Where Are They Now Part 2!

We originally did a Part 1 which you can find here: https://notyouraveragehockeyblog.com/2015/05/01/where-are-they-now/. After posting on Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/hockey/comments/354ozm/anyone_have_a_where_are_they_now_request/), we’ve decided to do a Part 2. Yeah we know the post was a long time ago, but at least it’s here right? Make sure to keep on requesting and if we have enough requests, we’ll do a Part 3! Make sure to check us out on Twitter @hkyblogger and on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog

Taro Tsujimoto
I have been searching for him for hours, and I can’t find anything for him. Sorry guys… Kidding! He’s an imaginary player created by Punch Imlach who got frustrated in the 1974 NHL Entry Draft. Tsujimoto was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres and everyone believed it! All the major news outlets picked it up. No information could be found on him. Well it’s cause he didn’t exist! But if he did exist, he would have been 61 now. So where is he now? Still imaginary!

Sergei Zubov
Sergei Zubov, the He retired in 2010 after a season in the KHL, and was a coach for SKA St. Petersburg for the 2011-2012 KHL Season. After that he and had joined the St. Louis Blues front office as a consultant, while doing double duty with CSKA Moscow as an Assistant Coach. However, he seems to have chosen to leave his St. Louis Blues role before the 2013 KHL season. After the 2013-2014 season, he returned to SKA St. Petersburg as an assistant coach while helping out with National Team duties as an assistant coach as well. So where is Sergei Zubov? Well he’s keeping busy with KHL and National Team duties!

Owen Nolan
Owen Nolan played 18 years for the Nordiques, Sharks, Leafs, Coyotes, Flames, Wild, and the ZSC Lions before retiring. So where is he now? He’s now running two restaurants called Britannia Arms; one in downtown San Jose and one in Almaden, CA. Nolan also hosts a and hosts several TV shows. He’s now an avid fisher and hunter and you can catch his show Sportsman 360 TV on NBC Sports Outdoors on Wednesdays at 3:30.

Editor’s note: If you’re a hockey player or aspiring hockey player, training is key. So if you want to get bigger, get faster, make sure to check out our friends over at Hockey Training. Who knows? They could be the extra boost that you need.

Last Minute Final Mock Draft

Here is our final last minute mock draft. I chose each individual ranking by the greatest need for the team and not necessarily the best player available. You might not agree with our rankings, so let us know! Comment below, tweet me @hkyblogger or tell us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog. Without further to do, he is our 2015 NHL Last Minute Final Mock Draft!

1. Edmonton Oilers – Connor McDavid
He’s a generational talent. What more can I say?

2. Buffalo Sabres – Jack Eichel
Not a bad prize for getting the second overall pick. Can’t say that for many drafts.

3. Arizona Coyotes – Dylan Strome
4. Toronto Maple Leafs – Mitchell Marner
The Leafs would rather get Strome as the team would like to add another big center to build around. Marner is a nice player, but he’s undersized at 5’11. I’d personally like to see the Leafs grab Hanifin and solidify the blue line with Hanifin and Reilly, but all points are pointing the blue and white grabbing Marner instead.

5. Carolina Hurricanes – Noah Hanifin
Any other draft, Hanifin goes 1st overall, but this draft is so top heavy, the Boston College defenseman goes 5th overall. Canes will be beaming from ear to ear to get him.

6. New Jersey Devils – Matthew Barzal
7. Philadelphia Flyers – Mikko Rantanen
Flyers are filled to the brim with young defenders in their system with players such as Morin and Gotishbehere in their system. The young right wing sniper is exactly what the Flyers need.

8. Columbus Blue Jackets – Ivan Provorov
Their GM has openly said they would like to improve the defense in their system. With Hanifin gone, it’s a toss up between Provorov and Werenski.

9. San Jose Sharks – Lawson Crouse
10. Colorado Avalanche – Zach Werenski
11. Florida Panthers – Pavel Zacha
12. Dallas Stars – Timo Meier
13. Los Angeles Kings – Kyle Connor
The Kings would like to shore up on their center prospects. It was a toss up between Kyle Connor and Travis Konecny but the Kings like their centers to have some size. Konecny is 5’9.75 while Connor is 6’1.

14. Boston Bruins – Nick Merkley
15. Calgary Flames – Jeremy Roy
16. Edmonton Oilers (From PIT) – Ilya Samsonov
Oilers aren’t picking anyone else but McDavid with the 1st overall pick. But the Oilers need help with goaltending and defense as well. Samsonov is the best goalie in the draft, but are they willing to lose out on Samsonov for a defenseman they need?

17. Winnipeg Jets – Evgeni Svechnikov
18. Ottawa Senators – Colin White
He’s a good two way forward who doesn’t play a flashy game but he gets the points. Was at a point a pace game last year.

19. Detroit Red Wings – Joel Eriksson Ek
Detroit loves their Swedes. Eriksson Ek is a player

20. Minnesota Wild – Jansen Harkins
Might be a bit of a reach here, but the Wild would like a guy who can all 200ft of the ice. My only issue with him is his offensive game.

21. Buffalo Sabres (From NYI) – Thomas Chabot
After picking up Eichel with the 2nd overall pick, the Sabres will need to restock the defensive prospect cupboard with the best defensema available. Enter Thomas Chabot. His physical game needs a bit more work but his offensive game is very good. He had 29 points in 66 games in the QMJHL last year.

22. Washington Capitals – Paul Bittner
My personal favourite pick. Plays a big game and will develop into a prototypical power forward. Going to be the steal of the draft in my opinion. Needs to work on his shot and bulking up though.

23. Vancouver Canucks – Daniel Sprong
24. Toronto Maple Leafs (From NSH) – Brandon Carlo
The Leafs picked up Marner with the 4th overall pick and will use this pick to pick up some defense. Carlo is sort of like an anti Reilly. He stays in his own zone and plays a physical game while Reilly likes to wheel and deal around the ice. Creates an interesting pairing though. Maybe with Gardiner?

25. Winnipeg Jets (From STL via BUF) – Jakub Zboril
26. Montreal Canadiens – Anthony Beauvillier
The Habs have been linked with the young small sniper.  He will need to bulk up as he is only 173 lbs., but he skates fast, and has a wicked shot.

27. Anaheim Ducks – Jeremy Bracco
28. Tampa Bay Lightning (From NYR) – Denis Guryanov
29. Philadelphia Flyers (From TBL) – Jordan Greenway
The Flyers like their guys big and Jordan Greenway is 6’4.75. He’s physical and has plays a pretty good offensive game, but his defense will need some work.

30. Arizona (From CHI) – Oliver Kylington

Who Do The Leafs Draft With The 24th Pick?

Quite possible the most popular team in the NHL, there is no other team with the immense pressure and spotlight as the Toronto Maple Leafs. If there wasn’t enough pressure before, adding the most sought after free agent before the Stanley Cup is even awarded has made Toronto the center of the hockey world’s attention once again.

The Leafs are looking forward to the upcoming draft. They have both the 4th and 24th pick in the first round after acquiring the 24th pick from Nashville. The 4th pick is widely believed to be used to select either Dylan Strome, Mitchell Marner, or Noah Hanifin. Of course, if for some reason Jack Eichel or Connor McDavid is still available, that pick will be used to select who’s left. There’s 3 legitimate options for the 4th pick and 2 highly unlikely options. They’ve also been written to death about, so let’s change it up! What about the 24th pick? There’s not a lot of stuff written on it in comparison. But here’s our suggestions for the 24th pick!

A name that has been mentioned quite a bit is Oliver Kylington. He’s a 6’0 defenseman who played in the Swedish Hockey League when he was 16. From what i’ve read and seen, he’s a very strong skater and plays a good offensive game. His shot is a plus, but it’s his skating that is a plus plus tool. For the Leafs fan out there compare him to Morgan Rielly but not that high of a ceiling. Still a very serviceable player. I can’t imagine the Leafs picking Kylington if they pick Noah Hanifin with the 4th pick. He’s been dropping in the rankings as he’s had a poor Five Nations tournament and it seems like scouts feel that he’ll need to bulk up quite a bit. He seems like one of the biggest wildcards in the draft. The Leafs have two picks in the 1st round which allows them to be a bit more aggressive in the draft. His NHL ceiling is a powerplay quarterback who could be a 3D in the NHL.
Fun fact: He’s both Swedish and Eritrean!

Personally, I’d like to see the Leafs draft Paul Bittner if he’s still available at 24. He’s a big power forward who likes to use his size shovel goals in. His only issue is that he is still very raw and will need to work on his defensive game, but his offensive game is very good already. One of the biggest strengths he has is his size. He isn’t a goon on the ice, but he uses his size very well. When he needs to get infront of the net, he uses the entire six feet four inches he has to push people around. He will have to work on his defensive game to succeed at the next level. The NHL comparison for him is James Van Riemsdyk. If the Leafs got a player who is as good as JVR at 24, wouldn’t most Leafs fans be happy?

Our black horse unlikely pick is Ilya Samsonov. I’m suggesting this pick mostly because of preparation of the future and the lack of depth in the system. Goalies tend to take longer to develop in comparison to skaters. Yeah yeah, I know Bernier and Reimer are 26 and 27 respectively so they have a few years before it’s a necessity, but Samsonov is an intriguing prospect. He’s a high reward goalie with relatively low risk. He’s going to be developing in the KHL as he’s signed a 3 year contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Being able to develop in the second best league in the world (Sorry AHL and SHL, it’s not even close) would do wonders for a guy like him. With the 24th pick, the Leafs have a much higher risk tolerance as the 4th pick will be a guy who will be a star in the league in a few years. I’d love to see Samsonov in a Leafs jersey some day but I’m not sure if he’ll be there at 24.

We considered players such as Jansen Harkins and Jeremy Roy but the Leafs already have players similar to them in organization with Harkins being a comparison to Frederik Gauthier and Roy comparing to Matt Finn.

Do you have any other teams or picks you’d like us to write about?Let us know by commenting below, commenting on the post or tweeting me @hkyblogger! We know that everyone has different ideas on the 24th pick so let us know! If you like our stuff, show us support by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog !

We will also be publishing our Mock Draft 3.0 soon too, so make sure to check in often!

Where Are They Now?

Source: Wikimedia Foundation. Used with a creative common license.

We’ve always wondered, what happens to our favourite hockey players? The average NHL career is 5.5 years (source: http://www.rsvlts.com/2013/07/22/longest-sports-careers/). So what happens to them when they’re no longer in the NHL? Well they do other things. In our first instalment of this series, we follow four players; a former 1st Overall Pick, a 2nd Rounder, a former Calder winner, and a former Amazing Race winner. I’ve never been a man of unneccesary words, so without further to do, here’s our first instalment of Where Are They Now?

Rick DiPietro

Former 1st Overall Pick in the 2000 NHL Draft, Rick DiPietro signed the 1st 15 year contract for a whopping $67.5M (granted that’s not too much in pro sports nowadays) in 2006. As most people know, he was bought out in 2013, and will be paid $1.5M till 2029 (he’s pretty much set for life). After getting bought out, he played 5 games with the Charlotte Checkers before retiring. He’s now a radio host at 98.7 ESPN Radio in New York. He hosts the show 7-10PM on weekdays and you can check it out here: http://espn.go.com/espnradio/newyork/play.

Eddie Caron
Probably most well known as being the guy with the lowest grade ever on Hockey’s Future with a 0.5A (http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/eddie_caron/). He was drafted in 2001 with the 52nd Overall pick. He was drafted 3 picks ahead of Jason Pominville. He was a raw player but had some talent. So where is he now? He played one season in the ECHL where he scored 10G in 54 games in the ECHL. He is no longer in hockey and is actually in the field of finance. So he’s doing pretty well outside of hockey!

Andrew Raycroft
The former Calder trophy winner was part of one of the more lopsided trades in recent memory. He was traded for the rights of Tuukka Rask and didn’t play too well for Toronto. After going to Dallas, he left and ended up playing in Italy playing for Milano Rossoblu. After Italy, he played in Sweden and subsequently retired. He’s currently a 1st Year Volunteer Assistant Coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies ice hockey team.

Bates Battaglia
The former Leaf, Avalanche, Capital, and Hurricane is well known for winning the Amazing Race 22 with his brother Anthony. After winning the million dollar prize, many people aren’t sure where he went. Well he’s opened a bar in Raleigh, North Carolina called Lucky B’s Bar. Make sure to check it out!

Who else do you want to know about? Let us know by commenting below, tweeting me @hkyblogger or commenting on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog. Make sure to share it with your friends!

Mock Draft 2.0

Now that some of the dust has settled, here are my updated predictions for hte 2015 NHL Draft.

1. Edmonton Oilers – Connor McDavid
Oh Buffalo. Can’t even tank right. I don’t think there’s another pick that fits in this spot.

2. Buffalo Sabres – Jack Eichel
That’s not that bad of a consolation prize. He’ll be a really good 1C, but probably not a generational player like McDavid.

3. Arizona Coyotes – Noah Hanifin
They’re the big loser of the draft lottery. They try to tank, and end up not getting either McDavid or Eichel. It’s a toss up between Strome and Hanifin for me. Both great picks, but Arizona has some depth at the Center position with players such as Max Domi, Laurent Dauphin, and Ryan Macinnis. On defense though, I believe there is a drop in talent after Brandon Gormley.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs – Dylan Strome
The Leafs need a big strong 1C. Strome fits that role. He also plays a nice defensive game. If the Coyotes get Hanifin, the Leafs get Strome. If the Coyotes get Strome, the Leafs get Hanifin. It’s a two horse race for me. I don’t believe the Leafs will get Marner or Crouse.

5. Carolina Hurricanes – Mitchell Marner
Nice speedy winger with a bit of toughness and a defensive game. If this draft wasn’t so top heavy, he’d be the first overall pick in the draft.

6. New Jersey Devils – Lawson Crouse
Big power forward. Can play both wings. I project him as a James Van Riemsdyk type of player. Big strong player, can score some goals. Had 29G in 56GP this season in the OHL.

7. Philadelphia Flyers – Mikko Rantanen
After this, the draft is kind of wide open. Most people have a defenseman in the 7 spot, but the Flyers have a few strong defenseman prospects such as Travis Sanheim, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Samuel Morin. Mikko Rantanen can play the wing where they are a little weak on high level depth.

8. Columbus Blue Jackets – Zach Werenski
9. San Jose Sharks – Matthew Barzal
10. Colorado Avalanche – Ivan Provorov
He is the highest ranked Russian in the draft. Good strong defenseman. Has a great passing game.

11. Florida Panthers – Timo Meier
Florida has quite of few good young centers such as Nick Bjugstad, and Jonathan Huberdeau, Rocco Grimaldi and a few good young defenseman such as Ian McCoshen and Mike Matheson. They’re a little weak on the wing and Timo Meier will be a good addition for the team.

12. Dallas Stars – Pavel Zacha
Dallas has a very strong system with many good young players in the system. They don’t have to draft for need, but instead can draft the best player available. Zacha has great size, an elite shot, and isn’t scared of hitting. Plays a great two way game.

13. Los Angeles Kings – Kyle Connor
Great two way player. Plans on playing at U of Michigan next year. Nice two way players. Curious how he plays against higher level competition versus the USHL.

14. Boston Bruins – Nick Merkley
15. Calgary Flames – Jansen Harkins
16. Edmonton Oilers – Oliver Kylington
The Oilers are vey strong up front and needs to pick up some high level defenseman. Kylington is the best defenseman on the board, and will immediately improve the defensive aspects of the Oilers’ system.

17. Winnipeg Jets – Travis Konecny
18. Ottawa Senators – Jakub Zboril
19. Detroit Red Wings – Yevgeni Svechnikov
20. Minnesota Wild – Paul Bittner
I personally love Bittner’s game. Big powerful forward that isn’t all about banging into others. He can score as well; scoring 34 goals in 66 games in the WHL.

21. Buffalo Sabres – Thomas Chabot
The Sabres will pick a defenseman in this spot. That is unless the Sabres totally lose their mind and pick Hanifin instead of Eichel. If that happens, then the Sabres will pick a forward. But really? That’s not happening.

22. Washington Capitals – Daniel Sprong
23. Vancouver Canucks – Jeremy Roy
24. Arizona Coyotes – Brock Boeser
25. Toronto Maple Leafs – Brandon Carlo
26. Philadelphia Flyers – Anthony Beauvillier
Most scouting reports have him going a bit later, but I think he fits in well with the Flyers. They’ve got a lot of gritty players and Beauvillier is a quick centerman, with a knack for scoring. He scored 42 goals in 67 games with the Shawinigan Cataractes this year.

27. Winnipeg Jets – Colin White
28. Anaheim Ducks – Filip Chlapik
29. Montreal Canadiens – Jordan Greenway
30. Tampa Bay Lightning – Jacob Larsson

First Goalie to be taken: Mackenzie Blackwood
I’d go with somewhere in the mid to late 2nd round.

That’s my list. Where does your team fit? Let us know. Comment below. Don’t agree with us? Let us know as well by commenting, or tweeting at me @hkyblogger. Make sure to share it with your friends!

Make sure to “like” us on Facebook here too: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog

2015 Mock Draft 1.0

This is the first version of the 2015 NHL Mock Draft. There’s obviously some picks you disagree with me and that’s perfectly understandable. However, I want to know your point of view so make sure to let me know by commenting, telling us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog or tweet me @hkyblogger!

1. Buffalo Sabres – Connor McDavid
– Don’t think there’s any arguments on this one.

2. Edmonton Oilers – Jack Eichel
– Like I mentioned before,

Don’t think anyone would complain though if Jack Eichel turned out to be like Patrick Kane.

3. Arizona Coyotes -Noah Hanifin
– Cornerstone defenseman. Not much argument here. Could make an amazing pair with Ekman-Larsson

4. Carolina Hurricanes – Mitchell Marner
– Very quick hands. Needs to work a bit on his defense

5. Toronto Maple Leafs – Dylan Strome
– I’m more interested on which Strome will have a better career.

6. Columbus Blue Jackets – Lawson Crouse
– Nice power forward. Uses frame well. Columbus should not be disappointed to get a player like Crouse.

7. New Jersey Devils – Kyle Connor
– The top 6 were easy IMO. Now this is where it gets a bit harder. I know this is a major reach, but New Jersey loves it’s possession and Connor has top notch possession skills.

8. Philadelphia Flyers – Zach Werenski
– Will make a formidable pair with 2014 pick Sam Morin.

9. Dallas Stars – Matthew Barzal
10.Colorado Avalanche – Mikko Rantanen
11. Ottawa Senators – Ivan Provorov
12. Florida Panthers – Pavel Zacha
13. Winnipeg Jets – Thomas Chabot
– Great two player. Love his shot.

14. San Jose Sharks – Travis Konecky
15. Carolina Hurricanes – Timo Meier
16. Boston Bruins – Paul Bittner
– Love Paul Bittner’s game and size. Could be the steal of the draft

17. Vancouver Canucks – Brandon Carlo
18. Minnesota Wild – Oliver Kylington
– Really depends who you ask. Some people will tell you he’s a top 10 pick, but others will tell you he’s more top 20.

19. Calgary Flames – Jordan Greenway
20. Washington Capitals – Nick Merkley
21. Detroit Red Wings –  Daniel Sprong
22. Arizona Coyotes – Jansen Harkins
23. Edmonton Oilers – Jakub Zboril
24. Buffalo Sabres – Colin White
– Some fall here, but Sabres fans will be happy to pick up Colin White.

25. Philadelphia Flyers –  Evgeny Svechnikov
26. Toronto Maple Leafs – Jeremy Bracco
27. Montreal Canadiens – Jeremy Roy
28. Buffalo Sabres – Jacob Larsson
– After focusing on forwards, it’s a nice pick up and a nice focus on D.

29. Tampa Bay Lightning – Brock Boeser
30. Anaheim Ducks – Jake DeBrusk

Players to watch for:

– Denis Godla (G), highly doubt he gets drafted in the earlier rounds, but he was the U-20 best goalie. Fun player to watch.

– Ryan Pilon (D), he’ll get drafted in the 2nd round. Something about his all around game just makes me interested in him.


Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

Since the deadline is basically over when I’m writing this (2:58PM EST), I might as well start writing the Trade Deadline Winners and Losers. Most people write about which team won and what not, here’s my alternative view on who won and lost this trade deadline. Tell us how you think! Tell us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/notyouraveragehockeyblog on Twitter @hkyblogger or simply comment below!

Jeff Petry

Man oh man. Lucky Jeff Petry. He gets traded from the worst team in the league to one of the best. You really can’t complain here if you’re Jeff Petry.

Jordan Leopold’s family
Just read the letter.

TSN Twitter Box

Well uh… Not exactly what I’d call great for the network? Some poor intern is getting fired. It did bring everyone some giggles and laughs but probably not the smartest move and Lupul is definitely not happy.

Ouch. TMZ is bad enough already… Maybe just screen all the tweets next time?

Llamas in the TSN studio
Well what the f*ck was this.

It was during the empty period near lunch time and I guess TSN just had nothing to do. TSN’s not really having the greatest TradeCenter right now… A little bit of context. CNN had spent several hours the other day tracking some escaped Llamas. TSN tried to do the same thing and I have no words to explain what happened… All I know is that if this was in the States, PETA would lose their minds…

Fans everywhere
This deadline day was rather boring. No big trades. The only big trades happened at the wee hours of the night. All of the fans at who spent the entire days glued to the TV were surely disappointed. Cause I surely am.

Trade Deadline Live Post!

So with the deadline creeping Not Your Average Hockey Blog has its own live deadline show going on. Keep refreshing for real time updates!

1:30AM TBL trades Brett CONNOLLY to BOS for 2 2nd Rounders
Thoughts: Effectively takes them out of the Chris Stewart sweepstakes. Good trade for BOS. Gives them a young strong player for the future.

1:30AM PHI trades Braydon COBURN to TBL for 2015 1st Rounder, 3rd Rounder and Radko GUDAS.
Thoughts: PHI just robbed TBL. A deep draft, and an intimidating player? Shocking.

9:15AM Jeff PETRY traded from EDM to MTL for 2015 2nd Rounder and Conditional 3rd or 5th.
Thoughts: Wow. Rentals are pricey this year.

9:45AM FLA GM Dale Tallon doesn’t expect to make many trades today. Jimmy Hayes FLA WILL NOT be traded.

9:55AM Contrary to rumours. LAK Slava VOYNOV has not been traded PHI. Cannot be traded right now as he is suspended.

9:56AM Renaud of TVA reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to trade both Dion PHANEUF and Phil KESSEL.
Quick Thoughts: It’s going to be hard for Phaneuf if no money is retained. Kessel it will be hard to get fair value.
Update: John Shannon doesn’t believe that Phaneuf will be traded today.

10:04AM Marc Antoine Godin reports that MTL wants to trade PA PARENTEAU.
Quick Thoughts: It’s going to be hard. He’s been relegated to 4th line or healthy scratch status. Coming back from an injury it will be tough. But hey, Clarkson got traded so anyone can be traded.

10:17AM Petry was offered 4M for 4 years by EDM. He said no.
Quick Thoughts: Petry really wants to get out of there..

10:22AM Jim Nill has said that there’s a lot of hockey moves out there.

10:27AM Zbynek Michalek may have been traded to STL.

10:28AM Brian Lawton reports that BUF will trade Chris Stewart for a 4th and a conditional.
Quick Thoughts: No one wants him? Surprising. He does a bit of everything…

10:46AM MTL acquires Brian FLYNN from BUF for a 2016 5th Rounder.
Quick Thoughts: Not a big trade. BUF continues their stockpile, MTL gets a 4th liner.

10:55AM Michalek has been traded to STL like it was posted at 10:27AM.

11:47AM We’re still here. Nothing to report…

11:49AM Maxim LETUNOV is the prospect back to AZ for Michalek and conditional 3rd round pick.

12:30PM Something with WIDEMAN could possibly be going on…

12:56PM SJS trade Andrew DESJARDINS to CHI for Ben SMITH.
Quick Thoughts: FINALLY A TRADE. Not much to report here. Small move. Gives SJS a bit more grit.

1:06PM NJD acquires a conditional 2016 3rd Rd Pick from DET for Marek Zidlicky.
Quick Thoughts: Oh the dominos are falling. Condition is reported that if DET makes the Cup Finals it becomes a 2nd. Does this close the door on Phaneuf to DET?

1:19PM SJS trades Tyler KENNEDY to NYI for a conditional pick.

1:31PM COL acquires Freddie Hamilton from SJS for Karl STOLLERY

1:32PM PIT acquires Ian COLE from STL for Robert BORTUZZO.
Quick Thoughts: I love Bortuzzo. Good move for the future. PIT gets a good player right now. Some insurance for the future.

1:38PM DET is all done according to the Detroit Free Press. So Phaneuf to DET is a dead deal.

1:43PM NEUVRITH to NYI for JOHNSON and a conditional 3rd.
Quick Thoughts: Can we just give BUF all 211 picks?

2:07PM VAN acquires Corey CONACHER from NYI for Dustin JEFFREYS.
Quick Thoughts: Move along.

2:14PM NYI trade David LEGGIO to AZ.
Quick Thoughts: This is only important if Leggio tips the net in Arizona.

2:15PM CBJ trades Jordan LEOPOLD to MIN for Justin FALK and a 5th.
Quick Thoughts: Not worth much. MIN gets a nice 5 or 6D. Falk on a 1 year 2 way deal. Not bad.
UPDATE: Michael Russo says that Falk asked for a trade.

2:26PM TOR trades Olli Jokinen to STL for a late round pick
Quick Thoughts: Expected. Leafs had no use for Jokinen. It’s good to know the Leafs got something for him. STL get a nice piece for the long run. We had reported that the Leafs wanted a fifth for him. Price may have dropped due to the time.
UPDATE: Yup. Conditional 6th. The Leafs were hoping for a fifth as we reported, but a conditional 6th isn’t a bad return.
UPDATE 2: If Jokinen plays a role and the Blues made finals, it turns into a 4th.
Update 3: Leafs get Joakim Lidstrom as well.
Quick Thought #2: How do you define “plays a role”?

2:57PM MTL acquires Torrey MITCHELL from BUF.
Quick Thought: I bet it’s picks.

2:58PM BOS trades Jordan CARON.

3:00PM TRADE DEADLINE IS UP. But there are some trades waiting at NHL HQ.

3:00PM Chris STEWART has been traded.
Update 1: Pittsburgh has been floating around.
Update 2: It’s not Stewart.
Update 3: STEWART to MIN. I know it’s for picks.

3:02PM PIT has a trade for a D man.
Update 1: PIT re-acquires Ben LOVEJOY from ANA.
Update 2: PIT gives up DEPRES for LOVEJOY
Quick Thoughts: Uhm. Why. Just why did PIT do that?

3:12PM CAL may have traded Sven BAERTSCHI?
Update 1: Traded to Canucks.
Update 2: Traded for a 2nd Round pick?
Update 3: Apparently 2015 2nd Rounder.
Quick Thoughts: That’s a steal for the Canucks.

3:29PM Putting two and two together and starting to feel it’s COL giving up Max TALBOT to BOS for Jordan CARON.

3:36PM CBJ trades James WISNIEWSKI and a 3rd Rounder to ANA for a 2nd Rounder, William KARLSSON and Rene BOURQUE
Quick thoughts: BOOM BIG TRADE THERE.

4:02PM ANA trades Michael SGARBOSSA to COL for Mat CLARK

4:13PM Leafs may not be done.

4:21PM TOR trades Korbinian HOLZER to ANA for 5th Rounder and Eric BREWER.

4:59PM BOS trades friend of the site Jared KNIGHT to MIN for Zach PHILLIPS.

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Interview With Brett MacLean!

We recently caught up with Brett MacLean. He’s a former NHLer, AHLer, OHL leading scorer who was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2nd Round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. So you might ask, “Where is Brett now?”. Don’t you worry. We have you covered. However, we’re not going to tell you right now. Make sure to listen to our interview to find out what he’s been up to!

You can learn more about him on Twitter @mackattack_39. You can also find us on Twitter @hkyblogger and on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/notyouraveragehockeyblog. Make sure to share it with your friends if you liked it!

Why Was Benjamin Conz Never Signed?

It’s that time of the year folks. Yes it’s holiday season, and no matter what holiday you choose to celebrate, the entire team and Not Your Average Hockey Blog would like to wish you happy holidays. However, it’s also World Junior time! Before you ask, yes I’m doing my patriotic duty and cheering for Canada.

This time of the year is also the only time of the year where the name Benjamin Conz gets floated around. As a Canada fan, it’s hard to forget the 48 save game versus the Canadians. Don’t remember? Here are some highlights:

However, his game versus the Russians was the one the stuck out to me. Prior to the game, the Swiss were rightfully considered heavy underdogs, but Benjamin Conz stood on his head, stopping 50 of 52 shots for the win. Highlights from that game:

Honestly, that is where I thought he earned his IIHF Best Player Award for the tournament. However, I’m sidetracking. This post is where I question why he hasn’t been signed, and not where I reminisce about his prior play.

Why hasn’t he signed an NHL contract? Heck for that matter why hasn’t he signed a KHL contract? There are plenty of theories and I’m going to go on a disclaimer right here and start off by saying maybe he has been offered a contract but chose not to sign it? I have no clue, nor am I going to pretend to know. I’ve heard a few arguments over the years, and I am here to debunk as many of them as possible.

“The IIHF Best Player Award for goaltenders is meaningless.”
Since 1990, there have been only two goalies who have won the award that didn’t end up being drafted by an NHL team. The two players? Benjamin Conz in 2010 and Yevgeni Tarasov in 1995. Players such as Tukka Rask (2006), Carey Price (2007), Petr Mrazek (2012) have all won the award and are now either top goalies in the league or developing very good goalies. The IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships have always been a showcase of the best players from all over the world and to be crowned the best of the best, has always meant something and always will mean something.

“The NHL doesn’t scout the Swiss Leagues.”
It would be irresponsible for NHL scouts to not scout a certain area. Just because many draft picks don’t come from that area, it doesn’t mean NHL teams don’t scout that area. Also, does the name Roman Josi ring a bell? Guess where he was drafted from? The NLA; the same league Benjamin Conz currently plays in. I’m sure a team or two sent scouts to do due diligence, maybe they saw something they didn’t like?

“He wasn’t a good enough player back then, and isn’t a good enough player now either.”
In the NHL Central Scouting Bureau Final Rankings of 2009, he was ranked 8th. Who was near him? Anders Nilsson (5th), Joni Ortio (7th), Igor Bobkov (10th), Antti Raanta (11th). All these players have played in the NHL, so clearly he was a good enough player back then. He’s currently going through a bad season, but his last two seasons have been outstanding; having a sv% of .929 and .916. Now you might say those numbers are pedestrian-like, but he also has a GAA of 2.24 and 2.61 during that time, which looks much better in my opinion. Clearly he’s been a good goalie before, and has continued to be a strong performer. So what’s the issue?

“He’s too small to be a goalie in the NHL”
That’s the most common argument. “You have to be huge to play goalie in the NHL.” It’s true. The average goalie in the NHL is 6’2, and Benjamin Conz is 5’11 (everywhere but the Fribourg-Gottéron website)/6’1 (the Fribourg-Gottéron website). There are four goalies in the NHL who aren’t 6 feet are taller. So yes size does matter. However, unorthodox playing style and his deep position in net help compensate for his height issues.

So what does it all mean? Is he never going to be in an NHL uniform? Not necessarily. He’s only 23 years old. Goaltender Jonas Hiller was signed out of the NLA at age 25. However, Hiller had an opportunity to showcase his abilities playing in the Spengler Cup with HC Davos, while Conz won’t have that chance playing for Fribourg-Gottéron. He will need seasoning at the AHL level before he can debut in the NHL, so his window is still open at age 23, but it’s closing fast. If he cannot get a contract by age 25 or 26, I do not believe he will ever be able to get a contract in the NHL.

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