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Potential Top 15 Draft Prospects

As the Canucks have fallen out of playoff contention, many fans including myself now turn their attention to the draft and what an interesting draft it is. This draft is supposedly lacking the glitz and glamour of a truly elite prospect. There might not be a McDavid or Matthews or Eichel, or Laine, but to me what makes this draft so interesting is the fact that, similar to the 2012 draft, scouts can’t seem to come to an agreement on the order for which players will go. Outside of the top 2, various scouts and scouting websites have players ranked higher or lower than other sites in their mock drafts. Why this is so intriguing is the fact that most picks will really be up to individual team’s preferences, meaning that come draft day, we will see all sorts of players falling below expectations as well as players picked above their projected targets. This uncertainty will surely make for an amusing draft, even if their is not the same depth of talent as some other years. On the talent pool, while it might prove to be true that the prospects this year are weaker than in drafts prior, through my research I have still found a ton of exciting young players, all who bring unique skillsets to the table. Now before I delve into the list, I feel as though I must make it clear that I am in no way a scout of any kind, indeed the only times I have seen these players play is in highlight packages made by others. This list is not my own personal opinion, but rather an aggregate of 5 prospect rankings, ranking the players based solely on their averages. The comments made are also mostly based on scouting reports and comments made by scouts from TSN, the NHL, Sportsnet and other agencies.
1) Nolan Patrick (C) WHL Brandon Wheat Kings 6’3 198lbs
ISS: 1 Hockeyprospect.com:1 Future Considerations: 1 McKeen’s Hockey:1 Bob McKenzie:1
Elite Prospects page
The consensus number 1 pick, Nolan Patrick is a strong two-way center with a lot of offensive upside. While many scouts have said he lacks the “wow” factor of the previous two first round picks Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews, make no mistake, Patrick would be an excellent addition to any team. Standing at 6’3 198, the son of former 1st round pick Steve Patrick certainly has the size to be an effective NHL player and good speed and excellent hockey IQ to boot. The Winnipeg native has been compared to youngsters Sam Reinhart and Leon Draisaitl as well as fellow Manitoban Jonathan Toews. The comparable players give a display about the type of player that Patrick might become,a dependable center who won’t wow with flashy moves but will be a steadily offensive force. It’s important to note that Patrick was sidelined for considerable time this season due to both a sports hernia and a lower body injury. This resulted in him missed playing for Canada at the World Juniors which I’m sure was disappointing both to him and to fans of lottery teams as it would have been nice for him to showcase his abilities. Patrick is one of the older players in the draft, his September 14th birthday left him just 4 days ineligible for last years draft, much like Auston Matthews who also just missed the draft cut-off. Ultimately while Patrick may lack the glamour of a McDavid or a Matthews, he should prove to be a valuable piece going forward and the Canucks would be extremely lucky to have him. While he his ceiling has been considered that of an elite 2nd line center which is rather disappointing, projected ceilings aren’t always right, as I’m sure a certain “3rd line center” can attest.
Videos:
Wheat Kings Highlights
2015-16 Highlights
2) Nico Hischier (C) QMJHL Halifax Mooseheads 6’0 174lbs
ISS: 2 Hockeyprospect.com: 2 Future Considerations: 4 McKeen’s Hockey: 2 Bob McKenzie: 2
Elite Prospects page
Coming in at number two is Swiss born Nico Hischier, who is seen as the more offensively gifted of the top two picks. Hischier turned a lot of heads this year, putting on a quite the show this year for team Switzerland in the World Juniors. Before the tournament early on in the season Hischier was ranked by most scouting aggregates outside of the top 10 but his impressive play both at the international level as well as on a very young Mooseheads team has lead him to jump up the draft rankings very quickly, much like Patrick Laine did last draft. The 18 year old has phenomenal offensive abilities, possessing a pair of silky mitts, and impressive speed which has lead some at the Hockey News to dub him the “Swiss McDavid”. While this may be a bit of an overreaction, that is some serious high praise for the young Hischier. If Hischier does indeed get drafted in the top two he will become the highest drafted Swiss player in history and just the 6th Swiss player drafted in the first round joining the likes of Nino Niederreiter (5th overall 2010), Kevin Fiala (11th overall 2014), Mirco Mueller (18th overall 2013), Timo Meier (9th overall 2015) and current Canucks Sven Baertschi (13th overall 2011) and Luca Sbisa (19th overall 2008). Early on the season there were questions about Hischier’s compete level, especially after a rather poor showing at the Ivan Hlinka memorial tournament, but I think it is safe to say those concerns are squashed as Hischier has more or less carried the Mooseheads and was arguably tournament MVP at the WJC. While Patrick may have a more complete NHL frame, Hischier’s offensive toolkit has many teams excited at the prospect of the flashy forward wearing their colours. Do not be surprised if Nico’s name ends up being the one called first at the podium on Draft Day.
Videos:
2016-17 Highlights
2015-16 Highlights
WJC Highlights
3) Casey Mittelstadt (C/LW) USHL Green Bay Gamblers 6’1 201lbs
ISS: 6 Hockeyprospects.com: 3 Future Considerations: 3 McKeen: 4 Bob Mckenzie: 5
Elite Prospects page
This is where things get complicated, after Patrick and Hischier there is some debate among scouts about who the next few picks are. I took the averages from 5 different scouting bases and the player with the next highest average is Casey Mittelstadt. Mittelstadt is a very complete player with a strong north-south game, excellent speed, and very good hockey IQ. According to scouts the Minnesota native is a dynamic and creative player who has the ability to find space and create plays for both himself and his teammates. Mittelstadt is committed to the University of Minnesota for next season which means like all NCAA players he won’t be allowed to sign with the team that drafts him until he decides to leave the program. Mittelstadt is a very creative forward who is capable at both center and wing, and should be a very promising prospect for any team.
Videos:
U-18 Highlights
2017 Highlights
4) Gabriel Vilardi (C) OHL Windsor Spitfires 6’2 192lbs
ISS:4 Hockeyprospect.com: 5 Future Considerations: 5 McKeen’s: 5 Bob McKenzie: 4
Elite Prospects page
Vilardi has had a breakout season this year taking the OHL by storm. The Kingston native has a very high-end skill set with a good frame and excellent finishing ability. According to Craig Button Vilardi has all the tools to become an offensive minded number 1 center in this league. Vilardi missed some time at the start of this season due to a knee injury. Vilardi was drafted 2nd overall in the OHL priority draft in 2015. One knock on his game is his skating and while he certainly isn’t a bad skater, a lot of scouts say he lacks the speed of some of the other top prospects. The good news for Vilardi is that he has natural hockey IQ and unlike skating, you can’t develop that. This draft appears to be stock full of offensive centers and Vilardi is certainly one of them.
Videos:
2015-16 Highlights
2016-17 Highlights
5) Timothy Liljegren (D) SHL Rogle BK 6’0 192lbs
ISS:5 Hockeyprospects.com: 7 Future Considerations: 2 McKeen’s: 8 Bob McKenzie: 3
Elite Prospects page
The first defenceman on this list, Liljegren is an interesting case. He was pegged by many going into this draft as a #2 overall pick or even possibly someone who could challenge Nolan Patrick for the number 1 position but due to some bad luck has found himself falling down the rankings a bit. This is not to say that he couldn’t possibly go higher because with this draft anyone could go anywhere it's just that due to illness and injury he hasn’t really gotten the chance to play much this season. Much like Nolan Patrick Liljegren missed the World Juniors due to him getting mono which is unfortunate for any top prospect because it is the first place to really showcase your talents to a large audience of fans and scouts. The Swedish born defender is an offensive defenceman who can run the powerplay. Scouts have said that Liljegren is a fantastic puck mover and an elite skater. He is by far considered to be the best defenceman available with many scouts comparing his game to fellow Swede Erik Karlsson. Lijegren has all the makings of an elite offensive defenceman, and while he has been criticised from time to time for being a little weak in his own zone, if he can truly anchor a powerplay at the NHL level he will be a very sought after commodity indeed.
Videos:
2015-16 Highlights
6) Owen Tippett (RW) OHL Mississauga Steelheads 6’2 203lbs
ISS: 3 Hockeyprospect.com: 12 Future Considerations: 6 McKeen’s: 6 Bob McKenzie: 6
Elite Prospects page
The first forward who isn’t a center on this list, Owen Tippett might be the purest sniper in this draft. Tippett has a nasty wrist shot and loves to shoot first and ask questions later. While possessing quite possibly the best shot out of this crop of talent, TIppett like many others in this draft also has great speed and a big physical frame. While Tippett does posses tremendous offensive upside scouts have voiced concerns about his game being a little one-dimensional, meaning that when he isn’t scoring he might not be as effective at other elements of the game as other players. Owen is of no relation to current Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett but he is first cousins with Tampa Bay’s second round pick Mitchell Stephens who played for Canada at the World Juniors this season and currently plays with Olli Juolevi in London. Tippett is definitely a player to watch this coming June.
Videos:
2015-16 Highlights
2016-17 Highlights
7) Elias Pettersson (C/LW) Allsvenskan Timrå IK 6’2 161lbs
ISS: 15 Hockeyprospects.com: 4 Future Considerations: 8 McKeen’s: 7 Bob McKenzie: 11
Elite Prospects page
We’ve reached our first European forward! Pettersson is a crafty two-way forward who has been described as a “jack of all trades” type player. He currently plays alongside recently acquired Canuck Jonathan Dahlin on Timra, where he has averaged nearly a point per game in Sweden’s second tier league. Scouts like the way he distributes the puck as well as his defensive game and intellect. As the lightest player on this list so far, it is apparent that he needs to continue to bulk up and fill out his frame. Pettersson is seen as a very complete player who is improving with every passing game. Out of all of the players listed thus far, Pettersson is probably the riskiest pick as he is still very much a work in progress but if he can continue to improve his skating and fill out his frame the sky's the limit for this young forward.
Videos:
2015-16 Highlights
2016-17 Highlights
8) Eeli Tolvanen (LW) USHL Sioux City Musketeers 5’10 179lbs
ISS:11 Hockeyprospect.com: 14 Future Considerations: 7 McKeen’s: 9 Bob McKenzie 9
Elite Prospects page
Tolvanen is a player who loves to score. The young Finn has proven his scoring ability at every level and has wowed scouts, many who consider him to be the best pure sniper of the draft. According to Bob McKenzie he has an NHL shot and an NHL release. Tolvanen is a dynamic scorer who has multiple tools in his toolbox to score goals. He is on the smaller side but reports say he is quite strong. Tolvanen was drafted to the Oshawa Generals in the import draft but has committed to Boston University next season. Tolvanen played for the Finnish World Junior team this season where he scored 6 points in 6 games, which is very impressive considering Finland disastrous tournament. Tolvanen is one of the most exciting prospects in this draft.
Videos:
2016-17 Highlights
2016 U-18 Highlights
Partial 2016-17 Highlights
9) Michael Rasmussen (C) WHL Tri-City Americans 6’5 201lbs
ISS: 7 Hockeyprospect.com: 15 Future Considerations: 20 McKeen’s: 3 Bob McKenzie: 7
Elite Prospects page
Surrey native Michael Rasmussen is a massive center. Standing at 6’5 he is the archetype of the new hulking centers that have been drafted recently in the same vein as Logan Brown and Nick Bjugstad. According to scouts Rasmussen is a reliable two-way center with very impressive hands and speed, especially for his large size. Rasmussen is a very complete player who can play at all three ends of the ice. According to TSN’s head of scouting Craig Button Rasmussen doesn’t use his big frame to his advantage too much physically, which is kind of a let down since you would think it would be his greatest asset, but that skill can still be learned. Rasmussen is perhaps the most intriguing prospect of the draft due to his large size, as it is difficult to see where his ceiling is. In the increasingly quick NHL it will be interesting to see if his speed will be able to keep up.
Videos:
2016-17 Highlights
Sept. 2016 4 goal game
10) Cale Makar (D) AJHL Brooks Bandits 5’11 179lbs
ISS: 13 Hockeyprospect.com: 8 Future Considerations: 18 McKeen’s: 12 Bob McKenzie: 12
Elite Prospects page
Our second defenceman on this list, Makar is putting up fantastic numbers in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) which is a Junior A club. Makar has turned heads quite a bit throughout this season and has seen his stock rise considerably since most pre-season draft rankings had him going near the end or outside of the 1st round. Makar has been described as a smooth skating offensive defenceman with great foot speed and puck handling abilities. A competent defender at both ends of the ice, Makar is a tad on the shortish side for a typical defender but that really should not be too big of an issue, especially since he hasn’t shown to be afraid to take the body while playing. Makar has been lauded for his hockey sense and ability to make the very critical first pass to set up plays. Similar to Avalanche prospect Tyson Jost who played in the BCHL before going to college, Makar has committed to taking his talents to the University of Massachusetts Amherst for next season. The Calgary native’s draft stock was lower than it could have been initially in large part because many scouts were a bit apprehensive because Makar plays in the AJHL which is a league that has not had a lot of recognition in recent years. Ultimately Makar is a very well-rounded prospect and it will be interesting to see what the young man can do at the collegiate level.
Videos:
2016-17 Highlights
5 point game in Junior A Challenge Tournament
11) Martin Necas (C) Czech HC Kometa Brno 6 ft 168
ISS: 17 Hockeyprospect.com: 6 Future Considerations: 23 McKeen’s: 10 Bob McKenzie: 8
Elite Prospects page
Another center in the seemingly endless pool of centermen that is the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Necas is an agile forward with an offensive skillset. Described as a pass-first playmaker, Necas is great with the puck, with scouts praising his ability to stickhandle and carry the puck up the ice. The Czech native played for his home country this year at the World Junior Championships where he registered 3 points in 5 games. Looking at Necas’ point totals by themselves do not look very impressive at all but it is important to remember that he plays in the Czech league which is an adult league and most teenagers do not register many points in this league. Necas does have a smallish frame and some scouts have voiced concerns about his tendency to overplay the puck from time to time and his game has been called a bit predictable, but Necas is certainly a potentially very high valued prospect.
Videos:
2016-17 Highlights
12) Miro Heiskanen (D) Liiga HIFK 6 ft 174lbs
ISS: Unrated Hockeyprospect.com: 9 Future Considerations: 11 McKeen’s: 11 Bob McKenzie 13
Elite Prospects page
Just the third European league player in the top 15 so far, Miro Heiskanen is a highly intelligent defender with excellent puck movement and distribution. Scouts have praised Heiskanen for his elite skating ability and like his positioning as well. The young Finn played for team Finland in this year’s World Juniors where he scored 1 point in 5 games, and also like a lot of European leagues, he is playing with grown men, so his point totals are much lower than they most likely would be if he were playing in a junior league. Heiskanen is again a little on the smaller side and scouts have noted that he does not possess much of a physical style of game. Heiskanen has really flown under the radar by a lot of media outlets, which could be in part due to his playing in the Finnish league. Out of the three defenceman listed thus far, Heiskanen is the least offensive, and plays a more two-way style of game.
Videos:
Feb. 2017 2 point game
13) Klim Kostin (RW) KHL Dynamo Moskva 6’3 196lbs
ISS: 9 Hockeyprospect.com: 24 Future Considerations: 12 McKeen’s: 22 Bob McKenzie 10
Elite Prospects page
To say that it has been a difficult year for Klim Kostin would be an understatement. After being selected 1st overall in the CHL import draft by the Kootenay Ice, Kostin decided instead to remain in his native Russia and play for Dynamo Moscow. It was here in Moscow where things went downhill, as Kostin has been injured for pretty much the whole season. He bounced from the KHL down to the VHL and then down to the MHL which is the third Russian league, all the while only playing 18 games in the whole season. He is reportedly going for shoulder surgery which will end his season. Despite this disastrous season, Kostin is still a very good prospect. The big bodied winger can use his size as well as his speed to get in on the forecheck and really push the zone. He’s seen a bit more as a playmaker than a sniper, but isn’t afraid to put the puck in the net either. He gives his team versatility as he is a mix of a power forward and a playmaker, and while his play has been called erratic at times he is a very high energy, high impact forward. He has been compared to former Stars prospect Valeri Nichushkin, in the sense that he is a big bodied winger, but hopefully he does not leave his NHL team to return to Russia like Nichushkin did. Kostin surely hopes that the next season can be kinder as I’m sure this season has hurt his draft stock considerably but make no mistake, Kostin is a real promising young talent.
Videos:
2015-16 Highlights
Nice shoot out goal
14) Nicolas Hague (D) OHL Mississauga Steelheads 6’6 214lbs
ISS: 12 Hockeyprospect.com: 21 Future Considerations: 9 McKeen’s Unrated Bob Mckenzie: 21
Elite Prospects page
Standing at 6 feet 6 inches tall Nicholas Hague is one of the tallest players in this draft. The hulking defender has proven to be an efficient player offensively as well as defensively. Playing with fellow top prospect Owen Tippett on the Steelheads, the Kitchener native has been praised for his all around play with scouts praising not only his play in all three ends but also his physicality and abilities on the powerplay. There is concern, like all tall players, about his speed although scouts seem to disagree on this, with some noting his foot speed as an issue while others claiming it to be fine for the modern league. Mike Morreale has stated that Hague is more than just your typical big defender, his offensive ability make him a very intriguing prospect for any team looking to add a player who can add some toughness and size to their backend while also getting a player who can contribute offensively.
Videos:
2015-16 Highlights
15) Cal Foote (D) WHL Kelowna Rockets 6’3 209lbs
ISS: 8 Hockeyprospect.com: 13 Future Considerations: 22 McKeen’s: 23 Bob McKenzie 18
Elite Prospects page
The son of Avalanche great Adam Foote, Cal is following in his father’s footsteps as he is on a path to become an NHL defender. According to scouts he doesn’t quite have the meanness of his father, but does have some more offensive upside than Adam did. Teammates see him as a phenomenal leader with possible captaincy aspirations. Foote is another in quite the collection of defenders who can serve on the powerplay in this draft. The main knock on Callan’s game is his foot speed, with multiple scouts listing it as an area that needs improvement. Foote is another interesting prospect with a great hockey bloodline.
Videos:
2015-16 Highlights
2016-17 Highlights
Other interesting prospects: Cody Glass, Lias Andersson, Kailer Yamamoto, Maxime Comtois
Personal opinions: I think that the best bet for the Canucks would be to take a center, any one of Nolan Patrick, Nico Hischier, Gabe Vilardi, Casey Mittelstadt, or Elias Pettersson would help this team out immensely. And I believe this is Benning’s thought process going into the draft as well based on what he has said in interviews. However if we fall out of a lotto spot and the first four centers (Patrick, Hischier, Vilardi, and Mittelstadt) are taken I think the team should shift its focus to defense. We still need a quarterback for the PP in the future and I believe that Timothy Liljegren and to a lesser extent Cale Makar fit the bill. With Liljegren especially I can’t help but get excited at the prospect of a Juolevi - Liljegren pairing in the future. Regardless of where the lotto balls land us, we should have plenty of opportunity to select a young, promising young player. Hopefully Jim Benning and the rest of the scouting staff can continue to build on what has seemed to be a series of good drafts. If all luck goes the Canucks way they will have 4 picks in the first 2 rounds (Columbus’ 2nd rounder and San Jose’s 1st) which if used correctly will help to accelerate the rebuild significantly.
Also apologizes for the music in a lot of these highlight packs. I wouldn't have had any background music but I didn't make the videos
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Game Thread: IIHF World Junior Championship Group Stage (Canada vs Finland)

| 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship |

|Group Stage|

Pool B
Canada (0-0-0) vs Finland (0-0-0)

Time:

3:30 PM Eastern 2:30 PM Central 1:30 PM Mountain 12:30 PM Pacific

Location:

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta

Watch:

TV: Canada: TSN, TSN2, RDS
United States: NHL Network
Pan-European: Eurosport2
Czech Republic: Ceske Televize
Finland: MTV3
Russia: NTV Plus
Sweden: SVT, Viasat
Switzerland: SRG (highlights only)
Stream:* TSN.ca, FASTHockey.com, wiziwig.tv, FirstRowSports, IsHunger.tv, rds; should work in US
*I will try to update this with working streams
/Hockey Chat

Standings:

Group A
Team W L OTW OTL PTS GF GA
Switzerland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sweden 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Latvia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Russia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Slovakia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Group B
Team W L OTW OTL PTS GF GA
Czech Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 1 0 0 0 3 8 1
Denmark 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Finland 0 1 0 0 0 1 8
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rosters
Canada
Goaltenders
Name Team Draft Status
Mark Visentin Niagara(OHL)
Scott Wedgewood Plymouth(OHL)
Defence
Name Team Draft Status
Nathan Beaulieu Saint John(QMJHL)
Brandon Gormley Moncton(QMJHL)
Dougie Hamilton Niagara(OHL)
Scott Harrington London(OHL)
Ryan Murray Everett(WHL) 2012 Eligible
Jamie Oleksiak Saginaw(OHL)
Mark Pysyk Edmonton(WHL)
Forwards
Name Team Draft Status
Michael Bournival Shawinigan(QMJHL)
*Brett Connolly Tampa Bay(NHL)
Brendan Gallagher Vancouver(WHL)
Freddie Hamilton Niagara(OHL)
*Quinton Howden Moose Jaw(WHL)
Jonathan Huberdeau Saint John (QMJHL)
Boone Jenner Oshawa(OHL)
Tanner Pearson Barrie(OHL) 2012 Eligible
Mark Scheifele Barrie(OHL)
*Jaden Schwartz Colorado College (WCHA)
Devante Smith-Pelly Anaheim (NHL)
Mark Stone Brandon (WHL)
Ryan Strome Niagara (OHL)
Finland
Goaltenders
Name Team Draft Status
Sami Aittokallio Ilves Tampere
Christopher Gibson Chicoutimi Sagueneens(QMJHL)
Richard Ullberg SaiPa Lappeenranta 2012 Eligible
Defence
Name Team Draft Status
Jani Hakanpaa Espoo Blues
Miro Hovinen Jokerit Helsinki 2012 Eligible
Olli Maatta London Knights, OHL 2012 Eligible
Konsta Makinen Ilves Tampere 2012 Eligible
Julius Nyqvist HIFK Helsinki 2012 Eligible
Ville Pokka Karpat Oulu 2012 Eligible
Simo-Pekka Riikola KalPa Kuopio 2012 Eligible
Rasmus Ristolainen TPS Turku 2013 Eligible
Forwards
Name Team Draft Status
Miro Aaltonen Espoo Blues 2012 Eligible
Joel Armia Assat Pori
Aleksander Barkov Tappara Tampere 2013 Eligible
Joonas Donskoi Karpat Oulu
Markus Granlund HIFK Helsinki
Mikael Granlund HIFK Helsinki
Petteri Halinen JYP Jyvaskyla 2012 Eligible
Roope Hamalainen SaiPa/Jukurit 2012 Eligible
Markus Hannikainen Jokerit Helsinki 2012 Eligible
Mikael Kuronen Ilves Tampere 2012 Eligible
Otto Paajanen HPK Hameenlinna 2012 Eligible
Teemu Pulkkinen Jokerit Helsinki
Alexander Ruuttu Jokerit Helsinki
Miikka Salomaki Karpat Oulu
Team Breakdowns The Hockey Writers
Canada
Coach Don Hay and Head Scout Kevin Prendergast didn’t have as many easy choices to make this year as they may have had in past years, as this year’s camp was about as wide open as you’re ever going to see in a Canadian selection camp. If you look at the roster, you could say that only about five players were locks to make this team. Using the 22-man roster we have now, that means that there were 17 spots up for grabs. For a Canadian national hockey team, that is an extremely high amount of open slots. Just to show how wide open it was, Coach Hay said afterwards that Tanner Pearson – the Ontario Hockey League’s points leader by a mile – was one of the last players to make the team. Before this season, most people had never even heard of Tanner Pearson. When a Canadian hockey fan thought of the Barrie Colts, they immediately thought of fellow Team Canada forward Mark Scheifele, and that was it. There would have been no mention of Pearson, not even a thought. Well, that’s all changed pretty quickly hasn’t it? Some analysts are saying that Canada could be considered an underdog in this years tournament in Alberta, on home ice. The Americans may have the more “visually appealing” roster, so that must make them the favourite, right? Oh, if only life were that simple.
Finland
Finland could be the biggest surprise of the tournament, in spite of having a very young roster. Talented players currently part of NHL organizations such as Mikael Granlund (drafted 9th overall 2010 by the Minnesota Wild), Teemu Pulkkinen (111th overall 2010 by the Detroit Red Wings) and Joel Armia (16th overall 2011 by the Buffalo Sabres) will look to lead the team to its first medal in the tournament since 2006. This year’s Finnish entry is considered their most talented in years, and presents a very strong chance to end that drought; perhaps even upsetting Canada along the way.

Tournament players to watch;[The Hockey News]

10. Mark Visentin, G, Canada (Phoenix Coyotes) Canada has struggled in the crease area at recent WJC tournaments, including Visentin's performance late in last year's event. He'll be under a lot of pressure to bounce back this time around.
9. Aleksander Barkov, C, Finland (2013 draft eligible) He's only 16, and won't be eligible for the NHL draft until 2013, but Barkov is the real deal. There's a good chance he plays on Finland's third line (at least), so he may become a factor here.
8. Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Russia (2012 draft eligible) Arguably the most dynamic player in the QMJHL this season, Grigorenko will look to improve his '12 draft stock (or at least maintain it). Not everyone is sold on his upside, so he needs to stand out.
7. Emerson Etem, RW, USA (Anaheim Ducks) There is plenty of scoring potential on Team USA this time around, but the spotlight could be squarely on WHL second-leading scorer Etem. The California speedster has 30 goals in 34 games this year.
6. Jaden Schwartz, LW, Canada (St. Louis Blues) Seeking redemption here, Schwartz will look for better luck after fracturing his ankle in the tournament a year ago. The speedy sophomore has 18 points in 13 games at Colorado College this season.
5. Evgeny Kuznetsov, LW/RW, Russia (Washington Capitals) Expected to join the Capitals next season, Kuznetsov is among the KHL scoring leaders in 2011-12 for Traktor Chelyabinsk. A strong showing here will convince the Caps he doesn't need AHL seasoning.
4. Jack Campbell, G, USA (Dallas Stars) A bit like Visentin, Campbell will have a big spotlight on him in this tourney. He has been a clutch performer for Team USA but he may look over his shoulder now with John Gibson challenging him.
3. Mika Zibanejad, C, Sweden (Ottawa Senators) Ottawa's second-line center of the near future (likely in 2012-13) had a nine-game NHL trial earlier this season, so he should be ready to put on quite a display for Swedish fans and Sens scouts alike here.
2. Nail Yakupov, RW, Russia (2012 draft eligible) Is Yakupov the best player outside the NHL today? Is he the consensus No. 1 pick in 2012? These questions may be answered in this year's WJC. He has the ability to take over this entire tournament.
1. Mikael Granlund, C/W, Finland (Minnesota Wild) If Yakupov isn't the best non-NHLer in the world today, Granlund just might be. He's 19, so he's been through this before. A good bet to join the Wild next season, Granlund could be a huge factor here.
NHL / IIHF Rules Comparison

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Special thanks to Majupra for adding the IIHF team icons to the sub-reddit.
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Wayback Wednesday - Hockey in Africa

Hockey has thrived most in areas with long, cold winters; places where people needed to do... something outside to avoid frostbite.
When most hockey fans think of the game internationally, they think of the Olympics, or maybe the World Juniors or the World Championships. There, a similar group of teams from a similar group of countries play each other year after year. It's easy to think that hockey's only played in a few places.
Wrong. Hockey is growing globally, and it's growing fast.
One of the places where hockey is growing fastest is Africa. When you think of the stereotypes surrounding hockey – cold weather and rinks, expensive equipment, rich players and families - you don't think of Africa. That's fair.
Truth is, hockey's been played in Africa, in some way or another, since the 1930's. There have been professional leagues, games played in front of thousands of spectators, and even a few NHL players and prospects born on the continent.
Four NHL players were born in Africa – Chris Nielsen was born in Tanzania, Olaf Kolzig in South Africa, and both Rumun Ndur and Akim Aliu hail from Nigeria.
Players with roots in Congo-Brazzaville (the Impose brothers, Auguste and Aurelien), Eritrea (Oliver Kylington), Liberia (Clarence Kparghai), and Swaziland (Adrian Savelo Alvarstein) all play in Europe or in North America.
Today, I'm gonna try to take you through each country in Africa that currently plays, or may start playing soon. There aren't a lot, obviously, but there are more than you might think. We'll start with the first.

SOUTH AFRICA (1937)

South Africa, as far as African hockey goes, is the motherland. The first hockey game on the continent was played in Johannesburg in 1935, on a temporary rink. A year later, the South African Ice Hockey Association was founded, and the first permanent ice rink in the country, the Wembley Ice Rink, was opened. South Africa joined the IIHF in 1937, and formed a national team, which played a senior team from Canada later that year.
The country's first star was Heinz Ball, a German-born player who moved to the country after WWII broke out. Heinz came to Jo-burg in 1936, and he was joined by his brother Rudi in 1948. If you're wondering, yes, these are the same Ball brothers who we wrote an article on back in the fall.
It took until 1961 for South Africa to play its first international game, played at the World Championships in Switzerland. South Africa played Yugoslavia, and... they got their butts kicked, 12-3. South Africa finished 19th out of 20, winning only one game in the tournament. Not a great start.
Meanwhile, back home, a semi-professional league was starting at the Wembley Ice Rink. The rink's owner, Hymie Sofer, started a small league that would play, every Tuesday night, at his arena. He teamed up with the SAIHA's head, Otto Hertz, a wealthy businessman related to the same Hertz family that people rent cars from today. Hertz was flush with money, and bankrolled the league.
With this new money, Sofer hired scouts and coaches, and set out to attract players from top European leagues. South Africa is south of the equator, and as such, has opposite seasons to the ones seen further north. Sofer and his group scheduled the season during the European off-season, and promised players decent pay, summer work, and a chance to stay in shape over the summer. Many players took up the offer.
The teams were named after the countries where most players came from; Canadians played on the Maple Leafs, the Swiss Bears were full of Swiss players, and players from the Austrian league suited up for Edelweiss. Other teams, like the Holiday Inns and the Hush Puppies, were named after sponsors.
Things went well for the league, until the world discovered the nasty side of South Africa – apartheid. Other countries stopped playing the South African national team, and many countries boycotted South Africa altogether. The country's currency, the rand, plummeted. Players previously attracted by quick money in the off-season went home. The league died on its feet.
Today, South Africa has the most advanced hockey infrastructure in Africa by a mile. They have a women's national team, founded in 1999, which is the highest ranked on the continent. The men's side now features players like Ashley and Gary Bock, a pair of goaltending brothers who are known for their titanic size, and players like Uthman Samaai, Wesley Krotz, Xander Botha, and Reelan Malgas, all of whom spent their winters playing in North America.
In South Africa now, there are three amateur hockey leagues, centered in Cape Town, Gauteng, and Durban. More than 20 teams take part, and there is a national championship set up where the winners of the three leagues face off for a national title.

NAMIBIA (1995)

Namibia is an odd case. You see, Namibia doesn't play ice hockey; the country doesn't have a rink. However, they have a very advanced inline hockey program.
Namibia has a domestic inline league set up, with teams like the Swakopmund Coastal Pirates, the Windhoek Lions, and the Otjiwarongo Scorpions. The Scorpions actually hold the world record for the longest inline hockey game ever played, going for 27 hours to raise money for the national program.
Final score: 316 to 291.
The Namibian national team plays tournaments around the world, and will attend the FIRS World Inline Championship in Italy this June.
However, despite their inline infrastructure, Namibia has no ice rinks. One may possibly open up on the site of a new shopping mall in the capital of Windhoek, but for now, there's nothing. However, some top team players, like Vincent Van Biljon and Riyaan Ely, have taken their game on ice in other countries, like South Africa or Australia.
They also know how to dress up, too. Which is nice.

ALGERIA (2006)

We're now taking a hike up north, to Algeria. The Algerian national team was started by players of Algerian descent playing in Europe. They were first formed in '06, and played their first organized international games in the IIHF's 2008 Arab Cup. The Arab Cup was intended to be an annual competition between Arab nations with teams; after 2008, the idea was abandoned.
The team played their first game against Kuwait, and got their first goal; scored by French-born Hakim Boukhaloua. They lost all five games they played, but the team's top scorer, Harond Litim, won tournament MVP.
Since the Arab Cup, the Algerian team has been in a sort of stasis. The national team has played a few exhibition games, including one against a lower-level French team which ended 8-8. The Algerians were paced by Francky Sadani, who scored five points, and Yassine Fahas, who had three assists.
Now, only two Algerian national players still play in France – Gael Benbekhti and Harond Litim. The team's main supporter, player and manager Karim Kerbouche, follows the team and it's players wherever they go, snapping photos and chronicling the team's story along the way.
They can't join the IIHF officially, since for many years, there were no ice rinks and no current domestic league. However, a rink has been built in Algiers, and another rink may be erected elsewhere soon. A league is set to start for next season, and some Algerian hockey players have received equipment donations from the NHLPA.
It doesn't seem too far-fetched to say that Algeria may soon be the IIHF's newest member.
And their jerseys are pretty damn sweet, too.

MOROCCO (2008)

Much like Algeria, Morocco's team was started around the time of the 2008 Arab Cup. The Moroccans finished in third place, in their international debut.
In Morocco, there are existing ice rinks, one in Rabat and another in Casablanca. The team featured some notable names, like Omar Ennaffati, a former Canadian pro player who would later play for Hungary internationally, and a few former major junior players, like Youseff Kabbaj.
The three people who helped start the team are a set of Canadian brothers, the Harrochs; Patrick, Eric, and Marc. All three were born in Quebec, and played some level of junior hockey. Marc even played in a training camp with the Rimouski Oceanic, where he played against Sidney Crosby. The team's leading scorer, Samir Bouchaoui, was born in Sweden and played several years in Sweden's second and third division leagues.
Junior teams still play in Morocco, even though there's not much news on the men's front. A national youth team has played tournaments against teams from Spain and France, and has a close relationship with FC Barcelona (yes, that FC Barcelona. They field a hockey team, too.)

TUNISIA (2009)

Another North African country with a fledgling program, Tunisia's team only played their first game in June 2014. The team was put together by Ihad Ayed, a French-born player who fell in love with the game at a young age.
Ayed spent five years scouting players from around the world, looking for players with Tunisian ancestry. After recruiting 25 players from several countries, the team met in Paris in 2014 for it's first game, against the second-tier Courbevoie Coqs.
The Tunisian team lost 6-5 in an entertaining debut, which featured Tunisian dancers on ice, a line brawl, and a ton of merch for the fans.
Most of the team's players were born and raised in France, but players on the team come from around the world. Mikael Lockner comes from Sweden; Vincent Elbaze, Nathan Bernier, and Adrien Sebag all play in France's second highest league; Scander Menasri, who scored the team's first goal, is German, and the team's coach, Vesa Surenkin, hails from Finland. The players have different backgrounds, but there's one common thread; all the players have Tunisian ancestry.

SOMALIA (2013)

Another weird case. Somalia doesn't play hockey; there's no rinks in Mogadishu. Somalia does, however, have a national bandy team.
Bandy, for those who don't know, is a mix between soccer and hockey, played on a soccer-pitch-sized rink, with 11 players per side and a ball instead of a puck.
Somalia's team began in 2013, when a Swedish bandy club in the town of Borlange formed a team for young Somalian immigrants. Formed by the head of the club as an “integration project”, one of his friends suggested creating a full-blown national team. The idea took off, and in 2013, the Somali Olympic Committee and the International Bandy Federation gave it the green light.
Before suiting up for their first game, the Swedish-led squad enlisted the help of Anwar Hared, a Canadian hockey player of Somali descent. Before receiving an invitation, he'd never played bandy before; now, he's the team's all-time leading scorer.
Somalia's team has taken place in three Bandy World Cups, and honestly, haven't done that well. They've gone 0-13, giving up 164 goals along the way. However, the players still love the game, and will be heading back next year for another tournament.

KENYA

The world of Kenyan hockey is a very small one. The country only has one rink, at the Panari Hotel near Nairobi. The rink is only open for hockey for an hour a week, and it costs $7 US to play; not easy when the average Kenyan's monthly wage amounts to $75 US.
The players include both ex-pats and native Kenyans, and despite having shabby equipment, old nets, and no goalies – games are played using plastic penguin statues in net – the players keep turning out.
Kenyan hockey has gotten a little bit more exposure since a video showing the weekly game, produced by UK-based Hockey Tutorial, went viral last year. Since the video's release, equipment donations have begun, and the players even have new jerseys.
There's no discussion of a potential national team on the horizon, but if things someday change, there's already people interested in playing.

NIGERIA

We'll finish things off with another country with no national team, Nigeria. Nigeria has produced more NHLers than any other African country, with both Akim Aliu and Rumun Ndur suiting up. Jarome Iginla's family immigrated to Canada from Nigeria not long before his birth, too.
Despite that, organized hockey hasn't ever become a big thing in Nigeria, mostly due to a lack of ice. Now, though, there is a permanent rink in Nigeria, in a shopping mall in Ikeja City, not far from the largest city, Lagos.
There have also been portable rinks set up around the country in the past, usually as a short-term gimmick.
I'll leave you with an image of one of those rinks, set up at the British Buckswood School north of Lagos. Check out the smiling guy over our buddy's shoulder.
Nigeria has a large ex-pat community, and an abundance of oil money. If there's one country where a team could begin soon, I'd bet on Nigeria.
submitted by SenorPantsbulge to hockey [link] [comments]

[60 Teams, 60 Days] Ferris State University Bulldogs

Ferris State University

Western Collegiate Hockey Association (2013-Present)
Central Collegiate Hockey Association (1979-2013)
Founded: 1884
Location: Big Rapids, MI
Attendance: 14,707
Nickname: Bulldogs. The school newspaper named the team Ferrisites, and the Big Rapids Pioneer called them the Spartans. It wasn’t until 1931 that the name Bulldogs was used to describe the school’s basketball team. “…He asked what would happen if an irresistible force met an immovable object, then said that [basketball coach William T.] McElwain believed the question might be solved when the ‘irresistible Central State Teachers College Bearcats met Ferris immovable Bulldogs.’ He went on, ‘…it is discovered that the name (Bulldogs) has been applied to them because of their demonstrated ability to hang on to their men and never let go…’”
Mascot: Brutus. Our large bulldog spends the game wandering the arena entertaining the kids or messing with the students in the Dawg Pound. During the second intermission, he typically takes a sled on the ice, skates from the red line to the blue line and attempts to “score a goal”. BONUS! Pre Makeover Brutus! NSFL
Unofficial Mascot: Monkey Man. The Monkey Man has spent the past few seasons dressing up in a monkey suit to cheer on the Bulldogs and harass the opponents during warm ups and the games. The most fun is during pregame stretching. The building is so small, the only place to get the entire team together to stretch is on the concourse (usually a little after 2 hours to game time, so the only fans in the building are students waiting to get in the Dawg Pound), so Mr. Monkey Man likes to heckle everybody except Bowling Green, who has invited him to join on a few occasions.
Band: Ferris State Pep Band. The band is not well received by students, if I am honest. They play songs at wildly inappropriate times (i.e. playing Tequila immediately after a goal against or playing something as we are attempting to salute a player recovering from a serious injury), and have a habit of walking in front of everybody during play. It's nice to have a band at a college game. We just wish they would work with us a little better.
Fight Song:
Cheer those Bulldogs,
Watch them fight.
Boost those Bulldogs,
They’re alright.
We’ll stand by the Crimson and Gold,
Fight, Fight, Fight!
Bulldogs of Ferris,
Cheer that Bulldog Varsity,
Steer that team to Victory.
Fight you Ferris Bulldogs and gain another victory.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Fight for the Ferris Crimson and the Gold.
Note Nobody sings the song, except the part where you say “WOO!”
Arena: Robert L. Ewigleben Ice Arena. Opened 1976. Capacity: 2,493. Named for the former school president who is responsible for getting the program to jump from ACHA to NCAA Division 1. The rink is part of the Ewigleben Sports Complex which includes the D1 rink, a small half sheet used for 3 on 3 games and youth practices, Wink Arena (basketball) and a volleyball court.
Student Section: Dawg Pound. Known for being one of the top student sections in college hockey, the Dawg Pound is both rowdy and ruthless, especially when it comes to the opponents goalie. There are typically 2 white boards floating around the section with witty, funny or downright obscene phrases or drawings, often drawing laughs from opposing players during warm ups. Because it is a general admission student section it's normal to see students lined up at the doors as early as an hour and a half before the doors open. The doors open at 6 and the first three rows are typically full by 6:05.
First Season: 1979-80 (CCHA) 26-11-1
All Time Record: 563-628-129
Championships: 0
Frozen Four Appearances: 1 (2012)
Tournament Appearances: 3- 2003 (Lost Midwest Regional Final to Minnesota), 2012 (Lost National Championship to Boston College DAMN YOU JONNY GAUDREAU!), 2014 (Lost Midwest Regional Final to North Dakota)
Rivals:
Western Michigan University. This is simply a geographic rivalry. Being just 2 hours north of Kalamazoo, Ferris and Western battled for supremacy of Western Michigan (or we did until the CCHA died). Our most memorable moment is a game from 2013 that involved a line brawl, a goalie challenging his counterpart to a fight (Frank Slubowski didn’t answer the call, if you were wondering), a last minute tying goal and a shootout win for the Bulldogs! Unfortunately, realignment in 2013 placed Ferris in the WCHA and Western in the new NCHC, so the teams have not played during the past two seasons.
Minnesota State University. This is a brand new and growing one starting in 2013-14 with the new WCHA, possibly replacing Western, since they got scared and ran off to the NCHC. So far, we have had a handful of very tight and physical games, one involving a full line brawl featuring goaltenders, and met twice in the Final Five. It might get a little more interesting if Ferris can finally win a damn game though.
Grand Valley State University. Oh right... They don't even have a hockey team! I suppose beating them in every other sport will have to suffice.
Uniform History Note Ferris State’s hockey is not well documented on the internet, so the dates are estimated based on my memory of the team photos hanging in the rink.
2014-15 Season: 18-20-2 (13-14-1)
Coach: Bob Daniels (1992- Present) 397-409-89
2013-14 Roster:
Captain: CJ Motte, G, Sr
Alternate Captains: Simon Denis, D, Sr and Kyle Schempp, C, So
Leading Scorer: Matt Robertson, RW, Jr: 6-17-23/ Gerald Mayhew, So, RW: 11-12-23
Leading Goal Scorer: Gerald Mayhew, So, RW
Big Moments:
Home Opener vs. Michigan. Ferris State opened up the season at home against Michigan. A combination of excitement for the season (as the season before was brilliant) and a well known team coming to town meant the Dawg Pound was rowdy and loud starting about 30 minutes before the puck was dropped. The Bulldogs scored early and often en route to a 4-3 win in a game that saw both teams play incredible hockey. The highlight of the night was goaltender CJ Motte slamming the door on his younger brother, Tyler Motte’s, breakaway drawing a “LITTLE BROTHER!” chant from the students.
WCHA Playoffs Round 1 @ Bemidji State 3OT. For the second straight year, Ferris faced off against the Beavers of Bemidji State in the first round of the WCHA playoffs, this time in Minnesota. For the second straight year, Ferris went into game 2 with a chance for a sweep and head back to the Final Five. For the second straight year, the game required multiple overtime periods to do it. Ryan Lowney eventually ended the triple overtime game with a great shot from the point.
2014-15 Summary
The 2014-15 season was a big step backwards for the Bulldogs, after taking the MacNaughton Cup and advancing to the NCAA Regional Final in 2013-14. Ferris State’s struggles stemmed from a lack of offensive production from the blueline and from the senior class (Jason Binkley led the seniors in points, finishing 10th on the team). The season started with a strong win against a good Michigan team. The conference schedule started less favorably, however, when the Bulldogs were swept aside by Michigan Tech in Big Rapids. The series was the first 2 home losses since the home opener the previous year. The team appeared to get back on track after a dominant sweep of Alaska Anchorage by a combined score of 14-2, but that was immediately followed by a disappointing home split with Alabama Huntsville and a tie and loss to a very bad Wisconsin team. Ferris had a chance to redeem the season on a big stage when they headed to the Motor City for the school’s first appearance in the Great Lakes Invitational. Instead, they were shutout by Michigan State and dropped a 4-2 contest to Michigan Tech. The low point of the season was a 7 game losing streak at the hands of #1 Minnesota State and Bowling Green. The regular season ended with a sweep of Lake State in Sault Ste Marie. With those two wins, CJ Motte became the program’s all time wins leader. The one bright spot of the season was the great play of the sophomore class, most notably Schempp, Mayhew, forward Chad MacDonald and slick skating defenseman Ryan Lowney. The Bulldogs knocked off a surprisingly good Bemidji State team in the first round of the WCHA playoffs before being easily swept aside by a dominant Minnesota State in the Final Five Semifinal in St. Paul, MN.
2015-16 Season
Schedule
Draftees
Kyle Schempp, C, 2014 New York Islanders (Round 6, 155 Overall)
Key Games
Oct. 9-10 Home and Home against old rivals Western Michigan University
Oct. 16-17 Home vs. Michigan Tech
Nov. 6-7 At Minnesota State
Players To Watch
/#6 Kyle Schempp, Jr, C. The Islanders draft pick from Saginaw, MI showed that he was a star early on as a freshman, getting first line minutes for much of his first two seasons. He had a slow start to last season after a shoulder surgery in Summer 2014 but had a very strong finish to the season.
/#22 Matt Robertson, Sr, RW. The Rohnert Park, California native came into his own last season playing on a line with Schempp and Gerald Mayhew, tying Mayhew for the team lead in points.
/#10 Ryan Lowney, Jr, D. Lowney is downright fun to watch. I compare him to Martin St. Louis because he stands only 5’8, but isn’t afraid to get in to it with anybody bigger than him, which is everybody. As if that wasn’t enough, he has incredible stickhandling skills bordering “Datsyukian” (Ok, he’s not quite Datsyuk, but it’s still fun to watch). Lowney hails from Redford, MI.
Greatest Players:
Chris Kunitz (1999-2003): 152 GP 99 G 76 A 175 Pts, Hobey Baker Finalist (2003). NHL: Anaheim Ducks (2003-09), Pittsburgh Penguins (2009-Present) 733 GP 224 G 287 A 511 PTS, Stanley Cup Champion (2007, 2009) First Team All Star (2013). International: Team Canada- Olympic Gold Medalist (2014), World Championship Silver Medalist (2008)
Kunitz is undoubtedly the greatest player the school ever had both during his days at Ferris and in his professional career. He made an instant splash for the team when he scored 20 goals during his freshman year. After two more great seasons that saw him put up 29 and 38 points, Kunitz was ready to make a name for himself on the national stage. The 2002-03 season was historic for the Bulldogs, and much of that is due to Chris Kunitz's play. He smashed school records by scoring 35 goals, 44 assits and 79 points in 42 games. The team would end up winning 30 games and making its first trip to the NCAA tournament. The following season, he was signed by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, where he would split time between the NHL and AHL for a few seasons before scoring 25 goals for the Ducks en route to their first ever Stanley Cup. Two years later, he was traded to Pittsburgh where he would win his second Cup. 2013-14 proved to be his best NHL campaign as he tallied 35 goals and 33 assists and earned a spot on the Canadian Olympic team that would bring home Gold.
Zach Redmond (2007-11): 141 GP 22 G 68 A 90 PTS. NHL: Atlanta Thrashers Draft Pick (2008. Rd 7 184 Overall) Winnipeg Jets (2012-14) 18 GP 2 G 5 A 7 Pts, Colorado Avalanche (2014-Present) 59 GP 5 G 15 A 20 PTS. International: Team USA- World Championship Bronze Medalist (2015)
Atlanta Thrashers draft pick Zach Redmond led the Bulldogs from the blueline for four years. He put up career highs in assists and points during his junior year with 6 goals, 21 assists and 27 points. He was on pace to surpass those during his senior year, however, injuries limited him to just 26 games where he tallied 7 goals, 13 assists and 20 points. Redmond spent the 2011-12 season with the St. John's Ice Caps of the AHL. Due to the NHL lockout, he remained there to start the following season as well. When the NHL resumed, Redmond was called up the the Winnipeg Jets where his career was nearly ended. During a practice, Redmond took a teammates skate to the thigh, cutting his femoral artery leaving him with a nasty scar. Redmond would recover and return the next season where he played 10 more games in the NHL. In the Summer of 2014, he signed with the Colorado Avalanche. Redmond was selected to play for Team USA in the 2015 World Championships where he took home Bronze.
CJ Motte (2011-15): 127 GP 66-49, H. AHL: Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2015): 4 GP 1-2-1, Rochester Americans (2015-Present)
CJ Motte, nicknamed Dexter by a small group of fans, split time with senior Taylor Nelson during his freshman year, the brilliant 2011-12 season that saw Ferris State run all the way the the National Championship game. After Nelson graduated, CJ became the obvious choice to be the starting goaltender. Motte hit a bit of a sophomore slump in 2012-13, as he was good but nothing spactacular and finished with a .500 record and 5th in the CCHA. 2013-14, however was an entirely different story. The season started with Motte and sophomore Charles Williams alternating the first 4 games of the season. CJ won both of his starts and took over for the rest of the season, and what a season it was. Motte was 28-9-3 and was absolutely unbeatable at home. His play earned him a Hobey Baker nomination and he finished as a Top 10 finalist. Motte would shut out Colgate in the first round of the NCAA tournament before allowing only 2 goals in 5 periods to North Dakota in the regional final. His play as a junior earned him the Captain's 'C' for his senior year where he would continue his stellar play. This time, however, the team wasn't able to back him up, so he finished 18-20-2 despite posting career highs for GAA and SV%. Motte left college and immediately signed with the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers where he won his first start. This summer, CJ Motte signed another AHL deal with the Rochester Americans.
Best Coach:
Bob Daniels- 1992-Present- 377-387-87. 2x CCHA Coach of the Year (2003, 2012), 2012 Spencer Penrose Award (Top Coach in NCAA as voted by American Hockey Coaches Association), 2014 WCHA Coach of the Year
Greatest Games:
2012 Midwest Regional Final: Cornell vs Ferris State 2-1 Win- 5 minute penalty kill and a goal immediately at the end of the penalty propelled Ferris to a 2-1 win and a trip to Tampa for their first ever Frozen Four!
2012 Frozen Four: Union vs Ferris State 3-1 Win- A late goal by junior Kyle Bonis ended up being the game winner and Ferris State moved on to the National Championship Game vs. Boston College
2013 Western Michigan vs. Ferris State 3-2 Win SO- We fought, We won.
2014 WCHA Playoffs Round 1, Game 2: Bemidji State @ Ferris State 3-2 Win 2OT- Captain Scott Czarnowczan scored on a strange, fluttering shot to send Ferris to the WCHA Final Five
2014 Midwest Regional Semifinal: Colgate vs. Ferris State 1-0 Win- In the 4th matchup of the season against the Raiders (who had won 2 of the 3 games with shutouts), it took freshman Gerald Mayhew batting a puck out of the air to beat goaltender Charlie Finn and Colgate 1-0
2014 Midwest Regional Final: North Dakota vs. Ferris State 2-1 Loss 2OT- Despite being the #2 seed in the region, Ferris came into this game as slight underdogs against the powerful University of North Dakota. The Ferris State onslaught was repeatedly turned aside by goaltender Zane McIntyre (then Zane Gothberg), who stole the show by making 43 saves in the 2OT win.
2015 WCHA Playoffs Round 1, Game 2: Bemidji State vs. Ferris State 3-2 Win 3OT- Ryan Lowney ends the longest game in school history to send the Bulldogs back to the Final Five for the second straight year
Traditions:
Just before game time: “I! I believe! I believe that! I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win!...”
Before opening faceoff: “Drooooop It! Drooooop It! Drooooop It! Thank You Asshole!”
Ferris Powerplay:
Leader: Ice cold beer!
Students: Makes you wanna cheer!
L: Ice cold wine!
S: Makes you feel fine!
L: Ice cold whiskey!
S: Makes you feel frisky!
L: Ice cold puck!
S: MAKES YOU WANNA SCOOOOORE!
Goalie plays puck behind net: L: Know your role! S: Stay in your hole!
City: Big Rapids, MI
Population: 10,517 (2013)
History: Big Rapids Industrial School was founded in 1884 by Woodbridge N. Ferris. A year later, the name was changed to Ferris Industrial School and later Ferris Institute. 1893 was an incredibly significant year for the school. A young student asked Mr. Ferris to train him for a career as a pharmacist. He did, and state officials were so impressed with how well he did on the state board exam, Ferris was encouraged to establish a full time pharmacy program, which remains the most well known program at Ferris State. In 1898, the school made the change from private to a public school. In 1949, the State of Michigan purchased the school and it was again renamed Ferris State College. Before the state could take control, however, a fire broke out destroying all but three buildings (Alumni Building, Old Main and Prakken) which are all haunted. In 1963, the name was changed from Ferris Institute to Ferris State College. In 1987, the FSC became Ferris State University. The Bulldogs' magical run in the 2012 NCAA tournament proved to be quite huge for the school as well. The National Championship appearance was immediately followed by record enrollment over the next 3 years.
Local Dining
Crankers Brewery- Great food, and open into the wee hours of the morning, so pretty much all you can ask for in a college town
Schuberg’s- Old school bar in downtown Big Rapids with some fantastic burgers
Other Sports:
Hockey is the school’s only Division 1 sport and the most successful sport, however, the football, basketball and volleyball teams all had great 2014-15 years. Football went undefeated through the regular season and into the 2nd round of the playoffs. We also haven’t lost to Grand Valley State since 2011, which isn’t really relevant except it pisses them off something fierce since it’s the only sport they care about and they still can’t beat us. Basketball and volleyball also came home with GLIAC titles.
Other:
If you’re ever in Big Rapids, I highly suggest visiting the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. It’s a small museum in the basement of the school library and, well you can probably figure out what you’ll find down there. It is definitely a powerful experience to walk through. If you want something a bit more fun and less serious, the Wildlife Center is also a fun time. If you’ve ever wanted to go nose to nose with a huge stuffed giraffe (we all know you do!), this is the place to do it. Most importantly, if you happen to be in town in January of February, grab your skates and a stick and get in on a pickup game at Hemlock Park! Nothing beats outdoor hockey under flood lights with the snow falling!
Academics
Ferris State University is has over 150 programs divided into 7 colleges.
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Business
College of Education and Human Services
College of Engineering Technology
College of Health Professions
Michigan College of Optometry
College of Pharmacy.
The Optometry and Pharmacy programs are very prestigious and considered by many to be the best in the nation. These are the programs that are typically brought up when discussing Ferris State, but they are not the only highly touted programs. The Plastics and Rubber Engineering majors are undeniably the best of the few in the country (Only 7 colleges in the United States has a plastics program. Only 1 has rubber) according to the very unbiased opinion I have come to over the past 2 years as a Plastic Engineering student at Ferris.
Notable Alumni:
If you wear glasses or have had eye surgery, I’d be willing to bet a Ferris State alum played a big role in correcting your eyesight.
Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill. I chose to not include him in the great players list because, well, you have to be a great player to be mentioned that. Mr. Blashill was not, but we still love him.
Woodbridge N. Ferris. Ok, so he's not exactly an alum, but he founded the school so I think it fits. After founding the school in 1884, Mr. Ferris went on to serve as Governor of Michigan from 1913-1917. After that, he went on to Washington to serve as one of Michigan's senators from 1923 until his death in 1928. Plus, he has an awesome name.
Also Me.
What’s Next?
I think this will be a rebound season for the Bulldogs. This year’s junior class has been improving every game since they started and look ready to take the reins and lead us back into NCAA tournament contention. Our only major concern is in goal. CJ Motte, who anchored very good teams for 3 years after platooning as a freshman during the 2011-12 season, graduated leaving Bob Daniels with quite the decision to make. Does he choose senior Charles Williams? Williams was a very good goaltender in brief stints during his freshman and sophomore years, so he should be the favorite except he missed all of last season with an injury (Unfortunately, I don’t know what it was). How about junior Trace Pennock? Trace allowed 2 goals in 9 minutes during a blowout win against Alaska Anchorage, and that is his only in game experience over his 2 seasons. Or does he defy all of that and choose incoming freshman Darren Smith, who put up a .909 SV % and 2.81 GAA with Madison in the USHL. Final Thoughts: It’s a great time to be a Bulldog! We finally got Western back on the schedule and a big name team not named Michigan is coming to town! Also, the B1G still sucks and the CCHA was better.
LOOK OUT TAMPA! WE'RE COMIN BACK!
Let’s Go Dawgs!
Shoutout to JohnDoeMonopoly for setting all of this up
Relevant Subreddits
/collegehockey to talk about the game we all love but with facemasks.
/60teams60days for more info on this awesome series!
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Growing up exceptional: Connor McDavid's journey through minor hockey - part 3

This is the third and penultimate part in a mini-series about Connor McDavid and Hockey Canada's "exceptional player" status. I picked up a copy of Bob McKenzie's "Hockey Confidential", and found that it had a story on Connor McDavid and the exceptional player status of the OHL. With it being a fantastic read, I felt it would be great to share, in parts, to help get through the last of the summer lulls. The chapter is broken up into parts, although varying lengths, so the series should (ideally) run up until the end of August (every Monday, with the last part coming out on August 31st. It is a long form post (very long). The chapter itself is ~40 pages in total, so each week will contain, on average, between 6-10 pages of text (some will be shorter, some longer). I hope you guys enjoy the read!
All thoughts and writing are not my own, but that of Bob McKenzie. I'd also highly recommend picking up a copy if you want to do some summer reading. It's very well written and contains some great stories about a number of figures in and around hockey including the previously mentioned McDavid, Karl Subban (the Subban brother's father), Don Cherry, John and John (the lacrosse player) Tavares, Brandon Prust and others.
This part may be a little shorter, but the next section is by far the longest of what will be 4 parts (initially was going to make it 5, elected for 4 as it fit the parts better). Also, if people are interested and the mods are okay with it, there’s a chapter about advanced stats that includes some input from Dellow that I could write up in this fashion. However, I know it’s not strictly Oilers related and I’d rather there was interest and mod approval before posting it as the last thing I’d want to do is clog up the sub with pieces people have no interest in reading and that aren’t relevant to the Oilers. Let me know what you think!
It was November 8, 2012, the date of a Subway Super Series game in Guelph, Ontario, between OHL stars auditioning to play for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship and a team of Russian stars.
Fifteen year old first year OHLer Connor McDavid was in the lineup against the Russians, and while he showed a couple of brilliant flashes in the game and there was no denying the phenomenal skill set and long-range potential, Hockey Canada wasn’t taking a still physically immature 15 year old to its national junior team camp in December. In a postgame interview on TSN, the Hockey Insider was asked about McDavid and said pretty much all of that, noting his time would come, and he would likely play in two or three WJCs and observing that he was the early favourite to be the first player taken in the 2015 NHL draft, although a lot could happen in two or three years.
It wasn’t so much a throwaway line at the end as t was a recognition that NHL scouts love to extol the virtues of 15, 16 and 17 year olds in their non-draft years, but the longer they watch a player play junior, the more likely they are to pick apart his game in his draft year and fall in love with new flavours of the day who haven’t been in the spotlight nearly as long. The Insider was thinking in particular of Tavares. By the time he got to his draft year, after four OHL seasons, the scouts were shredding Tavares’ game, questioning whether he could skate well enough to be an “elite” or “franchise” player in the NHL. He still ended up going first overall, but Tavares’ draft year was rife with negativity; it was as if the scales were being balanced after years of unbridled enthusiasm and accolades for his talents.
The Insider didn’t think too much of his comments about McDavid as he made it, but he woke up the next day to see it had become something of an issue on Twitter:
Connor Crisp @TSNBobMcKenzie say lot can happen in 2 years about @cmcdavid97 implying he may not shine the future, best player in the #OHL at age 15. #FIO. 9:47am – 9 Nov 2012
Figure it out indeed. Crisp, who played with McDavid in Erie, was rallying to a teammate’s defense on what was perceived as a slight. That prompted the following exchange between the Insider and Crisp:
Bob McKenzie @connorcrisp23 That wasn’t implication at all. Connor is a special player but I’m not into burdening 15 year olds with absurd expectations. 10:39am – 9 Nov 2012
Connor Crisp @TSNBobMcKenzie I see his skills at practise, and the humility he has on and off the ice. I’m implying he is only getting better. 12:45pm – 9 Nov 2012
Fair enough, not much doubt about that. But it’s also a given that others will burst onto the scene to mount challenges and make their cases. IT was only 14 months after that Twitter exchange, at the 2014 WJC, that the performance of an American born centre Jack Eichel was so impressive that NHL scouts suggested he should be in the conversation as a potential No. 1 in the 2015 draft, that he could be a legitimate challenger to McDavid.
That didn’t take long.
Two questions have arisen regarding Hockey Canada’s exceptional-player process.
One, if players are granted exceptional status year after year, can it still be considered a truly exceptional process? Two, is Ontario the only place to find an exceptional player?
If the “exceptional player” floodgates were supposed to open after Tavares in 2005, they must have been on a time-release formula, because it wasn’t until 2011 that Hockey Canada next granted exceptional status. And again in 2012. And then again in 2013. Defenceman Aaron Ekblad of Belle River, Ontario was the first of the three, and by any objective measure, he met or exceeded expectations. He was the first player taken, by Barrie, in the OHL draft and he excelled as an under-ager with the under-17, under-18 and World Junior Championship programs. Ekblad was chosen first overall by the Florida Panthers in the 2014 NHL draft.
McDavid was the second of three in 2012. He, too, quickly demonstrated “exceptional ability,” following the same path as Ekblad -- going first overall (to Erie) in the OHL draft, playing and excelling as an under-ager with the under-17, under 18and World Junior Championship teams and being forecast as the No. 1 prospect in the NHL draft year (2015).
Defenceman Sam Day, a dual Canadian-American citizen was living and playing minor hockey in Detroit, was the third exceptional player in three years. Unlike Ekbald and McDavid, Day did not go first overall in the OHL draft. He went fourth, to Mississauga, and while he was only just beginning his “exceptional” journey, some were questioning whether he was as blatantly exceptional as Tavares, Ekblad or McDavid.
Time will tell, but Day was subjected to the same rigorous screening process as Ekblad and McDavid and was unanimously approved by Hockey Canada’s National Evaluation Panel.
The entire process is supposed to be conducted with the utmost secrecy and confidentiality, especially as it pertains to identifying or naming which players have applied to exceptional status.
Sheldon Lanchebery, a longtime member of Hockey Canada board who was appointed a judge of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Manitoba in the summer of 2007, was, as of 2014, the chairman of Hockey Canada’s National Evaluation Panel, though it’s all kept under such tight wraps that Lanchbery not only wouldn’t talk about the process, but wouldn’t even acknowledge he chaired the panel.
Kevin Prendergast, who was Hockey Canada’s chief scout until 2013, was also on the panel that granted exceptional-player status to Ekblad, McDavid and Day. Ryan Jankowksi was named Hockey Canada’s chief scout in 2013, so for any future exceptional player applications, he would be on the panel with Lanchbery and one more Hockey Canada member-at-large appointee. And Paul Dennis, the sports psychologist who worked up the profile on Tavares for the OHL in 2005, is the regional life skills interviewer for Hockey Canada’s Ontario branch who vetted Ekblad, McDavid and Day, too.
It’s often said there are no secrets in hockey, and if that’s true, it’s even more pronounced in minor hockey in Canada, where everyone, it seems, knows everyone else’s business.
For example, as confidential as the exceptional player process tries to be, it’s a well-known fact within the Canadian minojunior hockey community that, as of 2014, only Tavares, Ekblad, McDavid, Day and one other player even applied for exceptional status, with the unnamed player being the sole applicant who didn’t get the panel’s approval. That happened in the time period after Tavares in 2005, but before Ekblad in 2011.
It’s no secret, not really, who the sole unsuccessful applicant was. Anyone with a computer can figure it in two minutes, but the process is not supposed to be about highlighting failure, so that player’s name and identity won’t appear here. Suffice it to say the Hockey Canada evaluation panel got it right. While the player appeared to be at the elite level in minor hockey, he did not go on to dominate junior hockey. He was not a first round pick in the NHL, he did not represent Canada at the World Junior Championship, and while he’s playing professionally in what is still a relatively young career and still working towards becoming an NHL player, there were by no means any guarantees that would happen for him. In fact, he’s already perceived as a long shot to be an NHL regular.
What’s curious is that every applicant for exceptional status, from Tavares to Day, has been in the OHL. It’s almost as if the exceptional-player process doesn’t exist in the rest of Canada. Some, especially in western Canada, mock it was just another bit of evidence that people in Ontario or Toronto believe they’re the centre of the universe, in a rush to display a superiority complex. Is it actually possible that the only exceptional players in Canada in a nine year stretch are from Ontario? That there are no exceptional players in western Canada, Quebec or the Maritimes?
“Sidney Crosby applied for exceptional player status with us,” Gilles Courteau, commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League said, “but that was before 2005, when there was no program in place. We turned him down. Since 2005, we haven’t had a player who has applied. I have no problem with the exceptional-player program. It’s a good one, but we just have not had that one player yet. One day we will, and if he’s ruled as exceptional by Hockey Canada, we’ll welcome him into our league. We should definitely embrace that.”
Western Hockey League commissioner Ron Robinson espouses the same view as Courteau: “We are fully in support of it, we just haven’t had that player come along yet.” Despite Robinson’s words, many are skeptical the WHL truly wants any part of it.
“Don’t kid yourself,” one player agent said, “the WHL owners and GMs don’t want anything to do with the exceptional player status. They discourage kids from going that route.”
Robinson did concede that two factors – the WHL bantam draft and the expansive geography of a league that stretches from Manitoba to the east of the U.S. Pacific Northwest in the west – may play a part in the practicality of not having had an exceptional player and why some players and/or parents maybe aren’t as eager to apply as in Ontario.
In the WHL, players are drafted, or have their rights assigned, at age 15, after their major bantam year. In the OHL and QMJHL, players aren’t drafted until they’re 16, after their minor midget season. A 15 year drafted into the WHL is entitled to play only five games as a 15 year old, but knows where in the WHL he will play when he eventually gets there as a 16 year old.
“There could be an issue related to schooling, where a 15 year old would have to travel great distances to play, which is different than Ontario,” Robinson said. “And for many 15 year olds in our league, they’re satisfied to play the five games for the team that has drafted them – that’s enough for them.”
Even the skeptics who believe the WHL has anti-exceptional sentiments concede ther hasn’t been an obvious slam dunk exceptional superstar like Tavares, Ekblad or McDavid in the west.
Some believe Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Nuuuuuuuuge) and Mathew Barzal, two British Columbia kids, were the best bet for exceptional stats, but as highly skilled and talented both were as 15 year olds, they were also quite physically immature at that age. There have been highly touted prospects since then – Tyler Benson of Edmonton (first overall to the Vancouver Giants in the 2013 bantam draft) is one who comes to mind, but he opted to go to the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, British Columbia, for his 15 year old season rather than push the exceptional envelope.
“We’ve had some special kids, especially those taken in the 2013 draft, but I’m not sure you could say we have one who is as clearly exceptional as McDavid,” Kelowna Rockets owner and general manager Bruce Hamilton said.
On the flip side, the exceptional player concept didn’t exist in 2002, when Crosby was attending Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep school in Minnesota, awaiting his chance to play in the QMJHL. As Courteau said, Crosby inquired and was denied by the Quebec league. Not getting exceptional status certainly didn’t hurt his development.
“I think our results thus far speak for themselves,” Branch said, citing the accomplishments of Tavares, Ekblad and McDavid. “I believe it’s been a good process for the players involved in our league. It’s working as it was intended to work when we introduced it. There hasn’t been a rash of them. There haven't been abuses of it. It’s a good process.”
I know this part is low on the McDavid. I promise the very, very lengthy finale is heavy on the McJesus.
Finally, sorry again for this post being so late. Summer finals and work interefered. Bad news is, the piece is late, good news is, the wait until the next one will be shorter! As an apology, here's a few pictures of the cat we're taking care of for the summer. I swear to god she's the least cat-like cat I've met. Stupidly clumsy, she runs to meet you at the door and demands belly rubs. She'll also forget how stairs work sometimes. Stupid idiot adorable cat.
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Game Thread: IIHF World Junior Championship Group Stage (USA vs Denmark)

| 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship |

|Group Stage|

Pool A
USA (0-0-0) vsDenmark (0-0-0)

Time:

8:00 PM Eastern 7:00 PM Central 6:00 PM Mountain 5:00 PM Pacific

Location:

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta

Watch:

TV: Canada: TSN, TSN2, RDS
United States: NHL Network
Pan-European: Eurosport2
Czech Republic: Ceske Televize
Finland: MTV3
Russia: NTV Plus
Sweden: SVT, Viasat
Switzerland: SRG (highlights only)
Stream:* TSN.ca, FASTHockey.com, wiziwig.tv, FirstRowSports, IsHunger.tv, rds; should work in US, NHL
*I will try to update this with working streams as much as possible. Send me a PM if you have one so I can tell your message apart from all of the post replies.
/Hockey Chat

Standings:

Group A*
Team W L OTW OTL PTS GF GA
Switzerland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sweden 1 0 0 0 0 9 4
Latvia 0 1 0 0 0 4 9
Russia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Slovakia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Group B
Team W L OTW OTL PTS GF GA
Czech Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 1 0 0 0 3 8 1
Denmark 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Finland 0 1 0 0 0 1 8
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rosters
USA
Goaltenders
Name Team Draft Status
Jack Campbell Soo Greyhounds,OHL
John Gibson Kitchener Rangers,OHL
Defence
Name Team Draft Status
Adam Clendening Boston University,HEA
Derek Forbort University of North Dakota,WCHA
Kevin Gravel St. Cloud State University,WCHA
Stephen Johns University of Notre Dame,CCHA
Jon Merrill University of Michigan,CCHA
Jarred Tinordi London Knights,OHL
Jake Trouba U.S. NTDP U-18,USHL 2012 Eligible
Forwards
Name Team Draft Status
Josh Archibald University of Nebraska Omaha,WCHA
Bill Arnold Boston College,HEA
Nick Bjugstad University of Minnesota,WCHA
Connor Brickley University of Vermont,HEA
Charlie Coyle Boston University,HEA
Austin Czarnik Miami University,CCHA 2012 Eligible
Emerson Etem Medicine Hat Tigers,WHL
J.T. Miller Plymouth Whalers,OHL
Kyle Rau University of Minnesota,WCHA
Brandon Saad Saginaw Spirit,OHL
T.J. Tynan University of Notre Dame,CCHA
Austin Watson Peterborough Petes,OHL
Jason Zucker University of Denver,WCHA
Denmark
Goaltenders
Name Team Draft Status
Sebastian Feuk Herlev Eagles 2012 Eligible
Dennis Jensen EfB Esbjerg 2012 Eligible
Christian Larsen Malmo Redhawks 2012 Eligible
Defence
Name Team Draft Status
Jannik Christensen EfB Esbjerg 2012 Eligible
Tobias Hansen Rodovre Mighty Bulls 2012 Eligible
Emil Kristensen EfB Esbjerg 2012 Eligible
Patrick Madsen Herning Eagles 2012 Eligible
Mark Muller Larsen Frederikshavn Whitehawks 2012 Eligible
Martin Rahbek Herlev Eagles 2012 Eligible
Anders Thode Frederikshavn Whitehawks 2012 Eligible
Forwards
Name Team Draft Status
Mathias Bau Hansen Rodovre Mighty Bulls 2012 Eligible
Rasmus Bjerrum Frederikshavn Whitehawks 2012 Eligible
Jonas Sass Herlev Eagles 2012 Eligible
Patrick Bjorkstrand Herning Blue Fox 2013 Eligible
Mads Eller Frolunda Gothenburg 2013 Eligible
Nicklas Jensen Oshawa Generals,OHL
Nicki Kisum Copenhagen Hockey 2012 Eligible
Joachim Linnet Herning Blue Fox 2012 Eligible
Nicolai Meyer Malmo Redhawks 2012 Eligible
Jonas Sass Herlev Eagles 2012 Eligible
Anders Schultz Cedar Rapids RoughRiders,USHL 2012 Eligible
Thomas Sondergaard Frederikshavn Whitehawks 2012 Eligible
Thomas Spelling HerningBlue Fox 2012 Eligible

Tournament players to watch;[The Hockey News]

10. Mark Visentin, G, Canada (Phoenix Coyotes) Canada has struggled in the crease area at recent WJC tournaments, including Visentin's performance late in last year's event. He'll be under a lot of pressure to bounce back this time around.
9. Aleksander Barkov, C, Finland (2013 draft eligible) He's only 16, and won't be eligible for the NHL draft until 2013, but Barkov is the real deal. There's a good chance he plays on Finland's third line (at least), so he may become a factor here.
8. Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Russia (2012 draft eligible) Arguably the most dynamic player in the QMJHL this season, Grigorenko will look to improve his '12 draft stock (or at least maintain it). Not everyone is sold on his upside, so he needs to stand out.
7. Emerson Etem, RW, USA (Anaheim Ducks) There is plenty of scoring potential on Team USA this time around, but the spotlight could be squarely on WHL second-leading scorer Etem. The California speedster has 30 goals in 34 games this year.
6. Jaden Schwartz, LW, Canada (St. Louis Blues) Seeking redemption here, Schwartz will look for better luck after fracturing his ankle in the tournament a year ago. The speedy sophomore has 18 points in 13 games at Colorado College this season.
5. Evgeny Kuznetsov, LW/RW, Russia (Washington Capitals) Expected to join the Capitals next season, Kuznetsov is among the KHL scoring leaders in 2011-12 for Traktor Chelyabinsk. A strong showing here will convince the Caps he doesn't need AHL seasoning.
4. Jack Campbell, G, USA (Dallas Stars) A bit like Visentin, Campbell will have a big spotlight on him in this tourney. He has been a clutch performer for Team USA but he may look over his shoulder now with John Gibson challenging him.
3. Mika Zibanejad, C, Sweden (Ottawa Senators) Ottawa's second-line center of the near future (likely in 2012-13) had a nine-game NHL trial earlier this season, so he should be ready to put on quite a display for Swedish fans and Sens scouts alike here.
2. Nail Yakupov, RW, Russia (2012 draft eligible) Is Yakupov the best player outside the NHL today? Is he the consensus No. 1 pick in 2012? These questions may be answered in this year's WJC. He has the ability to take over this entire tournament.
1. Mikael Granlund, C/W, Finland (Minnesota Wild) If Yakupov isn't the best non-NHLer in the world today, Granlund just might be. He's 19, so he's been through this before. A good bet to join the Wild next season, Granlund could be a huge factor here.
Team Breakdowns The Hockey Writers
The Americans boast a combination of unparalleled goaltending (Campbell and Gibson) plus an explosive offense. This is a team with the skill to compete against any team, be it Canada or Russia. Emerson Etem has the ability to take over games with his skill. Their defence will get the job done, and expect Adam Clendening to be activated and given the liberty to move the puck. Forbert and Tinordi have proven themselves and will be able to shut down the likes of Mikael Granlund and Jonathan Huberdeau. This is the team to beat right now.
Denmark enters the 2012 IIHF WJHC having earned a spot in the main tournament after winning the Division 1 Tournament last year in Slovenia, going 4-0-0-1. Denmark’s Nicolai Meyer, the top scorer at the tournament with 12 points in 5 games, is expected to play in Edmonton. Currently Denmark sits 13th in the world in mens ice hockey. The main goal of this tournament is to avoid relegation and play again next year with the likes of Canada, Russia and the United States
NHL / IIHF Rules Comparison

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Leicester City's 'King Power' synchronicity

BACKGROUND to "The Greatest Footballing Story Of All Time"
England's Leicester City (LC) and King Richard III share a very special bond, based on the fact that Richard III was buried there following the Battle of Bosworth. His remains were entombed in Greyfriars church which was demolished after 1536. A story circulated that Richard's bones were thrown into the River Soar by the nearby Bow Bridge after the demolition. For a long time this was believed to be nothing more than legend. However, by the end of the 20th century, "aided by a plaque near the Bow Bridge", this account was deemed historically correct.
All of this is worth mentioning because of an excavation that took place at the site of the old church in 2012. A complete skeleton was uncovered, that of a male showing severe scoliosis and major head wounds. On February 4th in 2013 the University of Leicester confirmed that the skeleton was indeed that of Richard III. This discovery, of the remains of a major English king, made world headlines.
Richard's remains were reburied in Leicester Cathedral on March 26, 2015, and here is where our story gets interesting... At the time Leicester City's soccer team was in last place in the English Premier League, (EPL). The EPL does not impose player parity as three of the four major North American major sporting leagues do with 'salary caps' (basketball, football and ice hockey). The Daily Mail later wrote about the gross inequity, writing that, "The combined cost of Leicester’s probable starting XI will be £21m. To put that into context, David Silva is the eighth most expensive player in [Manchester] City’s side, and he cost £24m. In total, City’s team cost £292.9m to assemble."
When Richard III was buried the EPL was well into the 2014-15 season, and it was increasingly looking as if the last-place Foxes would be one of the teams to face relegation or demotion from the EPL. But LC's collective fate began to turn in the match which immediately followed Richard III's burial. On April 4th LC won their first match in three months. Their 2-1 home victory over West Ham, at 'King Power' Stadium was won on a goal by Andy King, his 50th with the Foxes.
LC then won six of their eight remaining matches and avoided relegation. By any club's standard it was a very solid way to finish the season. Yet despite their very strong finish, nobody expected Leceister City to continue their winning ways the following year. Bookmakers famously gave the Foxes a 1-in-5000 chance to win the championship in 2015-16. The long odds meant that the bookies considered such an outcome virtually impossible and, by the way, perceived to be less likely than Elvis Presley being found alive that same year, or Kim Kardashian becoming US President in 2016.
Nonetheless, LC continued their winning ways and a series of improbable comeback victories in the fall of 2015 saw them rise to the top of the EPL standings.
APRIL 4-15, THE TURNAROUND DATE ..
To some, the longer Leceister City stayed atop the Premier League, the more significant King Richard's burial seemed to be. After all, the Foxes' run began in their very next match, after literally months of losing. Given the 'King' Richard connection, it became noteworthy that Andy 'King' had scored the winning goal in that turnaround game against West Ham who was also the only 'King' to see playing time during the EPL's 2014-15 season, in a league that lists 500 players the member teams' rosters. With all due respect to Richard III, as far as the soccer pitch is concerned you couldn't get a better 'Leicester City' King than Andy, who has played his entire career with the club. He was also a very unlikely-improbable hero, as this was just one of two goals that King would score all season, and the 50th of his career.
So, in hindsight April 4th proved to be a very significant date, adn from the start of the turnaround there was this 'King' twist to what The Sun and other major media sources described as "the greatest footballing story of all time.".
And April 4th was also the 58th birthday of Leicester City's owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha is also the CEO of Thailand's mighty 'King Power' International Group which is why the Foxes' home field is called King Power Stadium, with the Thai brand having been founded 1989.
So, King Richard's connection to Leicester and that of the King Power corporation's are entirely unrelated considerations. And as this story evolved 'King Power' took on a folklorish meaning. Was King Richard III lending good vibes to the Foxes? asked the British media lightheartedly. After all, their turnaround did begin in the 4/4 match that immediately followed his proper burial.
Make of that what you will, but the idea of spiritual support was taken very seriously by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Seriously enough that for some time he had been sending a revered Thai monk over from Thailand in order to 'purify' King Power Stadium. Later on the King Power CEO began having Thai monks attend home games, to bless the players before the kick-off, before spending the match deep in meditation in a specially designated room at King Power stadium. For these efforts, and thanks to the Foxes concurrent success, LC became Thailand's adopted EPL team and eventually a story of global interest.
People waited for Leicester City's virtually impossible run to end, but end it did not. On May 2nd - or so it appeared - LC clinched the Premier League title. The news of the Foxes' ultimate victory spread across the planet.
However, when all was said and done it turned out that the Foxes had quietly clinched the title on April 10 in Week 33. The surrounding details should be mentioned in a presentation like this, as the details add to the narrative of things all coming together in what must be a very improbable (non-random?) manner for LC.
On April 10 LC earned their 72nd point in a match against Sunderland, which would be all the points they'd need, as second-place Arsenal would finish the season with 71. This means that the winning goal in the Sunderland was also the EPL season-clincher: and Jamie Vardy's goal in the match's 66th minute proved to be apt timing for this great English story) (i.e. 1066).
Although this goal's EPL-season implications would have to wait before being made fully known, when Vardy scored LC fans were well aware that goal represented a significant one for the franchise, as Vardy had just become the first Leicester player since Gary Lineker in the 1984–85 season to score 20 goals in English football's top division. And here, given our overarching "King Power" narrative, I will add Lineker, born in Leicester and one of England's most prolific international goal-scorers, had accomplished this feat a very tidy 500 years after the death of Richard III in 1485 (which may in turn recall Andy King's historic 50th goal in this storyline). Jumping ahead to 2015 Richard, the last English monarch to die in battle, was buried in Leicester on 26 March, the 85th day of the year.
So, Vardy's first goal against Sunderland on April 10 matched an old club record of consequence while clinching LC the EPL title in this transcendent story. But there was more thing: With this same goal, scored by the Barclays Premier League Player of the Season and the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, also secured LC its first invitation to the UEFA Champions League, the European club championship tournament which dates back to 1955.
As mentioned, the story of Leicester City's success made the news worldwide and for very good reason: This may be the only time, in any major sporting league across the planet, that a team has gone from being in last place one season to being champions the next.
Here is what Leicester City's two-year turnaround looked like, up to and including the championship clincher against Sunderland, in Wins, Draws (d)and Losses:
dLdWWLdLLLLdLLLLLLWdWLLLLdLdL--burial Richard III 26 March 18 --- 4 April 18: WWWWLWWdW --end 2014/15 ,avoids relegation -- 2015/16 WddWdLWdWWWWdWWWLddWdWWWLWdWWWWW
'King Power' indeed.
SyncGuy44
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Weekly Roundup | Random Chat | Notifications

News roundup for the previous week.
In International news
  1. Trump 'looks forward to visiting China' - Tillerson
  2. Trump hangs tough on Germany, eases on China
  3. China warns US over arms sales to Taiwan
  4. South Korea accuses China of trade retaliation in response to US missile defense
  5. Chinese media claims Tillerson visit was a home run — for China
  6. Saudi Arabia and China just hit the 'next level' for strategic collaboration, Saudi CEO says
  7. After Saudi king, China warmly welcomes Israel's prime minister
  8. Nepal committed to One China policy: Deuba tells delegation from Beijing
  9. Chinese mainland is home to two of the top three universities in Asia, according to research published by the Times Higher Education. In total, Chinese mainland has 54 institutions in the listing of top 300 universities in Asia
  10. Trump’s Top Diplomat Goes to China, Promptly Bends Over - Rex Tillerson gives in immediately
  11. Tillerson has offered to reschedule talks with his NATO allies after snubbing April's meeting. His decision, to prioritize a meeting with China, was described as "unprecedented."
  12. China, Israel announce innovative comprehensive partnership
  13. Frank Wu discusses hate crimes against the Asian American community
  14. Myanmar refugees seek shelter in China
  15. Li Keqiang visit: Chinese Premier arrives in Australia for five-day tour
  16. Did Rex Tillerson Misspeak or Intentionally Kowtow to China?
  17. The New Era in China-U.S. Relations Begins
  18. Chinese official denied visa to attend U.S. planetary science conference: denial did not extend to other Chinese scientists: Head said more than 20 people from Chinese universities, academies and scientific institutes were at the symposium
  19. Chinese tourist wounded in London terror attack
  20. The Chinese embassy in Indonesia has accused local customs officials of targeting Chinese tourists and demanding they give them illicit “tips” at border controls, advised Chinese tourists not to succumb to pressure to pay illegal tips to customs or other officials
  21. UN Security Council approves China’s resolution: called on countries to "strengthen the process of regional economic cooperation...including through regional development initiatives such as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (the Belt and Road) Initiative"
  22. Japan PM Shinzo Abe embroiled in land-sale scandal
  23. Chinese premier assures stability in South China Sea to boost trade
  24. South Korea salvage operation brings up Sewol ferry 3 years after disaster
  25. Sri Lanka, China discuss ways to step up military cooperation
  26. High-speed diplomacy: Exporting China’s train technology. China and Thailand came to an agreement to link the Chinese border with Laos and ports on Thailand’s coast. In Turkey, China helped link Ankara with Istanbul. In Indonesia the Jakarta-Bandung line will begin this year
  27. China, Australia agree to promote trade liberalization
  28. China captures more than 2,500 fugitives who fled overseas
  29. Anti-Chinese Attitudes in Mongolia through Generational Imprinting
  30. China and the European Union (EU) are being forced to thaw their decade-long tensions and unite to push for free trade because of U.S. President Donald Trump policies and his "America First" mantra
  31. China-led AIIB approves 13 new members, Canada joins: approved applicants include eight non-Asian countries - Canada, Belgium, Ethiopia, Hungary, Ireland, Peru, Republic of Sudan and Venezuela - and five regional members - Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Armenia, Fiji and Timor Leste
In Domestic news
  1. Beijing shuts last coal power plant in switch to natural gas
  2. Hays Report: China and Malaysia had the highest management roles held by women in the region, both at 35%. Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia, said "It's worth noticing that China has led Asia for the number of management roles held by women consistently in the past five years"
  3. 80% of Chinese students return home – MoE: According the ministry’s figures, around 36% of the students who went abroad in 2016 studied a postgraduate degree, while 31% went for an undergraduate degree
  4. Editorial: China’s New Civil Code Will Be a Cornerstone for Reforms
  5. Top 10 billionaires with largest influence on Chinese social media: The top 10 entrepreneurs on China's social media Sina Weibo are not all from the richest families in the country
  6. 2 years behind bars for student who set fire/explosion to bin outside Hong Kong legislature
  7. Shortening the journey to championships: Feng, ranked No 4 in the world, claimed the Chinese mainland's first major title when she won the LPGA Championship in 2012. Following in Feng's footsteps, Lin Xiyu, Feng Simin and Yan Jing, Shi Yuting and talented amateur Wang Ziyi are all showing promise
  8. Senior CPC leader calls for media integration
  9. China Focus: Beijing pioneers medical reforms to strengthen health care
  10. How the smartphone brought young Chinese back to bicycles
  11. "How I Help Pull China's Rural Poor out of Poverty"
  12. China rolls out plan to revitalize traditional crafts
  13. China to Boost Ice Hockey Development with Yet Another Program: "Chinese Ice Hockey Plan for 2022," was launched by the Winter Sports Management Center of the General Administration of Sport of China. Goal to fill the ice hockey players' pool for the 2022 Winter Olympics
  14. Strict new traffic regulations come into effect in Shanghai
In SciTech news
  1. Chinese police debut new anti-drone gun that shoots illegal UAVs from the sky
  2. China starts building huge cosmic-ray observatory to study the evolution of the universe: Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO) will attempt to search for the origin of cosmic rays, study the evolution of the universe and celestial bodies, as well as to push the frontier of physics
  3. Chinese hackers win 2017 world hacking contest
  4. When China stops copying Western tech giants is when they should start worrying
  5. US risks falling behind China in Supercomputing by 2020: Taihu Light triple the previous record-setting numbers of Tianhe-2. Achieved using Chinese designed 28nm SOC architecture. Coupled with high performance computing advancements, three Chinese research teams finalists for 2016 Gordon Bell prize
  6. Ancient skulls found in China could belong to an unknown human species
  7. China's police are now shooting down drones with radio-jamming rifles: The rifles don't come cheap, at 250,000 yuan ($36,265) each, and they will have a range of roughly 1 km (0.6 miles)
  8. Mate 9 Durability Test - Bend Test, Scratch and BURN test
  9. Changing weather patterns are trapping pollution over Chinese cities: study published in journal Science Advances. In the high polar regions where sea ice is decreasing and snowfall is increasing, this keeps cold air from getting into the eastern parts of China where it would flush out air pollution
  10. Chinese researchers announce designer baby breakthrough: Chinese researchers used a genome editing technique called CRISPR to rid normal embryos of hereditary diseases that cause blood disorders and other ailments
  11. Regular Tea Consumption Reduces Risk of Neurocognitive Disorders in Older Adults, Study Says: “Based on current knowledge, this long term benefit of tea consumption is due to the bioactive compounds in tea leaves, such as catechins, theaflavins, thearubigins and L-theanine,” Dr. Feng said
  12. Microsoft delivers secure China-only cut of Windows 10
  13. NSA, DOE say China's supercomputing advances put U.S. at risk
  14. Huawei P10 and P10 Plus high-end smartphones. Bonus: Watch 2
  15. China And Israel Tech Ties Grow Closer With $10M Deal For 3 AI Centers: house R&D facilities that will work toward commercialization of artificial intelligence
  16. Chinese scientists repurpose silkworms as virus shredders: researchers transformed a popular gene-editing tool into a weapon that the silkworm can use to shred deadly viral strains into fragments, according to a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Virology
  17. CRISPR May Speed Pig-to-Human Transplants: George Church and cofounder Luhan Yang's eGenesis developing two different designs. One is for a pig with a “humanized” immune system and the other is for a pig cleansed of risky viruses
  18. Earliest Mushroom Fossils Found in China: They are well-preserved in Burmese amber and are the first ever complete mushroom fossils ever found
  19. China’s push to become a tech superpower trigger alarms abroad: China’s technological might alongside efforts to restructure its industrial policy through a scheme known as Made in China 2025. Billions of dollars have been pumped into research and the acquisition of overseas assets
  20. Inside Tencent's AI Lab: How It Created China's Own AlphaGo In A Year. AI Lab was officially established in April 2016. Currently has over 50 AI scientists (90% of them with PhDs) and over 200 engineers focused on computer vision, voice recognition, natural language process, and machine learning
  21. China’s Hybrid Kinetic targets Tesla with Italian styling, turbine range extender: designed by famed Pininfarina, creator of the Maserati Birdcage and many Ferraris, uses a small turbine as a generator when battery charge runs out, range of over 600 miles on both battery and turbine power
  22. China is on the path to global technology dominance
  23. Chinese scientists breed world's first 'space mangoes': "Space mangoes are expected to be insect-resistant, of higher quality and provide more output," said Peng Longrong, head of the project
In Economic news
  1. How Bitcoin Could Save China’s Economy
  2. UN agency: China has explosive growth in patent applications. The U.N.'s intellectual property agency says China is showing "quite extraordinary" growth in international patent applications, putting Chinese applicants on track to outpace their U.S. counterparts within two to three years
  3. Secretive billionaire Duan Yongping reveals how he toppled Apple in China
  4. Tencent becomes China’s first $100 billion brand
  5. WIPO chief calls China's patent application growth "extraordinary": "China-based filers are behind much of the growth in international patent and trademark filings...as the country continues its journey from 'Made in China' to 'Created in China'," WIPO Director General Francis Gurry explained
  6. China's extreme income inequality appears to be improving after decades of deterioration -Quartz
  7. Chinese company Geely saves UK company from closure, creates local jobs while fast-tracking transition to Electric Vehicles
  8. Chinese investors look to hockey as NHL tries to expand footprint
  9. China May Set New Rules to Curb ‘Irrational’ Outbound Investment This Year: The state foreign exchange regulator has said the government will more closely monitor "irrational" investment in property, entertainment, sports, and other sectors
  10. Why Airbnb won't find a home in China anytime soon
  11. Trump's U.S. jobs push may open doors to China in Mexico: ICBC bank
  12. China Bets on Sensitive U.S. Start-Ups, Worrying the Pentagon
  13. China to cultivate more skilled workers
  14. Competition From China Reduced Innovation in the US
In Military news
  1. Beijing Goes Global: China Expands Marine Force 400%, First Overseas Military Base Almost Complete
  2. Bangladesh Navy Commissions Two Type 035G Diesel-Electric Submarines from China: First ever in of history Bangladesh Navy has inducted two submarines BNS Nobojatra’ andBNS Joyjatra’ to its fleet
  3. China to boost marine corps by 400pc to enforce growing world influence: This includes plans to deploy detachments to secure the ports of Djibouti, on the strategically significant Horn of Africa maritime chokepoint, and Gwadar in southwest Pakistan
  4. China, Pakistan agree to further increase military cooperation: China’s leadership appreciated Pakistan’s fight against terrorism with a special mention of eliminating Al Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement (ETIM)
  5. Can China leapfrog the US in the scramble for the world’s best aircraft carrier? Ma Weiming, a top engineer working on the project, said on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress that China had made breakthroughs in its advanced ­arresting gear (AAG) system, while the US had stumbled
  6. 5 Ways Russia and China Could Sink America's Aircraft Carriers
  7. PLA Navy replaces ceremonial sabers with traditional Jian sword (x-post MilitaryPorn)
  8. Wei Yiyin, CASIC deputy general manager, confirmed the company is focusing on the development of a long-endurance stealth drone and a near-space drone. "can play an important role in high-resolution reconnaissance, long-distance precision strikes, anti-submarine operations and aerial combat"
  9. Russia, China making gains on US military power: “It’s not just one area or few areas. If you look at the evolution of [China’s] military over the last 15 years … it’s rather astonishing. Ballistic missiles, air defense, aircraft, electronic warfare, naval vessels” Ochmanek said
  10. Taiwan confirms China's deployment of DF-16 missiles: The DF-16 represents an increased threat to Taiwan because it is difficult to intercept with anti-ballistic missiles systems such as the MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3
  11. How China is preparing for cyberwar: Chinese military analysts often write of the PLA’s need to seize information dominance at the beginning stages of a conflict with a technologically advanced adversary through cyber attacks against command and control computers as well as satellite networks
  12. Battle Lasers! US, Russia, China Develop Brighter Beams for Blasting Enemies. China presented its Silent Hunter laser system at the International Defense Exhibition and Conferencein February. Low Altitude Guard II land mobile complex, was presented at a defense exhibition in South Africa
  13. Chinese President Xi Jinping again called for deeper military-civilian integration and emphasized science and technology innovation as the key to upgrading the technological capabilities of the People's Liberation Army
Other Notables
  1. The Legacy Of The Mississippi Delta Chinese
  2. DJI – Mavic Pro: The Art of Form
  3. Chinese maths textbooks to be translated for UK schools
  4. Pictures: Hailuogou, a wonderful glacier forest park
  5. Chinese Deaf Dance Team - Thousand Hands of Buddha
  6. Chinese woman making a DIY lunch at work
  7. Chinese man without hands sells clay figures that he makes for a living
  8. Bus stops in Suzhou
  9. Thoughts on the argument that china will be hamstrung because it is surrounded by hostile neighbors
  10. China welcomes Disney film’s gay content
  11. Foreign Internet Celebrities Skip China’s Firewall By Using Chinese Social Media Sites
  12. Could The Chinese Be The Next Dominant Force In Competitive Surfing? As the Chinese gear up for their first furore into competitive surfing at the ISA's this year, we look forward to the future. Despite a distinct lack of interest in surfing, they have set their sights to qualify for 2024 Olympics
  13. Panda Diplomacy: The World’s Cutest Ambassadors. It’s thought to have started as early as the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century when Empress Wu Zeitan sent a pair of bears (believed to be pandas) to Japan. This Chinese policy of sending pandas as diplomat gifts was revived in 1941
  14. Why China Must Confront North Korea
  15. How China ended the era of western domination
  16. Legendary sunken treasure discovered in Southwestern China - Xinhua
  17. Question, Are people overstating the importance of Military Alliances for China's Foreign Policy and its competition with America?
  18. Sinology by Andy Rothman - Trump, Trade & China Part II
  19. Global Times: Novel exploring excesses of 1950s land reform draws criticism from Maoists
  20. West must drop double standards on terror
  21. 16 women who changed Chinese art
  22. Unravelling the Tang: The Qiu Fu and Pang Xun (858-860), and Huang Chao Rebellions (878-880)
  23. Jenna Cook: The adopted girl claimed by 50 birth families - BBC News
  24. Why do Chinese students have higher test scores than Americans?
  25. Chinese Army in (Pakistan) 23rd March Parade
  26. 'My Life, My China’: Chinese journalist refused to cave in for the BBC - CGTN
  27. Huangguoshu Waterfall Shows Charm
  28. Chinese web novels help American man to conquer drug addiction
  29. Question: How much did the Cultural Revolution really Destroy?
  30. Translation of Chen Shou's official JS biography
  31. Chinese Opera Singer Nails The Impossible Alien Diva Song From Fifth Element
  32. Train route runs through an apartment block in Chongqing, China (x-post interestingasfuck)
  33. Pictures: Amazing Yuanyang Terrace in Yunnan, China
  34. Chinese peacekeeper puts love for daughter in sketches: During his posting in the West African nation, he missed his daughter a lot. "I wanted to give a special memento to my daughter," said Du
  35. Shennong: The God-King of Chinese Medicine and Agriculture
  36. Article in WSJ claims China is using pandas for "Geopolitical Domination"
  37. Korean here: what is your opinion about the installation of THAAD in korea and the subsequent boycott of Korean Goods?
  38. Translation of Huangfu Song's official HHS biography
  39. Western Documentary trying to smear China backfires as many western commenters defend China
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Game Thread: IIHF World Junior Championship Group Stage (Sweden vs Latvia)

| 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship |

|Group Stage|

Pool B
Sweden (0-0-0) vs Latvia (0-0-0)

Time:

5:30 PM Eastern 4:30 PM Central 3:30 PM Mountain 2:30 PM Pacific

Location:

Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta

Watch:

TV: Canada: TSN, TSN2, RDS
United States: NHL Network
Pan-European: Eurosport2
Czech Republic: Ceske Televize
Finland: MTV3
Russia: NTV Plus
Sweden: SVT, Viasat
Switzerland: SRG (highlights only)
Stream:* TSN.ca, FASTHockey.com, wiziwig.tv, FirstRowSports, IsHunger.tv, rds
*I will try to update this with working streams as much as possible. Send me a PM if you have one so I can tell your message apart from all of the post replies.
/Hockey Chat

Standings:

Group A
Team W L OTW OTL PTS GF GA
Switzerland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sweden 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Latvia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Russia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Slovakia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Group B
Team W L OTW OTL PTS GF GA
Czech Republic 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 1 0 0 0 3 8 1
Denmark 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Finland 0 1 0 0 0 1 8
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rosters
Sweden
Goaltenders
Name Team Draft Status
Anton Forsberg Modo
Johan Gustafsson Lulea HF
Johan Mattsson Sudbury Wolves,OHL
Defence
Name Team Draft Status
Mattias Backman Linkoping
Jonas Brodin Farjestad
Fredrik Claesson Djurgarden
Petter Granberg Skelleftea
Oscar Klefbom Farjestad
John Klingberg Jokerit
Patrik Nemeth AIK
Forwards
Name Team Draft Status
Jeremy Boyce-Rotevall Timra 2012 Eligible
Sebastian Collberg Frolunda 2012 Eligible
Filip Forsberg Leksand 2012 Eligible
Max Friberg Timra
William Karlsson Vasteras
Johan Larsson Brynas
Joakim Nordstrom AIK
Rickard Rakell Plymouth Whalers, OHL
Victor Rask Calgary Hitman, WHL
Ludvig Rensfelt Sarnia Sting, OHL
Johan Sundstrom Frolunda
Erik Thorell Farjestad 2012 Eligible
Mika Zibanejad Djurgarden
Latvia
Goaltenders
Name BDay Home Team Draft Status
Rihards Cimermanis Juniors Riga Undrafted
Kristers Gudlevskis HK Riga Undrafted
Elviss Merzlikins HC Lugano Undrafted
Defence
Name Team Draft Status
Vladislavs Dudins Olimpia Kirovo-Chepetsk 2012 Eligible
Kristers Freibergs HK Riga 2012 Eligible
Krists Kalnins AIK Harnosand 2012 Eligible
Nikita Kolesnikovs Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, QMJHL 2012 Eligible
Kriss Lipsbergs HK Riga 2012 Eligible
Kristaps Nimanis Red Ducks Vaasa 2012 Eligible
Arturs Salija HK Riga 2012 Eligible
Edgars Siksna Liepajas Metalurgs 2012 Eligible
Pauls Zvirbulis HK Riga 2012 Eligible
Forwards
Name Team Draft Status
Toms Andersons SC Bern 2012 Eligible
Teodors Blugers Shattuck-St. Mary's School 2012 Eligible
Maris Dilevka Liepajas Metalurgs 2012 Eligible
Zemgus Girgensons Dubuque Fighting Saints, USHL 2012 Eligible
Vitalijs Hvorostinins Vaasan Sport 2012 Eligible
Nikita Jevpalovs HK Riga 2012 Eligible
Edgars Klavins AIK Stockholm 2012 Eligible
Arturs Kuzmenkovs HK Riga Undrafted
Kristaps Legzdins Syrianska/Armeniska Vasteras 2012 Eligible
Roberts Lipsbergs HK Riga 2012 Eligible
Kristians Pelss Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL
Davis Straupe HK Riga 2012 Eligible
Juris Ziemins Juniors Riga 2012 Eligible
Team Breakdowns The Hockey Writers
Sweden consistently sends high-quality hockey teams to all international tournaments they participate in. Whether it’s the Olympics, World Championships, or the World Juniors, they’re teams always push for a medal. This year’s World Junior team may not be as high-profile as teams they’ve had in past years, but there is still a lot of talent, and plenty of goal-scoring ability. There is a legitimate chance that Sweden could surprise everyone, and push their way into a medal game. Team Sweden finished in fourth place last year, after falling to Team USA in the bronze medal game. They’re expected to finish in a similar position once again, as Canada, Russia, and the U.S are the favourites to win the medals. However, like all Swedish teams, there are still players worth keeping an eye on.
While Latvia may not conjure up images of a hockey super power, when I do think of Latvia and hockey I quickly think of three things – Arturs Irbe, Sandis Ozolinsh and passionate hockey fans. After this tournament and definitely after the 2012 NHL draft, you can, at the very least easily, add a fourth item to that list – Zemgus Girgensons. Potential 2012 1st rounder, and possibly even a candidate to go in the Top 10 of the draft, Zemgus Girgensons is the obvious key to any success Latvia will have in this tournament. He has described his game in the mould of feisty Vancouver Canucks two-way centreman Ryan Kesler. Still others liken his game to former NHLer Rod Brind’Amour and his savvy style of play.

Tournament players to watch;[The Hockey News]

10. Mark Visentin, G, Canada (Phoenix Coyotes) Canada has struggled in the crease area at recent WJC tournaments, including Visentin's performance late in last year's event. He'll be under a lot of pressure to bounce back this time around.
9. Aleksander Barkov, C, Finland (2013 draft eligible) He's only 16, and won't be eligible for the NHL draft until 2013, but Barkov is the real deal. There's a good chance he plays on Finland's third line (at least), so he may become a factor here.
8. Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Russia (2012 draft eligible) Arguably the most dynamic player in the QMJHL this season, Grigorenko will look to improve his '12 draft stock (or at least maintain it). Not everyone is sold on his upside, so he needs to stand out.
7. Emerson Etem, RW, USA (Anaheim Ducks) There is plenty of scoring potential on Team USA this time around, but the spotlight could be squarely on WHL second-leading scorer Etem. The California speedster has 30 goals in 34 games this year.
6. Jaden Schwartz, LW, Canada (St. Louis Blues) Seeking redemption here, Schwartz will look for better luck after fracturing his ankle in the tournament a year ago. The speedy sophomore has 18 points in 13 games at Colorado College this season.
5. Evgeny Kuznetsov, LW/RW, Russia (Washington Capitals) Expected to join the Capitals next season, Kuznetsov is among the KHL scoring leaders in 2011-12 for Traktor Chelyabinsk. A strong showing here will convince the Caps he doesn't need AHL seasoning.
4. Jack Campbell, G, USA (Dallas Stars) A bit like Visentin, Campbell will have a big spotlight on him in this tourney. He has been a clutch performer for Team USA but he may look over his shoulder now with John Gibson challenging him.
3. Mika Zibanejad, C, Sweden (Ottawa Senators) Ottawa's second-line center of the near future (likely in 2012-13) had a nine-game NHL trial earlier this season, so he should be ready to put on quite a display for Swedish fans and Sens scouts alike here.
2. Nail Yakupov, RW, Russia (2012 draft eligible) Is Yakupov the best player outside the NHL today? Is he the consensus No. 1 pick in 2012? These questions may be answered in this year's WJC. He has the ability to take over this entire tournament.
1. Mikael Granlund, C/W, Finland (Minnesota Wild) If Yakupov isn't the best non-NHLer in the world today, Granlund just might be. He's 19, so he's been through this before. A good bet to join the Wild next season, Granlund could be a huge factor here.
NHL / IIHF Rules Comparison

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Russia search for 27 th Ice Hockey World Championship. Defending Ice Hockey World Champion’s Russia are the favourites with Pinnacle to reclaim their title for the first time since 2007.. The Russians are the most successful nation in the history of the World Championships and are gunning to win their 27 th title – winning four as Russia and 26 before the break up of the Soviet Union. Ice Hockey - World Championship - Statistics Choice of a season : 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1931 1930 2012 World Hockey Championships Betting Advice and Predictions by Trevor Whenham - 5/9/2012. The 2012 World Hockey Championships are underway in Finland and Sweden right now. We are almost halfway The Ice Hockey World Championship starts today! This encounter between Finland and Canada is the first match of the day. We also have Russia vs Norway, USA vs Slovakia and Czech Republic vs Sweden TMG Sports founder and chairman, Tero Kumpulainen, added: “We look forward to working with Infront and the FIHA and are fortunate to have a team here at TMG that can lend its combined experience from both the 2012 and 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in Finland to help deliver an exclusive local marketing and hospitality offering for

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