Futures Mailbag: Blueline prospects in Philly, Dylan Strome and more

Samuel Morin (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Welcome to my new mailbag, a spot where I will answers questions from readers who reached out to me on Twitter using the hashtag #thnfutures. The idea behind this space is to bring you info on prospects and the draft, so anything in that world is game. There was a pretty good crop of questions right off the bat, so if you don’t see yours answered this week, check back next Friday. Here we go:

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How will Lou Lamoriello mesh with the Maple Leafs’ new brain trust?

Kyle Dubas (left) and Mike Babcock (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

You could practically hear the collective hockey world yell “WOW!” when the announcement came. Actually, you just had to log on to Twitter and see the media react to the news that not only had Lou Lamoriello resigned as president of the New Jersey Devils, but that the 72-year-old would be joining the Toronto Maple Leafs as GM.

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Washington’s Stanislav Galiev ate a still-beating cobra heart

Ryan Kennedy
Stanislav Galiev  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Leaf through some old issues of Future Watch and you’ll find the scouting report on Washington Capitals right winger Stanislav Galiev. The Russian right winger had a great junior career with the Quebec League’s Saint John Sea Dogs, winning the Memorial Cup in 2011 alongside future NHLers such as Jonathan Huberdeau, Simon Despres, Nathan Beaulieu and Tomas Jurco. But as Galiev graduated to the pro ranks, strength was an issue.

Perhaps that’s why the 23-year-old decided to chow down on a cobra’s still-beating heart on a trip to Vietnam.

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The two most important Erie Otters ever are leaving this summer

Connor McDavid (Photo by Ken Andersen/Getty Images)

Everything seemed to revolve around the Erie Otters this season, from top draft prospect Connor McDavid and OHL scoring champion Dylan Strome to the legal drama between the junior franchise and the Edmonton Oilers.

With the sale of the Otters to Canadian businessman James Waters, a brand-new chapter will begin in Pennsylvania and it will come with its own challenges. Specifically, who will not be returning to the franchise.

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Josh Ho-Sang had a much more productive summer than you

Ryan Kennedy
Josh Ho-Sang  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

What have you been doing this summer? Perfecting your rib sauce for barbecue season? Laying the groundwork for perhaps building a deck at some point? I haven’t done anything more productive than catch up on my Netflix queue and that may not change.

New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang, on the other hand, has been doing meaningful things.

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Super Mario 2? Lemieux’s son, Austin, close to making USHL squad

The Hockey News
Mario Lemieux (Bruce Bennett via Getty Images)

By Shelly Anderson

Ninth-round draft picks – any league, any level — often have a hard time making headway, but such a player for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL has taken a significant step.

Austin Lemieux has made Omaha’s 30-man protected list after being selected in the USHL Phase 2 draft in May, The Hockey News has learned.

If his name sounds familiar, it’s probably because he is the only son of Hall of Fame center and Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux. Read more

The 1990 Memorial Cup was the best of them all

Ken Campbell
The Oshawa Generals celebrate the Memorial Cup. (Jeff Goode/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

As directors of amateur scouting for the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues, Joe McDonnell and Bill Armstrong constantly cross paths during the hockey season. Whether it’s at a junior game in Brandon, Man. on a Friday night or a small rink in eastern Europe for an under-18 tournament, McDonnell’s message for Armstrong is the same. “I always say to him, ‘You’re just such an asshole,’ ” McDonnell said. “I always tell him he stole my ring away from me.”

The two can laugh about the experience a quarter of a century after the fact. McDonnell was 29, less than a decade older than some of the players he was coaching with the Kitchener Rangers. Armstrong was a big, physical defenseman known more for his fists than his scoring touch, but it was his goal at 2:05 of the second overtime that gave the Oshawa Generals a 4-3 win over the Rangers and the 1990 Memorial Cup.

The Memorial Cup comes around every year, and some are more memorable than others. The 1990 tournament might have been the most compelling, exciting and dramatic tournament ever played. Of the eight games in that event, four went to overtime. Two of them, the round-robin game between the Generals and the Rangers and the final, needed double overtime. Eric Lindros, who had spurned the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and was dealt to the Generals at Christmas, was showing the world why he was one of the most hyped prospects in a generation. The Kamloops Blazers blueline featured a 16-year-old defenseman named Scott Niedermayer, and their coach was Ken Hitchcock. The Laval Titan were a big, mean team that featured Sandy McCarthy and Gino Odjick and a cast of characters who sported dyed Mohawks. Read more

Memorial Cup winning goaltender Appleby hoping to use camps to get contract

Ken Appleby (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

In order to win the Memorial Cup, the Oshawa Generals relied on one of the stingiest defenses in the history of major junior hockey. At the center of it was goaltender Ken Appleby.

Appleby, 20, backstopped the Generals to the Memorial Cup, helped Oshawa defeat Connor McDavid’s Erie Otters for the OHL championship and was the OHL’s leader in most goaltending categories. Even still, he couldn’t parlay it into finally getting selected at the draft and was passed over for the third straight season. So, Appleby’s going another route: for the second consecutive year, he’s taking to NHL camps and hoping he can land himself an NHL contract. At present, Appleby’s at prospect camp with the St. Louis Blues.

“Being third year eligible to be drafted, I didn’t really expect much,” Appleby told NHL.com’s Louie Korac. “I had heard some talks, but to not be drafted is kind of a good opportunity for me to be able to choose teams like St. Louis or whoever else gives me offers for camps so I can kind of choose which way I want to go. It’s a good position.” Read more