Do it for McEichel.

In 2006, the NHL had an incredible opportunity. For the first time since the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, the NHL’s best players would have the chance to compete at the Winter Olympics again. This time, however, it wasn’t in a prime spot. It was in Turin, Italy, not exactly known to be a hockey hotspot.

Earlier in the NHL season, two living hockey legends, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, began their illustrious NHL careers. For years, both players had been heralded as the next big thing, with the hype between the two teenagers higher than almost any other player in the world.

For people outside of North America, the thought of seeing these two superstars battling it out at the 2006 Winter Olympics seemed almost surreal. Two of the youngest bright stars, playing together with the likes of Pavel Datsyuk, Joe Sakic and more. This wasn’t the World Juniors, this was the biggest international stage in the world.

Unfortunately, fans wouldn’t get their wish. Ovechkin would go on to play for Russia, scoring an impressive five goals en route to being named to the tournament All-Star team in just his first try. Crosby, on the other hand, did not participate. In what can only be considered as one of Canada’s most disappointing performances in recent men’s team history, Canada failed to even contend for a medal after some poor results along the way. With players such as Todd Bertuzzi and Kris Draper making the trip to Italy instead, you can imagine that scoring wasn’t their strong suit.

So that’s it. The NHL missed a really good chance to showcase two of the best players the league will ever have to a market that have had very few big league players in the history of the nation. It wasn’t the NHL’s fault, of course. Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player to ever take a shot on net, was more interested in a team with character and experience over speed and skill. Well, hey, the team struggled big time, didn’t they?

Let’s not do that with the next generation, OK?

Meet Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. If you don’t know who they are, you’re likely not a hockey fan. Actually, even most non-hockey fans living in North America know a thing or two about both of them. They’re superstars of a new era, a world where physicality is slowly dying and contracts are quickly rising.  We’re devoid of the time where we’d see 5+ players getting 110+ point seasons in the NHL. The game is evolving, and with that, it’s time to bring in the next breed of hockey sensations.

McDavid and Eichel, also known as McEichel, are two of the best at what they do. They score, they’re fast, they can basically do anything they want on the ice and be very effective. In fact, Eichel went to the World Championships and really took control of the face-off dot against men, some of them almost twice his age. McDavid could have played five minutes a game and still put up incredible scoring numbers, scoring at free will every time he even thought about touching the puck.

Unlike Crosby and Ovechkin, McEichel will have about three years to hone their craft before getting a chance to participate at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. At this point, that’s more than enough time for them to both compete for the league scoring title beforehand. It’s unlikely that they’ll be far off from becoming international stars at that point, so for the sake of projection, they’ll be good enough to participate in PyeongChang.

Now, we know the NHL isn’t very interested in heading to Korea in three years, and for good reason. The league has to shut down for two weeks to allow its stars to travel, the teams don’t make any money and the risk of injury is always prevalent. Oh, and the tournament is halfway across the freakin’ world.

South Korea is not a top hockey nation. In fact, they just returned to Division IA, the second highest division of the World Championships, following heartbreak in the same group back in 2014. The country has never earned a birth in the top division of the World’s, and yet the International Ice Hockey Federation has given them an automatic birth into the 2018 Olympics due to their host status.

South Korea wont be bringing in fans and revenue based off of their own players. As it stands, only three players on the 2015 World Championship squad, Mike Testwuide, Michael Swift and Brock Radunske had a chance at the NHL, but even then, none of them ever made it out of the minors. As well, none of those three are actually from the country, and instead transferred over after meeting the IIHF’s eligibility requirements.

Do those sound like the names that people will wake up at 3am EST in the morning to watch skate around for a few hours? No, absolutely not. But Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are exactly the two guys the hockey world need. Talk to any hockey fan over the past ten years and you’ll find that the chance to see Crosby play live is something none of them will want to pass up. With all the publicity that McEichel got around the sport over the past few years, you can only imagine that the same thing would happen in 2018.

The ratings won’t be great likely due to the time zone. Yes, the big names will still get a chance to steal the spotlight, as the likes of Crosby and Ovechkin will be automatic large draws for the rest of their lives. But, like already mentioned, the timing and the actual location of the tournament will hurt the viewership, no question about it. You didn’t see the majority of NHL supporters in North America complaining about prime time viewing like we became accustomed too in Canada and the States. Bringing in two new stars that a good portion of the world will never have had the chance to see on national TV, or in person, of course, would surely signal a big boost in ratings.

We’re going to see these two battle it out with their respective NHL organizations for many years. In fact, with it pretty much confirmed notion that McDavid will be an Oiler and Eichel will be a Sabre in June, we could see the two battling for many Stanley Cups in a few years time. But there is something special about putting on a jersey to represent your country. There is something special about Wayne Gretzky bringing home the Canada Cup gold. There is something special about Dominik Hasek stealing the national spotlight in Nagano. There is something special about a group of college hockey students from the States defeating the overpowered Soviets. There is something special about international hockey, something that big time salaries and labour disputes can’t even come close to.

Make this special, NHL.

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Timothy T. Ludwig / OHJL Images

Each year, the World Junior A Challenge features some future stars who either haven’t made their respective countries World Junior teams or simply haven’t been given a chance due to age. Players such as Kyle Turris, Vladimir Tarasenko, Evgeny Kuznetsov, David Pastrnak and more have participated in recent years, with three tournament alumni going in the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

This year, six teams will participate for a chance at gold. For Canada, they have a chance at two medals thanks to having both Canada East and Canada West enrolled in the annual event. Canada East is made up of players from the Ontario Junior Hockey League, Central Canada Hockey League and Maritime Hockey League. Here is a list of five players to keep an eye on when the tournament begins this weekend in Kindersley, Sask.

Robert John Boucher / OJHL Images
Robert John Boucher / OJHL Images

5. Alex Tonge (Kingston Voyageurs): Tonge was be selected by his hometown Kingston Frontenacs in the 10th round, 190th overall during the 2011 OHL Draft, but it’s been his time with the OJHL’s Voyageurs where he has truly made a name for himself. The Voyageurs leading scorer in 2013-14, Tonge finished sixth overall in league scoring with 72 points in 53 games played. Following the season, Tonge confirmed his commitment to Robert Morris University Colonials beginning with the 2015-16 Atlantic Hockey season this past May. Tonge led the Vees in scoring once again with 15 goals and 23 points in 15 post-season contests, but Kingston would end up losing to Aurora in the semi-finals. Joined by his brother Colin, Alex has helped Kingston hit 40 points in the ultra-competitive East Division, scoring 42 points in 22 games this year. The 19-year-old should bring scoring and experience as one of the older players on the Canada East roster, and will likely get a good amount of ice time during the event.

Andy Corneau / OJHL Images
Andy Corneau / OJHL Images

4. Zac Tierney (Cornwall Colts, CCHL): Tierney, an 18-year-old from London, ON., is currently in his second season as a Junior A defenseman, but he already looks like a seasoned veteran. He put up 41 points in 55 games as a rookie for the Ottawa Jr. Senators last year before finding himself with the Cornwall Colts for the current year. The speedy power-play specialist is having quite the season as a CCHL sophomore, posting 28 points in 32 games this year as a top pairing defenseman for the Colts. A potential late round option for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Tierney was a 2012 draft pick of the Peterborough Petes but chose the college route instead. Back in April, the defenseman chose Ferris State of the NCAA for the 2015-2016 season, and with this year being his final chance at winning gold at the World Junior A Challenge, expect Tierney to give it all he’s got in the pursuit of victory.

Keith White / OJHL Images
Keith White / OJHL Images

3. Ryan Kirkup (Whitby Fury, OJHL): Kirkup may be the only player on this list that isn’t on the NHL’s watch list for the 2015 draft, but he’s the only one with OHL experience to date. The 19-year-old has 46 games of experience with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, and while he only mustered three points during that time, his offense has really picked up since going full-time with the Whitby Fury last season. Part of his 45 point performance last year was due to playing with OJHL Player of the Year winner Taylor Best, who led the league in scoring with 90 points in 48 games. This year, however, Kirkup hasn’t needed any help, having scored 44 points in just the first 31 games of the season. Not bad for one of the OJHL’s top scorers, who had five points in six games at the recent Central Canada Cup Challenge with the OJHL Nieuwendyk team. The former Markham Major has a nice balance of top end speed and skill, and can also be used on the penalty kill if needed. A player who is good in most situations? Sign me up!

Shawn Muir / OJHL Images
Shawn Muir / OJHL Images

2. Dawson Theede (Cobourg Cougars, OJHL): Theede is a very intriguing player. Uncommitted, Theede is the only OJHLer from the NHL’s November watch list that made Canada East this year, with North York’s Will Reilly and Oakville’s Jackson Bales both sitting out this tournament. The Whitby, Ontario native spent the past two seasons with the Whitby Wildcats Midget team, recording 23 points in 28 league games last year. Not a major goal scorer by any means, Theede is a big body (6’3″, 209 lbs) that gets to the net and pushes opponents around, creating scoring chances for his teammates in the process. In 30 games this year, Theede has just 11 points to go along with his 54 PIM, but he’s been a integral reason why the Cougars are currently first in the very tough OJHL East Division this season. His all around game needs work, but there have been rumblings of OHL and NCAA interest for the 2015-2016 season. Theede could be a late round option for NHL teams looking for a project player, but for now, Theede’s focus shifts to the WJAC’s, where he’ll likely be used in a checking role to help break open scoring chances and try to steal the gold.

Robert Lefebvre, Ice Level
Robert Lefebvre, Ice Level

1. Adrian Clark (Carleton Place Canadians, CCHL): Adrian was just one of two CCHL prospects listed on the NHL’s CSS watch list for November, and for good reason. He could simply be one of the best Junior A goaltenders in his age group right now. The 17-year-old has already committed to Dartmouth College for the 2016-2017 season, making the announcement just a month into his first CCHL season. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise, though. Clark was a rock between the pipes for the stacked ’97 born Oakville Rangers Minor Midget AAA team a few years back, posting a 20-1-1 record to go along with a 0.933 SP and 0.95 GAA. To top off that incredible performance that year, he 15-2-3 in tournament play, which included a gold at the 2013 OHL Cup to finish off the season. After spending last year with the Vaughan Kings Midget team, Clark moved on to the CCHL, where he had a 13-5-0 record in the first 18 games alone. It was expected that 2013-2014 CCHL Top Goaltender Guillaume Therien would steal most of the starts, but so far it’s been a split venture between the two goalies. Regardless of who the Canadians put in net, both goalies give them a chance to win, so expect to hear more about Clark in the future.

The tournament will be held Dec. 14-20 at the West Central Events Centre in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Canada East will play in Group A, joined by Switzerland and the United States, while Canada West, Denmark and Russia will make up Group B.

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Every year, I hear the same old arguments about the IIHF ranking system: “Canada won the Olympics, they’re the best”, “Oh yeah, but Sweden is always the most consistent, so wouldn’t that make them the best?”, “Th3$3 r@nkennigs suk”, etc., etc. After a while of agreeing with the system the IIHF employs, I decided to come up with my own ranking point system to see who really are the best among as many tournaments as well. In this chart, I have put together a point system to find out who the best countries at junior national competitions are.

Now, I understand that not every team takes part in all these tournaments. But regardless, the actual rankings, which take into account tournaments from 2013 and 2014, aren’t much different from where they finish each year in the standings. In fact, Finland, who recently won the 2014 World Juniors, still stays on top of the rankings while Sweden, the tournament silver medalists, come in second.

Each tournament is weighed differently depending on the importance. For junior hockey, the 2014 U20 tournament will be worth more than a 5 Nations tournament from this year due to the amount of teams and higher competition level. Tournaments from 2013 will be similar, except each point total will be just a percentage of 2014, which already is a fraction of the 1200 points the winner of a major men’s tournament would get.

Just like the IIHF, THHenwick uses the same point structure. The world champion receives 1200 points and then a 20-point interval is used between teams. However, a 40-point interval is used between gold and silver, silver and bronze, fourth and fifth, and eighth and ninth. For the junior level, each number is based off of this system, but only a certain percentage is used.

IIHF New Ranking System #THHenwick Juniors – August 31st, 2014

IIHF New Ranking System #THHenwick Juniors- November 10th, 2014

RankTeamPoints2013 Points2014 Points
4Czech Republic383811562682
22Great Britain1011463548
28South Korea856390466
34New Zealand624270354
40South Africa2640264
42United Arab Emirates1919596
44North Korea1001000

Photo from Hockey Canada Facebook page.
Photo from Hockey Canada Facebook page.
Photo from Hockey Canada Facebook page.

Team Canada have defeated the Czech Republic 6-2 to win gold at the under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup for the seventh consecutive year and 19th time in 24 total tournaments.

Erie Otters forward and upcoming NHL draft prospect Dylan Strome opened the scoring at 3:34 into the first period, only to have Lawson Crouse make it a 2-0 game a few minutes later. The first period would end up being a total slaughter fest, as both Mitchell Marner and Travis Konecny continued their strong efforts at the Memorial Tournament with goals of their own to make the lead 4-0 heading into the first intermission.

“After our first goal, we just kept rolling,” Marner said. “We’re a hard team to stop when we play as one and I think we did that very well in this tournament and in the gold medal game.”

The Czech’s wouldn’t go down without potting a marker of their own.  In the second, Radek Koblizek beat netminder Zach Sawchenko, who was forced to make only 17 saves during the contest. Lukas Jasek scored for the Czechs late in the frame to give his team some hope, but an extra goal from Nicholas Roy and a second one from Crouse ended any chance of the hosts coming back and taking the gold.

Earlier in the day, the Americans beat Sweden 5-4 to take the bronze medal, just a day after falling 11-5 to the red, white and black champions from up north.

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Tim Bates/OJHL Images
Tim Bates/OJHL Images

St. Michael’s Buzzers forward Jake Evans has been selected in the seventh round by the Montreal Canadiens.

A rotating forward with the ability to play center and right wing, Evans collected 79 points in only 49 games in the OJHL this season. He is committed to join the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish beginning in the 2014-15 season and will surely continue to climb the ranks in hopes of fulfilling his projection as a bottom six two way forward.

Evans is still a long shot, but he could develop into a solid bottom six two way forward. He possesses great vision, he’s a powerful skater and he doesn’t make a lot of defensive mistakes. The Habs have selected twice before from the OJHL, with John Van Boxmeer being chosen in the first round back in 1972, and more recently Dustin Walsh in the 6th round back in 2008.

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OJHL Images
OJHL Images

The Chicago Blackhawks have drafted Dylan Sikura in the 6th round, 178th overall.

Unranked heading into the draft, Sikura recorded 64 points with the Aurora Tigers of the OJHL last year. After decommitting from Dartmouth last year, it was announced that he would join the Northeastern University Huskies beginning with the 2014-15 Hockey East season. For the second consecutive year, he was named to Team East helping them win a second consecutive President’s Cup championship at the CJHL Prospect tournament. A draft pick of the Erie Otters back in 2011,

The Tigers had a very strong season this year, losing to the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots during the OJHL championships.

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Toronto Jr. Canadiens defenceman and CJHL Top Prospect Award winner Jake Walman was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the 3rd round, 82nd overall, of the 2014 NHL Draft on Saturday.

Walman had a breakout developmental year in his only season of OJHL hockey, putting up 33 points in 43 games on the blueline as the Jr. Canadiens squeaked past the Oakville Blades to claim an OJHL playoff berth, before being knocked out by RBC Cup participants, the Toronto-Lakeshore Patriots. Despite starting the offseason at about 5-foot-7, Walman sprung up to a solid 6 feet to begin the year, and was able to use this newfound size to improve his puck protection abilities and to muscle up to the opponent’s bigger forwards. Walman is one of the better skaters in the 2014 draft, and can accelerate to his top speed very quickly.

Walman wasn’t the only OJHL defenseman to see his name called on the second day of the draft, as Toronto Lakeshore Patriots defender Michael Prapavessis found his name called by the Dallas Stars in the fourth round, 105th overall.

Prapavessis had a fantastic season while playing under the OJHL’s Toronto Lakeshore Patriots banner this past season. While posting 5 goals and 54 points in 47 games, the talented defenseman went on to win the OJHL Championship, Ontario National Jr. A Championship, OHA Top Prospect honors, the OJHL Best Defenseman award and more at the young age of 18. If he continues to excel when he heads off to the College level with RPI next season, Prapavessis could develop into a very solid two way defenseman.

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Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images
Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

The Dallas Stars have signed goaltender Philippe Desrosiers to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The Rimouski Oceanic puck stopper was selected by the Stars in the second round of the previous NHL Draft. Prior to getting drafted, Desrosiers was in net for Canada’s gold medal team at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship following a 22-8-5 record in the QMJHL. The young netminder would see the crease more frequently in 2013-2014, posting a 31-14-7 record to go along with five shutouts.

In terms of depth, Desrosiers sits behind Jack Campbell on the Dallas depth chart while beating out fellow junior goaltender Maxime Lagace. With Campbell and current starter Kari Lehtonen expected to take control of the Dallas net for at least the next couple years, Desrosiers has a few extra years to develop before eventually cracking the squad or finding a spot elsewhere.

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PickTeamPlayerPositionPrevious Team
Jakob Chychrun
DefensemanToronto Jr. Canadiens
Adam Mascherin
CentreVaughan Kings
Travis Barron
Left WingToronto Jr. Canadiens
Brandon Saigeon
CentreHamilton Jr. Bulldogs
Michael McLeod
CentreToronto Marlboros
Logan Brown
CentreIndiana Jr. Ice 16U
William Bitten
CentreOttawa Jr 67's
Victor Mete
DefensemanToronto Jr. Canadiens
Jonathan Ang
CentreMarkham Waxers
Tye Felhaber
CentreOttawa Valley
Michael Pezzetta
CentreMississauga Senators
Logan Stanley
DefensemanWaterloo Wolves
Givani Smith
Left WingMississauga Senators
Zachary Poirier
CentreOttawa Valley
Reagan O'Grady
DefensemanToronto Marlboros
Cliff Pu
CentreToronto Marlboros
17 Anthony SalinitriCentreWindsor Jr Spitfires

Max Jones
Left WingHoneybaked U18
Taylor Raddysh
Right WingToronto Marlboros
Matthew Hotchkiss
CentreWhitby Wildcats


The 2014 OHL Draft hasn’t even commenced yet, but the Sarnia Sting has chosen Toronto Jr. Canadiens defenseman Jakob Chychrun as the first overall selection.

“Jakob is a special kind of player that doesn’t come around too often,” commented Sting Head Scout & Director of Player Personnel, Nick Sinclair. “He is a prototypical modern age defenceman that can do it all. He is a rare combination of size, speed, and strength, but his greatest asset as a player is his hockey sense.

Chychrun, who just turned 16 on Monday, led all Greater Toronto Hockey League defencemen in goals (16), assists (27) and points (43) through 29 games played this season. Despite missing the OHL Cup last month with an injury, Chychrun his team to a GTHL Championship title this year before the Jr. Canadiens fell to the Toronto Marlboros without the star defenseman in Toronto during March Break.

“It’s truly an honour and a thrill to be chosen by the Sarnia Sting” stated Chychrun. “I’d like to thank the Sting for their confidence in choosing me with the first pick in the OHL draft. I realize this is just the first step in my junior hockey career, but I’m excited to meet my future teammates and getting started in the fall.”

Chychrun also competed for Team Ontario at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, potting four points in five games.

“He sure doesn’t look 15, that’s the first thing,” Belleville Bulls forward Adam Laishram said after playing with Chychrun at the U17’s. “He’s got great height. And he’s not just lanky; he’s filled out, quite a bit more developed than some of the guys my age (16) and even older.”

The 2014 OHL Draft is set to take place tomorrow morning at at 9:00 am, only on the Ontario Hockey League’s website

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At the 2014 OHL Cup back in March, I was fortunate enough to interview Toronto Jr. Canadiens forward Kevin Hancock following a come from behind victory over the Ottawa Jr. Senators. The Toronto Lakeshore Patriots AP is known to have fantastic skill and has the potential to become a very effective OHLer in the near future.

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At the recent 2014 OHL Cup in Toronto, I was fortunate enough to interview Vaughn Kings goaltender Spencer Stewart. The Oakville, Ontario native put up good stats with the team that also featured Adam Mascherin at forward.

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Elsa/Getty Images
Elsa/Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers have announced two deals today, signing forward Mark Arcobello and free agent defenseman Jordan Oesterle to contracts.

Arcobello has posted 18 points in 41 games with the Oilers this season, mainly in a limited role. Currently the all time points record holder in Oklahoma City Barons team history, the centreman has managed to record 10 goals and 28 points in just 15 games this season. Arcobello was sent down to the AHL in early February after sitting out three games as a healthy scratch after recording only two points in his final ten games.

During his college hockey career, Oesterle played three seasons with Western Michigan, accumulating 34 points in 113 contests. Last year, Danny DeKeyser a former defense partner of Oesterle’s, was signed by the Detroit Red Wings in what was considered one of the biggest college free agent signings of the year. A few years prior, the Oilers won the Justin Schultz sweepstakes after the defenseman chose not to sign with his draft team, the Anaheim Ducks.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Edmonton Oilers,” Oesterle said in a press release. “It has been a dream of mine and I want to thank everyone involved here at Western Michigan. Without them this couldn’t be possible.”

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At the 2014 OHL Cup in North York earlier this month, I had the opportunity to interview Vaughn Kings star Adam Mascherin following a 3-0 victory over an American select team. In 61 games with Vaughn this year, Mascherin recorded 67 goals and 62 points for 129 points. Additionally, the Maple, Ontario 15 year old was a dominant force at the Ontario Junior Hockey League level, recording 12 points in just five games of action while facing players four and five years his senior.

With season-long projected No. 1 OHL prospect Jacob Chychrun out with an injury during the OHL Cup, Mascherin took his opportunity to prove himself in Canada’s largest midget hockey tournament, scoring four goals and seven points in five games, good for 13th in the entire tournament. Expected to be one of the first five players to have their name called when the OHL draft rolls around in April, watch for Mascherin to develop into an effective scoring winger in the NHL in the future. 

Darren Stone, Times Colonist
Darren Stone, Times Colonist


Brandon Wheat Kings forward Jayce Hawryluk has collapsed after complaining of chest pains following the third game of Brandon’s playoff series with the Regina Pats.

Hawryluk had scored a hat-trick, including the game winner, in the game, which the Wheat Kings won 5-4. Earlier this month, he was named the CHL Player of the Week for the week after scoring six goals and four assists for 10 points in three games.

Phil Andrews, the Play by Play voice for the Pats, tweeted that there were reports that Hawryluk was alert and talking shortly after the incident took place.

We will keep you updated with any news that comes out regarding the situation.

From Marc Brunengraber’s Facebook Page

Article from Marc Brunengraber.

Israel’s national ice hockey team will compete against the Ryerson University Rams of CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport, for American readers, roughly Canada’s NCAA equivalent) in Toronto at the famed Maple Leaf Gardens on March 27, 2014, at 3:00 p.m., as a warm up/practice game prior to the International Ice Hockey Federation World Division 2A championship to be held in Serbia from April 9-15, 2014. This will give Israel’s dual passport holding Israeli-Canadian players, all of whom are based in either Toronto or Montreal, a chance to play together before the Worlds.

Israel will face host Serbia, along with Australia, Belgium, Estonia, and Iceland, in Belgrade.

Israel recently faced ACHA university club team MIT in Boston on March 1, 2014.  In actuality, Israel faced the “MIT Selects,” as the current MIT team would not have been a strong enough opponent.  MIT sent its strongest current players together with its best alumni in their twenties and thirties to face the Israeli squad, coached by Jean Perron.  As for the Israelis, the lineup for that game was split roughly 50/50 between Israeli national team players and Canadian-Jewish and American-Jewish guest players, as Israel’s pro players and the players based in Israel proper were unavailable for the game and the Israelis needed to fill out their lines.  A crowd of 800, including the Israeli Consul General to New England, watched Israel win that game by a 7-6 score.  MIT led 1-0 and 2-1 before the first period ended 2-2.  MIT led 3-2 in the second period before Israel exploded to lead 6-3 after 40 minutes.  Israel led 7-3 in the third period before a furious MIT rally fell short.  Israel’s goals were scored by Evan Levy, Ron Oz (x2), Isaac Levy, Shlomi Levy, Avishai Geller and Daniel Mazour.  Evan Levy’s tally was the only goal scored by a non-Israeli national team regular.

As with the MIT game, Israel’s Israeli League-based bottom line players won’t be able to be at the Ryerson game.  Likewise, several of the Israeli pro players, such as Max Birbraer, Daniel Spivak and Oren Eizenman, will join their teammates in Serbia, so there will again be Canadian- Jewish guest players to fill out the lines for this practice game.  As any Jewish person can automatically qualify for Israeli citizenship, the guest players could potentially play for Israel one day under IIHF rules, provided they obtained their Israeli passports and spent two consecutive years playing in an Israeli league.

Two of Israel’s top players will be at the Ryerson game.  Eliezer Sherbatov plays professionally in Kazakstan (a KHL feeder league), and led his team, HK Astana, in scoring this past season.  He played two professional seasons in France prior to this year for Neuilly Sur-Marne.  He previously played Major Junior in the QMJHL for Montreal and Baie-Comeau.  Daniel Erlich has played professionally in Austria in 2011-12 for Red Bull Salzburg, and played Major Junior for the London Knights and Guelph Storm.  He led all of CIS in scoring this season as a sophmore for Western Ontario.

Israeli national team regulars Ron Oz (who has played professionally in Holland and Belgium), Isaac (Itzhak) Levy (who has played professionally in France and Serbia), Shlomi Levy, Daniel Mazour (who is a Ryerson student), and Sergei Frenkel (who is a Ryerson hockey alumni) will all take the ice against Ryerson, as will Israeli national team members past and present, including Ron Soreanu, Jonathan Rebibo, Navot Kantor, Ilan Kilimnik, Ron Berman, Ely Oosterhuis, and Daniel Berman.

Israel will use a Canadian Jewish guest goalie for the game – 1989 born Daniel Stein. Stein played in the OPJHL (Canadian Jr. A) for a few teams including the North York Rangers & Streetsville Derbys, and has played for the Jewish team that has won the Canadian Multicultural championships. That team has featured Israeli national team players who hold both Canadian and Israeli passports, as well as Canadian Jews who played for Canada in the World Jewish Cups in 2007 and 2009.

Ryerson is expected to use its full roster for the contest, including two of the top scorers in the CIS this season in Domenic Alberga and Jamie Wise, who is the son of Rams’ coach Graham Wise.  Alberga and Wise finished 4th/5th in CIS scoring and 2nd/3rd in the OUA (Ontario collegiate conference of the CIS) right behind Israel’s Erlich.  Ryerson just completed the best season in program history, having recorded 17 wins.

Ryerson will be a formidable opponent for Israel, and a stiff (and much needed) test prior to Israel’s departing for Belgrade.

The game was put together in just three weeks thanks to the hard work and efforts of Israeli player and Ryerson student Daniel Mazour, who had contacted Ryerson coach Graham Wise and the Ryerson athletic department to gauge interest and arrange for the ice time at the classic Maple Leaf Gardens.

Tickets to the game are available here.

Jean Perron, Israel’s longtime head coach (who coached the Montreal Canadiens to the 1986 Stanley Cup) will be coaching Israel in Serbia at the Worlds.  However, he cannot attend Thursday’s game.  Instead, Israeli assistant coach Dusan Kralik will take the head coaching reins for the day.  Kralik is an ex-pro, having played for Slovan Bratislava prior to Czechoslovakia’s breakup, and trains current NHL players in the offseason including John Tavares, PK Subban and Steve Stamkos.  He will be assisted by NHL veteran Pat Flatley.


Israel’s roster for the game vs. Ryerson is set forth below.  The years set forth next to the national team players indicate their most recent activity with Israel’s national team.


Daniel Stein Goalie 06/02/1989 Streetsville Derbys (OPJHL)
Ilan Kilimnik Goalie 28/06/1987 Team Israel (2006)

Ron Oz Defense 07/05/1977 Team Israel (2014)
Ron Soreanu Defense 29/08/1980 Team Israel (2014)
Navot Kantor Defense 29/05/1991 Team Israel (2013)
Jonathan Rebibo Defense 07/05/1989 Team Israel (2014)
Ron Berman Defense 07/06/1980 Team Israel (2007)
Mick Mitrovic Defense 18/06/1971 University of Toronto (former Ryerson Coach)

Daniel Mazour Forward 05/01/1992 Team Israel (2014)
Daniel Erlich Forward 13/03/1991 Team Israel (2014)
Eliezer Sherbatov Forward 09/10/1991 Team Israel (2014)
Itzhak Levy Forward 02/05/1982 Team Israel (2014)
Shlomi Levy Forward 16/03/1976 Team Israel (2014)
Sergei Frenkel Forward 06/08/1984 Team Israel (2014)/Ryerson Rams Alumni
Ely Oosterhuis Forward 31/10/1977 Team Israel (2009)
Daniel Berman Forward 29/01/1991 Team Israel (2008)
Aaron Berisha Forward 05/03/1995 Bellevile Bulls (OHL)
Beni Berisha Forward 02/06/1992 Watertown Privateers (FHL)
Aaron Spivak Forward 13/01/1995 Toronto Jr. Canadians (OJHL)
Shane Urowitz Forward 23/02/1985 Ryerson Rams Alumni
Kenny Erlich Forward 15/06/1986

Head Dusan Kralik NHL Player Skill Development Coach
Assistant Pat Flatley 14 year NHL career For NYI & NYR


Note: Check out our interview with Marc from earlier this year.


Rouyn-Noranda Huskies forward and Swiss prospect Jason Fuchs lost a finger in a game against the Quebec Remparts today, after blocking a shot late in third period of the Huskies 7-3 loss.

In the defensive zone, Fuchs lined himself up between a Remparts defenseman, and blocked a shot infront of the net with his hand. He immediately threw his left glove off, and noticing his fingertip was completely missing, ran to the bench to receive immediate medical attention. The full play can be seen here on TVA Sports.

This is Fuchs’ first season in the QMJHL, coming over to the team after three years in Switzerland’s Elite Junior A league. He has 45 points in 57 games, and is considered one of the top undrafted Swiss prospects. He is still eligible for the upcoming 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Fuchs leaves the team only two games into their playoff series against the Remparts, with the series tied 1-1.

UPDATE: Fuchs is very lucky, as he only needed stitches to fix up the gruesome injury. Still no timetable on his return, but this good news certainly reduces the amount of time to recover.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Buffalo Sabres have sent 19-year-old forward Mikhail Grigorenko back to the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Or so they thought.

According to a report from Le Soleil in Quebec City, Grigorenko is refusing to report to the Remparts and is currently looking at future plans. It isn’t known what exactly those future plans could be, whether it means hightailing it out of the Sabres organization or escaping to the KHL to play in his native country.

Grigorenko just recently returned from representing Russia at the recent World Junior Championship, where he helped lead the team to the bronze medal with eight points in seven games.

Think about it. After burning the first two years of Grigorenko’s entry-level contract on just 43 games and a measly eight points, how many prospects can say they’ve been so mis-treated like Grigorenko has? Nikita Filatov comes to mind, but part of the whole mess in Columbus was the fact that he didn’t seem too interested to play with the Blue Jackets in the first place. For Grigorenko, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Grigorenko released a statement today on the whole situation.

Hi everyone,
I just want to apologized for the situation going on right now.

We just need to find a place for me where i can develop and be the best hockey player I can be.

I came to North America 3 years ago coming from a home in Russia where I never had a bed, a shower or heat…I work everyday to be the best hockey player I can be so I can provide for my family, have a better life… Because hockey is all I have, my passion, who I am.

I am so grateful I played in Québec with one of the best coach in the world, amazing fans, people and city. I got to play against great players who are now doing amazing in the NHL. I’m also so proud I was drafted in the NHL by the Buffalo Sabres organization. I love the city and people there. I love my neighborhood and I love the guys. They also have owners who want everyone to be happy and love their team so much.

Now I would just ask all of you guys to respect me and the time I’m taking to think about my career. It might be hard to understand but it is even harder for a teenager.


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