Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tuesday's News and Notes: Catching Up with Winterhawks at National Camps

Dougherty Cut From USA WJC Evaluation Camp Roster:
-Defenseman Jack Dougherty was one of the seven cuts made from the USA U-20 roster today. This makes the second year in a row he's been invited and then cut loose from the U.S. roster. While Dougherty did not play badly, despite his team giving up 15 goals over the last two games vs. Sweden and Finland, but neither did he really stand out. With several other right handed D-man, as well as, several other shutdown style D-men, the coaches may have thought that his playing style was repetitive.

Bittner, Turgeon and Jones Impress:
-Meanwhile at camp, Paul Bittner has scored 3 goals over the 2 games and 1 scrimmage and has played more physically, which is something that U.S. Coach Ron Wilson asked him to do. In Monday's lopsided loss to Finland, Bittner threw a crushing open ice check that was sure to impress Wilson. Bittner was kept over fellow 6'4" power forward Jordan Greenway, which could mean that the U.S. has designs on using him as their token power forward. The fact that Bittner also has the speed to keep up with the rest of the U.S.'s most skilled forwards and has played with offensively elite players in his past has to help his odds of making the team.
-Dominic Turgeon had his ups and downs over the 2 games, but the fact that he was the forward who played the most, by himself in a 5 on 3 capacity, as the U.S. committed penalty after penalty Monday. He is not going to beat Auston Matthews or Dylan Larkin as Centers on the depth chart, but if he plays really well over the rest of camp, he could put himself in the 3rd line Center role. Depth up the middle is one of the things that the U.S. is lacking and Turgeon should have a spot there.
-Caleb Jones displayed far more offensive ability and speed then I knew he had. He was used as a power play quarterback for Team Blue and was the most effective on the team in this capacity. His positioning defensively needs a lot of work as he let Swedish and Finnish forwards behind him on the bigger ice surface. However, he was not the only Blue D-man to struggle with this capacity. Having a unique skill set that sets him apart is probably why he was kept past the cuts, but he needs to be better overall in order to make the team.
Glass Playing at Canada U-17 Camp in Calgary:
-Winterhawks first round 2014 Bantam Draft pick has played two of three games so far at U-17 Canadian Camp and has one assist in the two "Team Red" losses. His team lost 3-2 Saturday and 6-4 last night. I watched the first game and Glass displayed excellent ice vision and passing ability. He set up Team red teammates multiple times with adept passes through traffic into the slot from the wing. He definitely seems to look to pass first, which is his obvious strength, but I'd like to see him drive to the net more. Overall, though there's been some obvious improvement since last season, when he played several games with Portland, as a 15 year old. Glass and Team Red play their last game today vs. Team Blue. If Glass has impressed enough, he will be named to the final Canadian U-17 roster for the U-17 Challenge this October.

Yahoo Profile on Caleb Jones:
-Cool piece on Winterhawk's D-man Caleb Jones. He stated the obvious when he said that: "the comparison can get annoying," when referring to people constantly bringing up his older brother Seth around him. I think that about every time I read an article on him and half the article is asking him about his brother. A successful season this year in Portland could help him make a name for himself in his own right.

Hossa Named Slovak Hockey Player of the Year:
-Formwer Winterhawk: Marian Hossa (1997-98) won in landslide in the annual Slovakian poll on who is the best Slovakian hockey player. He received 197 votes, 99 more then the 2nd place: Tomas Tatar of the Detroit Red Wings. The future Hall of Famer could end his career as arguably the best Slovakian hockey player ever and another Stanley cup or three certainly will not hurt.

Kolle Makes Team B.C.:
-Winterhawks 4th round 2015 Bantam Pick: Ty John Kolle was named to the Team B.C. shortlist today. He looks like he will play for B.C. at the Western Challenge Canada Cup this winter.

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