Canada is off to Finland now in preparation for the world juniors and a couple big names will not be making the trip. Yes, there are always surprising cuts and this year was no exception with Islanders pick Michael Dal Colle and top 2016 defense prospect Jakob Chychrun getting axed early. Having seen the team’s exhibition game on Saturday, I can understand what happened. Dal Colle was given plenty of ice time but never really seemed to get in gear. He’s an offensive player but didn’t look too dangerous. Cold at the wrong time, I suppose. Chychrun, being the youngest potential blueliner, had to stand out and in my mind, the key to his roster spot was in physicality: Canada has plenty of puckmovers already. The big kid didn’t rattle many cages on Saturday however, and perhaps that’s why he will return to Sarnia. But hey, it’s a really tough team to make – and a lot of great players never got to play for Team Canada in the past. Let’s take a look at some other names in the news right now:
For the second consecutive year the Alberta Golden Bears took home the CIS men’s University Cup, while the Western Mustangs are CIS women’s champions for the first time in the program’s history.
Both CIS championship tournaments began on Thursday, March 12 and ran through to Sunday, with the men’s championship being played in Halifax, N.S., while Alberta hosted the women’s playoff. For both winning schools, Alberta and Western, their runs to the championship were dominant. Read more
There’s been a lot of talk about the lost art of the hip check following Dmitry Kulikov’s low hit on Tyler Seguin, so let Matt Petgrave from University of New Brunswick show you exactly how to deliver one.
During game one of the AUS Semifinal best-of-five series between UNB and St. Francis Xavier, Steven Kuhn cut through the neutral zone towards the UNB zone. As St. FX’s Kuhn crossed the blueline, Petgrave cut across and delivered a perfectly executed hip check that sent Kuhn flipping through the air. (Video courtesy of Nick Murray on Vine) Read more
We are not immune to college basketball’s March Madness here at The Hockey News. In fact, it’s a big thing at the office. But since our primary passion is puck, I thought it would be fun to make up an all-hockey bracket, featuring the best leagues in the world. What would it look like? You can find the result here, but what follows is all the first-round matchups based on my personal seedings.
Obviously, all 30 NHL teams qualified because that circuit is heads and shoulders above everyone else. From there, I gave six seeds each to the American League, Kontinental League and Swedish League, followed by four for Finland’s SM-Liiga and the NCAA; three for major junior (based on the CHL’s rankings – sorry, Quebec League) and one each from the United States League, Canadian University and the domestic leagues for Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic. Naturally, the youngest teams took the lowest seeds – as skilled as they are, you can never discount “man strength” in these games – and an effort was made to keep AHL affiliates away from the NHL parent clubs for the first few rounds. The tournament happens now, so injuries will be a factor, as will the current state of the team (lost nine in a row coming in? That may hurt you).
I’ll update the bracket as the real Final Four tournament goes on, but for now: Who do you think gets upset in the first round?