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Preseason Draft Ranking, Bob McKenzie Style

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

The 2020 NHL Draft campaign opens with naming rights belonging to Alexis Lafreniere.

Whether it remains the Alexis Lafreniere Draft, well, that’s another question.

First, though, let’s start with the indisputable: The Rimouski Oceanic left winger is the unanimous No. 1 on TSN’s 2020 NHL Draft Pre-Season Top 20 Rankings. Ten out of 10 NHL scouts surveyed by TSN put Lafreniere first on their lists entering the 2019-20 season.

“Elite competitive instincts and all the attributes – size, skill, skating, hockey sense, goal scoring, playmaking, you name it – you look for in a No. 1 NHL winger, he has all of them,” one NHL scout said.

Yes, but we have heard the same thing in past years only to see a unanimous pre-season No. 1 lose the title by the time the draft rolls around, which is scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal.

Three years ago, Nolan Patrick entered 2016-17 as the unanimous pre-season No. 1, but by season’s end he was surpassed by Switzerland’s Nico Hischier. Could Lafreniere face a similar challenge from any of the other top prospects in a highly talented 2020 top end?  It includes No. 2 centre Quinton Byfield, No. 3 right winger Lucas Raymond and a pair of special scorers in a dead heat at No. 4, centre/left winger Cole Perfetti and left winger Alexander Holtz?

continued

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Before Brad Ostrom Died

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

Brad Ostrom spent nearly 50 years coaching minor hockey, and played a key role in the development of some of London's best. Weeks before his death, he reflected on the lessons of a life given to the game.

Brad Ostrom spent nearly 50 years coaching minor hockey, and played a key role in the development of some of London's best. Weeks before his death, he reflected on the lessons of a life given to the game.
The hockey coach’s ball cap and glasses are all askew. His back is flat against the cold, hard ice in a rink somewhere in London, Ont. It’s autumn; a new season has arrived. He has fallen and is lying still, trapped in that moment where you swear you’re hurt but haven’t yet figured out where or how severely.

The year is 2005, and Ontario’s governing body of minor hockey has yet to mandate that coaches strap on a helmet before they take the ice and run kids through pylons. So Brad Ostrom, who’d been skating backwards keeping an eye on young Stevie Sanza’s one-timer just moments earlier, is now taking in the arena ceiling in an achy daze, having flipped ass-over-teakettle and landed with a crack. Once he gathers himself a bit there’s zero doubt in his mind he’s concussed.

That’s when the grinning face of his latest 14-year-old star centre, Nazem Kadri, comes into view hovering above and interrupts Ostrom’s view of the spinning stars and tweety birds. “Come on, Coach. Don’t be a pussy,” Kadri chirps, then glides over to the bench.

Ostrom knows he has to climb to his blades despite the fog, pain be damned. “You will regret that,” Ostrom tells Kadri when he arrives at the bench, reminding the kid who’s boss. “You cannot stay down this season. I got up, so you better get up.”

continued

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  Tags: brad+ostrom

Afternoon Line- Peter Adler On The NHL And The Olympics

...the question of Olympic participation should have nothing in common with the CBA negotiations, and if these talks get stalled on this topic, it would be a sign that the players don’t know what they want, and that they won’t rest until they’ve got it.

As it is, they are crying at a wrong funeral.

-Peter Adler, who has much more on this at the Edmonton Journal.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Craig Button’s Early Draft Rankings

from Darren Yourk of TSN,

A year after eight players from USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program and 11 Americans overall were drafted in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, a deep pool of Canadian prospects looks set to dominate the spotlight.

TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button has Canadian Hockey League forwards Alexis Lafreniere (No. 1), Hendrix Lapierre (No. 2) and Cole Perfetti (No. 3) leading the September edition of Craig’s List ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft in Montreal, and six Canadian skaters in his top 10.

“There’s plenty of high-end skill at the forward positions at the top of this class,” Button said. “The top end of this draft could be outstanding. There are a lot of potential impact players available.”

continued

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‘Sherry’ Basin Did What Was Right

from Robert Sarner of The Timea Of Israel,

Ask Sherwood “Sherry” Bassin any question about North American amateur hockey and there’s a good chance he’ll know the answer — little surprise given his near half-century in various leagues and positions: team owner, general manager, coach, interim commissioner and elder statesman. In a sport not known for a surfeit of Jews, Bassin, with his open sense of Jewish pride, is an anomaly, especially given the prominent role he’s long played in amateur hockey.

Even growing up in western Canada in the 1940s and early 1950s, hockey and Jewish identity were central facets of Bassin’s life. The two would have an unlikely convergence years later on distant shores.

For all his success in hockey, it was a formerly undisclosed caper Bassin pulled off 36 years ago that earned him a moment of glory in the Jewish world when it was revealed in the media for the first time last winter.

continued

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Women Officials Will Work The Prospect Tournaments

from NHL.com,

Four women officials will experience NHL action for the first time this weekend.

Referees Katie Guay and Kelly Cooke and linesmen Kirsten Welsh and Kendall Hanley, four of the 96 officials who participated in the 2019 NHL Exposure Combine, have been selected to officiate rookie tournaments in Irvine, California; Buffalo; Nashville and Traverse City, Michigan. A total of 30 officials from the combine were selected to work the rookie tournaments.

The Exposure Combine, held in Buffalo during the last weekend in August, can best be described as a scouting combine for prospective officials. It is also a crucial stepping stone in the journey for many officials landing a job in professional hockey whether it be at the American Hockey League or ECHL level or in North American junior hockey leagues.

continued

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Your USA Hockey 2019 Hockey Hall Of Fame Class

from USA Hockey,

Gary Bettman, Brian Gionta, Neal Henderson, Tim Thomas and Krissy Wendell will be enshrined into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2019, it was announced today by USA Hockey.

“It’s truly a remarkable Class,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “Each of the five inductees have their own unique and immeasurable contribution to our great game. They’re extremely deserving of the highest hockey honor in our country and we look forward to formally enshrining them into the Hall in December.”

continued

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IIHF Suspends Evgeny Kuznetsov For Four Years Due To Cocaine Use

via IIHF.com,

The IIHF has suspended Russian ice hockey player Yevgeni Kuznetsov for a violation of World Anti-Doping Code Article 2.1 (Presence of a Prohibited Substance).

The case concerns a test indicating a prohibited substance, cocaine, according to section S6.a (non-specified substance) of the World Anti-Doping Code 2019 Prohibited List. The prohibited substance was found in a doping control which occurred on 26 May 2019 at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

The player didn’t require the analysis of his B-sample and was provisionally suspended on 13th June 2019.

The period of ineligibility to be imposed shall be four years, concluding on 12th June 2023.

Per Russian Machine Never Breaks, Kuznetsov did a purge of his Instagram account.

added 8:53am, Back in late May, Kuznetsov addressed the issue.

added 9:31am, Statement from Bill Daly below.

added 9:41am, Statement from the Caps and Kutznetsov below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeny+kuznetsov

The Next World Cup Of Hockey May Look Like This

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

As opposed to the 2016 World Cup, which ran prior to the start of the NHL season, they would be looking at an in-season tournament which takes place over an extended All-Star break in 2021.

Of course, the shorter tournament in 2021 would mean fewer teams than they had in 2016 — which included Team Europe and Team North America.

“It would be kind of a mini-tournament about a week in length,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Day told Sportsnet. “Tack on a couple of days to the typical all-star break and fit it in an international event.”

Obviously, Olympic participation is a more pressing issue for players and fans alike, but we already know which countries field teams in an Olympic tournament. The next World Cup is NHL/NHLPA property, and as such can be sculpted any way the two sides decide.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHLPA, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Snapshot Of The Top 2020 Prospects

Earlier today Craig Button tweeted this...

 

 

Now he is giving us a little briefing on each.  Make sure to check out his recent Twitter timeline for the other names mentioned.

 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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