Thursday, December 20, 2007

Friday Report

David Skokan's bid to make the final roster for the Slovakian Under-20 squad was not hurt in Slovakia's 6-1 loss to Canada in an exhibition warmup for the World Under-20 Championships.
Skokan had an assist on Slovakia's only goal of the game, a power play effort in the 2nd period.

The Slovaks were overmatched against the 3-time defending champions and are not a serious threat to make it to the medal round of the games. The Slovak goal is to avoid being relegated back down to division one for 2009.

For Slovakia, they are trying to build up their junior program and took an interesting approach this year. In a story reported by the IIHF on their website, the Slovaks built a team and placed them in their best league the Slovak Extraliga.

As reported by Bill Meltzer this was a different idea but read the article yourself here. For Slovakia the stakes are high because they just barely held onto their spot in the top division last year thanks to an upset win by the Swiss over Germany.

They may not be so lucky this season.

Other Stuff

The Islanders did something that normally nobody does and that is they are going to sign a prospect in the middle of his college season. The story which broke on the Minnesota on Wednesday announced that the Islander's 2006 first round pick Kyle Okposo of Minnesota is going to sign a contract with the team upon his return from the World Under-20 Championships in January.

The reported in a story on Thursday that it was the Islanders who contacted Okposso and made him an offer. If that is the case then the Islanders basically left the prospect no choice but to sign with them since contact with pro teams is supposed to be a major no-no for those playing in the NCAA.

Players jumping out of college hockey to sign a pro contract in the middle of the season is not something that happens a lot. In fact it is very rare to have happen and not many in the college hockey world are very happy with what the Islanders are doing here.

Normally a player who leaves his college team joins the CHL team that holds his rights. The prospect being typically 18-19 are typically not viewed as ready for either the NHL or the AHL
Okposso who was 3rd in scoring for the Minnesota Golden Gophers with 11 points has NHL potential but few feel he is ready to make the jump now.

The NHL had been working with the College Hockey Coaches had made some strides in improving what at times had been a strained relationship is going to take a hit that they really are not going to deserve. The NHL is powerless to prevent the signing and odds are good that if they could they would have in order to keep the peace.

It is yet another poor judgment move by the Islanders who should have waited until after Okposso's season was other before signing him. Now they have hurt relations with the College Game that did not need to have happened.

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