News Business Sports Entertainment Life Obituaries Opinion
Jobs Homes Cars Classifieds Shopping
Local Bloggers Cheap Tech Eco-Confessions Faceoff Furst Draft Heard on the Street Med City Movie Guy Pulse on Health Political Party

Search PB Blogs

Loading

Categories

« May 2011 | Main | July 2011 »

11 posts from June 2011

June 26, 2011

NHL Draft | Mario Lucia interview

Posted by: Feldman

Lucia2 

Mario Lucia didn't even hear his name called at Saturday's NHL Draft. The roar from the Wild fans, when, at No. 60, the words "the Wild select, from Wayzata High School ..." covered up the announcement of Lucia's name. Here's the interview he gave to the media after being selected. He addresses his thoughts on being taken by the hometown team, and the pressure that will be placed on him of playing in the Wild organization. He's also asked at one point if he was concerned that he might be taken by GM Garth Snow and the New York Islanders (Snow has, in the past, criticized Lucia's dad, Don, the head coach of the University of Minnesota).

Here's Mario Lucia's interview: M_Lucia0625

NHL Draft | Seth Ambroz interview

Posted by: Feldman

I'm sure it wasn't easy for Seth Ambroz, but after falling from a possible first- or second-round pick, all the way into the fifth round, he addressed the media. He answered questions for about 10 minutes, addressing everything asked of him. The New Prague native was selected No. 128 overall by Columbus. He'll play for the Gophers this fall.

Here's his interview: Ambroz0625

NHL Draft | Steven Fogarty interview

Posted by: Feldman

Edina's Steven Fogarty was the second Minnesotan drafted in this year's NHL Draft. He went to the New York Rangers with the 10th pick of the third round (No. 72 overall). Fogarty said he didn't even plan on attending the draft, initially.

Here's the interview he did with some Minnesota media members and some from New York: Fogarty0625

 

 

NHL Draft | Chuck Fletcher interview

Posted by: Feldman

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher addressed the media after Friday's first round of the NHL Draft. He talks primarily about the Brent Burns-for-Devin Setoguchi/Charlie Coyle/Zack Phillips trade, as well as addressing the Wild's first round draft choices.

Here is the Fletcher interview: Fletcher0624

NHL Draft | Zack Phillips interview

Posted by: Feldman

Phillips2 

The Wild traded star defenseman Brent Burns and their 2012 second-round pick to San Jose during the first round of the NHL Draft on Friday night. In return they received former 30-goal scorer Devin Setoguchi, prospect Charlie Coyle and the No. 28 overall pick in this year's draft. They used that pick to take Zack Phillips, a 6-1, 178-pound center from the Memorial Cup champions Saint John Sea Dogs.

Phillips met the (mostly Minnesota) media after he was selected. Here's the link to his interview: Phillips0624

NHL Draft | Jonas Brodin interview

Posted by: Feldman

Brodin2 

Swedish defenseman Jonas Brodin met the media after being selected No. 10 overall by the Wild on Friday night. His answers are brief and his English is broken, but he seemed very excited to be drafted by Minnesota. Brodin talks about what he needs to get better at and his experience of playing in the Swedish Elite League as a 17-year-old.

Here's the link to his interview: Brodin0624 

June 24, 2011

NHL Draft | The missing 3 from Rochester

FELDY: So, of course, an hour after our print edition goes to press, with my list of 16 guys from Rochester who have been drafted by NHL teams, I receive a complete list of all Minnesota players who have been selected in the draft.

Turns out I missed three guys from Rochester in my initial list, so there have actually been 19 players from here who have been drafted.

The three I missed (and my apologies go out to): Ethan Philpott, Ross Johnson of Mayo and Doug Wieck of Mayo. Shame on me for missing Wieck, who I interviewed for a story when his nephews -- Joe and Connor Faupel -- were playing for Century's state tournament team in 2009.

If you pick up our print edition today, you'll see short bios on the other 16 guys from Rochester who have been drafted by NHL teams. Keep reading for short bios for Johnson, Philpott and Wieck. I'll get those into Saturday's paper, along with our other draft coverage.

ROSS JOHNSON
(Born 8-5-67)
Drafted by: Minnesota North Starts (1985, round 8, No. 153 overall).
Notes: Johnson was selected in the 1985 draft by the home-state North Stars after his high school career at Mayo. He played one season of college hockey at Minnesota-Duluth, followed by three seasons at North Dakota. He played in 90 career college games, compiling 28 points.

DOUG WIECK
(Born 3-12-65)
Drafted by: New York Islanders (1984, round 4, No. 70 overall).
Notes: The forward played on Mayo's 1982 state tournament team and two seasons at Colorado College (1984-86) after being drafted. WIeck also played for the Portland WInterHawks of the WHL and the Virginia Lancers of the ACHL.

ETHAN PHILPOTT
(Born 2-11-75)
Drafted by: Buffalo Sabres (1993, round 3, No. 64 overall)
Notes: Born in Rochester, Philpott played high school hockey at Phillips Academy in Massachusetts. Had a 61-point season for Des Moines of the USHL in 1994-95. He played three years of college hockey at Harvard and played three seasons of minor league hockey.

Now that I've added the three guys listed above, here's the list of 19 guys from Rochester to be drafted. If I'm still missing anyone, please let me know:

Guy Gosselin
Jim Johannson
John Johannson
Ross Johnson

Alex Kangas
Jeff Kruesel
Bryce Lampman
Ethan Philpott

Shjon Podein
Johnny Pohl
Scott Schneider
Eric Strobel

Colin Stuart
* Mark Stuart
Mike Stuart
Jake Taylor
Jeff Teal
Doug Wieck

* Doug Zmolek

* -- first round pick

June 23, 2011

Hockey | NHL Draft notes, Aikens settling in Omaha (UPDATED — up to 19)

FELDY: Any of our Faceoff Faithful headed up to The X for the NHL Draft this weekend? If so, you're probably as excited as me. This will be my first NHL Draft to attend and/or cover for the paper, so I'm looking forward to seeing all of that NHL brainpower in one facility.

I'll have a bunch of NHL Draft preview stuff in Friday's Post-Bulletin, so check that out (please, please, please), and I'll be up in St. Paul Friday and Saturday to cover the draft, so check out Saturday and Monday's print editions, too, for that coverage.

I'll also be posting here on the blog throughout the weekend, hopefully live from The X both days. I don't know exactly what the setup is going to be like for media or where I'll be stationed, but I'll do my best to get on here and/or Twitter (@PBFeldy).

The draft begins at 6 p.m. Friday (on Versus), for Round 1, and 10:30 a.m. Saturday (NHL Network), for Rounds 2-7.

As I was doing some research for my draft preview stuff, I found some facts that I thought Rochester hockey fans might be interested in.

(Update: I had forgotten that Scott Schneider was drafted, as well as goalie Jeff Kruesel, so my total of 14 goes up to 16. Much thanks to former JM star/coach Scott Lecy for reminding me that Schneider was drafted, as well as to Jeff Kruesel's parents for notifying me he was not on the list.)

(Update #2: So, of course, an hour after our print edition goes to press today (Friday, June 24), I get a complete list of all the Minnesotans who have ever been drafted. Turns out, there are 19 from Rochester, so I missed three in today's print edition. My apologies to those guys -- Ethan Philpott, Ross Johnson of Mayo and Doug Wieck of Mayo; I'll try to run their short bios, like I did for the other 16, in Saturday's paper).

I attempted to compile a list of every Rochester player ever drafted by an NHL team. I came up with 19(including Johnny Pohl, who, I know, is iffy at best, but he was born in Roch, so we'll add him in).

Of the 19 Rochester players who have been drafted, seven were drafted by franchises that no longer exist (two by the Atlanta Thrashers, two by the first incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets, and one each by the Hartford Whalers, Colorado Rockies and Minnesota North Stars). 

Two -- Doug Zmolek and Mark Stuart -- were drafted in Round 1. None of the remaining 12 was drafted earlier than Round 4.

Two others -- Colin Stuart and Alex Kangas -- were drafted in the exact same draft position (Round 5, No. 135 overall) by the same team (Atlanta). And, yet, two more -- Guy Gosselin and Scott Schneider -- were drafted by the old Winnipeg Jets franchise.

Finally, five of the 19 wouldn't have been drafted if, in their draft years, the draft was formatted like it is now. Currently, the draft is just seven rounds. Eric Strobel, Shjon Podein and Gosselin were all drafted in Round 8, Pohl went in Round 9 and John Johannson in Round 10.

Here's my list, please tell me if I'm missing anyone:

Guy Gosselin
Jim Johannson
John Johannson
Ross Johnson

Alex Kangas
Jeff Kruesel
Bryce Lampman
Ethan Philpott

Shjon Podein
Johnny Pohl
Scott Schneider
Eric Strobel

Colin Stuart
* Mark Stuart
Mike Stuart
Jake Taylor
Jeff Teal
Doug Wieck

* Doug Zmolek

* -- first round pick

I'll have more information about each of those 15 guys in Friday's paper, as well as a look at some of the players the Wild are likely targeting with the 10th overall pick. I'll also have a look at some of the top Minnesotans available in this draft, and a story on New Prague native and former Section 1A standout Seth Ambroz.

He left the Trojans after his freshman year, when he piled up 69 points and led them to the Section 1A semifinals, where they lost to Lourdes in OT. He has played for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL the past three seasons. He is expected to be a low first-round or high second-round pick this weekend. 

For the story on Ambroz, I talked to 1989 Rochester John Marshall graduate Mike Aikens, who was an assistant with the Lancers this year. He had lots of good things to say about Ambroz, particularly his work ethic, which was questioned by some hockey bloggers throughout the season.

The 6-feet-3, 203-pound Ambroz -- who is headed to the U of M this fall -- has been criticized by some for not having a more productive season (he had 46 points in 2010-11, after a 49-point season in 2009-10). 

But, Aikens said, Ambroz was productive in areas other than the scoresheet early in the season. He said Ambroz's physical play was a huge boost for the Lancers early on, when he wasn't scoring. Aikens said Ambroz would often have as many as 15 hits in a game (approaching Cal Clutterbuck territory) and that he didn't receive enough credit for the dirty work he did.

"He was phenomenal on the forecheck and willing to take a beating," Aikens said.

Aikens added that Ambroz does have some things to work on, that he's not NHL-ready right now. The biggest thing Ambroz needs to work on, Aikens said, is his skating. But, it's something Ambroz is aware of and "has worked really, really hard to get better at."

As for Aikens, he thoroughly enjoyed his first season back in Omaha (he spent three seasons there at the start of his coaching career) and is ready to settle there. He and his wife bought a house there and are moving their daughters (ages 5 and 7) down in about two weeks. They kept their house here in Rochester during this past season and waited to move until the school year was finished.

Aikens said he enjoys working for the Lancers organization and head coach Bliss Littler, a successful long-time junior hockey coach. Aikens moved to Omaha after coaching in the Russell Stover Midget Major program near Kansas City. He worked with fellow Rochester native Pat Ferschweiler there. Ferschweiler left prior to last season to become an assistant coach at his alma mater, Western Michigan University.

"We have two young daughters," said Aikens, whose brother, Bruce, played on the 1977 JM state championship team, "so we were looking for a place to settle down. When Omaha called, it was a no-brainer.

"The organization in Omaha is so good, from the owners on down. They treat everyone so well. We like to call it the Yankees of junior hockey, because everyone is treated so well. I feel like I can really be choosy and pick my next move. If I'm here for 10 years, or more, that would be great."

June 21, 2011

H.S. Hockey | random notes (Dodge County notes, shootouts in high school games?)

FELDY: Obviously, it's a slow time for hockey news around here, especially since the hiring of Josh Klingfus as Century's new head coach means all of the are coaching vacancies are now filled.

I had been working on a piece on the change to the checking age limit in youth hockey, but I'm having a hard time reaching some youth coaches, so I'll probably put that story on the backburner until hockey season arrives. If you hadn't heard, checking will now be banned at Pee-Wee level, meaning only Bantam-age players and older will now be allowed to check.

I talked to a couple of high school coaches last week and both were kind of more on the side of leaving things as they are now, rather than make players wait another year or two before they learn how to check. USA Hockey made the change in the interest of safety for 11- and 12-year-olds, which is understandable. The coaches, and a couple of area hockey fans I spoke with, all said that, if players are being coached properly, checking shouldn't be an issue at the pee-wee level. I guess we'll start seeing the results of this change at the high school level in 3-5 years.

But, as the headline suggests, I have a couple of points to hit on today: 1. good things are happening in the Dodge County program this offseason, and 2. shootouts are going to be a part of high school hockey in the regular season this coming year ... in North Dakota.

First, Dodge County coach Eric Hofmann has ramped up the offseason workouts a bit for his players, in his second summer as head coach. It's that time of year where coaches are permitted to work with their players during the week, on and off the ice.

Hofmann is doing a couple of really positive things this summer. First, he is working hard with the youth players in the Dodge County program. He is guiding the pee-wee and bantam summer workouts at Kasson Ice Arena. This can only be a good thing for the future of the program, because when these kids get to the high school level, they've been in the same system with familiar coaches for three or four years. They will know what is expected of them and, judging by the dryland training they were going through, they'll be in good shape.

Second, as I just mentioned, Hofmann is putting all of DC's players, from youth through varsity, through a good workout program. If nothing else, the Wildcats will be well-conditioned.

Will this mean instant success in Dodge County? That's hard to say; Hofmann's in just his second year with the program and these things take time to build. If the coaches and players stay committed to this program, though, they could have something built up in a few years.

SHOOTOUTS ... So, a few years back, I wrote a column in the P-B asking several area coaches and players what they would think of using shootouts to determine a winner in regular season high school hockey games. Opinions were mixed, and, aside from the Kiwanis Festival each year, it's not an issue in MInnesota.

However, there are plenty of Minnesota teams in the western part of the state who play regular season games against North Dakota teams. And, this week, the North Dakota High School Activities Association voted in favor of deciding regular season games by shootout.

Here's a link to a story on the issue.

As a hockey fan, I've never seen anything wrong with ties. I guess it goes back to the whole "purist" thing. I like the game as it is. Ties are pretty much unacceptable to fans of other sports, but they're a part of hockey.

I get it, shootouts are exciting, and if they're only used in the regular season, nobody's season is ended because of them. Still, here's one vote for Minnesota not going that direction.

June 08, 2011

H.S. Hockey | Klingfus is Century's new head coach

FELDY: About 40 minutes ago, Rochester Century A.D. Mark Kuisle made it official, Josh Klingfus is the Panthers new head boys hockey coach.

I talked with Klingfus just a few minutes after the official announcement came out; he said he's excited to jump right in to the MSHSL-approved offseason on-ice workout sessions, which begin Monday.

Here's a link to the story on our website. I'll update it later today with comments from Klingfus. You can read the whole thing in tomorrow's paper, or you can read it online right now if you're a P-B subscriber.

It's a nice hire for Century. Josh knows the high school game in-depth, having served as Century's top assistant coach for eight seasons (2000-01 through 2007-08).

He takes over for Bruce Frutiger, who had coached Century for the first 13 seasons of the school's existence. The Panthers won 197 games under Frutiger; Klingfus was on the bench for 136 of those wins. Century was 136-74-8 in the eight seasons Klingfus served as an assistant coach. In seven of those eight seasons, Century had a winning record.

Klingfus has coached Squirts and Termites over the past three hockey seasons, since stepping down as Century's assistant.

"I missed it," Klingfus said of coaching at the high school level. "It's a fun level to coach at. They're still growing, but they have the skill to make the passes, make the plays."

Klingfus said he'll try to adapt his coaching style to fit the type of players the Panthers have. In other words, If Century is full of big, strong, grinding-type players, Klingfus won't ask them to try to be an up-and-down, fast-skating team.

Klingfus is a 1992 John Marshall grad and played two seasons for the Rochester Mustangs of the USHL, putting up 64 points. He went on to a very successful college career at then-Division II Bemidji State, under legendary coach Bob Peters. He scored the game-winning goal in the 1997 national championship game, when BSU beat Alabama-Huntsville.

So, we've had two coaching changes in Rochester since the season ended in March, and both new coaches have been really good hires for the schools. Former Lourdes coach Jay Ness is taking over at JM, after Scott Lecy stepped down; and now Klingfus takes over for Frutiger. Rochester high school hockey will certainly have a new look come November.