This week has been an active one around the CHL as rosters continue to build and players make decisions on where they will play in 2014-2015.
- The CHL goalie ranks continue to dwindle with Missouri's Shane Owen, who was the all CHL team goalie last season, signing with the Stockton Thunder (ECHL). Shane is the seventh goalie from the CHL that has decided to play elsewhere.
- Scott Hillman, former Missouri coach who is now the coach of a new ECHL franchise in Indianapolis is using his knowledge of the CHL to recruit players. He signed two CHL players this past week (Garrett Klotz from Allen & Anders Franson from Missouri) and there are more to come. Stay tuned.
- In the players moving on from the CHL category in addition to those mentioned above, Matt Williams (Brampton) signed in Poland, Jordan Mayer (Quad City) signed in England and Anthony Maiani (Allen) signed in Denmark.
- A proposal to reduce the number of veterans on a CHL roster from six to four is supposedly going to be voted on at the CHL meetings which starts a week from Monday (July 21). Wonder how the coaches are dealing with that possibility as they are signing players? If you look at the American's six signings thus far only Darryl Bootland is a veteran according to CHL current rules which is more than 300 professional games. Jamie Schaafsma and Kevin Young have way more than 300 professional games played but some of them are in European leagues that aren't counted. A small consolation for Trevor Ludwig and his season ending injury last year is he was at 299 professional games when injured so he is not considered a veteran for the upcoming season. Tyler Ludwig is at 269 professional games so he also is not a veteran. Allen has a very veteran group thus far though by the CHL rules only one (Bootland) is designated as a veteran.
- Wichita's announced their first two signings for next season (Alex Bourret & Nikita Kashirsky) and they were certainly eye openers. Alex Bourret played with Wichita in 2011-2012 and scored 57 points (20 goal & 37 Assists) in 43 games. Last year he signed with Allen but never reported and decided to stay home and play in the LNAH. If you want to read an interesting story about the LNAH check out the archives on the right for, "Penner To The LNAH - The Toughest League In The World" dated September 29, 2013. Alex Bourret has an interesting background as I wrote last year when it appeared he was coming to Allen. Bourret is 27 years old, 5'10" 205 lbs. and shoots left. He was drafted in the first round (16th overall) of the 2005 NHL draft by the Atlanta Thrashers. He has 176 AHL games under his belt. His style of play could best be described as an agitator supreme. Bourret probably enjoys the verbal warfare part of hockey more than any other player. "I don't mind talking as it gets me going," Bourret said. "I think all the guys like it too. I don't fight much but I like to talk all game long." As proof of his agitator prowess Alex was voted "Most Annoying Player" in the 2012 CHL Best of The Best Awards. He also finished 3rd in the voting for the CHL MVP that year. He has the potential to be the best player in the CHL this year.
When he was drafted in 2005 here is what was said.
- Hockey's International Scouting Services proclaimed that "he is built like a tank, and hits like a truck." The Hockey News described him as "a skilled scoring machine."
- Bourret is a strong skater , who combines skill with physical play, and is a tireless worker. Beyond his offensive ability, the most dominant aspect of Bourret’s game is his physical play. He is more than willing to get his nose dirty, and stick up for his teammates.
From what I have read the story of Alex Bourret is one of underachievement as related to his potential. He was rated as high as 10th overall by some scouting services in the 2005 NHL draft and was selected 16th. Remember, the 2005 draft had NHL all stars Sidney Crosby (1st), Carey Price (5th), Anze Kopitar (11th), and Marc Stall (12th). Whether it has been maturity, discipline, conditioning or injury his career has not lived up to the potential seen in him by others. “Maybe I was not mature enough,” Bourret said. “I was probably not in the best shape I could have been in and now maybe they’re scared to give me a chance. But I’m more mature now. I’d like to get another chance.”
The other Wichita signing of the week was Russian born forward Nikita Kashirsky who played in Scotland (EIHL) last year and was a player/assistant coach. It appears Kashirsky was signed as a player/assistant coach by Wichita though the press release was vague on this point in that Kashirsky mentioned it but the team did not. Probably a way to increase his salary.
Bottom line is Wichita signed two skilled offensive players who are very capable of averaging a point a game for the Thunder.
- Signings have picked up around the CHL this week. Allen and Rapid City have six players under contract and announced while Quad City still has not announced any player signings. The Missouri Mavericks are having an event today they call the "Mavericks Summer Games & Tailgate Party" and are expected to announce the signing of three players. Here is the current list of player signings by team:
(7)Allen Americans: Kevin Young (D), Jamie Schaafsma (F), Tyler Ludwig (D), Jonathan Lessard (F), Darryl Bootland (F), Trevor Ludwig (D), Travis Ouellette (C)
(4)Arizona Sundogs: Kevin Baker (F), Michael Couch (D), Micheal Trebish (F), Alex Tuckerman (D)
(4)Brampton Beast: Calin Wild (C), Andrew Darrigo (D), Mike MacIsaac (F), Josh McQuade (F)
(6)Denver Cutthroats: Mike Bayrack (C), Kyle Fletcher (F), John Griggs (G), Garett Bembridge (F), JP Chabot (F), Steve Kaunisto D
(8)Missouri Mavericks: Andrew Courtney (F), John-Scott Dickson (F), Scott Langdon (D), T.J. Battani (F), Sebastien Thinel (F), Ben Power (F), Evan Vossen (F), David Pszenyczny (D)
(3)Quad City Mallards: Darren McMillan (D), Caylen Walls (D), Joey Holka (F)
(7)Rapid City Rush: Winston Day Chief (F), Justin Sawyer (D/F), Scott Brannon (F), Justin Faryna (F), Sean Erickson (D), Brett Kostolansky (D), Jared Brown (F)
(6)Tulsa Oilers: Jake Obermeyer (D), Nathan Lutz (D), Adam Pleskach (F), Matt Larke (F), Chapen Leblond (F), Eric Tallent (D)
(2)Wichita Thunder: Alex Bourret (F), Nikita Kashirsky (F)
DID YOU KNOW: By this time last year the Allen Americans had signed eight players to contracts. Here is the list from one year ago today.
|No. Name||Pos.||HT||WT||Shoots||DOB||Hometown||Club 2012 2013|
|# 11 Phil Fox||RW||5"11||205||R||9/17/85||Stillwater, MN||Fort Worth Brahmas (CHL)|
|#27 Darryl Bootland||RW||6'2||200||R||11/2/81||Bradford, ONT||Allen Americans (CHL)|
|# 43 John Snowden||RW||6"1||210||R||1/12/82||Everett, WA||Fort Worth Brahmas|
|# 91 Alex Lavoie||C||5"10||170||R||11/17/92||Anjou, PQ||Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)|
|# 3 Tyler Ludwig||D||6'1||205||R||5/24/85||Rhinelander, WI||Allen Americans (CHL)|
|# 7 Daniel Tetrault||D||6"0||205||R||9/4/79||Labroquerie, MAN||Peoria Rivermen (AHL)|
|# 24 Trevor Ludwig||D||6'1||210||L||5/24/85||Rhinelander, WI||Allen Americans (CHL)|
|# 51 Garrett Clarke||D||6'1"||210||L||11/3/92||Windsor, NS||Allen Americans (CHL)|