hold for the former Sioux star.
  • The streaking St. Louis Blues have jumped into the upper-half of the Western Conference's top eight, and leading the way have been TJ Oshie and the Blues' top line. Oshie currently leads St. Louis with 11 goals, 12 assists, and 23 points, including seven points (4G, 3A) and a +4 in his last six games.
  • Derrick LaPoint has been bouncing all over the place this season. After starting the season with the ECHL's Reading Royals, he had been called up and sent down by the Syracuse Crunch (AHL) on three separate occasions. This past weekend he was summoned by the Peoria Rivermen (AHL), played a game Sunday night, and was returned to Reading. 
  • Michael Forney and the Colorado Eagles (ECHL) have been red-hot recently. Forney is currently enjoying a six-game point streak during which he has recorded ten points (5G, 5A), including six (3G, 3A) in his last two games. 
  • We'll leave you with a beauty of a goal, courtesy of Toronto Maple Leaf Matt Frattin. The play starts deep in their own end, but eventually every Maple Leaf touches the puck before Frattin tucks it home with a strong rush to the net:

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