-Hawk's prospects: Garrett Wait, Henry Crone and Sam Rossini are all currently playing for Team USA at the annual Ivan Hlinka U-18 Memorial Cup. The tournament has been held every year since 1991 and is looked at as a big event for NHL scouts to look at the next draft's top prospects. Canada has dominated the tourney historically, winning 19 of 24 Cups and the last 7 in a row. The USA last won Gold in 2003 and was looking to return to glory this year.
Unfortunately they dropped their opening contest on Monday: 5-1 to Finland and followed it up today with a 5-2 loss to Russia. If the U.S. wins their final Group match tomorrow against Slovakia they will play for 5th on Friday. If they lose tomorrow they will play for 7th Friday. Considering there are only 8 total teams at the tournament, this has not been a great showing for the Americans.
Forward Garrett Wait was drafted by Portland in the 8th round of the 2013 Bantam Draft and recently had a strong showing at the United State's Select 17 camp, scoring 9 points in 5 games. At the U-18 Cup, he played mostly on the U.S.'s 4th line with a combination of William Knierem (Dubuque-USHL), Hugh McGing (Cedar Rapids-USHL) and John Leonard (Green Bay-USHL). Wait was pointless in the first 2 games. He has committed to play for the University of Minnesota, starting in 2016.
Forward Henry Crone was a "protected list" addition for the Winterhawks and is a native of Dallas, Texas. Crone had an assist in the U.S.A.'s 2-1 Exhibition loss to the Czech Republic last weekend, when his shot was deflected by teammate Timmy Gettinger (Sault Ste. Marie-OHL) past the Czech Goalie. In the loss to Finland, he skated on the team's 2nd line with Benjamin Lown (Wichita Falls-NAHL) and Riley Tufte (Fargo-USHL), but did not play in today's loss to Russia. I watched the Exhibition loss to the Czech Republic and Crone was one of the most dynamic players the Americans had. At one point, he split two defenders and went in all alone on the C.R. Goalie, before going to his backhand and getting beat by a quick left pad. Crone is committed to Boston University and will play for them in 2016. Next season, he should be playing for Omaha of the USHL.
Defenseman Samuel Rossini is another "protected list" addition by the Hawks and is a big rearguard (6'3" 194 lbs) from Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Rossini was named an Assistant Captain for the Ivan Hlinka tournament and played significant minutes over the first two games as a top 4 pairing D-man. Today, Rossini had an assist on a goal scored by Spokane Chief's forward: Kailer Yamamoto. Rossini is committed to play for the University of Minnesota in 2016 and should be playing for the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL, this coming season.
Ty Kolle at Cariboo Cougars Camp:
-Winterhawk's top 2015 Bantam Draft pick: Ty Kolle, impressed at the BCMML's: Cariboo Cougar's summer evaluation camp over the weekend. Cougar's General Manager and Head Coach: Tyler Sprague said Kolle is a player who: "has great character and plays a full 200 foot game." Kolle will play the 2015/16 season for the Cariboo Cougars and could play a few games in Portland this year, as soon as he is signed. There has been a bit of a pipeline going from the Prince George area to Portland over the last season, as both Austin Gray and Conor MacEachern were signed from the Cariboo organization.
Pouliot Playing as Top 4 D-man in 2015?:
-Former Winterhawk Derrick Pouliot could be looking at a top 4 position among the Pittsburgh PenguinsD-men, after the team lost Paul Martin in the off-season. Hockey Buzz looked at some advance stats to answer this question. It appears that he has elite NHL level puck possession skills and we all know he has high end offensive ability. The big question is whether he can be consistent in his own zone? I think that he can grow into this role over the next season or two as he's forced to learn on the fly with the Pens. He is also training this off-season with Gary Roberts which should mean that he will be in amazing shape and ready for a breakout season.