Sep 072009
 

Saint John Sea Dogs fans know her as BeeGee, who runs the Saint John Sea Dogs Snippets blog. Some of you Montreal fans may know her from her Habs and Habs Not blog. Today, she graciously offers her 2 cents about current Canucks prospects – and Sea Dogs players – Yann Sauve and Steven Anthony.

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Steven Anthony and Yann Sauve, Saint John Sea Dogs

Photo credit: Saint John Sea Dogs

CHB: Yann Sauve and Steven Anthony were pretty highly-regarded prospects not too long ago. What do you think of their progression so far?

BeeGee: Yann will be starting his 4th season with the Sea Dogs this fall and Steven Anthony will be playing his third year. Last season was a disappointment for the entire team and there were ups and downs throughout the year that also affected the play of these two Canucks prospects. Both players have steadily improved in their scoring chances and production. They seem to be on a steady course towards reaching their hockey goals. Last January when our top center Chris Diddomenico and defenseman Alex Grant were traded it meant others had to step and help fill the gap left by their departure. Anthony was one of the centers who responded and Sauve now shares as one of the top two defenseman with Simon Despres.

CHB: Which NHL player or prospect do they remind you of and why? What are their biggest assets?

BeeGee: There’s really not anyone that instantly comes to mind who they seem to model. However there are some similarities I’ve noticed between Anthony and Andrei Kostitsyn of the Canadiens although Andrei is a left winger, Both Anthony and Kostitsyn have a wicked and accurate shots but they often pass instead of shooting the puck. I think Steven improved that somewhat in the latter part of the season. He is a good skater and has a very accurate shot. Steven is a playmaker at heart.

Sauve reminds me a little of Roman Hamrlik in size and defensive play. They are both big and strong and can be hard to play against. They both can get into trouble when they have the puck. Yann can score goals but his biggest asset is behind the blue line.

CHB: Gerald Gallant has just been hired as the Sea Dogs’ coach. How do you think this change will benefit Sauve and Anthony?

BeeGee: Sea Dogs fans are hoping the old hockey cliche – “a strong defence produces a great offence” will be the result of our new coaching changes this season. Gallant who was a defensive forward and who coached in the NHL will bring a different approach and dimension to the Sea Dogs game. The Sea Dogs won 4 out of their 6 pre-season games, which is a good start. Sauve had 1 goal and 1 assist and Anthony had 1 goal and 2 assists. Only time will tell how this change will turn out, but they should do well under the Gallant team coaching system. Both players have a goal to play in the NHL and Gerard Gallant knows what it takes to get there. So we’re hoping he can push the right buttons to get the best from them and all the Sea Dogs.

CHB: What are your expectations of the Sea Dogs – and specifically Sauve and Anthony – this upcoming season?

BeeGee: In Saint John we are cautiously optimistic about this coming season. We’ve seen many changes behind the bench and with hockey operations. There will be several new faces on the team including two European imports that are highly-touted. We’re expecting a better season and a playoff position that goes beyond being swept in the first round. Sauve and Anthony will continue to grow in their game and mental toughness. I think they will be become better with the different hockey experiences they’ve been having, such as the Canucks training camps. Each year they have improved their stats on the team and barring injury, they will surely continue to improve their game.

CHB: What do you think Sauve and Anthony need to work on in order to take the next step (i.e. AHL and evenutally the NHL)?

BeeGee: Both players need to continue to work hard. Sauve needs more work on his two-way game (puck handling). Anthony needs to have more confidence in his scoring ability and to shoot the puck more. Steven Anthony and Yann Sauve are two young men that we in Saint John are proud to have on the Sea Dogs team. They are great ambassadors for the game on and off the ice. Wherever their hockey careers take them, they will always be Saint John Sea Dogs to us.

Apr 012009
 
Mar 172009
 

It’s been a good past few days for some Vancouver Canucks prospects.

2008 1st round wonderboy Cody Hodgson won a bunch of awards (batallionhockey.com with HT to ‘Nucks Misconduct):

Cody Hodgson was a multiple winner as the Brampton Battalion presented its yearly awards Sunday.

Centre Hodgson received the Ontario Hockey League team’s player of the year and most sportsmanlike player honours and also collected the Don (Hockey) Hadley Memorial Award, named for a longtime season ticketholder and presented by the Booster Brigade as the fans’ favourite player.

Defenseman Yann Sauve won one (Nathan White, Telegraph-Journal):

The Children’s Wish Foundation Fan Choice Award went to 18-year-old Vancouver Canucks prospect Yann Sauve.

“It’s a great honour to be selected by the fans and I’m happy about it. You never know what the fans think about you. When you’re playing hockey it’s not always positive things you hear from the fans. They let you know when you do bad things,” Sauve said. “I respect the fans here a lot. They’re doing a great job supporting us.”

Taylor Ellington was named the Everett Silvertips’ co-MVP (Nick Patterson, Everett Herald-Net):

The choice as the Everett Silvertips’ most valuable player was a split decision.

Right wing Shane Harper and defenseman Taylor Ellington were named the team’s co-MVPs for the 2008-09 season during the team’s annual awards ceremony following Saturday night’s game.

Harper, a 19-year-old from Valencia, Calif., became the team’s go-to offensive player during the second half of the season. Through Everett’s first 70 games Harper led the team in goals with 32 and was second in points with 66.

Ellington, a 20-year-old from Victoria, B.C., has been the team’s defensive mainstay all season long. Going into Saturday he had five goals, and 25 assists.

The Canucks then signed Ellington to his first pro contract yesterday.

And finally, Patrick White’s and Taylor Matson’s University of Minnesota Gophers advanced to the WCHA Final Five and has a shot to move on to the NCAA tournament at the end of the month. For anyone interested, their play-in game against Minnesota Duluth will be aired live on FSN Plus.

Sep 232008
 
Sep 182008
 

After completing Prospects Camp and the rookie tourney in Camrose, the Vancouver Canucks announced the following cuts today:

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have reduced their training camp roster by 14 players. The Vancouver Canucks will now have 45 players attending main training camp in Whistler, B.C., September 19-21.

The following players have been assigned to the Manitoba Moose:

Mario Bliznak Centre Manitoba Moose AHL
Patrick Coulombe Defence Manitoba Moose AHL

The following players have been assigned to their junior clubs:

Morgan Clark Goalie Red Deer WHL
Prab Rai Centre Seattle WHL

The following players have been released but will be attending the Manitoba Moose camp:

Jordie Benn Defence Manitoba Moose AHL
Oren Eizenman Forward Manitoba Moose AHL
Julien Ellis Goalie Manitoba Moose AHL
Scott Howes Left Wing Manitoba Moose AHL
Travis Ramsey Defence Manitoba Moose AHL

The following players have been released:

Shawn Boutin Defence
Tyler Matheson Left Wing
Tom May Forward
Kyle Neuber Right Wing
Jordan Skellet Left Wing

Which means the following are moving on to the main camp this weekend:

Forwards – Dan Gendur, Michael Grabner, Cody Hodgson, Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Juraj Simek

Defense – Taylor Ellington, Daniel Rahimi and Yann Sauve

Goaltender – Cory Schneider

No big surprises really. Grabner, Hodgson and Schneider were very good and certainly earned their invitations to play with the big boys. The others were okay, and at the very least, probably merited a longer look. That said, with the exception of Grabner and Hodgson (and to a lesser extent Schneider), I don’t expect anyone from this group to make it to the big squad. However, the camp experience should be invaluable before they return to the Moose or their junior teams. In particular, Ellington, who was named an alternate captain for the Everett Silvertips today (Nick Patterson, Everett HeraldNet), and Sauve, who the Saint John Sea Dogs are counting on for leadership (Nathan White, Telegraph Journal), should benefit from being around the team’s veterans.

Sep 152008
 
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