Thursday, November 14, 2013

Recruit Profile: Danys Chartrand

Current Team:  Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL)
Potential Arrival at UND:  2015
Position:  Defense
Birthday:  January 17th, 1994
Hometown:  Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Height:  6'2"
Weight:  190
Shoots:  Left

Profiles & Press Clippings:
  • Playing for the Flin Flon Bombers of the SJHL, he has recorded six points (1G, 5A) through 15 games as of mid-November.
  • Played for the SJHL's Flin Flon Bombers, producing four assists in 37 regular season games and four assists in 11 postseason contests.
  • Earned Flin Flon's Patty Ginnell Memorial Fund Award as the team's Most Improved Player.
  • Spent the majority of the season with the Winnipeg Wild of the Manitoba Midget Hockey League, notching 22 points (3G, 19A) in 44 regular season games and four assists in nine postseason tilts.
  • He went pointless in three games played with the Steinbach Pistons of the MJHL.
  • Playing for the Winnipeg Wild (MMHL), he produced 12 points (3G, 9A) in 44 regular season games and two assists in seven playoff games.
  • Played two games with the Winnipeg Saints of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Morning Post

  • UND senior captain Dillon Simpson was named one of twenty candidates for the Lowes Senior CLASS Award.
  • Freshman Gage Ausmus has settled into the role of the physical, stay-at-home defenseman early on in his UND career.
  • The Dakota Student says sophomore forward Drake Caggiula bounced back nicely from the neck injury he sustained in the exhibition win over the NTDP U-18 team.
  • After a one year hiatus, North Dakota and Wisconsin will resume their long-standing rivalry next season with a weekend series in Madison.
  • Those who are unable to make it to Omaha for this weekend's series against Nebraska-Omaha can watch UNO's webcast of the games through a UND Insider subscription.
  • TJ Oshie is off to the best start of his NHL career, and part of his success may be the result of him becoming more of a student of the game.
  • Drew Stafford and Buffalo have struggled out of the gates this season, but the Sabres winger hopes to reverse the slow start.
  • The achievments Chicago Blackhawk captain Jonathan Toews have made a big impression on President Obama.
  • Sioux alum Travis Zajac is off to a bit of a slow start this season for the New Jersey Devils and on Halloween a trick-or-treater told him as much.
  • The voting for the AJHL's All-Time Top 50 players continues, and up for vote this go-round are Sioux alums Dixon Ward, Garry Valk, Geoff Smith, Teeder Wynne and UND head coach Dave Hakstol.
  • The Sioux City Journal published a great feature on recruit Trevor Olson (Sioux City-USHL), detailing the hip injury he's played through this season. Following this weekend's games he will undergo surgery in order to be fully prepared for his freshman season at UND next fall. The Musketeer captain is well-respected amongst his teammates and he sounds like quite the gamer. In a best-case scenario Sioux City, which is 9-0 with Olson in the lineup and 1-2 without him, could get their captain back towards the end of the season.
  • Women's Four Nations Cup: The Lamoureux twins and Team USA will wrap up pool play tonight when they face Michelle Karvinen and Susanna Tapani's Finland squad at 6:00 CST. The Americans are 1-1 after their 4-2 defeat at the hands of arch-rival Canada. Finland is also 1-1 in pool play. Johanna Fallman and Team Sweden will be looking to pick up their first victory of the tournament when they play Canada this afternoon at 2:30 CST.
  • World Junior A Challenge: UND's recruits playing in the World Junior A Challenge will resume play today when the semifinals get underway. Rhett Gardner and Canada West will take on Russia at 2:00 CST while Team USA, featuring recruits Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Mantha, and Austin Poganski, will take on Switzerland at 6:00 CST. Through two games, Schmaltz is tied for the tournament lead with six points (2G, 4A) and has earned the praise of NHL Central Scouting's Carl Edwards. Gardner, meanwhile, has yet to find the scoresheet, but his defensive efforts on the penalty kill have helped thrust Canada West into the semifinals.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday Morning Post

  • UND forward Colten St. Clair suffered a leg injury this past weekend against St. Cloud State and is expected to be out at least until the semester break. St. Clair's game contains an element of gritty hustle and his presence will be missed as an energy guy who plays a big role on the team's penalty killing unit.
  • Drake Caggiula's slick first period goal against SCSU Friday night was chosen as NCAA hockey's top goal of the weekend.
  • Sioux alum Dave Tippett became the all-time winningest coach in Phoenix Coyote franchise history last weekend.
  • Chris Porter became the ninth Sioux alum to skate in the NHL this season when he made his season debut for St. Louis this past Saturday.
  • The Hartford Courant says Danny Kristo has emerged as the Hartford Wolf Pack's most productive forward this season.
  • Through 13 games Corban Knight leads Abbotsford (AHL) in points (12), assists (8), and +/- (+6).
  • Mike Commodore recently did a good deed for a British Columbia charity. 
  • Women's Four Nations Cup: Team USA defeated Sweden yesterday 10-0 with Sioux alums Jocelyne Lamoureux (1G, 1A) and Monique Lamoureux (0G, 2A) each posting a multi-point game for the Americans. Team USA's next action comes today against arch-rival Canada at 6:00 CST while UND defenseman Johanna Fallman and Sweden will take on Finland today at 2:30. Finland, featuring current UND forwards Michelle Karvinen and Susanna Tapani, dropped a tight 3-1 decision to Canada yesterday.
  • World Junior A Challenge: Canada West and UND recruit Rhett Gardner earned the top seed out of Group B by going 2-0 in group play. They have advanced to Friday's semifinals where they will take on Group A's second seed. Team USA, featuring UND recruits Austin Poganski, Nick Schmaltz, and Ryan Mantha, opened group play last night with an 8-3 thrashing of Russia. Schmaltz scored two goals and assisted on two others and now has 12 points (7G, 5A) in his last five games of international competition dating back to August's Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. Team USA's next game comes today at 6:00 CST against Canada East.
  • NTDP Four Nations Tournaments: Recruits Shane Gersich and Christian Evers will be participating in a pair of Four Nations tournaments this week. Gersich and the NTDP Under-18 team will be in Finland while Evers and the Under-17 team will be in Slovakia. Both teams will play pre-tournament games today with regulation action beginning Friday. Check out USA Hockey's Four Nations info page for full schedules and notes for both teams.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Morning Post

  • For a good look at this weekend's action, check out Brad Schlossman's Friday Morning Reading and USCHO's weekly NCHC picks.
  • SCSU's Nick Oliver, a Roseau High alum, is excited to be heading to Grand Forks this weekend as he expects to see plenty of familiar faces in the stands.
  • Dave Tippett earned his 165th win as head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes last night against Nashville, tying him with Bob Francis for the franchise record. Tippett also has the fifth highest point percentage (.613) in NHL history among coaches who have been behind the bench 500 or more games. Tippett's outstanding coaching resume tends to fly under the radar considering he doesn't lead one of the league's more ritzy franchises, yet he continues to put highly competitive teams on the ice year in and year out. What's interesting is to compare the careers of Tippett and Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. They're both in their 11th season as head coaches, with Babcock having coached 799 games to Tippett's 800. Babcock has 452 career victories to go along with a .635 points percentage while Tippett has notched 436 wins on his way to his .613 points percentage. Tippett's squads have missed the playoffs just twice in the past ten seasons, while Babcock's have done so only once. Tippett has never experienced a losing season percentage-wise, with his lowest single-season point percentage (.506) coming in 2008-09, his last season in Dallas. Babcock had a point percentage of .463 in 2003-04, his final season as head coach of Anaheim. The numbers do tilt towards Babcock, particularly considering his Detroit squad won the Stanley Cup in 2007-08. But considering the stark contrast in franchise stability between Detroit and Phoenix, Tippett's coaching numbers stack up quite nicely to Babcock's.
  • On Saturday night Jonathan Toews will play his first regular season NHL game in his hometown of Winnipeg, and he's pretty pumped for the occasion.
  • Toews has been named a finalist for Sportsnet's Canadian Athlete of the Year.
  • Andy Strickland of True Hockey wonders, is TJ Oshie playing the best hockey of his career right now?
  • St. Louis has had a couple of forwards go down with injuries recently, leading them to recall Chris Porter from Chicago (AHL).
  • And here's the latest edition of Through These Doors:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday Morning Post

  • Senior forward Michelle Karvinen was named the WCHA Offensive Player of the Week following her strong performance in UND's road sweep of St. Cloud State. Karvinen picked up five points (4G, 1A) on the weekend and her seven goals on the season lead the nation.
  • Karvinen will not be in the lineup when UND travels to Bemidji State this weekend. UND will also be without freshman forward Susanna Tapani and junior defenseman Johanna Fallman as all three will be preparing to compete in the women's Four Nations Cup in Lake Placid, NY, November 5-9. Tapani and Karvinen will represent Finland, while Fallman will skate for Sweden. Also competing at the Four Nations will be Sioux alums and Team USA standouts Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux.
  • The UND men's hockey Twitter account Tweeted yesterday that sophomore forward Drake Caggiula practiced without limitation. This is most certainly a positive sign for Caggiula, who took a nasty head-over-heels spill during Saturday's exhibition game against Team USA. Hopefully we will see him in the lineup this weekend against St. Cloud State.
  • UND freshman defenseman Keaton Thompson was featured in his hometown newspaper yesterday.
  • The coaching staff of the BCHL's Penticton Vees will be in Grand Forks this weekend to watch a number of their former players take to the ice at Engelstad Arena.
  • Danny Kristo continues his strong play to start the AHL season. Last night he picked up a goal and two assists in Hartford's 5-3 win over Bridgeport, giving him twelve points (7G, 5A) in ten games. While Kristo's performance thus far is impressive, Blue Seat Blogs stresses the importance of patience in letting prospects develop at the proper level.
  • Corban Knight notched a goal and an assist, including the overtime game winner, in Abbotsford's 5-4 win over Utica last night. He now has nine points (4G, 5A) in ten games, putting him right up there with Kristo among the AHL's top rookie scorers.
  • The Ottawa Sun says Hockey Canada would do right in naming Jonathan Toews captain for the 2014 Winter Olympics, going so far as to call him "the best all-around player in the world."
  • TJ Oshie is off to the best start of his career for the St. Louis Blues, having notched ten points (2G, 8A) in ten games with a +8 rating. The creative and relentless Oshie has helped drive the Blues towards the top of the Central Division with a refreshing dose of class.
  • North Dakota recruit Rhett Gardner (Okotoks-AJHL) was named to Canada West's roster for the 2013 World Junior A Challenge. Gardner, part of UND's excellent class of 1996 birth-year commitments, was one of 13 forwards selected out of the 36 invited to camp.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday Morning Post

  • Last Saturday's matchup with the NTDP Under-18 team might not have counted in the standings, but it was certainly more than just an exhibition game for UND.
  • Mario Lamoureux has signed a Professional Try-Out contract with the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL). Lamoureux began the season with the ECHL's Ontario Reign, where he produced three goals in four games.
  • Jonathan Toews notched his third career hat trick last night in helping lead Chicago to a come from behind victory against Ottawa. Here are the goals:

  • Sioux alum Ryan Johnson was named Player Development Consultant for the Vancouver Canucks.
  • Rangers Unlimited checks in to see how top NYR prospect Danny Kristo is faring in Hartford, with video of all six of Kristo's goals this season. Kristo has nine points (6G, 3A) in nine games thus far, second most among AHL rookies.
  • Fox Sports West produced a really nice video featuring LA King winger Matt Frattin. Frattin discusses his move to southern California, his locker room banter with former Cornell goaltender Ben Scrivens, and his line dancing abilities. Check it out: 

  • UND recruit Trevor Olson scored a pair of goals this past weekend as he's making the most of what's left of his USHL career. Olson, who will suit up for North Dakota next fall, is set to undergo season ending surgery in mid-November.
  • Defenseman recruit Tucker Poolman scored his first goal of the season Sunday afternoon in the second period of Omaha's 6-5 win over Muskegon. He added two more in the third period for his first career USHL hat trick.
  • A pair of exhibition games will get The World Junior A Challenge rolling this weekend, with pool play commencing next Monday. Team USA's entry will feature three North Dakota recruits in Ryan Mantha, Austin Poganski, and Nick Schmaltz while Rhett Gardner is currently battling for a roster spot at Canada West's selection camp.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Morning Post

  • The UND men take on USA Hockey's NTDP Under-18 team Saturday night in an exhibition tilt. Here are the game notes from each squad: North Dakota and Team USA
  • The UND women, meanwhile, are on the road for the first time this season as they are in St. Cloud to take on the Huskies. Here are each school's game notes: North Dakota and St. Cloud State
  • Brock Nelson picked up his first career NHL goal earlier this week, and one look at his family tree will show you that his hockey success shouldn't come as a surprise.
  • Defenseman Brian Lee's (Tampa Bay-NHL) knee injury rehab is progressing nicely, though he still appears to be a few weeks out from returning to action.
  • Darcy Zajac is expected to be out of the Albany Devil lineup for an extended period after suffering an upper body injury.
  • Matt Greene is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this coming summer, but the Los Angeles Kings are looking to re-sign their alternate captain.
  • Zach Parise scored his fifth goal of the season last night in Minnesota's 3-1 victory over Minnesota-Duluth alum Justin Faulk and the Carolina Hurricanes. Parise and Faulk became friends and workout partners this past summer, and they hope to become teammates in February.
  • says North Dakota recruit Nick Schmaltz is following in his older brother Jordan's footsteps.
  • It's been a bit of an up and down start to the season for Fargo (USHL) goalie Cam Johnson, but he's using his helmet artwork in an attempt to summon the Force.
  • Much has been written and said regarding NCAA committed recruits shunning the college game in order to play major juniors. Here's a look at the issue from a Canadian prospective.
  • And here is the latest edition of Through These Doors:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

UND Recruit Update

Here are a few notes on how some of UND's recruits are performing thus far this season:
  • After playing Minnesota high school hockey the past few seasons, Shane Gersich has hit the ground running with the NTDP Under-18 team. Through ten games he has produced nine points (4G, 5A), including a team high two game winning goals. Gersich and the Under-18ers will be spending this weekend in North Dakota as Friday night they are scheduled to take on Fargo in a USHL matchup followed by Saturday night's exhibition game against UND. For those of you who have yet to see Gersich play, I expect you will like his game. He's a really good skater in that he's quick, fast, has good explosiveness, and is strong on his skates. He plays well in all three zones as a defensively responsible forward who hounds the opposition with his skating and quick, active stick. He has a very strong shot, he's strong on the puck, and he isn't afraid to go to the net. He's a fun player to watch.
  • After missing the first two games of the season due to injury, Jack Rowe has scored three goals in three games for Cedar Rapids (USHL).
  • Nick Schmaltz produced four points (1G, 3A) in two games this past weekend. He leads Green Bay (USHL) in scoring with ten points (4G, 6A) in nine games.
  • After going pointless during the first five games of the season, Rhett Gardner has produced nine points (3G, 6A) in his last ten games with the Okotoks Oilers (AJHL).
  • The Fargo Force (USHL) have struggled offensively this season having scored just eight goals in their seven games, but 16 year-old Christian Cakebread has scored three of them (38% of the team total).
  • Christian Evers missed a handful of games due to injury earlier in the season, but the NTDP Under-17 team defenseman has produced four assists in the six games he has played.
  • Austin Poganski leads Tri-City (USHL) with four points (4G, 0A) in six games. Right behind him is Chris Wilkie with three points (1G, 2A) in seven games.
  • Sioux City (USHL) forward Trevor Olson has produced three points (1G, 2A) in three games since his return from injury. Teammate Ryan Mantha has chipped in with a goal and two assists in seven games on the blueline, despite his self-admitted troubles in the kitchen.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sioux in the Pros Update

Here's an update on how some of the Sioux alums playing professionally are faring early on this season:
  • Brandon Bochenski (Astana) is currently second in the KHL with 11 goals and fifth with 19 points through 19 games. Additionally, his three game winning goals are tied for third and his +14 rating is fifth best.
  • Rastislav Spirko leads Spartak Moscow (KHL) with 14 points (6G, 8A) in 18 games.
  • Danny Kristo (Hartford) is second among AHL rookies with 7 points (4G, 3A) in six games.
  • Kristo and Brad Malone are among the AHL's leading goals scorers with 4 each.
  • Corban Knight is tied for second on Abbotsford (AHL) with five points (1G, 4A) through seven games. His five points are also sixth most among AHL rookies.
  • The Ulmer brothers are off to strong starts in the Austrian elite league. Jeff leads Ljubljana with 14 points (7G, 7A) in 14 games while Jason leads Linz with 21 points (7G, 14A) in 15 games. Andrew Kozek (6G, 4A) and Curtis Murphy (3G, 7A) are also among the top scorers for Linz.
  • Jake Marto and Jason Gregoire are each among the top four scorers for Sodertalje (Sweden tier 2). Marto has nine points (2G, 7A) in 13 games while Gregoire has eight (2G, 6A) in eight.
  • Ryan Bayda's eight points (5G, 3A) are tied for the Augsburger (Germany tier 1) team lead.
  • Carter Rowney was signed by the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers and has two assists through two games.
  • Aaron Dell has signed a Professional Try-Out (PTO) contract with the Norfolk Admirals (AHL) but has yet to see game action. Earlier this fall Dell signed an ECHL contract with the Utah Grizzlies.

Wednesday Morning Post

  • Brock Nelson scored his first career NHL goal last night in the Islanders' 5-4 overtime loss to Vancouver. Nelson has appeared in five games for the Islanders this season, registering one goal and one assist.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs look at rookie Andrew MacWilliam as their future physical shutdown defenseman.
  • TJ Oshie says he got his competitive drive from his parents.
  • Colorado Rubber Magazine recently published features on Sioux alums Aaron Schneekloth and Ashley Furia. Schneekloth retired from his playing days this summer and is now serving as an assistant coach for the ECHL's Colorado Eagles while Furia is playing professionally in Sweden. The Schneekloth piece can be found on page 10, while Furia's feature is on page 14.
  • Russ Bitely listed his top American born players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft. UND recruits Shane Gersich, Austin Poganski, Nick Schmaltz, and Chris Wilkie all made the list, with Schmaltz and Gersich making his top five.
  • USA Hockey announced its roster for the 2013 World Junior A Challenge, and making the team are North Dakota recruits Schmaltz, Poganski, and Ryan Mantha. Schmaltz is prominently featured in this piece as one of three Green Bay (USHL) players named to the team.
  • Canada West also announced its WJAC evaluation camp roster, and Rhett Gardner has earned an invite. Gardner's season got off to a bit of a slow start with Okotoks (AJHL) but he has since produced eight points in his last nine games. He says he hopes to parlay that momentum into a strong performance at camp. The World Junior A Challenge runs from November 4 through November 10 and all games will be streamed by FastHockey.
  • The Scouting Report recently released its top 30 prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft and Schmaltz came in at number 17.
  • A number of Sioux alums are off to strong starts this season, both in North America and overseas. A post detailing some of those starts is forthcoming. Update: The Sioux in the Pros Update has been posted.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday Morning Post

  • The big news that broke yesterday was Ryan Gropp foregoing his commitment to UND in order to sign with the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds. It sounds as though this was a decision made primarily by Gropp without much pressure from Seattle, and perhaps initially against the wishes of his parents. While the decommitment of a very talented player certainly stings, this isn't nearly as crucial as JT Miller's decision to sign with New York and go to Plymouth a month before he was expected to start classes at UND. When I put together this recruit matrix last month, I anticipated Gropp's arrival in Grand Forks to come in the fall of 2015. I'm not sure when the North Dakota staff planned on him arriving, but there is time to replace him with some of the outstanding talent that is currently uncommitted
  • International Scouting Services released its updated top 30 prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft and two UND recruits made the list. Nick Schmaltz is ranked number 25 while Austin Poganski is ranked number 30.
  • Despite a nagging lower body injury that was anticipated to keep him out of the lineup long-term, recruit Trevor Olson saw his health improve enough that he was upgraded to questionable to return to action. Sioux City's captain eventually did return to the lineup, recording an assist and a +1 rating in his first action of the season last Friday.
  • While TJ Oshie's rugged & physical style of play might make him more susceptible to injury, he doesn't plan on changing anything about his game any time soon.
  • David Toews has been released by the ECHL's Reading Royals.
  • Rocco Grimaldi's slick second period goal from Friday night's 5-3 victory over Vermont is among the top 5 plays of the week

Friday, October 4, 2013

1st Annual NCHC Blog/Web Media Preseason Poll

The telltale signs of fall are everywhere. Temperatures are falling, leaves are blowing, and pucks are dropping. As hard as it may be to believe, another hockey season is now upon us, and it is a season that, due to the shakeup that is conference realignment, ushers the college hockey landscape into a transformed era.

One element of this shifted landscape is the creation of a new league: the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Old foes from the WCHA have joined together with what are sure to become new and fierce rivals from the CCHA. Top to bottom, there may not be a stronger, more competitive conference in all of college hockey. That, of course, will all be fleshed out on the ice in due course. But prior to the first official NCHC puck being dropped, a number of hockey-loving blog & web media types dusted off the ol' thinking caps, dug out the Ouija boards, and, at least in my case, relied on the ever-trusty Magic 8 Balls in order to present to you the 1st Annual NCHC Blog/Web Media Preseason Poll.

The poll had 16 participants, representing six of the eight schools that make up the conference. Thanks to all who participated (listed at the bottom), and here are the results:

Team (1st Place Votes)Points
1.Miami (11)123
2.North Dakota (2)103
3.St. Cloud State (3)100
6.Colorado College45
6.Western Michigan45

All-Conference Team

F - Austin Czarnik, Miami
F - Ryan Walters, Nebraska-Omaha
F - Rocco Grimaldi, North Dakota
D - Joey LaLeggia, Denver
D - Dillon Simpson, North Dakota
G - Ryan McKay, Miami

Preseason Player of the Year
Austin Czarnik, Miami (8)

Others receiving multiple votes:
Ryan Walters, Nebraska-Omaha (4)
Riley Barber, Miami (2)

Rookie of the Year
Dominic Toninato, Minnesota-Duluth (6)

Others receiving multiple votes:
Adam Tambellini, North Dakota (4)
Will Butcher, Denver (2)
Anthony Louis, Miami (2)

Defenseman of the Year
Joey LaLeggia, Denver (10)

Others receiving multiple votes:
Dillon Simpson, North Dakota (3)

Breakout Player of the Year
Joey Benik, St. Cloud State (5)

11 others received a single vote.

Again, a big thank you to everyone who took part:
Timothy Boger,
Kelly Green & White (North Dakota)
Jeremy Larson (@jclarson02),
Husky Hockey Time (St. Cloud State)
Andrew Craig,
College Hockey High Horse (Minnesota-Duluth)
Brian Halverson, Minnesota Hockey Magazine
Matt Christians (@Matt_Christians),
UMD Bulldog Country/CHN/SBN (Minnesota-Duluth)
Chris Peters (@chrismpeters), United States of Hockey/
Dave Berger, Sioux Sports (North Dakota) 
Donna, Runnin' With the Dogs (Minnesota-Duluth)
Dave Starman (@DStarmanHockey), CBS Sports Network
Rick Shanley (@rickshanley), Western College Hockey Blog (Western Michigan)
UMD Hockey Blog (Minnesota-Duluth)
Eric Burton (Goon),
Goon's World/The Hockey Writers (North Dakota)
Joe Paisley, The CS Gazette College Hockey Blog
(Colorado College)
Doug Cutler & Mike Swainey (@MiamiHockeyBlog), The Blog of Brotherhood (Miami)
Donn Schuschke (Sioux 7),
Goon's World (North Dakota)
Chad, A Tradition of Excellence (North Dakota)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thursday Morning Post

  • Due to this season's conference realignment, USCHO says a new generation is now born in men's college hockey.
  • Valley News Live says UND is heading into both a new season and a new era.
  • The Herald examines the local connections on this season's team.
  • The United States of Hockey previews some of the nation's impact freshmen, and UND's Wade Murphy, Gage Ausmus, and Adam Tambellini are all included.
  • Gab Fundaro of The Hockey Writers says the UND women have enough depth and talent to potentially make a run at the Frozen Four.
  • Travis Zajac will be wearing the A as an alternate captain for New Jersey this season, while TJ Oshie is expected to be named an alternate captain for St. Louis. They join Jonathan Toews (C - Chicago), Matt Greene (A - Los Angeles), and Zach Parise (A - Minnesota) as Sioux alums wearing letters in the NHL. Drew Stafford is no longer serving as an alternate captain for Buffalo.
  • The Minnesota Wild season begins tonight against Los Angeles with Zach Parise and company wanting more for an encore to last season's first round playoff exit.
  • The AJHL has opened voting in an effort to determine their Top 50 All-Time Players, and there is a big Sioux presence (including current captain Dillon Simpson) in the opening round of voting. 
  • Matt Greene was a guest DJ for KCRW this week. Take a listen to his set.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday Morning Post

  • The College Hockey News released its preseason All-CHN Teams and UND senior Dillon Simpson was named to the second team.
  • USCHO published its WCHA women's preview and they have North Dakota finishing second. They also released a more in-depth team preview of UND.
  • The Chicago Tribune examines the professional accomplishments of Jonathan Toews and says he compares more than favorably to the likes of Jordan, Gretzky, and Lemieux. (Note: Link to article did not work in Internet Explorer or Chrome, but it did in Firefox and mobile browser)
  • Motivated by what he calls just an average season, Zach Parise is looking to help lead the Minnesota Wild to the next level.
  • The NCHC listed the alums of member programs to make NHL opening day rosters and North Dakota leads the way with nine.
  • TJ Oshie says his ankle finally feels 100% for the first time in years.
  • Hockey This Week explores Brock Nelson's famous bloodlines.
  • Future Considerations released its October rankings of the top 30 NHL Draft prospects and UND commit Nick Schmaltz came in at number 19. Schmaltz made quite a jump as he did not appear on FC's preliminary rankings back in July, when Austin Poganski was ranked number 26.
  • The Scouting Report says Schmaltz's performance at last week's All-American Prospects Game helped bump up his draft stock, and they also had high praise for the performance of Shane Gersich.
  • Due to a lower body injury, recruit Trevor Olson has yet to play a game for Sioux City this season after being named team captain. He was scheduled to have an MRI earlier this week and based on this Tweet the results do not seem to have been favorable.  Olson, an over-ager who is in his last season of junior eligibility, really saw his USHL career take off last season following his trade to Sioux City from Green Bay.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday Morning Post

  • Looking for a quick way to get up to speed on the men's college hockey season? The United States of Hockey has put together a 2013-14 college hockey preview that includes rankings for each conference and capsules for all 59 teams.
  • As a professional rookie Brock Nelson got a taste of the NHL in the playoffs last season in the Islanders' first round series against Pittsburgh, and now he has earned a spot on New York's opening night roster.
  • Joe Gleason has signed a deal with the Rockford Icehogs, Chicago's AHL affiliate.
  • Following his hat trick yesterday for Astana (KHL), Brandon Bochenski now ranks among the league's top five in points (13), goals (7), game winning goals (3), and      +/- (+10).
  • Matt Greene will be spinning some records tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 on KCRW's Guest DJ Project. That should be worth a listen if you are able to catch it.
  • Kevin Allen of the USA Today says North Dakota recruit Nick Schmaltz is among the top American-born prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft. Schmaltz was interviewed following last week's All-American Prospects Game, and here's what he had to say:

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Morning Post

  • After establishing himself as more than just a long shot to make Philadelphia's opening night roster, Chris VandeVelde was the last forward cut made by the Flyers. He came into camp on an AHL deal and nearly parlayed it into an NHL contract. He will begin the season playing with Philly's AHL affiliate in Adirondack.
  • The New Jersey Devils have lost two of the world's best players over the past two seasons in Ilya Kovulchuk and Zach Parise. Their success this season will be greatly impacted by how strong Travis Zajac and the rest of their centermen play down the middle.
  • Despite being signed to a two-year, one-way contract in the offseason, Chris Porter was placed on waivers by the St. Louis Blues this weekend. Porter really established himself during the playoffs last season as part of the Blues' "CPR" line, but he ended up getting caught up in a numbers game during training camp. After clearing waivers, Porter will begin the season in the AHL.
  • TJ Oshie had a strong preseason camp for St. Louis while changing his spots in the locker room.
  • Brock Nelson proved he belongs in the NHL following a very good preseason. We'll find out today if he makes the Islanders' opening night roster.
  • Over the weekend Sioux alum JP Lamoureux was inducted into the Lincoln Stars (USHL) Hall of Fame.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Morning Post

  • Senior defenseman Dillon Simpson was named team captain for the 2013-14 season, with junior forwards Michael Parks and Stephane Pattyn serving as assistant captains. Simpson was also tabbed as a player to watch in the NCHC this year in CBS Sports Network analyst/College Hockey New columnist Dave Starman's NCHC overview.
  • The Hockey Writers' Gabriella Fundaro does a great job covering women's hockey and in her WCHA preview she says that despite their losses to graduation, North Dakota still has plenty of talent to make a run at the top of the WCHA standings.
  • Corban Knight's bid to make Calgary's opening night roster ended yesterday when he was assigned to their AHL affiliate in Abbotsford. Away from the rink Knight has been forced to deal with a natural disaster and CBC Sports took a look at his family's recovery from this past summer's devastating Alberta flooding.
  • NHL rookie Brock Nelson remains at New York Islanders' training camp, where he is fighting for a spot on the Isle.
  • Buffalo Sabres winger Drew Stafford is looking forward to the upcoming season with a refreshed optimism as he looks to put Buffalo's disappointing 2012-13 season behind him.
  • After signing the first one-way NHL contract of his career, Chris Porter finds himself in the middle of a logjam in terms of earning playing time in St. Louis. 
  • Mike Commodore will reportedly be joining Vladivostok (KHL) for the 2013-14 season, joining Brandon Bochenski and Rastislav Spirko as Sioux alums playing in Russia's "super league." Bochenski, by the way, is currently T-8th in points with 10 (4G, 6A) while Spirko is T-18th with 8 (5G, 3A).
  • Tony Hrkac will be inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday.
  • Nick Schmaltz and Ryan Mantha were part of the victorious Team Johnson at last night's All-American Prospects Game in Pittsburgh, defeating Team Mullen and Shane Gersich 5-2. Schmaltz picked up an assist and was very good throughout the game while Gersich may have been the best player on the ice for the first period plus. Overall he played a fine game and was very noticeable in all three zones while Mantha played a solid defensive game. The United States of Hockey offers a nice recap of the event.
  • UND recruits Austin Poganski and Chris Wilkie are hoping to form a dynamic duo for Tri-City (USHL) this season as the past, present, and future teammates look to help kickstart the Storm's offense. A highlight of the article is the North Dakota recruiting pitch Wilkie gave to Poganski while the two were playing in the Under-17 Four Nations Tournament. It worked.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday Morning Post

Former Player Updates:
Recruit Updates:
  • UND received a big verbal commitment this week from Christian Cakebread of the Fargo Force, a 1997-born forward who comes out of the Arizona Bobcat AAA program.
  • Recruits Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Mantha, and Shane Gersich are all set to take part in tonight's All-American Prospects game in Pittsburgh (6:00 PM CDT start). Austin Poganski was originally scheduled to participate as well, but a minor injury will keep him out of the lineup. The United States of Hockey has a preview of the event, which can be viewed free of charge via FastHockey.
  • The NHL's Central Scouting Service released its Preliminary Watch List for the 2014 NHL Draft, and a handful of North Dakota recruits are on the NHL's radar. Nick Schmaltz is listed as an A Skater (potential first round pick), Ryan Mantha, Austin Poganski, and Chris Wilkie are listed as B Skaters (potential second to third round picks), and Rhett Gardner and Shane Gersich are C Skaters (potential fourth round and later picks).
  • Schmaltz came in at number 13 on Bob McKenzie's 2014 NHL Draft Preseason Report.
  • Charlie Pelnik is expected spend the next couple of seasons playing for the Langley Rivermen (BCHL).