Sens’ Hoffman wows at AHL All-Star Game

Mike Hoffman. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

AHL All-Star Classic
How Mike Hoffman isn’t in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators is beyond me. Hoffman couldn’t make the cut with either Kitchener or Gatineau before settling in with Drummondville under the tutelage of then head coach Guy Boucher.

Even at the AHL level, Brett Connolly still has the ability to control a game when he’s at his best.

There’s no doubt 16 year old Swedish sensation Oliver Kylington will be taken in the CHL’s import draft, the question is will he end up in North America for his NHL draft year?

Utica Comets @ Toronto Marlies
Travis Green is well suited to be an AHL head coach. He’s a former first round pick and an NHL veteran of 970 games with several teams. He’s been an assistant coach, and lead a team to a Mastercard Memorial Cup. Tough not to listen to a guy with all that experience.

Former Halifax Moosehead Alexandre Grenier has become a project of Green’s. Grenier has a fine set of raw tools, and is striving to find consistency in his work ethic.

Yann Sauve’s return from a training camp concussion suffered when he was hit by a car in Vancouver in the fall of 2010 has been long but steady. Sauve is a fabulous skater, who’s first pass must be good and his defensive zone play solidified before making the full-time jump to the NHL.

Nice to see Frankie Corrado playing for Utica. His progression to the NHL may be fast-tracked depending on what the Canucks do around the trade deadline.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are well positioned for the future. Gregg McKegg, Jerry D’Amigo, Andrew MacWilliam, Stuart Percy and Petter Granberg aren’t far away.

Kory Nagy isn’t the most gifted player, but I’ve watched him for years and still have yet to see him take a shift off.

Brandon Kozun has produced everywhere he’s played. He’s so confident in his game, that, at times, he still attempts to do things he could do in junior that don’t work at the pro level.

The rotating back-up is about to take another turn for the Marlies as Christopher Gibson is soon to be recalled from Orlando to give Garret Sparks an opportunity to see some time in the ECHL.

This and That
As written in this space earlier this year, the Saint John Sea Dogs have severed the dual role of Head Coach and GM. Ross Yates was signed to a two-year contract extension to serve as the Head Coach. Darrell Young, has been hired as GM. Young’s resume is fully loaded with experience in just about every facet of the game. In the official press release, the Sea Dogs announced their intention to host the 2017 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

Of all the teams in the Q, Victoriaville would’ve been the last I would’ve selected to go on a 13-game win streak. The league’s top team Blainville-Boisbriand, shutout the Tigers 2-0 Sunday.

Philippe Desrosiers is riding a league record 213:15 shutout streak. Desrosiers won gold at the World Under-18 Championship last April and didn’t get as much as a sniff in the Subway Super Series or in Canada’s world junior camp. Hockey Canada felt the snub would act as motivation, and it appears it has worked. The goaltending battle for the U-20 tournament next year will be fierce.

Check back at the end of the week for the second and final edition of the QMJHL’s top ten prospects.

Shout-out to the voice of the Saskatoon Blades, Les Lazaruk who called his 1500th game over the weekend.

The Portland Winterhawks go for their 17th straight win tonight (Tuesday). The 16-game win streak is already a franchise record.

Thanks to government funding and other financial backing the book Sudden Death written by Gregg Drinnan, Leesa Culp and Bob Wilkie has taken the first step into becoming a movie. The book details the 1989 bus crash that killed four Swift Current Broncos.

Imagine Olli Maata playing key minutes for Finland in the Olympics.

After a 9-3 win at home over Plymouth Monday, the Guelph Storm is averaging five goals-for per game. The Storm has lead the CHL in that department most of the season.

Completely Off Topic
Is it just me or is it weird seeing former Canadian Olympians Pierre Lueders and Brian Orser coaching athletes from other countries?

Stat Trick Penalty Shots and Shootouts

League PS PS% Shootouts Shootouts%
QMJHL 9/36 25 116/436 26.6
OHL 13/39 33.3 161/454 35.5
WHL 12/42 28.6 127/456 27.9
CHL Total 34/117 29.1 404/1346 30

Friday Night Hockey returns from Olympic hiatus at the end of the month.
Friday, February 28 Owen Sound @ London
Friday, March 7 Oshawa @ Kingston
Friday, March 14 Kelowna @ Vancouver

More CHL
For more on the Canadian Hockey League, see Patrick King.

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