Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Night Hockey

The Rangers may have gotten their regular season underway Saturday over in Europe but the Ranger prospects in the CHL have been at it for a couple of weeks now while the college prospects joined the party this weekend as well.

Tonight's First Star

Micheal Del Zotto showed why he was the Ranger's first round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft earning the game's 3rd star in his Oshawa General's 5-2 road win over the Ottawa 67's.

It was a very good bounce back performance for the General's 4-1 loss to Windsor on Friday evening. What made it better was that Del Zotto also got to show his own leadership skills by stepping up his own game.

It was Del Zotto who got the Generals going by scoring his first goal of the season at the 5:19 mark of the first period. It was the first of 4 first period goals that gave the Generals a much needed win as they played the 2nd of 3 games in 3 days.

Del Zotto is now 1-3-4 in 4 games (points in all 4 games that he has played in) since his return to the Generals by the Rangers. Del Zotto will help lead his Generals into action on Sunday as they finish this weekend by hosting Kingston.

Second Star

It was just an exhibition game but if one wants to take anything from it then the message is that Max Campbell has some big intentions for his sophomore season with Western Michigan University.

"Soupie" had a goal and an assist as WMU had little trouble with Windsor winning 5-2. Campbell is being counted on to have a big season for the Broncos who are looking to rebound from a very disappointing 12th place finish in the CCHA.

Campbell did his damage in the first period helping to set up the Bronco's first goal (power play) at 13:44 and then adding his own power play goal at 18:03.

Because of NCAA rules, Campbell has limited contact with the Rangers but he earned our respect by paying his own way to attend the Ranger's development camp.

The Broncos get their regular season underway next Friday as they host Niagara.

The Rest of the Prospect Action

Carl Hagelin and his 2nd ranked Michigan Wolverines hosted the United States National Training Developmental Program Under 18 (USNTDPU18) team in an exhibiton game on Saturday evening. It was a 4-1 win for the Wolverines as Hagelin had an assist and was a +1 for the evening.

We really suggest that you keep an eye on Hagelin this season as we expect the 2007 6th round draft pick to have a very good season as a sophomore. Hagelin will be in action on Sunday as the Wolverines will take on Waterloo in an exhibition game.

Also in the college ranks, 2007 7th round pick Danny Hobbs made his debut as a member of the UMASS/Amherst Minutemen as the Minutemen defeated New Brunswick 5-0 in exhibition play. For Hobbs it was a quiet debut as the freshman registered just one shot on goal.

What we did see about Hobbs is that Hobbs has improved his upper body and looks a lot stronger than the smallish prospect we watched with Columbus in the USHL last season. We think Hobbs is going to help the Minutemen this season even as a freshman.

Last night's Star of the Night Chris Doyle had a quiet night as his Prince Edward Island Rocket lost to the Shawinigan Cataractes 7-4 in QMJHL action. Doyle was held scoreless as the second line center was 8-4 on his faceoffs, -1 with 4 shots on goal.

Staying in the QMJHL, Antoine Lafleur still has not gotten to get into a game for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies nor has Lafleur been added to the roster but the Huskies defeated last season's QMJHL champions the Gatineau Olympiques.

In the OHL, Evgeny Grachev and his Brampton Battalion got shut out 3-0 by the Sarnia Sting. The Battalion have been struggling to find goals as the Troop work hard but can not find a way to get goals past the other team's goalies.

The Troop have just 12 goals in their 5 games despite out shooting the opposition in all 5 games.

Out west in the WHL, Tomas Kundratek remains out as his Medicine Hat Tigers lost a tough one to the Prince Albert Raiders 5-4 in overtime. Still no word from the Tigers as to when Kundratek will make his WHL debut.

Finally they did not play but 2008 2nd round draft pick Derek Stephan and his Wisconsin Badgers hit the ice for their first practice of the season.

(picture credits Del Zotto- New York Rangers, Campbell- Western Michigan)

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