*(Not affiliated with the Boston Bruins or the New England Hockey Journal)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2011 Home Hardware CHL Top Prospects Game rosters announced

It's Team Cherry vs. Team Orr one more time.

I believe the wide-open All-Star Game-like format will allow Ryan Murphy to dazzle. Joe Morrow is a highly underrated puck mover as well. Myles Bell can do a fair bit of rushing the puck as well, just don't expect him to play much D. Plus. they do have a nice shutdown guy in Duncan Siemens.

In net, Q goalies David Honzik and Christopher Gibson, both imports from Czech Republic and Finland respectively, will hold them in and give them a shot to blow this one open.

At forward, what more do you need? Sean Couturier...Gabriel Landeskog....Matt Puempel....Ryan Strome....Ty Rattie....Tobias Rieder....Oy vay! Team Orr is going to have its hands full!!!

I don't think they have enough speed to counter that attack that Team Cherry is going to bring at them. Doug Gilmour will coach Orr.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Brandon Saad, Jonathan Huberdeau and Vladislav Namestnikov are some of the squad's most talented forwards, but I'm not sure they can match Cherry's depth. And on D, there are some interesting options...Dougie Hamilton, Nathan Beaulieu, the falling David Musil...but they're going to have their hands full. In net, Jordan Binnington and Liam Liston better bring the A-game.

Big omission: Ottawa 67's forward Shane Prince. Although small, he's highly skilled and fast. He's only a few points off the OHL scoring lead. But, his not being named is very telling about where he's viewed by NHL teams. They get polled to see who they want in the game-- if Prince didn't make the cut, it means more teams than not snubbed him. My guess: injuries will get him in there nonetheless as a fill-in. Happens every year.

NHL Network broadcasts the game for us Yanks south of the border. Rogers Sportsnet I believe for that great country to our north. Game to be played Wednesday, January 19th


  1. Kind of dissappointed Prince isn't there, but i don't know who i'd leave off to have him there. I guess if there is one glaring ommission IMO it's Alexander Kohkhlachev from Windsor. IMO he's surpassed Namestnikov but i guess they dont see it that way.

    I agree its very lopsided towards Team Cherry

  2. Wow- Khokalchev not on there either-- you're right! Interesting. That's one of those, how do I say it, picks where maybe teams don't want him there in hopes of stealing him later in the 1st?

    He deserves to be there too.

  3. Kirk, I know you are limited in what you can say about what you heard from whom, but a lot of people, including myself have now ranked Khokhlachev ahead of Namestnikov. I'm sure that some of that has to do with the ladder slipping (IMO) more than it does Alex climbing.

    But what is the word on him? I know size is a factor and as much as i am surprised at Prince not being there, i was shocked at Alex not being there and Namestnikov was.

    I realize the NHL plays the major role as to who plays, but there has to be more than teams hoping that he drops. Or am i wrong assuming that?

    I haven't heard of any character issues about him and his game has steadily improved from day 1 and he's done everything that he's been asked to do from what i see. But i'm obviously missing something here :(

  4. Alex Khokhlachev has played very well for Windsor. He has consistently been scoring for them and early on when they were below mediocre, he was the lone shining light in the team.
    Furthermore, the absence of St. Croix displeases me. He is another guy who has been playing extremely well and deserved to be in the top prospects.
    @ dom : Brock Otten from ohlprospects is not too high on prince. He believes that Prince is benefiting from playing with Martindale and Toffoli.

  5. I have a lot of respect for Brock, and while i dont disagree with what he said, you can look at it in two ways as well.

    To take the opposite view from Brock, one could say that yes he's benefited from playing with Toffoli and/or Martindale, but if he didn't have the talent to produce with them, he wouldn't produce. Some players need good players to play with to produce (al a Kessel).

    I wouldnt say though that Brock isn't to high on Prince. He has him ranked 17th in the OHL, 1 spot higher than Central Scouting does (and only 1 below where i rank him). I think if you are top 20 in the OHL you are looking very good.

    As for St. Croix, i've done some reading on him since you mentioned him (and while i havent seen him play) i have to admit i'm with you. But i think the same thing that affected Prince's naming to the squad has affected St. Croix and that's size.

    If you look at it the way i looked at the Prince situation what would you do? There are 6 forwards from the WHL named. Who do you leave off in favor of St. Crox? I couldn't come up with a name for Prince. Curious if you come up with one.

  6. Sum Oil-

    I can speak to the St. Croix omission: talked to several NHL guys out West. One called him a "dog" the other acknowledged the talent but pointed out that he was awful at Team Canada camp in the summer and that whenever he sees him in a big game, St. Croix doesn't work all that hard. It's just preference, but when NHL teams are submitting the recommendations as to who goes and who doesn't, that kind of thing factors in. Who would you have removed from the WHL to make room for St. Croix out of curiosity?

  7. Among Whl players, I would have rather had him over one of Myles Bell, Reece Scarlett or Colin Jacobs. A case can even be made for his inclusion over McColgan.
    There are a lot of Ohl guys for my liking. He aslo could have made the team over some of the Ohlers.
    Well since i am purely a stats guy, so i cant really comment on that. But he is the best player on the team and is tied for 11th among points despite playing the fewest games among them. This competition is about proving yourself and I think St. Croix is being denied that chance.
    I see what you are saying, Prince is definitely more deserving over guys like Nemestniekov/Rackell/Schiefele.
    But being raked about 16-18th, means more like a 2nd/3rd rounder.