The 2011 Memorial Cup opened in fine fashion last night with the hosts from Mississauga putting up a strong challenge to the #1 ranked Sea Dogs of Saint John. The CHL's marquee event took center stage on TPS this morning (obviously) as we spoke with 3 different people who are on hand at the Hershey Centre. But as always, we talked more about the upcoming NHL Draft as well with a couple of players and also the head scout from a key independent scouting agency.
The Memorial Cup has become a staple of programming each Spring on Rogers Sportsnet as the national channel knocks it out of the park with their broadcast team and first rated coverage. Not only do TPS regulars Peter Loubardias and Sam Cosentino call the games but the Hockey Central Panel is on hand as well. So are Sportsnet.ca scribes like Patrick King who joined us to discuss Saint John's 4-3 win on opening night. Which of the 2011 eligible Sea Dogs impressed the most? Does Jacob Deserres even resemble the same player he did last year with Brandon? Will the controversial winning goal be forgotten?
Next up was legendary Jack Miller who is calling the action for Mississauga. Can the St. Mike's Majors rebound after a tough 1-goal loss to Saint John, especially with the way it ended? Who needs to play better and how will they fair against the WHL Champs from Kootenay and then team that beat them for the OHL title?
The first hour concluded with Adam Clendening, the freshman blueliner from the Boston Terriers. NHL Central Scouting has the rearguard ranked as a 2nd round pick but with 26 points in his first NCAA season, someone might take him early. The New York native talked to us about the US-NTDP, playing at BU under Jack Parker and gave us a scouting report on teammate Matt Nieto as well.
The second hour kicked off with the head scout from International Scouting Services breaking down their most recent top-30 list. Ross MacLean told us why Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is #1, why Mike Zibanejad is slotted higher than Jonathan Huberdeau and who Oscar Klefbom is and why he holds down the #10 position for ISS. We also covered J.T. Miller, Rocco Grimaldi, Mark McNeill and the top goalies available this year.
Daren Millard took time away from the Hockey Central panel on location at the Memorial Cup to give us his impression of opening night. The Brandon native was able to compare it to the 2010 edition which was in the Manitoba city plus told us how the response is different in city like Toronto for this tournament. Obviously with Daren and Dean it was just a matter of time before the Winnipeg Jets came up too.
Finally, Brent Andrews of the Halifax Mooseheads told us about his year with the struggling QMJHL club and his experience at the U18s playing for Canada. We also got a 2012 preview of his Halifax teammate Martin Frk who is already getting hype as a top-10 candidate for the NHL draft 13 months from now. We also asked the PEI native if he thinks the Island is big enough for 2 QMJHL clubs as rumors of the Lewiston Maineiacs potential relocation continue to swirl.
Is was a big, busy show and if you want to hear it again you can do so by clicking the link in the archive... HERE.