Sunday, November 28, 2010

Waiting For The Phone Call

Several Canadian New York Ranger and New York Islanders will be sitting either by a phone or at a computer tomorrow as Hockey Canada will announce who will be invited to their World Under-20 selection camp at 1PM EDT/ 10 AM PDT. Sunday provided one last chance for those on the edge to earn that invite.

For our money, it would be a major crime if Islander prospect Casey Cizikas (2009 4th) is not one of those invited to the camp. On Sunday, Cizikas made his own last appeal with a "first star of game" performance to help his Mississauga St. Michael's Major stretch their regulation unbeaten streak to 16 games after beating the Owen Sound Attack 6-3.

All season long, Cizikas has been the Islanders best prospect at both ends of the ice and Sunday was no exception. Cizikas scored his 13th goal of the season and added his 17th assist while improving his plus/minus to +19 (good for 8th in the OHL).

It was Cizikas who got the Majors going when he scored at 14:01 of the first period, Cizikas then added a secondary assist on the Major's 2nd goal at 1:38 of the 2nd period. Cizikas has an edge for an invite by Hockey Canada having attended the summer evaluation camp.

For Owen Sound, Ranger prospect Scott Stajcer (2009 5th) missed his 3 straight game with an undisclosed injury.  Stajcer had an outside chance of an invite but the goalie situation for Hockey Canada is way too deep for Stajcer to even get the invite.

In Kingston, Ranger prospect Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) was held scoreless as his Kingston Frontenacs were whipped 7-1 by the Ottawa 67's. Werek did attend the Canadian Evaluation camp which would have given him an edge but we think his chances are slim right now.

Ranger prospect Jason Wilson (2010 5th) is 20 so he is not eligible but he was scoreless as his Niagara IceDogs had little trouble defeating the Belleville Bulls 4-1. The IceDogs are actually one of the better teams in the OHL but have the bad luck of being in the same division as Mississauga and are overlooked.

Dan Maggio (2009 6th) was never in any kind of serious consideration for invitation but he missed his Guelph Storm's 4-3 over time loss to the Erie Otters. Maggio is "day to day" with an undisclosed upper body injury.

Rest of the Prospect's Report

Ranger Prospect Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) may not have finished his November the way he would have liked after going scoreless with a -2 and his first minor penalty of the season as his Quebec Remparts got spanked 5-1 by the Rimouski Oceanic. Bourque is our "Prospect of the Month" for the Blueshirt Bulletin after going 8-11-19 for the month.

And if we had our way, we would put the "C" on Boruque's Team USA jersey as people worry so much about his size that they forget that Bourque just so happens to be a solid 2 way player as well as team leader.

Islander prospect Nino Niederreiter (2010 1st) is going to the World Under-20 championships as a member of Team Switzerland but before he does, Niederreiter is playing for the Portland Winterhawks and despite "El Nino"'s 8 goal his Winterhawks now have their longest winless streak (3 games) after dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Funny thing about this Winterhawk winless streak as it comes on the heels of this article in the Portland Tribune from Thursday. Now we have never hidden our bias for the Winterhawks but boy you want to talk about putting an extra bullseye on yourselves that you did not need to.

Yes they are teenagers but real winners take it one game at a time and do their talking on the ice not in the paper. Better they get this reality check now than in March when it could cost them a playoff series.

Islander prospect Aaron Ness (2008 2nd) did not get to see the end of his 15th ranked Minnesota Golden Gopher's win over Ranger prospect Carl Hagelin (2007 6th) and his 8th ranked Michigan Wolverines 3-1 in the final game of the College Hockey Showcase. 

Ness was ejected for "Checking from Behind" at 10:03 of the 2nd period while Hagelin was held scoreless. A disappointing game for the final game of a great annual showcase of college powers; Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan State played this series for 18 years and wish this did not come to an end.

Finally NYR prospect Chris Kreider (2009 1st) netted his 4th assist and 7th point of the season as his 7th ranked Boston College had an easy time with Vermont 6-0. Kreider had the primary assist on Boston College's 5th goal.

The World Under-20 Championships

Here is how we are projecting Ranger and Islander prospects for the World Under-20


Calvin De Haan (Canada)- Captain
Casey Cizikas (Canada)
Brock Nelson (USA)
Nino Niederreiter (Switzerland)


Ryan Bourque (USA)- at least assistant captain
Chris Kreider (USA)
Jesper Fasth (Sweden)
Roman Horak (Czech Rep)
Ethan Werek (Canada Invite)
Christian Thomas (Canada Invite)

(Image: Cizikas/OHL Images/Aaron Bell)

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