Tonight we dove into one of the many pre draft lists that are starting to pop up, spoke to a North American raised hockey player who's heading to Europe as his draft year approaches, recapped the season of a 2011 draft prospect, got the lowdown on the 3 CHL finals and chatted up a possible CHL Player Of The Year. It was as usual, a busy show.
First up was Ryan Kennedy from The Hockey News. Their draft preview edition is out and Ryan told us how the list is put together and when. How tight was the top spot decision and who were some surprises in the top 30. Ryan gave us his opinion on a few players, and what's new with the issue compared to past years.
While we're neck deep in the 2011 NHL draft, we're also starting to inform listeners about the 2012 class as well. Henrik Sameulsson is projected to be a top 15 pick for next year, but he's doing something I've never seen a prospect do. Henrik was raised in the States and played for the U.S. National Development program this year. However his dad is former NHLer Ulf who was just hired to coach Modo in the Swedish Elite League, and Henrik is heading to Sweden to play for Modo next year. Henrik told us why and what it was like to play Sweden in the final of the U18 World Championship. Now that he's played for the U.S. in an IIHF sanctioned event he can't play for another country, which would mean making a trip back to North America next year for the World Junior Championship. Henrik also discussed the possibility of playing in the WHL after next season as his rights are held by the Edmonton Oil Kings.
From 2012 we jumped to the 2011 draft and Mark Scheifele from the Barrie Colts joined us. Mark was a key contributor for Canada at the U18's and was second on Barrie in scoring in his rookie season. He explained what playing for Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk has been like, his style of play and how he's getting ready for the combine.
Hour #2 brought the first of two segments with our CHL insider Sam Cosentino of Rogers Sportsnet. We went coast to coast in the CHL where Gattineau trails St. John 2-1, Mississauga took a 3-2 lead over Owen Sound tonight and Kootenay pulled ahead of Portland 2-1 with an overtime win Tuesday. Is Jonathan Huberdeau barging his way into the top 4 of the NHL draft, who needs to pick up the pace for Owen Sound and what did Sam think of the Brad Ross suspension in the WHL? We also covered some coaching hires and the fact that Max Domi recently twittered his intention of going the NCAA route after being drafted by Kingston.
We wrapped things up with WHL MVP Darcy Kuemper of the Red Deer Rebels. His stellar stats this year made him a shoe in (for me at least) as the top player out west, but Kuemper and Red Deer were knocked out in the 2nd round of the playoffs. He's also in the middle of negotiating a contract with the Minnesota Wild, which has to be done by June 1st or the 6.04 tender becomes a free agent. Kuemper gave us the lowdown on a couple of Red Deer teammates, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Matt Dumba (2012).
He is also the subject of our poll question here.
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