Back at it…

Well…I figured it’s about time to write something…hopefully everyone took the “slow-blogging” post as the lark it was…it was more just a weird sense of humor way of saying that there wasn’t much to write about.

We are now just under 30 days away from the start of the Portland Winterhawks training camp and I would expect details on the camp to come out shortly, including the schedules for scrimmages and such.  I believe the camp will be held in Beaverton at the Winterhawks Skating Center, so that works for west-siders like me!

It really has been fairly quiet for the Hawks since the NHL Draft at the end of June…but there are a few news of notes:

–          Josh Hanson attended USA Hockey’s Select 17 Camp in Rochester, NY, and after that was named to Team USA for the upcoming Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament to be held in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in August.

–          Derrick Pouliot and Brendan Leipsic are both off the Hockey Canada’s U18 Camp this weekend in Calgary to try and earn a sport for Team Canada in the same tournament.

–          Pouliot also got an invite to the NHL’s Research, Development and Orientation camp in Toronto in August, who follows Ty Rattie, who took part in the RDO camp last summer.  It is a chance for potential top draft picks in 2012 to show their wears in a different environment where possible rules changes or modifications are tested out.

–          Ryan Johansen, Joe Morrow and Rattie will head to Calgary next week to take part in Hockey Canada’s World Junior Evaluation Camp.  It is a first look for Hockey Canada to get a feel for who might represent Canada at the holiday tournament to be held in Calgary and Edmonton.

–          Meanwhile, in British Columbia, potential 16 year old rookies Nic Petan, Jarrod Schamerhorn, Steen Cooper  and Dylan Chanter all were in the top 40 1995 born players to take part in the BC’s U17 Evaluation Camp.  Petan had goals in all three games to lead the charge as this is the first step in being named to Team Pacific for the World U17 games to be held in Windsor right after Christmas.

–          Presten Kopeck, another young prospect, took part in a similar camp in Alberta for the U17’s.

Of course, if you follow junior hockey, the other big discussions going on has to do with players backing out on their NCAA commitments and moving to major junior…mainly in the OHL.  While I am very biased towards the CHL route, it is hard to criticize a player (like Rocco Grimaldi, Hawks property) for heading the NCAA route if that is what they feel is the best path for them and their devopment.

The main argument that you hear from NCAA proponents is that the players receive a better education than heading the CHL route.  And, while they are in school, that is a valid argument, but it also is a valid argument that very few of the top players in the NCAA stay for a complete four years.  Granted, some finish school later on, but it doesn’t hide the fact that given the opportunity to sign a pro deal, the players (more often than not) take that opportunity.

For me, I would like to see some changes to allow a bit more flexibility (so we don’t get issues like those that happened to Julien Laplante this summer) and make it so a player doesn’t have to make a decision at 15 or 16 on what they want to do with their hockey future.

Summer is almost over…got one more swim meet to go to and a golf tournament to play in…and then hockey starts again…I’m ready…



  1. Concerning Grimaldi I am just curious. I know that occasionally a smaller player with great skills will make it to the NHL. (Fleury, Whitney, Spurgeon, St. Louis to name a few) Have any smaller players in the NHL come from the NCAA? I would think a long rigerous schedule (CHL) would benefit a smaller player by convincing NHL management that the player not only has the skills but the physical capacity to withstand the rigors of professional hockey. I just don’t think the few games of a NCAA season will showcase what the smaller player has to offer professionally. What are your thoughts?

  2. Well, of the four you mention, Martin St. Louis played at the University of Vermont and he is the best of the ones you mention.

    If you are small and good enough, in today’s day and age, I think the NHL finds you no matter where you play…but I’m still partial to the CHL.


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