Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Andrew Podnieks of IIHF.com,
Of the 993 players to have skated in at least one NHL game this past 2015/16 regular season, 87 of them (8.8 per cent) were Swedish-born or trained, a record level of participation by any one European nation in NHL history.
In all, there were 263 Europeans in the NHL this season, more than any other since 2005/06 when there were also 263. The all-time record remains the pre-lockout year of 2003/04 when exactly 300 Europeans played in North America’s top league.
Canada still led all nations and accounted for almost half of all players. The Olympic and World Championship gold medallists placed 490 players in the league this past season, but the 49.2 per cent is Canada’s lowest total in NHL history. The United States had 241 players or 24.3 per cent.
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
Olli Juolevi was interviewed by 23 teams during the National Hockey League scouting combine.
We can assume the London Knights defenceman told each management group the same thing.
The 18-year-old Helsinki native expects to be the first defenceman selected in the 2016 NHL draft later this month here at the First Niagara Center.
“Yeah, I (think I will be) the first defenceman,” Juolevi said to reporters on Saturday as the combine concluded.
“I think my hockey IQ (is what separates him). It’s pretty hard to teach. I can always go to the gym to get more muscles or practise my shooting and stuff like that, but (smarts) is hard to teach.
“I trust myself. I think I am the best defenceman, so I don’t think about anybody else.”
Let’s hear it for Juolevi’s honesty. It’s refreshing.
With less than three weeks remaining for NHL clubs to put their final draft preparation in place, three defencemen — Juolevi, Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires and Jakob Chychrun of the Sarnia Sting — apparently have broken away from the pack.
The Rink Rats program, run through the Herb Brooks Foundation in Minnesota, share an emotional moment with the Stanley Cup after practice
NHL young guns Jack Eichel, Michael McCarron, Sonny Milano and others talk about the toughest tasks they had to perform at the NHL Combine.
from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,
While other nations prepping for the World Cup had designs on building the most talented roster possible, Team USA GM Dean Lombardi had something different in mind: a team that could topple Canada from their spot atop the podium.
Lombardi’s roster decisions have been questioned since the day the team’s preliminary roster were released. The obvious choices, such as Patrick Kane, Joe Pavelski, Zach Parise, T.J. Oshie and Blake Wheeler, were named to the club, but among all the other talented, smooth-skating and sharp-shooting talent Lombardi had to choose from, some were surprised to see Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader on the preliminary roster. While not a knock against Abdelkader, a good player in his own right, he’s never been a top offensive star. But naming Abdelkader to the roster was just step one.
When the final rosters were announced, Lombardi added another skilled forward in James van Riemsdyk, but he was joined by power forward David Backes and in-your-face forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan. Meanwhile, left off the roster were stars such as Phil Kessel and Kyle Okposo and Tyler Johnson and…well, you get the point.
from Gare Joyce of Sportsnet,
The interview went forgettably, canned answers all the way, but it ended with a bang. As he was shaking hands with the kid, Murray asked him about the town where he played in the CHL. The kid gave a perfunctory answer. “It’s a nice place,” the kid said or something like that.
Murray closed it like a veteran detective. “I’m actually going out to that town of yours this summer for a golf tournament,” Murray said. “Do you know any good places to go out for a drink and a good time?”
The prospect then rhymed off a bunch of watering holes, various waitresses names and the town’s one strip club. All this passed for irrefutable proof that he was old beyond his years in life experience, but as guileless as a toddler. Not surprisingly Murray’s team passed on the prospect at the draft. And equally not surprisingly the prospect had issues with drinking down the line that compromised his professional career.
The images that come to mind when the NHL Draft Combine rolls around every early summer: young men straining to push up the bar on the bench press or squeezing out one last pull-up or pedalling on the stationary bikes like they’re straining for their livelihoods if not for their lives. Okay, there are other stations during physical testing and some of them might be as intriguing, but still the strength and conditioning testing constitutes a fraction of action at the combine.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League has announced the complete schedule for the 2016 Calder Cup Finals between the Eastern Conference champion Hershey Bears, top development team of the NHL’s Washington Capitals, and the Western Conference champion Lake Erie Monsters, top development team of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- Those few thousand people who were denied the opportunity to cry if they wanted to at the Game 7 viewing party in Tampa that was canceled by the NHL/NBC powers that be, they dramatically increase the ratings of this hopelessly and perennially penny-wise, pound-foolish operation by watching on their own screens, did they?
- Kris Letang’s omission from Team Canada was the biggest roster shock on Friday, though Jack Johnson’s inclusion on Team USA (coupled with Justin Faulk’s exclusion) wasn’t far behind.
- Wonder how much, if at all, Tyler Johnson’s struggle against Pittsburgh factored into his snub by Tortorella’s Yanks, who go into the tournament with Joe Pavelski the lone skill center; with David Backes, Ryan Kesler, Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky (who could shift to wing) behind him?
Dubinsky-Kesler-Ryan Callahan matched against Crosby?
more topics including the evolution of Penguins' coach Mike Sullivan...
Team North America, Team USA and Team Canada rosters are below...
So far today, Team Russia, Team Czech Republic and Team Finland have been released.
You can view the rosters below...
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.
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