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Friday, June 22, 2012

Calgary Stampede Challenge Update

The Calgary Stampede Challenge perhaps isn't what it was in regards to overall elite talent, but this year's event still has many top picks and a handful of potential top 2 rounders.  The Alaskan Ice Dogs feature primarily Alberta players and mostly all from Southern Alberta.  However, there are a handful of other talent players such as; Nolan Walker from Alaska, whom we interviewed in a recent newsletter.

At this point the Alaska Ice Dogs are dominating as expected, they are currently 3-0-1 and have scored 37 goals.  First round rated prospect Parker Aucoin and Matthew Phillips who is having a tremendous spring hockey season lead with 7 goals.  1999 born Kyle Olson continues to show why he'll be a high pick in 2014 as he is one of four players with 10 points or more which include the aforementioned Aucoin, Phillips along with Jordan Taupert.  Taupert has 5 goals and 11 points and really shows lots of skill and plays bigger than his size.

The Green Machine, Foothills Elite and 98 Nationals all have several prospects who are currently in our rankings.  Kolby Johnson, who is from Saskatchewan is a big 6'2 inch power forward who will be watched very closely next season and is doing well at the tournament.  His team-mates from the Green Machine; Skyler Mckenzie who played last year on a very good Sherwood Park squad is a smallish forward with skill and Conner Kendall is showing well too.  Kendall played last season in the Calgary AA league within the Royals organization and he showed add some scoring to the AAA's this year.  The Foothills Elite have several of the other top Calgary and area players such as high scoring prospect Brayden Dunn, towering defenseman Kyle Yewchuk, talented offensive Airdrie forward Jordan McConnell.  Goaltenders Hunter Virostek of the Green Machine has showed very well.  Virostek played with the Foothills Bisons of the SCAHL last season.  Another goalie who has shown well is Riley McVeigh from the Nationals.

The final will go tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 Calgary time.


Anonymous said...

I wuoldn't take much from this tourney, a bunch of throw together teams. Looks like kids playing with their buddies for the most part which is good as this is proably the last of spring hockey for most of them.

Anonymous said...

So true , was a good tourney yrs ago , now
Bad tourney , bad teams , but is fun for last tourney for kids

Anonymous said...

I agree with 1:20, Same as the tourney out in Whistler. Just basically a fun tourney to finish the year off. All lower end teams. Even some of the better teams were playing age advanced to find some competition. But its keeping the BC economy going and I'm sure the kids are having fun just the same!

Anonymous said...

I diagree with you guys. I went down to watch today, and one team i was focused on watching was the Alaskan Ice Dogs. Their team is full of prospects. This team is absolutely amazing to watch. The things they can do with the puck is stunning at this age. I look forward to seeing most of them have great careers

Anonymous said...

This tourney was a little unbalance when you have more aaa on one team and very little on the next team. It makes the top prospects on other team struggle. ice dogs was a good team but it was top up with the aaa and a few aa and they came in and roled over everyone. It wasn'nt a true win when most of the teams were a,aa. Of course anyone would win when you carry the top aaa on a tourny like this one. (it was a good developing skills for the aa,a players)

Anonymous said...

This tournament was poorly cobbled together for the 98's and as such is a poor identifier of prospects based on point production. The Icehogs (essentially a AAA allstar team) scored 31 goals against 2 teams (98 silver team and 99 team). These teams were all grouped in the Gold division because of terrible lack of appropriate caliber teams in these divisions. The 2 games played by the Icehogs against Elite were excellent, but certainly not defensive show cases.

In terms of scouting, I have watched alot of these players for years and some of the best players right now were not on anyone's radar 2-3 years ago. Because size is such a key issue and the best players in Bantam are early developers, some of which may have nearly peaked in size, it makes me wonder where they will be in Junior and who the later developers are that may take over in Midget and Junior. It will be interesting to watch things over the next several years.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 8.35 Lots of the kids ranked high on WEHP are there because they made these elite spring teams as Atoms and Peewees. Some are still great players and some are still there for political reasons and are just along for the ride. Yes size can put you on the radar but don't count out some of these late mature kids that are still at the top of their winter teams and have a high compete level. When they grow they may be your best players. We will all see players ranked high on this list fall to the bottom and kids from small association teams that are at the bottom of this list rise to the top by draft time. Give me a late mature high compete 200ft player any day over an early mature player doing well because of his size. WEHP does have most of the top players ranked and does a good job although I do find that the ranking order is way off for some. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

They are here because they made the A1 Teams last year with the 97's.
Games are the place where you show off what you have learned. Practicing with 97's all year as a 98. You learn alot. if fact you don't realize how much you are improving until you play with kids you own age. Good players shine in big games. As for Spring they make these elite teams because they are good players and want to work hard. The parent influence on Coaches is over. The Coaches want to keep their jobs , if they do not produce they will not be back next season.

Look at who did well in Winnipeg in 2012. The two top teams had 15 of the top 35 players. How many played on A1 last year. alot