Monday, July 1, 2013

Allen Americans & The NHL Draft, Silly Season Fallout, Booter Player Profile, American Players Dominate Early Signings

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Booter is Back -

 The Allen Americans announced the fifth player signing for the upcoming season Saturday as fan favorite "Booter" Bootland will return. In true Bootland style the announcement was made in the midst of a giant party at the Allen USA Celebration including a concert by Styx, fireworks, and 75,000 or so of his favorite people. As we all know Booter knows how celebrate!!

If you have never read the player profile I did with Booter you can find  it in the archives. It gives you his life story from growing up playing on a pond behind his house, his amateur career, playing in the NHL, to how he met his wife, Sarah. Look for "Darryl Bootland - Player Profile" in the archives. The date of the story is December 28, 2012. The two big changes from the time the story was written is his daughter was born in March and he now has that championship that had alluded him all of these years. Check it out as it give you great information about Booter.

-  Fun Fact - The Allen Americans have lived up to their name in the five signings thus far as everyone has a USA connection. The Ludwig's were born in Wisconsin and raised in Texas, Phil Fox hails from Minnesota, John Snowden from the state of Washington and even the Toronto born Bootland married a Texan and lives in the area year around.

- As I watched the NHL draft yesterday I couldn't help but think what a great day for so many young men who had their hopes and dreams come true by being drafted by the NHL. Here are some of the current and former American's players who have had the thrill of being drafted:

Kip Brennan - 4th round

Booter Bootland - 8th round

Brett Skinner - 3rd round

Adam Pineault - 2nd round (46th overall)
Bruce Graham - 2nd round (51st overall)
Jim McKenzie - 5th round
Trevor Ludwig - 6th round

Trevor Henrikx - 7th round

Chris Doyle - 5th round
Ryley Grantham - 6th round
Drew Daniels - 7th round

Bryce Aneloski - 7th round

Of this group Brennan, Bootland, Skinner & Pineault have played in the NHL. I have talked to most of the guys about how they felt on draft day and they all shared what a great experience it was however I remember Adam Pineault's story the best from when I interviewed him. The 2004 NHL draft  was held on June 26 in Raleigh North, Carolina and was broadcast on ESPN.  It is especially notable because it was the last NHL event to take place before the beginning of the lockout which cancelled all the games scheduled for the 2004-2005 NHL season. Adam and his family went to Raleigh to attend the draft along with his agent at the time, who was NHL great Bobby Orr. He was taken in the second round, 46th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets. "We had a great time, it was such a good experience to see the joy on my parents face, to go up and get the jersey is something you dream about, it is something you don't forget."

-Now that silly season has pretty much come to a close in minor pro hockey here are the changes that have taken place by league:

Added: None
Lost: None
Moved: Peoria Rivermen to Utica Comets, Houston Aeros to Iowa Wild
Name Changed: Connecticut Whale to Hartford Wolf Pack

Added: None
Lost: Trenton Titans

Added: Brampton Beast, St. Charles Chill
Lost: Bloomington Blaze, Fort Worth Brahmas

Added: Peoria Rivermen, Bloomington Blaze
Lost: Augusta RiverHawks

- The CHL has lost another award winning player as last year's CHL Rookie of the Year, Mike Hellyer, the second leading scorer (61 points in 63 games) for the Quad City Mallards, has signed with the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL. He will attend AHL camp with the Iowa Wild.

- Scott Wray, captain for the Rapid City Rush, will return for one more season as captain. There were rumors he would retire and become an assistant for the Rush but he has decided to play one more year. Some Rapid fans think he might become a player/coach but I have not been able to confirm anything other than his return as captain.

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