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Sunday, July 31, 2011

With the dog days of summer in full swing and the August long weekend upon us, the 2011-2012 season is now nearing. The newsletter is being released a day early this time around due to family obligations.

In this edition of the newsletter, we continue to update the rankings which reflect the Western Development Hockey Camp that took place in Regina. Players have been added in all age groups. In the interview section, I had a chance to speak with perhaps one of the top scorers in bantam hockey this coming season who is switching teams for 2011-2012. I speak with a Manitoba forward is flying under the radar a bit but not for long! We speak with an Alberta sniper who has ambitions to lead the league in scoring this coming season. Also, I spoke with a BC goalie who played in tier 3 but he could be one of the best goalies in the province. Finally, I had a chance to talk to a 98 born defenseman from BC who will look to crack one of the best programs in western Canada.

In addition to the rankings and interviews, we take a look at who cracked the top 40 at the Regina prospects camp and who made the all-star team.

The American Top 50 is updated.

Finally, we spotlight one of the top defenseman in the western states for the WHL bantam draft in May.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Update: Tanner Brown and Noah Jullsen to attend POE

Tanner Browne will be a key cog for POE
 We've received word this afternoon, that top 5 rated prospect Tanner Browne and first round projected Noah Jullsen will be attending the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy.  Browne played his rookie bantam season with Juan De Fuca while Jullsen played with the Abbotsford Hawks.  The POE program will now feature up to 3 first round projected prospects on defence if you include Joey Gatenby.  It is very much looking like they will be a serious threat in all tournaments and should top the OMAHA.

Further to the Abbotsford situation, Nolan Zweep who was to be counted on this year will be leaving and will play for the Mission Stars.  Mission could make some noise this year when you include the likes of Jeffrey Veitch in goal, Jacob Kranabetter and Brice Sharp up front amongst others.

Abbotsford Hawks take huge hit

Jordan Kawaguchi taking his talents to POE
The Abbotsford Hawks have suffered a huge blow to their chances in the PCAHA Flight 1 division next year.  Star forward and first round draft candidate Jordan Kawaguchi will be joining the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy.  Kawaguchi who is the cousin of Minnesota Wild forward Devon Setoguchi is expected to have a huge bantam draft season and should be one of the leading scorers in the OMAHA league. 

Also POE related, the academy is also looking at bringing in Noah Jullsen, also from Abbotsford.  Jullsen is another first round candidate and plays defense.  The thought of a 1-2 defensive punch which includes lone returnee Joey Gatenby has to have the academy excited!

Goaltender Alex Pongracz made the POE AAA program as well but a family decision has led Alex to stay with Abbotsford for the fall.

They have also added '98 F Zach Andrusiak who played peewee hockey last season with Yorkton.  Andrusiak led the SSPHL in scoring with 51 goals in 21 games.  He will look to make the POE Bantam AAA team in the fall and add loads of scoring.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Western Prospects Development Camp All-Stars



Forwards: Regan Nagy - Ogema SK - 5'11" 155 lbs.

Chris Seto - Surrey BC - 5'9" 140 lbs.

Tristan Starzynski - Leduc AB - 5'9" 140 lbs.

Defense: Ethan Bear - Whitewood SK. - 5'10" 170 lbs.

Cameron Reagan - Sherwood Park AB. - 5'11" 160 lbs.


Regan Nagy(Forward)

Cameron Reagan(Defense)

Tristan Starzynski(Forward)

Western Prospects Development Camp

Bear was named top defenceman at the camp
The Western Prospects Development Camp has wrapped in Regina.  The camp concluded with a Top 40 game in which Team Blue defeated Team Burgundy 9-2.  Team Blue was led by Chris Seto who was the camps top forward, as well Team Blue was represented by the camps top defenseman Ethan Bear.  Team Burgundy had the camps top goaltender Brett Pongracz.

Here below are the rosters:
Team Burgundy
G- Zach Klassen - Sherwood Park, AB - 5'8 126
G- Brett Pongracz - Saskatoon, SK - 5'9 165
D- LJ Naccarato - Edmonton, AB - 5'10 165
D- Brennan Riddle - Balgonie, SK - 5'10 165
D- Traye Tkachuk - Pierceland, SK - 6'0 175
D- Kobe Eagletail - Calgary, AB - 6'0 162
RW- Larime Kostelansky - Fort Mcleod, AB - 5'10 150
C- Kirklan Lycar - Elma, MB - 5'10 145
C- Ethan Williams - Winnipeg, MB - 5'10 154
RW- Matt Van der Sloot - Medicine Hat, AB - 5'9 160
C- Keifer Hintz - Maidstone, SK - 5'9 140
D- Cole Oliver - Melita, MB - 5'9 150
C- Michael Korol - Saskatoon, SK - 5'9 160
D- Bryce Fiske - Air Ronge, SK - 5'8 140
C- Andrew Koep - Lloydminster, AB 5'7 140
D- Carson Beers - Taber, AB - 5'7 125
D- Jarrel Pinchuk - Fort SK, AB 5'7 125
Zac Paziuk - Prince Albert, SK - 5'7 132
LW- Layne Hiebert - The Pas, MB - 5'6 140
C- Brayden Brown - Calgary, AB - 5'3 115

Team Blue
G- Bobby Gathercole - Lethbridge, AB - 5'9 175
G- Alex Kong - Burnaby, BC - 5'10 140

D- Shane Collins - Rosetown, SK - 5'11 151
D- Cameron Reagan - Sherwood Park, AB - 5'11 176
C- Regan Nagy - Ogema, SK - 5'11 155
D- Troy Murray - White City, SK - 5'10 125
D- Ethan Bear - Whitewood, SK - 5'10 170
LW- Tristan Starzynski - Leduc, AB - 5'9 140
C- Chris Seto - Surrey, BC - 5'9 140
D- Braden Compton - Brandon, MB - 5'9 165
D- Cole Richardson - Calgary, AB - 5'8 140
C- Tanner Wishnowski - Duglad, MB - 5'8 131
D- Tristan Thompson - Canmore, AB - 5'7 152
D- Jake Belyea - Drayton Valley, AB - 5'7 125
C- Haydn Hopkins - Victoria, BC 5'6 138
RW- Zach Whitby - Calgary, AB - 5'5 129
RW- Jesse Zaharichuk - Sherwood Park, AB - 5'4 107
C- Mitch Hallas - Medicine Hat, AB - 5'4 140
RW- Taylor Orr - Kupar, SK - 5'4 135
C- Jayden Halbgewachs - Emerald Park, SK - 5'4 125

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Can anybody stop BWC in 2011-2012?

Adam Musil will be taking his talents to BWC
 The long storied BWC program has been a powerhouse in the past couple season making it to westerns on both occasions.  However, next year could be even better than this year was, if that is possible.  The team will return a key cog at each position who were more than capable last year as first year bantam players. 

Matt Barzal, who had a call-up as a 12 yr old the year before and didn't look out of place was the teams leading scorer as and underage and should be able to put up similar numbes as to what a fellow BWC Bruin star Ryan Nugent-Hopkins did in his draft year.  Barzal is currently and has been the top 1997 born player in western Canada for quite some time now.  Defenceman Ty Schultz will help anchor what should be a very strong defensive group which include Dom Masellis, Eric Lee, 98 born star Dante Fabbro and Matt Barberis.  Nick McBride is likely the top 97 born goalie in the west so they are stable there.  98 born Tyler Shugroe will look to learn from McBride and see some time as backup.

Back to the forwards though for a moment.  News has come out that Delta star forward Adam Musil will be joining Matt Barzal and Justin Szeto to form one of the best lines in western Canada.  Musil will replace the departed Chris Seto, who will be leaving to play closer to home in Cloverdale.  Several players such as Ty Ronning, Nick Holowko, 98 born forwards Kyle Uy, Jake Kryski and Owen Seidel will look to add some offence.

Teams that should be chasing BWC this season will be Cloverdale, Abbotsford and NSWC.  Mission Stars could surprise some this year with a strong group of 97's.


Western Prospects Development Camp in Regina is underway and Tyler Kreklewich from Melville is proving to be a force and a player to watch.  He was named player of the game yesterday and seems to have taken his game to the next level. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 20, 2011 newsletter is now ready!

The July 20, 2011 newsletter is now ready. In this edition of the newsletter we continue to update the list by adding new players and adjusting the rankings prior to the start of the 2011-2012 season. Also included is a re-cap of how some of the top Western USA players faired at the Under 14 US Development Camp in Rochester, NY last week. We also preview the Western Prospects Development Camp that begins today in Regina, who will be the standout players at the camp, we'll tell you who.

The interview section has been expanded this time around and includes an interview with perhaps the top eligible 97 born player from the province of Manitoba. I also speak with a player from the lower mainland in BC who hopes to lead his team to a top four appearance in the tough PCAHA Flight 1. We speak with a player who moved to Alberta from New Brunswick a few years back and prides himself on shutting down the top players in his province. I spoke with a player from Alberta who is excited to have a break through bantam draft year in his first year in the AMBHL. Finally, we introduce a 98 born hockey player from the lower mainland in B.C. who hopes to make a powerhouse AAA program and contribute right away, we think he can!

Top 145 for 97 rankings.
Top 70 for 98 rankings.
Top 50 USA prospects.

Top 10 1997 born sneak peak (Western Canada)
1.  Matt Barzal - BWC
2.  Aaron Kellogg - Fort Sask.
3.  Giorgio Estephan - SSAC
4.  Tanner Browne - JDF
5.  Ryan Gardiner - WPG Sharks
6.  Nick Merkley - Calgary Bisons
7.  Dallas Miller - WPG Sharks
8.  Adam Musil - BWC
9.  Rylee Zimmer - Notre Dame
10.Ethan Bear - Melville

Top 10 1998 born sneak peak (Western Canada)
1.  Kale Clague - Lloydminster
2.  Jaeger White - Undecided
3.  Dylan Thiessen - Winnipeg
4.  Sam Steel - Strathcona
5.  Dante Fabbro - BWC
6.  Nolan Patrick - Winnipeg
7.  Tyler Steenbergan - Red Deer
8.  Dennis Cholowski - Langley
9.  Garrett Kuklica - Winnipeg
10. Dillon Dube - Bow Valley

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 6, 2011 newsletter is now ready!

The July 6, 2011 newsletter is now ready.  In this edition of the newsletter we continue to adjust the 97 born rankings as reports come back from various tournament action this spring and summer.  We take a look at some news and notes from around western Canada and the USA as it pertains to district camps, and tournaments.

I had a chance to speak with a defenseman from Alberta who played with one of the best defenseman in the 96 class who says he has learned tonnes from him.  I spoke with a player who scored at a phenominal rate and could be the next superstar in the WHL to rival Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.  Finally, I spoke with a late bloomer who is looking to show his stuff with one of the best hockey programs in western Canada.