Tonight we had a 5 pack of guests and were heavily focused on the 2011 NHL draft as we will be from now until late June. We also spoke to the first ever head coach of Penn State's Division I hockey team and discussed how a head coach with a winning percentage of .414 gets promoted to the General Manager position.
First up in our starting line up was the leading scorer for the Gold Medal winning United States squad at the World Under 18 Championship. J.T. Miller is a 6'1, 198 pound two-way power forward who is off to the University of North Dakota next year. Miller's stock dropped from the mid term to the final NHL Central Scouting rankings but should shoot up again after his outstanding performance in Germany.
Up next was Guy Gadowsky who, on the weekend, left Princeton University to become the new head coach for Penn State which will join division one hockey after next season. Guy told us who really got him thinking about going after the Penn State job, and a big hint...it was my co-host when he attended the Frozen Four this year. I'm not sure if Flaming is getting a cut, but it's nice to know our opinion is valued by some people. Gadowsky spoke about his upcoming duties, how they build a program and how he will use past experiences with Princeton and Alaska-Fairbanks to mold the Nittany Lions.
Next it was time for the first of back to back draft eligible defenceman. Joe Morrow plays for the Portland Winterhawks who are currently taking on Spokane in the WHL's Western Conference final. Joe spoke about how close the series is and what it's like playing in front of so many scouts each night for the past 2 years with Portland having a whack of drafted or draft eligible players on it's roster. Morrow is competing with Duncan Siemens to see who will be the first WHL d-man drafted this June, and both guys are from Sherwood Park and grew up playing against each other. Morrow told us the differences between the two in his eyes and how he's similar to Oil King Captain Mark Pysyk who he grew up playing with.
Hour #2 kicked off with why WHL Commissioner Ron Robison won't be joining our show in the next little while. We had hoped to have Robison on the program to talk about some very encouraging things going on in the WHL, but also why the league was trying to keep kids from attending last week's College Hockey Inc. information seminar in Spruce Grove. However the WHL has told TPS that Robison does not want to discuss the email that went out from the WHL head office. It's our policy that we dictate the discussion on our show and not our guests so we won't be having the Commish on our program this time around. This does not mean that we won't still promote the prospects in the WHL as we still feel it is a quality league that produces great players, and like the NCAA is a terrific option for young hockey players.
Ryan Murhpy was on deck, and after a long flight home from Germany he looked back on Canada's heart breaking overtime loss to the U.S. and Bronze medal loss to Russia, despite the terrific tournament the Kitchener Ranger had. Murphy set a Canadian record for points at the event with 13 in 7 games, after putting up 11 in 7 games for the Rangers in the OHL playoffs. There have been a lot of comparisons to Ryan Ellis and we asked Murphy what makes them different. Murphy told us how he's successful in his own end despite his small stature and how he would defend Gabriel Landeskog if he wasn't his Ranger teammate.
We rounded out the show with our CHL Insider Sam Cosentino from Rogers Sportsnet who took us across the CHL playoffs where the Memorial Cup hosts have punched their ticket to the OHL final, meaning either Windsor or Owen Sound will get a free pass. In the Q is Zack Phillips getting overlooked on a stacked St. John team? We also asked Sam how Doug Gilmour is getting promoted after having a very underwhelming tenure behind the bench in Kingston? A recent article in the Sault Star raised some eyebrows with us as it quoted an OHL owner accusing another CHL teams of buying players. And rumours of Russian star Nail Yakupov heading to the KHL were also discussed.
It you missed it live, or want to hear it again...you can here.