September 06 2013 03:03PM
Image via Darren Kirby
The Nations Network sent some Jets Nation writers to the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, BC. They're judging your team and bringing you the view from the Press Box.
After a mostly one-sided, choppy affair between Edmonton and Calgary, the first shift of the Vancouver game felt like watching a different league. The game was very near NHL pace and physicality from the puck drop, and the star power of the Canucks forwards was on display through all three periods. Below I'll go through my take on each player's game and some broader notes about the contest itself.
September 06 2013 02:59PM
The date makes sense, really.
Pavel Bure's iconic Number 10 will be raised to the rafters at the Rog on Saturday, November 2nd when the Canucks host the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bure doesn't have a familiar legacy with any current Leafs, nor did any of his best moments come against them, but this is during Hockey Night in Canada's feature game starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, meaning all of Canada gets to sit in front of the tube and gawk at what a wonderful hockey player Pavel Bure was.
September 05 2013 10:41AM
Horvat and Shinkaruk will be two of the key prospects to watch this weekend in Penticton.
Image via Sportsnet.
The annual Young Stars Tournament starts today in sunny Penticton, BC, and it features the prospects and young pros of the Oilers, Flames, Jets, Canucks, and Sharks. It's a chance for teams to hold a competitive rookie camp, and a chance for us to see the quality of players and developmental systems we often wait years to evaluate.
So, of course, the Nations Network will be there! We'll be bringing you player and game reports, news and analysis, and all the pictures of me in sport coats you can handle.
Have a favourite prospect you'd like us to keep an eye on? You can let us know in the comments or through twitter. Jets Nation pulled the lucky straw to attend this year, so you can follow along and chat with us on twitter here:
- Jets Nation: @nhljetsnation
- Kevin McCartney: @kevinmccart
- Brett Martin: @brettmartinlive
You can also stream the games free through the NHL.com team sites. Below is the tournament schedule as well as a teaser and links for each team's roster.
September 04 2013 10:41AM
Over the past 4 weeks, this platform has played host to the prospect series, where we ranked and profiled what we believed to be the Top 20 prospects in the Canucks system. Throughout the process it became obvious fairly quickly that, while the top-end talent is definitely present, there's not much depth to the pool. The first handful of players that came up were difficult to take seriously considering that most of them will never enjoy a single relevant NHL moment; with my apologies going out to the families of luminaries like Alex Friesen and Yann Sauve, of course.
While we were making our way through the countdown, the name Ludwig Blomstrand kept surfacing time and time again. The curious part of it all was that Blomstrand's name never actually appeared on our actual list, but instead kept being bandied about by readers of the blog in both the comments sections and on Twitter. I found it sort of bizarre, personally, since he hadn't been on my radar at all. In fact, out of our 5 rankers, only 1 - Patrick Johnston, who would probably defend himself were it not for that giant bus currently trampling him - even had Blomstrand in his Top 20. And he had him at number 18.
But at some point, I started to ask myself whether it was possible that this wasn't all some sort of elaborate inside joke. What if, by some odd chance, this cult following that Ludwig Blomstrand had seemingly accrued was actually justified? What if all of the other rankers and I were totally missing something here?
Read on past the jump for more.
September 03 2013 09:29AM
Martin St.Louis was repeatedly passed up in the entry draft because of his small stature. Who else joins him on the All-Undrafted team?
We're roughly a month away from the start of the 2013-14 NHL regular season, which is certainly exciting because I think we're all ready for the return of hockey. However, that also means that time for goofy, random, fun (if you're a hockey nerd like myself) projects is running out.
We just concluded our prospects series at Canucks Army, in which we profiled the Top 20 players in the team's system. That entire project got me thinking about value, and finding different ways to bring quality talent into your organization. While it's nice to get your hands on a top pick, you can't simply rely on that. There's more to it. As a GM, you have to be creative, and willing/able to take a chance on a guy that others didn't because of certain perceived flaws.
Just because a player doesn't get selected in the entry draft doesn't mean that he doesn't have a future in the league. It's why I find it comical when people try to tell you that they know exactly what a prospect will turn out to be. Scouting, and talent evaluation is an inexact science; all we can do is make the best possible educated guess based on the information we have in front of us. Unfortunately, that's usually not enough, and we're wrong far more times than we're right. But that's what makes it fun.
There are plenty of valuable, competent NHL-caliber players that are currently succeeding in the league after having been passed over time and time again by all 30 teams (210 different times, to be exact). Most of the guys listed below were told that they were too small, or too slow, or [generic reason a guy is told he can't succeed]. If there's one thing hockey people seem to have a fetish for, it's a centre with some size to him. A small winger who doesn't have overwhelmingly obvious puck skills will more times than not fall through the cracks.
Read past the jump for the All-Undrafted team.