Saturday, August 29, 2009

A KT update, some WCHA predictions, and various odds & ends

  • Kyle Turris is pain free and ready for camp -- he indicates the back surgery he had in April was successful, and he's added a much-needed 10 pounds to his frame. [Thanks, Illegal Curve!]
    "It feels a lot better now. It's unbelievable. No pain."

    "I feel bigger, faster and stronger. I'm looking forward to a better year. I want to help our more, want to contribute more, obviously play a bigger role and help the team in any way I can."
  • Over on the UAA Hockey Fan Blog, Donald tells us how he sees the 2009-10 WCHA.
    Bucky should be better but they still have offensive challenges; logic says though that their returners will be at least as good as last year. And that will probably be enough. If their all-world defensive corps can also continue to bring the O they'll be more than ok. If they take more penalties than their opponents they could have some difficulties. Power play points are going to be a big part of their offense. Experience will likely serve them very well. Eaves knows how to play defense. Getting pucks past any Bucky goalie is a tough task. Not because any of them in the last few years have been massively talented but because the whole team is always responsible in their own end.

    I'll go ahead and pick the order of finish. But my parenthetical notes regarding range is more relevant than the placings on which I've settled.
    1. Denver (highest 1st; lowest 1st)
    2. Wisconsin (highest 2nd; lowest 4th)
    3. UND (highest 3rd; lowest 5th)
    4. Minnesota (highest 3rd; lowest 6th)
    5. UAA (highest 4th; lowest 7th)
    6. UMD (highest 4th; lowest 7th)
    7. SCSU (highest 5th; lowest 8th)
    8. Mankato (highest 7th; lowest 9th)
    9. Colorado College (highest 8th; lowest 9th)
    10. Michigan Tech (highest 10th; lowest 10th)
    By the way, here are Gandalf's 09-10 WCHA Previews so far, with #6 coming soon: 7. UAA, 8. Mankato, 9. CC, 10. MTU. (I think I might really enjoy # 6 . . . )
  • I previously posted the HF's Top Prospects for the Edmonton Oilers, and of course it includes future Badger Troy Hesketh. Oilers blogger extraordinaire Lowetide says that HF writer Andrew SR Cowie did a good job with his rankings.
  • INCH is in the process of doing their annual A to Z profiles. Right now they're on the letter "P". Looking at the Badgers rosters, it's almost a given now that the last name of the Badger profiled will start with an "S", as what's left is 1 R, 6 S's, and 3 T's, and the R's and T's are unlikely. I'll go on the record, however, as predicting we'll see a Derek Stepan profile, as I've been expecting (and hoping for) him ever since the letter "G" passed on by. Stay tuned . . .
  • You've probably heard that Jase Weslosky will not be returning to St. Cloud due to academic issues, but you may not have heard much about junior SCSU goaltender Dan Dunn, who according to Kevin Allenspach was "basically told there would be no room for him in the Huskies' crease with senior Jase Weslosky and heralded freshman Mike Lee." Dunn says he made his decision to return before knowing for sure about Weslosky's fate, saying, "I want everyone to know I came back because I wanted to and nothing else. I like school. I like my professors. I like the people here. It's not like I hate my life. So, why not try again?" [Thanks, Eye of the Tiger Blog.]

    By the way, the New York Islanders, who hold Weslosky's draft rights, are likely to cut Weslosky loose.