Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday Morning Link-O-Rama

I have a li'l linkorama to brighten your Monday morning. A few new items, but mostly a catch-up of things that I've missed over the past week or two.


New Stuff:

Todd has updates on the Badgers' new pros, including KT, Davis Drewiske, Kyle Klubertanz, and Josh Engel.

Baggot lists the Badgers who are chasing Lord Stanley.

Hockey in Wisconsin has a nice summary of season stats for Badger recruits (and Wisconsin-born players) playing in the USHL. (I can't link the specific post, but it's the Sunday News & Notes post on 4/6/08).


Catch-up:

A very brief non-informative interview, but hey, it's always nice to hear seniors say nice things about their time at Wisconsin, as Josh Engel did in this little interview.

I can't believe I missed it (well, actually, I can, because I wasn't paying much attention to anything online for a several weeks), but about a month ago the Badger Herald had a great article about the seniors.

Hockey's Future has been releasing their Spring 2008 top 20 prospects for each NHL team.
  • Jamie McBain is the Hurricanes' # 2 overall prospect and top defensive prospect.
For the second straight year, McBain has been a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for one of college hockey's powerhouses. The sophomore blueliner is tied for fourth on the Badgers with 21 points, netting three goals and 18 assists. He's also a team-best plus-11. Like Sutter, McBain also played at the World Juniors, joining Team USA for the second straight year. While he registered just one assist in six games, his play was considered solid in the tournament. Interestingly, McBain's coach, Mike Eaves, is the father of new Hurricane Patrick Eaves.
  • Brian Elliott is the Senators' #7 overall prospect and top goalie prospect.
In his first pro season, Elliott has developed into a reliable goaltender. He covers a lot of net with his 6’2, 206 lbs frame, but his best asset is his quick reflexes. Competing with Jeff Glass for the starter role for most of the season, Elliott has emerged on top and has earned the bulk of the playing time since February. He has started all but three games in March and has helped put Binghamton within reach of a playoff spot. His save percentage is a sturdy .915, he has a 2.83 GAA overall, and has an 18-19-1 record.

Earlier in the season, when Ray Emery was still recovering from injury, Elliott was given his first NHL start on Oct. 10. He stood tall stopping 29 of 30 shots to earn his first career victory. A former Wisconsin Badger, Elliott signed an entry-level contract in March 2007 after four years of NCAA hockey. He is the top goaltender prospect in the Ottawa system.
In his freshman year for the University of Wisconsin, Turris leads the Badgers in scoring with 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 33 games. It wasn’t really a shock that Turris would gravitate to the top of the scoring, as much as it was that the Badgers as a whole lacked a lot of chemistry. His skill shined through, yet he still looked a bit small when it came to matching up with the competition. He is now ninth in the nation among rookies in points per game at .97. In international play at the 2008 WJC, he lead Team Canada in scoring with eight points (4 goals, 4 assists) in seven games played. The big question is whether the Coyotes 2007 top pick will sign as a pro this summer instead of returning to Madison this fall. Expect Turris to be a factor in either setting.
HF has also been releasing it's Top 50 prospects, and Ryan McDonagh makes his appearance at #30.
McDonagh joined the University of Wisconsin this season and looked good, though his team had a down year. He was paired with senior Jamie McBain (CAR) for the majority of the season and did not look out of place while logging top minutes as a freshman. Noted for his skating and poise under pressure, the solid two-way defenseman was also able to show some glimpses of his offensive capabilities this season. McDonagh probably will not make it through four seasons in Madison before being called upon to join the defensive ranks in Montreal.
Cody Goloubef made an appearance on THN's The Hot List.
3. Cody Goloubef, D – Wisconsin Badgers (WCHA): While many of this week's Hot Listers had an easy route to the playoffs, standout freshman defenseman Goloubef and his fellow Badgers had to simply hold their breaths and pray. An early exit from the WCHA playoffs will do that, so there were a lot of crossed fingers when the Frozen Four brackets were announced.

“After we lost to St. Cloud, we knew there was still hope,” Goloubef said. “We still practiced and Sunday morning we all got together to watch the announcement on TV. When we heard we were in, we practiced that night as well and we've been getting ready ever since.”

Despite being the No. 3 seed in the Midwest regional, the Badgers will get to play their opening match at home at the Kohl Center, a fortuitous stroke of luck not lost on them.

“It's going to be an unbelievable advantage,” Goloubef noted. “Our fans are ridiculous – it's going to be like having a sixth skater on the ice.”

You would think the powerhouse Badgers would have fought for a WCHA title this year, considering the squad boasts Goloubef and NHL draft picks such as Kyle Turris (Phoenix), Jamie McBain (Carolina), Ryan McDonagh (Montreal) and Goloubef's roommate, Brendan Smith (Detroit), but it was not to be. Wisconsin struggled to a .500 record, which Goloubef said will help the team going forward.

“I think it builds character,” he said. “You learn from your mistakes.”

Goloubef, who grew up in the Toronto suburb of Oakville, models his game after Maple Leaf defenseman Tomas Kaberle.

“I like the poise and confidence he has carrying the puck up the ice,” he said. “He's so calm, never rushing, always has his head up – nobody ever seems to get the puck off him.”

That is something Goloubef hopes becomes the word about him, as well. Draft eligible in 2008.