Sunday, June 29, 2008

Draft Notebooks

Picture from College Hockey News









I noticed that we failed to link the draft notebooks and such from the major college hockey news sources (USCHO, College Hockey News and to a much much much lesser extent Inside College Hockey). Not much going on, so here is some reading to pass the time.

USCHO:

NCAA 1st Round Review

NCAA has good Second Round (though apparently USCHO doesn't count Derek Stepan as a recruit or can't count past 3.)

College Hockey News:

Draft Roundup

INCH:

1st Round Notebook

2nd Round Notebook


INCH's 2nd round notebook is why they are the the most worthless College Hockey news outlet. On the 2nd day of the draft, Wisconsin has 6 kids drafted, 4 in the 2nd round alone, yet they don't mention any of this. The only mention of Wisconsin is Ryan McDonagh being drafted by Montreal in 2007. College Hockey is a small family, and one of the family members has 6 young men drafted (best NCAA draft for the 2nd year in a row), that isn't good enough for a paragraph in your notebook? They must still be pissed about the NCAA Regional and some Wisconsin fans throwing coins onto the ice during the North Dakota game. Not to mention on the top of their site right now is a picture of BC w/ President Bush and they label him "a lame duck". Regardless of if I like or dislike our current President, INCH is not the place for political commentary, and way to ruin the caption of the picture for the 2008 NCAA Champs.

Hockey's Future Reviewing the Draft

Though the draft is a week old, I still like talking about it. Hockey's Future has been doing reviews of the NHL club's drafts. The don't have all of them out yet, but a good start.

The New York Rangers made Derek Stepan the 51st pick overall, and they say some nice things about Derek. His dad was drafted by the Rangers back in the day as well.

The Montreal Canadiens took Ratty Johnson in the 7th round. The Canadiens project Ratty to becoming one of the more dominant players in College Hockey. Well, twist my arm, I won't be complaining if that happens.

Lastly, they did a broad overview of NCAA Hockey's day(s) at the draft. Cody Goloubef has a nice quote worth repeating here:

“It's an honor to be here,” said Goloubef. “It's every kid's dream to be drafted in the NHL, no matter where you go...You play against men at school. Being young, everybody is bigger and stronger than you are. Everyone targets you because maybe you're not going to be as good or be as big or strong. But I fought through that, worked hard with (University of Wisconsin assistant coach) Mark Osiecki all year long to keep my game up and become a difference-maker out there. He’s a big part of why I'm so successful, so I've just got to thank him.”

A lot of nice things said about Coach Osiecki, can't help but draw more top college bound Dmen to Wisconsin in the coming seasons.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Preview Video #7

This time around its which Badger would make the best President.

This one had me laughing out loud toward the end. Unlike some of the other more serious videos, this one is like an expanded version of "ask a Badger" during intermission.

When asked what would happen if Blake Geoffrion was president, "Big" John Mitchell says w/ a straight face, "I think I would become a communist."

USHL Protected Lists

Dplaya over at the HIW Blog has a nice breakdown of UW recruits and Wisconsin kids who have made the protected lists of various USHL teams, according to the Unofficial USHL Blog.

The only difference I see w/ Dplaya's breakdown is Frankie Simonelli is listed as dropped by the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. This makes sense since Frankie was recently offered a spot in the US NTDP for next year, and will likely play for them in 2009/2010 as well, before beginning his career at Wisconsin.

By my count, there are 10 Badger recruits who will be playing in the USHL next season. I'm pretty sure Tyler Lapic is headed back to his high school in Minnesota, but if not that makes 11.

Tentative Women's Schedule

I've recently taken to checking the USCHO Women's Hockey forum, and so happened upon poster sunprairie's update of the tentative UW Women's Hockey Schedule for next season. I figured it was worthwhile sharing this, since most people probably don't frequent USCHO. There are still a few series to be scheduled by my math, and hopefully UW will have the official schedule out soon. I've been waiting around for this schedule as I plan to purchase a season ticket and take in as many of their games as I can.

Big thanks to USCHO poster sunprairie for keeping this updated!

Sept. 26 – Quinnipiac 7:07
Sept. 27 – Quinnipiac 7:07
Oct. 3 – Open
Oct. 4 – Open
Oct. 10 – at OSU 7:07
Oct. 11 – at OSU 7:07
Oct. 17 – open
Oct. 18 – Open
Oct. 24 – Open
Oct. 25 - Open
Oct. 31 – UMD 7:07
Nov. 1 – UMD 7:07
Nov. 7 – Open
Nov. 8 - Open
Nov. 15 – at UND time tba
Nov. 16 – At UND time tba
Nov. 21 – UNH in Ft. Myers, Fla.
Nov. 22 – UNH in Ft. Myers, Fla.
Nov. 28 – MSU time tba
Nov. 29 – MSU time tba
Dec. 5 – SCSU 2:07
Dec. 6 – SCSU 2:07
Dec. 12 – Open
Dec. 13 – Open
Dec. 19 – Open
Dec. 20 – Open
Dec. 26 – Open
Dec. 27 – Open
Jan. 2 – Open
Jan. 3 - Open
Jan. 9 – at UMD 7:07
Jan. 10 – at UMD 7:07
Jan. 16. UND time tba
Jan. 17 – UND time tba
Jan. 23 – at SCSU 7:07
Jan. 24 - at SCSU 2:07
Jan. 31 – OSU 2:07
Feb. 1 – OSU 1:07
Feb. 6 – Open
Feb. 7 Open
Feb. 13 – at MSU
Feb. 14 – at MSU
Feb. 20 – Open
Feb. 21 – Open
Feb. 27-March 1 – WCHA First Round
March 7 – WCHA Championship
March 8 – WCHA Championship
March 13 and 14 – NCAA Regionals
March 20 – 22 – NCAA Frozen Four in Boston

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Canada's U20 Team

Two current Badgers and a recent early departure have been invited to Canada's U20 Development Camp. Cody Goloubef and Brendan Smith will attempt to make the team as defensemen, and Kyle Turris was invited as a forward. Originally I wrote that KT would be a shoe in to make the team, but I don't see Sam Gagner or David Perron on the list. W/ KT suiting up for Phoenix come Fall, he likely won't be playing on the U20 team.

The trio makes up 75% of the players w/ a NCAA school listed as their 2007/2008. Riley Nash of Cornell is the other.

Looking at the roster of those invited is like looking at a draft board w/ the wealth of 1st and 2nd round NHL picks throughout.

Good luck to Cody, Brendan and Kyle on making the team, and in any future games that aren't against the US Team.

Burnaby's Patrick Wiercioch

Found this on USHL.com and saw that Hockey in Wisconsin posted earlier as well, but I can never get enough articles on Patrick Wiercioch. The Burnaby Now covers Patrick's draft day from a local prespective. Patrick played for the Burnaby Express during the 2006/2007 season.

Patrick has quickly emerged as my favorite recruit, I look forward to seeing them all in Cardinal and White, but Patrick really made an impression on me in my one viewing of him when the Omaha Lancers visited the Green Bay Gamblers in March.

I've probably said this before, but when the Lancers come to Green Bay or an USHL town near you this coming season, circle the date on your calendar and watch him play. Unfortunately, I think his stay in Madison starting in 2009 will be short, 2 seasons at most, but I don't think he'll disappoint while here.

More on Pavelski

According to this article, Joe Pavelski will make 3.275 million over his new 2 year deal.

The Sharkspage blog, also has more information and various quotes from Pavs and GM Doug Wilson. I couldn't link the specific post, but right now its on top. Sounds like Pavs learned a lot playing w/ Jeremy Roenick last season, both on and off the ice.

Joe is also getting married July 12th and on behalf of our humble blog, we wish Joe and his bride all the best!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wiercioch makes Hot List, again

For the second time in the past few months Patrick Wiercioch makes the Hockey News' Hot List of NHL prospects, this time in a draft recap version. He was ranked #2.

Patrick came into the draft ranked #72 in NHL Central Scouting, but vaulted up the board to be drafted 42nd overall by the Ottawa Senators.

Pavelski re-signs w/ Sharks

Joe Pavelski will be a San Jose Shark again next year and this article says its for two years. The contract amount was not disclosed.

The blurb (in either article) on Joe's 2007/2008 season is rather impressive and he is deserving of a lucrative deal. Nice to see three NHL Badgers getting extensions this year, joining Tom Gilbert and Ryan Suter.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

USHL and the NHL Draft

Found a nice article this morning (well at least morning in Pacific Time) by the Hockey News about the increase in USHL players being drafting by NHL teams, and the USHL's relation to NCAA Hockey. Patrick Wiercioch is quoted in the article as well.

In 2007 around 17% of the kids drafted were from the USHL, pretty impressive.

The articles makes some great points about 18 year olds playing against 22 year olds, and the type of development that fosters, which is very similar to NCAA Hockey. The CHL maxes out at 20 year old.

Since the Badgers have a lot of recruits in the USHL, its good to see the league get some good press.

Monday, June 23, 2008

UW Hockey Golf Outing

Thursday is the UW Hockey Golf Outing at University Ridge, and according to Andy Baggot there are still a few spots open for golf. Check out the link for all the details. For those who attend, enjoy yourself!

Another Schultz Article

I happened upon the BCHL website and found a local piece about young Justin Schultz.

Sounds like he was hoping to land w/ the Vancouver Canucks, since he's been a huge fan, but being a Duck isn't so bad.

2 Monday Evening Links

Just a couple of quick items this evening:

  • The latest 2008 Hockey Preview video is up -- Playing at the KC

  • DPlaya has a post on HIW regarding the National Select 16 Tourney. Future Badgers playing include Michael Mersch and Frankie Simonelli, and potential Badger recruits playing include Max Gardiner (Jake's brother). A number of Wisconsinites are also playing.

NHL Draft Thoughts

I didn't do very well w/ my pre-draft picks. I guess I had faith that Patrick Wiercioch would go before Justin Schultz, but other than that I wasn't very right. I thought some NHL teams would take fliers on a few of our recruits in the 6th and 7th rounds, maybe even the 5th.

All in all, I'm kinda glad I wasn't home to watch the 2nd day of the draft. It was an exciting 2nd round no doubt, but after that, a long wait. I was surprised to see Patrick Johnson drafted initially, but after thinking about it, I guess its not anymore of a stretch than a handful of other recruits who weren't drafted. I don't think anyone would argue that Patrick was one of, if not the hardest worker on the team last year. Sure he benefited from playing w/ KT and Geoffrion (pts wise), but Patrick made a lot of his own stuff happen through hard work. I'll be interested to see who his linemates will be this season, but I know one thing he'll bring his best every night, and hopefully that included a beat down of Joe Finley at some point.

Jake Gardiner was no surprise. After reading more about him, he certainly sounds like a project w/ his recent conversion to the blue line. Sure sounds like he has the talent, now Coach Oz needs to start molding him into a NHL caliber player. I think its fair to say that next season will be a rollercoaster ride for young Jake. The WCHA will really test him. Hopefully Jake understands the time this development will take, and won't rush himself.

The 2nd Round was impressive for other blue line recruits too. Cody Goloubef is a great pickup for Columbus, hopefully they don't need his services for a few seasons. He is a favorite of 60's, but really grew on me too as the season went one, and I would like to see 2 more years of him in Madison. Wiercioch and Schultz should be interesting to watch in Juniors again this season. Derek Stepan definitely went higher than I expected (but I don't know much), and I keep getting the feeling that after him, Jordy Murray and Matt Thurber get a few WCHA games under their belts, we'll forget all about the void left by Kyle Turris' departure.

Nick Pryor joined Wiercioch and Schultz as 2009 recruits when he was drafted in the 7th round. He must have had an impressive 2008, because he wasn't even on Central Scouting's mid term rankings, and just made the final cut. Looking forward to seeing him play in the USHL next season. He deserved to be drafted after providing our humble blog with the great reports from Russia awhile back.

As for the guys not drafted, Matt Thurber, Tyler Barnes and Jordy Murray were surprises for me. Someone commented somewhere either on Buckyville or USCHO, that Barnes didn't have much ice time against other great talent to gauge his true abilities. That makes some sense I suppose, he should get a better measuring stick next year in the USHL. Jordy Murray and Matt Thurber on the other hand, both were on championship teams this year, and both played huge roles in their teams achieving that level of success. As Andy Baggot said in his blog, NHL teams will regret not taking Thurber, and I think the same will be true for Murray. I believe they are both eligible for the 2009 NHL Draft still, and after good showings in the WCHA, a lot of teams will wish they had spent a 6th or 7th rounder on one of these kids. Hopefully they go much higher next season.

I think similar can be said for Barnes, Brock Montpetit, Chase Drake and Aaron Crandall. They weren't drafted this season, but should all be eligible next season (feel free to leave a comment if I'm wrong). Good seasons in the USHL should help their stock rise. That list doesn't include Jefferson Dahl and Gavin Hartzog either. Prehaps their names will be in the mix next season at this time as well for the 2009 NHL Draft.

Though the 2009 NHL Draft is a long way away, I wouldn't be surprised to hear 5+ more Badger player's names called, most of them being 19 year olds. I'm sure there will be great 18 years from around the world anxious to be picked, but the coaching staff has put together a great group of players who after another season of development, will prime for selection.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

An irrelevant Patrick Johnson blurb

As you know, I'm an Oilers fan, so I tend to stop by a variety of Oilers blogs on a semi-regular basis. Some of the Oilogosphere members, most notably Lowetide, have been less-than-thrilled with the Oilers use of their 7th round pick and have suggested better uses for the pick. I was pleasantly surprised to see Lord Bob offer Patrick Johnson as a missed opportunity, as I didn't really expect Patty to be on the radar of any non-American hockey fans.

Missed Opportunities: Patrick Johnson (#206 to Montreal) is a pretty good young player who put up 21 points as a true freshman with Kyle Turris and the University of Wisconsin. Numbers like that in your first year in the NCAA are pretty healthy, and even though size is a real issue he might have been worth a flier.

Of course, the random opinion of a random Oilers fan means absolutely nothing, but hey, it's about Patrick Johnson, and who doesn't like reading nice things about Patrick Johnson?

Sunday Evening Odds & Ends

  • On Friday, Uwbadgers.com posted the 6th installment of it's 2008 Hockey Preview Videos -- this video features Jamie McBain. I think we may have neglected to post on this blog the 6/11 feature on the captains. In case you missed any of the videos (I still haven't watched all of them yet), here's a link to all of the preview videos, as well as bonus coverage including Q&As with Engel/Drewiske/Klubertanz, Johnson/Davies, and equipment manager Steve Castelletti.


  • The University of Wisconsin Athletic Board has announced it's Athletic Board Scholars for the 2007-08 academic year. The athletes named are the top male and female atheletes for each sport. This list includes hockey players Ryan Jeffrey (legal studies) and Maria Evans (Geography and Environmental Studies). Nice work, Ryan and Maria!

  • The UW Athletic Department won a Silver Award at the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) annual convention for it's Badger Women's Hockey "Fill the Bowl" event. The promotion raised 8 barrels of food and over $5,000 for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Wisconsin. It also helped the Badgers set the NCAA women's hockey attendance record at 5,377.
  • Not sure if we mentioned this yet, but a couple of weeks ago Todd Milewski talked to Badger recruits Frankie Simonelli and Michael Mersch about the OHL.

  • Also, thanks to DPlaya, I have a link to a 6/10 THN article on Badger alumnus Chris Chelios. It's an amusing article that points out (in a fun way) just how old Chris Chelios really is.


  • Not Badger Hockey related, but the Denver Post has a good article about David Carle and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The article also includes a list of 4 athletes who have died unexpectedly from the disease and what they were doing at that time. Thanks to LetsGoDU for the link.

Post-Draft Wrap-Up

  • In his post-draft wrap-up on HIW, DPlaya includes (among other things) links to articles with quotes from Chase Drake (who wasn't drafted) and Patrick Wiercioch (who was drafted by the Sens). He also mentions that the Sens will be buying out Ray Emery's contract, perhaps opening the door for top goaltending prospect Brian Elliott.

  • Uwbadgers.com can't comment on the recruits who haven't signed LOIs yet, so they indicate that 4 Badgers were chosen in the draft. Milewski has the complete list of the 7 Badgers who were selected, and he wasn't kidding when he said it was a long wait between the 2nd and 7th rounds.

  • With 5 picks in the top 2 rounds (picks 17, 37, 42, 43, 51) and 4 defensemen chosen in the top 2 rounds (picks 17,37,42,43), Milewski argues that this might be the best draft ever for the Badgers. Baggot takes it a step further and argues that this might be the best draft ever for a college program, as no school has ever had 5 players taken with the top 51 picks. The UW record for number of Badgers chosen in a single draft is 8 (1982: Eric Faust, Patrick Flatley, Tony Granato, Jim Johannson, Dave Maley, Ted Pearson, Ernie Vargas, Marty Wiitala), but only two those players went in the top 2 rounds.


  • Overall, the 2008 draft was the "Year of the Defensemen" and that seems to hold for the Badgers this year as well. Baggot points out that in the last 3 drafts the Badgers had 8 defensemen taken in the first 2 rounds, to which Mike Eaves says ,"It's a growing reputation. The proof is in the pudding." And Anaheim GM Brian Burke (who selected 3 Badger defensemen in this year's draft) says, "The thing that sold it for us is that Wisconsin is a top program for developing players." (So, does this mean they'll let the 3 players they picked stick around for a bit?)

  • In the above Baggot post, Baggot expresses suprise that Thurber was not selected as the RLR listed him 84th and called him and "underrated gem". And apparently Baggot lost a friendly wager with Ray Thurber when he guaranteed Ray that Matt would be selected.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Draft-Day Interviews

Earlier I was lamenting that I had neglected to turn on the tivo and thus did not have any direct quotes from Cody Goloubef's interview during today's draft coverage. Luckily (and not surprisingly), Todd Milewski has saved the day for me and has a transcript of the interview which I'll go ahead and post here because I really enjoyed this interview. As I mentioned before, Cody was composed and well-spoken, and I'm so glad he's a Badger.

Green: Cody, I mean, this has got to be an exciting moment for you. Columbus Blue Jackets, what do you know about this hockey club?

Goloubef: It's a young hockey club, fairly new into the league. They want to win. They've got a lot of young guys. It's just a great organization. It's going to be fun to play for them.

Green: You grew up in southern Ontario, in Oakville, I believe, correct? So when you were growing up there and playing amateur hockey, was there a player in the National Hockey League that you really dreamed of becoming close to his abilities?

Goloubef: I think Tomas Kaberle out of Toronto. I'm a big Toronto fan so I watched him a lot. I just liked the way he is with the puck, real smooth and steady. That's been a guy I've always tried to mimic my game toward.

Green: What do you know about Ken Hitchcock and the coaching staff? Hitch is a disciplinarian, he's a guy that is very much an accountability type of guy, and I'm sure that probably is something that you're also used to.

Goloubef: That's something I've gotten used to at school right now with coach Mike Eaves. Real tough. He holds you to your mistakes and gives you a pat on the back when you do great. So I think it's going to be a good fit for me, something I've been preparing for and I'm looking forward to it.

I wish I had video or audio from that interview, as I liked it better than the other 2 interviews I found. The Blue Jackets have a decent interview on their front page. Gotta like Cody's attitude about not being picked in the 1st round and about working on his game. NHL.com also had an audio interview with Goloubef.

NHL.com also has an audio interview with Patrick Wiercioch, who didn't sleep much last night after being "in awe of all the great players still left" after the 1st round ended. Seems like a nice kid.

Unfortunately, NHL.com doesn't have interviews with any of the other Badgers selected, and I couldn't find any additional interviews on team websites.

However, the Ducks website has audio comments from their Director of Amateur Scouting Alain Chainey on their 2nd-round picks Justin Schultz and Nick Pryor. Calling Schultz a "very good hockey player", Chainey was quite complimentary of Schultz's hockey sense, skating, puck-moving ability, and offensive skills. Regarding Pryor, Chainey felt his talents were "worth taking a chance on" despite his size due to his skating and puck-moving abilities.

Wish I had interviews with the rest of the Badgers selected in this draft. If anyone finds any additional interviews, please let me know and I'll add them in. Thanks!

7th-Round Badgers

Patrick Johnson was selected with the #206 pick by the Montreal Canadiens. Congratulations, Ratty!

Nick Pryor was selected with the #208 pick by the Anaheim Ducks. Congratulations Nick!

Well, that's it for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft . . . 7 Badgers selected, including 1 whom wasn't necessarily expected to be drafted (although he certainly played well last season) . . .

A couple of non-Badger notes from the 7th round:
- Wisconsinite Nate Condon was selected with the #200 pick by the Colorado Avalanche.
- David Carle, who was recently diagnosed with career-ending hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, was selected with the #203 pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning. It appears that TB used their last-round pick to select David as a nice gesture to him. TB was aware of his condition when they drafted him, as he had notified the NHL and withdrawn from the draft. David attended Shattuck with the son of new TB owner Oren Koules.

2nd-Round Badgers

(A number of Badgers are going in the 2nd round. I'll continue to update this post as players continue to be picked and as players are interviewed.)

Cody Goloubef was selected with the #37 pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Congratulations, Cody!

Patrick Wiercioch was selected with the #42 pick by the Ottawa Senators. Congratulations, Patrick!

Justin Schultz was selected with the #43 pick by the Anaheim Ducks. Congratulations, Justin!

Derek Stepan was selected with the #51 pick by the New York Rangers. Congratulations, Derek!

One of the commentators made a brief comment about 2 Wisconsin kids (Schultz and Gardiner) going to Anaheim. Something complimentary about Eaves and something to the effect of the importance of going to a good program.

Nice interview with Cody Goloubef. I continue to be impressed with this kid, as he was composed (didn't seem nervous about being interviewed on national TV) and quite well-spoken. I don't have exact quotes (forgot to set the tivo), but when asked about what he knew about the BlueJackets, he said they're a young team that is looking win. When asked about the BlueJackets' coach being tough, he said he thought it'd be a good fit for him -- he's used to Coach Eaves being tough -- holding players to mistakes, but also recognizing good play as well. They had some nice video of Cody from Badger games, including a sweet pass to Kyle Turris.

2nd round is over . . .

Saturday morning Badger updates

Todd Milewski at The Capital Times has a story up about Jake Gardiner being selected #17 overall by the Ducks.

Andy Baggot
from the Wisconsin State Journal also checks in with an article on Gardiner and the histroy of Wisconsin defensemen.

Jake Gardiner had all the right things to say to the Ducks media as Adam Brady from anaheimducks.com gives us some insight on the pick.

The L.A. Times has a quick blirb about Gardiner in coverage mostly focused around Kings pick Drew Doughty.

The Battle of California blogger checks in with his thoughts on the draft selection of Gardiner.

St. Paul Pioneer Press has coverage of the the selection. Gardiner says he should be ready for the NHL in 1 to 2 years. I personally think it's more like 3 but we'll see.

Another gardiner article off the yahoo sports ticker.

Minneapolis Star Tribune's Michael Russo on Gardiner's selection.


I personally will be gone all day so don't expect any draft updates from me until tonight. Not sure if the other members of the staff are busy today or not. Hopefully I'll be checking in sometimes tonight for a recap.

USCHO has a draft tracker for just college hockey players that hopefully they will keep up to date during the day today.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ducks take Gardiner #17th overal. Goloubef will have to wait until day 2.

The Anaheim Ducks just drafted Minnetonka, MN defenseman Jake Gardiner #17th overall in the 2008 NHL Draft. Gardiner will be a freshman for the Wisconsin Badgers this fall.

Last winter I lived in Minneapolis and was friends with a scout from the Des Moines Buccaneers. One day we got talking about Jake Gardiner when we found out that Wisconsin had become interested in him. This was in the time that Gardiner was making the decision on if he was going to be a full time defenseman or forward. This scout told me that if Gardiner decides to become a defenseman and goes to Wisconsin that he will be a first round NHL pick in the 2008 draft. I actually laughed at him when he first said this. I guess he's the one who is laughing now.

Congratulations Jake on being drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft. You deserve it and we can't wait to see you this fall in the Cardinal and White.

Blog update
from Todd Milewski. (The Capital Times)
Blog update from Chris Dilks. (Western College Hockey)

Current Badger defenseman Cody Goloubef was not selected in the first round and will have to wait until tomorrow to find out where he is selected. There was a 50/50 chance that he could go in the first round but it didn't work out. Not a lot of surprises in the first round so far. Only 4 NCAA bound players were selected. Colin Wilson of BU at #7, Joe Colborne of Denver University at #16, Jake Gardiner of Wisconsin at #17, and Daultan Leveille of Michigan State at #29.

Colin Wilson first NCAA Player selcted

As expected Colin Wilson from Boston University is the first NCAA player selected and the second American. (Zach Bogosian went #3 to the Atlanta Thrashers) The next NCAA player to be selected with probably be Joe Colborne who is a Denver recruit. Expect him to go anywhere from 14-25 but probably around that #17 pick. After Colborne you have to look at Wisconsin recruit Jake Gardiner in that 18-35 range, Ohio State recruit Zac Dalpe in the 25-40 range, Minnesota recruit Aaron Ness in the 25-40 range and Wisconsin defenseman Cody Goloubef who is a bit of a wild card could go anywhere from 23-60.

Personally I think one of these players is going to probably be selected higher then we expected. I'm going to guess that it's Goloubef and say that he ends up going #21 to the New Jersey Devils.



Update:

The second NCAA player off the board is Denver recruit Joe Colborne. Colborne goes #16 to the Boston Bruins. I had him in that 14 to 25 range but probably about 17. I guess I was off by 1. Colborne played last season in the Alberta Junior Hockey League for Camrose. Colborne is arguably the #1 recruit in college hockey this season although I think Jordan Schroeder would argue that.

Link to blog post from the DU blog.

Update 2:

Wisconsin recruit Jake Gardiner was the second NCAA Player selected at #17 overall. A bit higher then I had expected but it's a good pick. The Devils have traded down from 21 to 23 so they won't be taking Goloubef at 21 like I had predicted but it's certainly possible they take him at #23.

Update 3:

Devils trade down to #24 swapping picks with the Wild and gaining a 3rd round pick next season. Could this be Goloubef at #24 to the Devils?

Update 4:

Goloubef still on the board after 29 picks. Might have to wait until tomorrow to see where he goes. The third NCAA player was selected at #29 with Daultan Leveille going to the Thrashers. He will be a freshman at Michigan State next season.

Friday night Badger links

Todd Milewski has a run down of a few mock drafts in how it pertains to Jake Gardiner and Cody Goloubef.

Todd Milewski also has an article up in todays TCT about the NHL draft interview process. Great stuff right there.

Andy Baggot has an article from last night about the possibility of 9 Badgers going in the draft today or tomorrow.

As usual, the Wild aren't expected to draft any Americans or NCAA players. Surprise, surprise. A lot of mock drafts had the Wild taking Gardiner but I just don't see it. Not a good fit.

Kare11 in the cities has an update on Gardiner.

Gandalf's NHL Draft Predictions

W/ an hour to spare before the 2008 NHL Entry Draft why not make some predictions. I'm in Eugene, OR and the Pacific Time Zone has thrown me off some.

I'm not an NHL scout or anything cool like that, I'm just making predictions for the fun of it. See how close (or far away) I am when the names are announced tonight and tomorrow.

Jake Gardiner - late first round, this seems rather likely based on most mock drafts

Cody Goloubef - late first round, I think Cody has really vaulted up the draft lists, and wouldn't be surprised to see him land w/ Detroit. Maybe 3 years from now we can watch Brendan Smith and Cody on the same line after finishing up their Wisconsin careers.

Patrick Wiercioch - late 2nd round, from the one time I saw him play, I really like this kid.

Justin Schultz - early 3rd round, his strength is an issue, which won't be an issue after several seasons in Madison.

Derek Stepan - late 3rd round, solid player who I'm really looking forward to seeing next season.

Tyler Barnes - 5th round, don't know much about him, looking forward to seeing him play next season in the USHL.

Jordy Murray - 5th round, the Blues take him here and in 4 years he could be playing for his dad. I think in general, Shattuck's kids will go higher than there NHL Central Scouting rankings.

Chase Drake - 6th round, he has a lot of room to grow and 2 season in the USHL and several in Madison could make him a real deal at this point.

Matt Thurber - 6th round, though not ranked in NHL Central Scouting, he has the ability to be a Joe Pavelski IMO. I can't wait to see him play.

Brock Montpetit - 7th round, he has a lot of skill, and should have a great season for Waterloo in the USHL next year.

Just looking at this list of players, its pretty outstanding that 4 of our Dmen recruits or players should be drafted in the top half of the draft. The coaching staff is doing a great job of bringing these kids in, and hats off to them for having so many kids in the Pipeline who could be drafted this weekend.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

NHL mock drafts with Badger ties

Over on Sixty Minutes. No Alibis. No Regrets. 2, we put together a list of how players with Badger ties are fairing in NHL mock drafts. Jake Gardiner and Cody Goloubef get the most attention because all but one of these mock drafts are for the first round only.

Thursday morning Badger links

It's getting kind of late but the Badger Hockey Golf Outing is June 26th. Thanks to Todd Milewkski for the link.

Coach Osiecki will be on hand at the NHL draft this weekend while head coach Mike Eaves will be at a prospect camp put on by Anaheim Ducks GM Brain Burke. Link from Andy Bagott.

uwbadgers.com did a sweet Q&A with Josh Engel and Davis Drewiske.

uwbadgers.com also has another video uploaded this time with a stuff on the upcoming NHL draft, and featuring Cody Goloubef.

Minneapolis Star Tribune put out a nice article on Jake Gardiner. Thanks to D-Playa for the link.

This has nothing to do with hockey, but Minnesota football coach Punky Brewster's kid decided to transfer. I love seeing turmoil in the Gopher Nation.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Badgers at 2008 NHL Draft

The 2008 NHL Draft is this Saturday so I thought we should put together where the current and future Badgers are in the draft rankings. Last year was a special draft for Wisconsin with 3 first round picks. This one won't yield as many first rounders, but we could have upwards of 12 players with Badger ties selected. You can find that information on our new blog for longer posts here.

Chris at the Western College hockey blog had a great idea when he created Western College Hockey 2 for longer blog posts. We are going to use that as well with a second blog to cover longer posts. You can find the link to our second blog here. It's still being put together but I wanted to get everyone the information on players with Badger ties asap.

Badgers, Anders Lee have mutual interest

Yesterday we had the opportunity to talk with potential recruit Anders Lee about how far along he is in the recruiting process. Lee will be a senior forward at Edina, H.S. (MN). If you follow college hockey recruiting closely, you may have remembered a false commitment to Harvard reported by Shooter of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. (surprise, surprise)

Lee said that he has visited the campus and got a tour by Eaves and forwards coach Kevin Patrick. He has been offered a scholarship for either 2010 or 2011 depending on departures. We will be losing lots of forwards for those 2 seasons so a player of Anders quality is needed.

Lee really has a good head on his shoulders and when asked what he was looking for in a school he told us this, "I'm looking for a place that I can see myself in for four years along with hockey. I look for a great education that Wisconsin has that, if my hockey career doesn't pan out i have a great education to fall back on."

Last season was his first at Edina, (where he is originally from) after transferring from St. Thomas Academy where he used to play with 2009 Badger goaltender recruit Aaron Crandall. Lee had 32 goals and 54 points and led the Hornets all the way to a runner up finish at the state AA tournament. Edina returns an extremely talented senior class with forwards Zach Budish (committed to Minnesota) and Marshall Everson (committed to Harvard).

On top of being extremely talented on the ice, he has some special skills on the football field as well. He was the starting quarterback for Edina as a junior last season and has drawn D-1 interest in football. Here are his 2007 football stats.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday night Badger hockey links

What I figured to be a slow news day turned into a very busy one for me. Here are a few new links of interest. This is my 5th post today so make sure you check out the posts below as well. Have an awesome night everyone. Awesome week to be a Badger so far.

Hockeys Future listed it's top draftable players from the USHL. 2009 defensive recruit Patrick Wiercioch is listed as the third best available prospect. Other notables with Badger ties are goaltender Aaron Crandall and Brock Montpetit.

I missed this from Thursday and 60 would shoot me if I didn't post this, but Tom Gilbert has been named to the NHL all rookie team. Jonathon Toews from UND was the only other college player selected.

NHL.com did a profile on Shattuck St. Marys Friday for the upcoming NHL draft.

NHL.com also profiled Minnesota high school defensemen Aaron Ness and Wisconsin recruit Jake Gardiner.

North Dakota recruit Mike Chichy spurns the QMJHL a week after the Q stole a Sioux recruit. Not Badger news but we want to keep the best players in college hockey regardless.

Comcast and the Big Ten network are reportedly close to a deal. If Comcast gets a deal done then I'm assuming it's only a matter of time before Charter does the same.

Ryan Suter gets new $14 millon dollar contract


The Nashville Predators made a big commitment to former Badger and former first round selection Ryan Suter today with a 14 million dollar deal. The deal is for 4 seasons.

"We have a great core to build on and to be one of the best in the National Hockey League," Predators general manager David Poile said. "Usually, when you have the best defense, I think that gives you a real good chance to compete for the prize, and that's ultimately what we want to do. That's why we're here today, and that's why we've taken another step in signing one of our core players in Ryan Suter."


Suter had a career high 31 points last season for the Predators. In his one and only season at Wisconsin he had 19 points in 39 games to go along with 93 penalty minutes.

Photo from ESPN.com

Frankie Simonelli invited to NTDP

2010 Wisconsin defensive recruit Frankie Simonelli who played last season for Team Illinois Major's has been invited to play for the United States NTDP U-17 squad next season. The assumption is that he will accept the invitation. This is a great honor and we should all be excited to keep the NTDP pipeline open. The training that they receive is first class.

It was only early June when we found out about Simonelli's commitment. He will be on a full scholarship with the University of Wisconsin. Not that it really means anything now that he has been invited to the NTDP and is expected to accept, but he was drafted by Cedar Rapids in the USHL draft and Plymouth in the OHL draft.

Congratulations Frankie.

Gardiner and McDonagh invited to WJC Camp

Freshman defenseman Jake Gardiner from Minnetonka high school, and will be sophomore Ryan McDonagh have been invited to the USA World Junior Championship evaluation camp. The camp runs Aug. 1-9th in Lake Placid, NY. The 2008 WJC will take place at the Canadian capital city, Ottawa. It would feel pretty darn good to beat the Canucks on their home ice wouldn't it? (No offense to any current, future, or past Canadian Badgers)

USA hockey has invited 53 players to the evaluation camp and they are broken into 2 teams. Usually they invite a team from Sweden and a Team from Finland to come to the camp as well to scrimmage the 2 USA teams. Here is the full roster from usahockey.com

UW assistant coach Mark Osiecki has been invited to the camp as well as an assistant coach.


Other players of note:


Mike Lee-Goaltender-Roseau H.S.-St. Cloud State recruit
Cade Fairchild-Defenseman-University of Minnesota sophomore
Blake Kessel-Defenseman-University of New Hampshire freshman (From Madison)
Aaron Ness-Defenseman-University of Minnesota freshman
Jack Connolly-Forward-University Of Minnesota Duluth freshman
Jake Hansen-Forward-University of Minnesota freshman
Mike Hoeffel-Forward-University of Minnesota sophomore
Danny Kristo-Forward-USA NTDP-North Dakota recruit
Drew LeBlanc-Forward-St. Cloud State freshman
Jordan Schroeder-Forward-University of Minnesota freshman
Patrick White-Forward-Universtiy of Minnesota sophomore

Wisconsin Recruit Map


A little visual as to what Eaves and co have been doing on the recruiting scene. Also a guess on early departures. I added in green some potential Wisconsin recruits. Click on image to enlarge.

Bearson leaving is a pure guess on my part I have no knowledge of him actually leaving. I don't want to see him go anywhere I just don't see him cracking the lineup his next 2 seasons at Wisconsin. Might as well transfer out or sign with Florida as soon as possible.

Friday, June 13, 2008

For your Friday morning viewing pleasure...

The most important link of the day. College hockey lost a friend yesterday when Colorado College's equipment manager, Ed Warner, who was only 35 years old, died of a massive stroke a few days after returning from a trip to Italy with the womens soccer team.

Todd Milewski from the Capital Times has an updated list of UW Men's hockey recruits and departures for the next 4 seasons.

Andy Baggot from the Wisconsin State Journal has a great recap from the Red Line Report on it's latest comments about future and current Badgers at the upcoming NHL draft.

Brandon Archibald from the Detroit Honeybaked Midget program who at one point had visited Wisconsin has chosen to sign with the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL. It's really too bad he's a kid I thought we could lock up.

Brad Schlossman from the Grand Forks Herald has an updated list of All WCHA players that have made their intentions known on where they will be playing next season.

June 19th the Big Ten Network is having a "Badger Day," and yet there will be no men's hockey coverage. Just another reason to love the BTN. (I'm trying to be as sarcastic as possible) They will have some coverage of Mark Johnson the women's coach though so It's not all bad.

Photo from the Colorado Springs Gazette

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If your bored on a Wednesday....

Then here are some links to Badger articles to occupy your time.

Heres an article on Cody Goloubef on nhl.com (Thanks to Todd Milewski)

Here is an article again courtesy of Milewski on recent commits Michael Mersch and Frankie Simonelli on getting drafted by OHL teams.

uwbadgers.com has come up with their 4th installment of pre-season videos.

uwbadgers.com did a question and answer session with Pat Johnson and Mike Davies.

In WCHA news, Joe Finley confirms hes coming back next season to play for the Sioux. Any forward with ANY speed in the WCHA is actually excited he's coming back to get torched for another season.

Just wanted to thank Ryan at the USHL blog for linking us. He does a fantastic job over there you guys should all check it out.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Cardinal

Leaving on a jet plane....


...and actually I know when I'll be back again.

I'm taking a quarter of the blog to the Pacific Northwest for a much needed vacation. Record snow in the Cascades (800 inches at Mt. Rainer) will not deter me from enjoying the sights and hiking a few miles.

Enjoy
the rest of June everyone! I'll stop in w/ a draft preview from Eugene, OR next week and my thoughts on a mock draft I found earlier this week.

Cody Goloubef

I'm actually on vacation right now. However, Redheat15 was kind enough to email me a link to this lovely article on Cody Goloubef. And since the article is about Cody, and being who I am, I just had to put the article up right now.

The article has some great quotes from Cody, and he sounds like a really smart kid who's very self-aware regarding his own play. Maybe (probably) I'm biased, but nonetheless I'm impressed.

We'll have to see where he goes in the draft. I think we probably have only 1 more year of Mr. Goloubef in the Cardinal in White, although I gotta tell ya I'm nervous about the draft -- I hope the team that drafts him doesn't want to sign him this summer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

2008 NHL Entry Draft Guide Update

NHL Central Scouting must have finished their long long coffee break because they have finished their previews of every players that they have ranked in their 2008 Draft Guide. That includes several Badger recruits.

Tyler Barnes #114

Chase Drake #136


Jordy Murray #173

Brock Montpetit #199

Nick Pryor #208

Aaron Crandall #24 (for North American goalies)

Most don't include much, but hey they all deserve some recognition.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hockey's Future looks back to 2003

Hockey's Future took a look back at the 2003 Draft recently, looking specifically at the great draft for NCAA associated players. A record 72 NCAA players or committed recruits were drafted. Definately worth a full read if you are a fan of NCAA hockey.

The 2003 Draft included 4 Badgers: Joe Pavelski, Ryan Suter, Brian Elliot and Andrew Joudrey. They have faired pretty well so far too, "Leading the way in terms of combined number of man-games played in the NHL to date is the University of Wisconsin with 357." Only Andrew Joudrey in the Washington Capitals system has not played a game in the NHL.

Comments on Pavs:

"San Jose may have landed the best sleeper pick of the draft when they chose University of Wisconsin-bound centerman Joe Pavelski in the seventh round with the 205th selection. After a successful two-year stint with the Badgers that included a National Championship title in 2006, Pavelski signed with San Jose that same year and has been a mainstay in the Sharks lineup ever since. He has appeared in 128 games, posting 68 points (33 goals, 35 assists)."

Comments on the rightful 2006 Hobey Baker winner:

"Elliott, who was taken near the end of the draft with the 291st selection, has appeared in one NHL game, allowing just one goal in the win."

Comments on Suter:

"Suter, who was taken seventh overall by the Nashville Predators, has appeared in 229 games, registering 71 points (16 goals, 55 assists). "

Also, on the right is a list of NCAA "top notable prospects" which features our own Cody Goloubef in the #1 spot. W/ Colin Wilson behind him, there must not be a "top prospects" rundown.

Todd's take on the NCAA rule changes

Last week, Gandalf posted about the NCAA rule changes. Today, Todd Milewski shares his thoughts on this topic. Like usual, I'm pretty much in agreement with Todd's views, so I won't say anything further here.

Goaltender U

The third installment of the 2008 Men's Hockey Preview Videos is up. In this installment, the goaltenders speak!

Oh, and as a side note that I've been forgetting to mention since I saw the 1st video, based on the videos it appears that the Badgers will have new jerseys again this season. Last season, the numbers and names on the back of the jerseys were changed to a single color while the diagonal "Wisconsin" on the front remained triple-colored. It appears that the "Wisconsin" will now be a single color as well.

Homegrown Talent

Andy Baggot has an article today about the number of recent Badger recruits who are from our great state of Wisconsin.

Dplaya shares his thoughts about this on HIW.

DPlaya also found this McKeen's interview with Beaver Dam native Matt Thurber. Like DP says, it's a pretty good read.

Brian Rafalski

I was going to do a Brian Rafalski Linkorama, รก la the Chris Chelios Linkorama that I did last month. Unfortunately, it appears that the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News charge for articles that are more than 7 days old. However, despite this setback, my efforts will not be deterred.

Since the Wings just won the Stanley Cup, let's begin with a video of Rafalski and fellow Badger Chris Chelios with the Cup, and quotes from Rafalski after winning the Cup:

Rafalski, a former University of Wisconsin skater, enjoyed a surreal moment, too, by winning a Cup with the team he rooted for growing up in the Detroit area.

"This is what I dreamt about," he said. "I watched the tough times in the 1980s when the team was known as the Dead Wings and played in the Snorris Division. I was there in stands when they lost in the first round to San Jose in 1994.


"Then I watched them getting better from afar the rest of the 1990s and now, I'm here."

Snorris Division, haha. (Ok, you've all probably heard that before. But being more of a college hockey girl who never really followed the NHL much until recently, I hadn't previously heard it, and I found it amusing.)

Anyway, let's continue with an excerpt from 5 Reasons Detroit Will Win the Cup:

The Wings have the best top four in the NHL, with Mr. Norris, Nicklas Lidstrom, leading the way. His partner Brian Rafalski complements Nick's impeccable position game with exceptional offensive instincts and steady defensive play.
Yep, exceptional offensive instincts and steady defensive play. That's our Brian!

And here's a lovely quote from Nicklas Lidstrom:

"He was a great addition to our team, obviously," Lidstrom said. "He definitely made my job easier this year, and we were lucky to get him."
Yeah, I just love it when one of my favorite NHL defensemen says nice things about another one of my favorite NHL defenseman. And Lidstrom just so happens to be my favorite non-Badger NHL player.

Sportswriter Ansar Khan graded the regular season and post-season play of Red Wings players, and he gave Rafalski straight A's!

Brian Rafalski (A, A): The perfect partner for Lidstrom, Rafalski's passing and skating ability are ideally suited for this team's up-tempo style. They could continue to be the league's top combination for the next couple of years.

As you know, Rafalski signed with the Wings last offseason, taking advantage of the opportunity via free agence to play with his hometown team. Mlive has some nice quotes regarding this from Rafalski and GM Ken Howard, my favorite being this:

"We think he's been a premier defenseman in the league for a number of years," Holland said. "He's a good skater, he's mobile; he can get the puck moved up. He can play in every situation -- power play, penalty kill, against other teams' best players. He's a very good player in every aspect of the game. Not a superstar but a really good, sound, solid player."

Before signing with the Wings, Rafalski played for 7 seasons with the Devils. The Devils signed him as a free agent after he had spent 4 seasons in Europe honing his skating, puck-handling passing, and playmaking abilities . I hesitate to pull a quote out of this article, because I really think you should read the whole thing -- there's a lot of good stuff in it -- but I trust you, so I will:

''Never close,'' he said, referring to giving up. ''I had people tell me maybe I should, but I believed in myself. My wife and I decided to keep doing it. I knew you can't be a 5-foot-9 defensive defenseman. You need offensive abilities to make it in the N.H.L. That's one of the reasons Europe was a good option for me. I really came into my own. I've always produced well in playoffs. My three years in Finland, I had 36 points in 30 games. I expect a lot out of myself.''
Rafalski was listed in a nice 2002 Hockey Digest article about players with delayed NHL success:

BRIAN RAFALSKI NEW JERSEY

The Michigan native skated defense for four seasons at the University of Wisconsin, but was never drafted. After graduation, Rafalski went to Europe and spent the next four seasons honing his skills.

The Devils took notice and in 1999 signed the offensive rearguard as a free agent. As a 26-year-old rookie, he would help lead New Jersey to a Stanley Cup championship in 2000. He then won a silver medal with the 2002 U.S. Olympic
team.

Our expert is familiar with Rafalski's work, but could never have imagined that he would become one of the game's best offensive defensemen.


"[Brian] took advantage of an opportunity," he says. "He's a very upbeat, positive person."

I'd like to finish this litte tribute to Brian Rafalski with a little something I wrote about him before the 2006-07 Badger season, focusing mostly on his Badger and pre-Badger years. (Those of you who participated in "my" little countdown thread might recognize this.)

Brian Rafalski (’91-’95, 150 20 80 100) held down the Badgers blueline for 4 years, and let me tell you right now that I adore Brian Rafalski. He was listed at 5’9”, but, unlike Nick Licari, I don’t know how tall he really is. At pretty much every level, Rafalski was told that he was too small. “I've heard that since I was 10 years old,” he said. “It hasn't stopped me yet. And I don't think it will stop me at any level further. I've proved I can do it. I've proved everyone wrong so far.”

Rather than tell you what I think about Rafalski, let me share what others have said about him.

Prior to his days as a Badger, when he was playing for the Madison Captiols, Coach Steve Huglen said, “He has the ability to make the pinpoint and precision pass. Brian can put the puck on someone's stick before they see it.” Of Rafalski’s play with the Capitols, UW Coach Jeff Sauer said, “I've watched Brian play quite a bit this year and last summer, and I'm very, very impressed with the way he sees the ice, moves the puck and his offensive approach to the game of hockey.''

When Rafalski was a freshman, UW assistant coach Mike Kemp said, “We're very pleased with a lot of things Brian has done so far. He has played smart and he hasn't made excessive mistakes. He's done the little things you'd like to see a young guy do. Playing with the Caps benefited him. It helped him get exposure to a higher level of strength and speed. And he was better prepared to compete initially than maybe some of our kids coming out of high school who didn't have the experience against bigger and older players.”

When Rafalski was a junior, Sauer said, “With the exception of one or two games, `Ralf' has graded out as our No. 1 or No. 2 defenseman, and I think that tells you the consistency we see there. Other guys might have better games, but Rafalski has been there every night.” Sauer also said, “The best thing about him is he can take chances and he's a good enough skater than he can get back and cover up a mistake.” Kemp said, “Brian has been our most consistent defenseman, maybe our most consistent player. He doesn't get beat often. Plus, he really gets the puck out of the zone for us.”

About his own play, Rafalski said, “I might not be the best at everything, but I try to do as well as I can at everything. I'm going to go out there and do my best and just try not to make big errors that are going to cost us.”

So, to sum things up, Rafalski was a smart player with good vision on the ice, he was a very good skater, and he was very good at moving the puck. He was also one of the most consistent players on the team. In fact, his senior year, he was named the team’s Most Consistent Player.

But that’s not the only award he won. His senior year he was the team’s MVP, 1st-team All-American, 1st-team All-WCHA, and the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year. Not too bad for a guy listed at 5’9”, hey?

And now, how ’bout a little linkorama of articles that I like:
Capitols’ Rafalski heady on and off the ice (3/19/91)
Rafalski makes mark (10/29/91)
Rafalski produces quality (12/2/93)
Injury can’t stop Badgers’ Rafalski (2/18/94)
Rafalski hasn’t grown, but game has (5/26/00)
Rafalski is proving size doesn’t matter (5/36/01)
Dream job: Rafalski answers call to compete in Olympics (6/19/01)
So, Ma 60, how'd I do??

Goloubef dominates in push ups

I was reading the Blog that Yost Built and found a link to Hockey Future's where someone had come across some of the hard data from the NHL combine. Apparently Cody Goloubef did rather well in pushups.

Top 5 Push-ups
Brandon Burlon - 49
Kelsey Tessier - 41
Cody Goloubef - 40
Matt Calvert - 39
Brandon McMillan - 38

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Potential NHL Badger Free Agents

With the Stanley Cup Finals over the offseason of hockey has really begun.

Goon's World has a nice breakdown of potential WCHA NHL free agents.

Quite a few Badgers on that list: Curtis Joseph, Rene Bourque, Alex Brooks, Matt Hussey, Sean Hill, Brad Winchester, Ryan Suter, Chris Chelios, Joe Piskula, Joe Pavelski

Suter and Pavelski are headed toward big pay days I would think.

Badgers in the Upcoming Draft

In his post on the Badger Blog, Baggot indicates that 9 Badgers could be chosen in the upcoming draft and that 2 (Gardiner and Goloubef) may go in the 1st round. He also reports that 5 Badgers are in the top 100 in the latest RLR report.

I'm an idiot when it comes to these things and don't know how often the RLR comes out. So I don't know if there were RLR rankings in May. But I do have the RLR rankings from April. Anyway, here are June's RLR rankings, with April's rankings in parentheses:

29 (29) - Jake Gardiner (D '08 recruit)
47 (81) - Cody Goloubef (D)
55 (90) - Justin Schultz (D '09 recruit)
84 (89) - Matt Thurber (F '08 recruit)
89 (85) - Tyler Barnes (F '09 recruit)

Goloubef and Schultz moved up quite a bit. Schultz's ranking surprised me a little bit given DPlaya's combine report, but I suppose he's got a year to work on his conditioning.

In it's draft analysis, RLR had 3 Badgers (Thurber, Barnes, Wiercioch) listed as mid-round sleepers and 2 Badgers (Wiercioch, Stepan) listed as top underrated players.

And what's not to like about this?
Gardiner was among RLR's top skaters available, while Goloubef and Thurber were listed among those with the most natural hockey sense.

On Goloubef: "Thinks the game beautifully and sees plays developing before anyone else.''

On Thurber: "Best in the draft at playing without the puck.''
The Goloubef quote really makes me smile. As does the Thurber quote -- IIRC, Eaves said somthing similar about Thurber in the most recent video preview.

USHL Recruit Wrap Part II

Ok, I'm finally getting around to finishing this. Here is Part I, and the USHL Playoff stats.

First, the Unofficial USHL Blog has finished their 2008/2009 Previews w/ the Omaha Lancers. New coach, but the defending Clark Cup champs should be quarterbacked rather effectly by Badger recruit Patrick Wiercioch nextseason.

Matt Thurber, Beaver Dam native, spent the last 3 seasons with Omaha Lancers and was a large part of their Clark Cup victory this season.

Stats: 58 game, 14-41-55, +23, 71 PIM, 1 PPG, 12 PPA, 6 SHG, 1 GWG & 10.1% shooting

Career
Regular season: 169 games, 36-85-121, +53, 188 PIM, 2 PPG, 17 PPA, 7 SHG, 4 GWG & 10.1% shooting
Playoffs: 24 games, 4-5-9, -2, 20 PIM, 7% shooting

By all accounts Matt had a breakout year in the USHL. He was tied for 14th in scoring, 4th in assists, 5th in +/-, and 1st in SHG league wide. He should provide some much needed playmaking for the Badgers, along w/ solid work on both sides of the special teams. I have no doubts that Matt will be able to step in right away and contribute. Also of note, 5 of Matt's penalty minutes were from a fight w/ future teammate Ryan Little. Apparently, Matt can get under other player's skin (kinda like Ratty Johnson), and Ryan was sick of it and it was time to drop the gloves.



Patrick Wiercioch spent last season as Matt's teammate on the Omaha Lancers.


Stats: 40 games, 3-18-21, +12, 24 PIM, 3 PPG, 12 PPG & 8.3% shooting


Patrick sat out a portion of the season due to a thumb injury. From his stats, its obvious he was a large part of Omaha's success on the Power Play, and should be a great PP quarterback for the Badgers starting in 2009. Patrick is originally from Poland and moved to Canada when he was young. Being Polish already makes him one of my favorite players; the fact that he has great talent is a bonus. He is also friends w/ Kyle Turris.



Eric Springer, the Wrightstown native, played last season w/ the Sioux Falls Stampede.


Stats: 60 games, 8-23-31, +21, 94 PIM, 5 PPG, 12 PPA, 2 GWG & 6.3% shooting

Eric finished tied for 8th in the USHL in +/- and is more of an offensive defenseman. He was a late pickup for the Badgers, but based on his All-Star season in the USHL, Wisconsin might have gotten themselves a steal here, and a nice 4 year player.



Craig Smith, the Madison native, has played the last few season w/ the Waterloo Blackhawks.


Stats: 59 games, 13-10-23, -3, 90 PIM, 2 PPG, 3 PPA, 3 GWG, 5.7% shooting

I don't know much about Craig, though I'm looking forward to seeing him play in the USHL next season. Based on stats alone, Craig was struggling to start the season, but had a stronger second half, and a good playoff.



Brock Montpetit, from Somerset, played last season w/ Craig Smith and the Waterloo Blackhawks.

Stats: 55 games, 12-18-30, +14, 34 PIM, 2 PPG, 8 PPA, 12.4% shooting

In 2006/2007, Brock played w/ Jordy Murray and Derek Stepan at Shattuck St. Mary's. I was a little surprised that Brock wasn't part of the 2008 recruiting class, and I think he is prime for a breakout season in the USHL next year.




Maude

Twin 60 lives too far away to attend Badger Hockey games on a regular basis anymore. But she was in town for this past Christmas, so of course she attended the Badger Hockey Showdown. She asked me the name of the first song that the band plays at each game because she's always liked that song, and she asked me if there was a recording of the band version available anywhere. At that time, I didn't have any answers for her, but I knew my friends and the bandos on buckyville would help me out, and of course they did.

Unfortunately, it seems there is not a recording of the band version available. I was told I'd just have to make it to each game early enough to enjoy it and dance to it live. Works for me, but not for Twin 60.

But I did find out the name of the song -- it's the theme song from Maude.

In case you missed it

I have a few items from the past several days that we haven't linked here on the blog yet. You may already have seen these items, but I just thought I'd post the links just in case.

  • Uwbadgers.com has the second installment of the 2008 Men's Hockey Preview Videos: The 2008 Recruiting Class. I won't bore you with my thoughts, but I wouldn't be surprised if Gandalf and/or Chuck share some thoughts about this at some point. (Thankfully, their thoughts tend to be more interesting than mine.)

  • WCH has a fun post on the NHL draft combine, and HIW has a bit on how Badgers at the combine performed. I gotta tell ya, I'm pretty fired-up to see Jake Gardiner play and also to see how Goloubef's play progesses his sophomore season.

  • Baggot had a follow-up article in Saturday's WSJ about recent commits Simonellis and Mersch.

  • Apparently Mike Eaves was one of the more entertaining coaches at the recent Badger Days stops. Or more accurately, on the bus rides to and from the Badger Days stops.

Eau Claire: We won’t leave till all the coaches are on the bus. Coach Eaves, attending to his always-busy schedule, was the last one on the bus as we loaded in front of Camp Randall Stadium. There was talk of fining him or making him sing, but he served his “punishment” by grabbing the mic telling some really good jokes on the bus on the way home.

Green Bay: I’d be remiss if I didn’t give Coach Eaves an “A” for effort on our return trips home. His seemingly endless array of jokes (most of them good) has kept us all entertained, but women’s soccer coach Paula Wilkins made a serious run at Eaves’ title last night on the way home from Lambeau. Good times.

Wausau: We had been a little pressed for time prior to the start of our Badger Days events in Milwaukee and Green Bay, so we moved up our departure for Wausau on Thursday to 1 p.m., which meant we left around 1:10 p.m. By 1:12, men’s hockey Coach Mike Eaves was deadpanning: “I wonder what they’ll have for us to eat tonight?” Laughter filled the bus. Each of the four Badger Days events featured identical meals: brats, chicken, hot dogs, potato salad and cookies.

Funniest UW coaches: Eaves (for his four days of jokes and commentary; he’s as relentless as the team he coaches) and women’s soccer coach Paula Wilkins (her comedic performance on the way back from Green Bay has already attained
mythic status)


Saturday, June 7, 2008

2008 NHL Entry Draft: Patrick Wiercioch


Photo from NHL Entry Draft Guide

The 2008 NHL Entry Draft Guide has been updated and now includes the projected 3rd round of North American players, including Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch at #77.

A few thoughts on Patrick from a scout and his former USHL coach:

NHL Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee
“Patrick, a smart player with excellent hands, was used heavily on the power-play in Omaha. He needs to improve his skating and agility, but compensates with his ability to stick handle his way out of trouble. Improvement on his strength and development at University of Wisconsin should positively compliment his puck moving ability.”

Omaha Lancers head coach Mike Hastings
“Patrick, with his unique combination of hockey sense and size, has developed into one of the best all around defenseman in our league. As he matures physically you will see him develop into a dominant defenseman that can impact a game in many ways.”

Friday, June 6, 2008

NCAA Rule Changes

The NCAA Rules Committee has met and made some changes for the 2008/2009 season.

The highlights:
  • 2 Referees/2 Linesmen next season
  • more emphasis on puck carrier protection (obstruction) and faceoff protocol
  • No Shootout at the NCAA level, though individual conferences can use them
  • NHL style Icing, where the icing team cannot change on-ice personnel

My only issue w/ the 2 ref/2 linesmen system was it seemed that one extra guy on the ice got in the way. Having 16 people on the ice instead of 15 seemed to make a difference, but that was in limited viewing during early WCHA play, it seems to work pretty well in the NHL. Speaking of the WCHA, does it really matter if there are 2 refs on the ice? There could be 12 and they still will blow an unusually large amount of calls league wide again this season. The WCHA is by far the best collegiate conference in the country, someday soon hopefully we get officials (both on ice and league administrators) who live up to that billing.

Personally, I like the tie game. In the NHL I don't like that some games hand out 3 points and some games only 2. If you were to look up the standings for the past season, only about 6 NHL teams had losing records because of SO and OT loses in the "old" tie column. Shootouts are exciting, I enjoyed one down in Rockford in March, and though the Badgers lost, the shootout against Colgate had the Kohl Center on its feet. Still, a hard fought battle that draws to a tie is nothing to look down upon, and I hope the WCHA continues w/ their current format.

Lastly, I like this NHL style icing rule. I thought the Badgers iced the puck way more than they had to last season, and now it won't be just a quick toss down the ice w/ the only penalty being a faceoff in your own end. This should cause players to increase their situational awareness, which should make them better players in general, IMO.

Badgers vs. Gophers hockey game at the Camp?

I usually like to keep a new player commitment at the top of the home page but this deserved a new post immediately. Andy Baggot is claiming that there are talks in the works to have a game this season, 2008 between Wisconsin and Minnesota played at Camp Randall football stadium. It would be called the Bob Johnson-Herb Brooks foundation Game. If they play this season at Camp Randal, then they would like to play next season at Minnesotas new open air football stadium.

How kick ass would this be? I'm jacked.

Michael Mersch officially commits to Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Journal writer has confirmed that Team Illinois Midget Minor forward Michael Mersch has committed to Wisconsin. He joins Team Illinois Midget Major defenseman and friend Frankie Simonelli who I had already confirmed committed last week.

Baggot claims that the earliest Mersch could get there is 2010 but from the information I have, he graduates high school in 2011. Unless he accelerates his studies he wouldn't be in Madison until the fall of 2011.

Mersch is by all accounts an extremely talented forward prospect with boat loads of potential. He, like Simonelli was invited to the NTDP tryout. If he were to be offered a spot and accept it, that could become a bit fishy for Wisconsin. He would be entering the NTDP as a sophomore in high school. That means that once he ages out of the program, he will still have 1 season left to finish of high school. This falls into the same category as Peter Mueller, Pat Kane, Phil Kessel, Nick Pryor, Etc. Mueller and Kane decided to go play major junior after they aged out (although Mueller couldn't get into school any ways), Kessel accelerated his studies to enter Minnesota a year earlier, and Pryor is going to play a season in the USHL while he finishes high school. So it should be interesting to see how this unfolds.

But regardless it's great to have these guys on board whenever they get here.

Here are some links to Simonelli and Mersch when I first found out that they may have committed to Wisconsin.

This is what his Team Illinois head coach Jon Hull had to say about him: "Michael is big and strong, and his physical play opens up the ice for Nick and Danny," said Hull, who played six years of junior hockey in Canada before evolving into coaching and transplanting to the Chicago area.

Chris Dilks (Western College Hockey):
"Power forward with good scoring ability."

He also had this to say about him after the USA Select 15 camp last summer: "Finished the week as the leading scorer. Very active player that always seems to be involved in the play. Showed the ability to hit, as well as score points."

Michael Mersch was also invited to the NTDP Tryout.

USHR had this to say about Mersch at the Beantown Fall Classic: "6’1” late ’92 forward Michael Mersch was excellent, a cut above the rest and a hard worker to boot."

Here is Mersch's Point Streak Page.

I have not gotten to personally see Mersch play but he almost seems like a Blake Geoffrion type player. Ability to put points on the board but he's going to hammer it out on the boards too.