12/15 Recap: Ship carries load; Sundher signs

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, December 16, 2011 | 12/16/2011

Steven Shipley tied a career high Thursday by collecting four points (1+3) as Niagara smoked Erie, 7-0. The 6'3 center, whose line with Andrew Agozzino and David Pacan combined for 12 points, ties a season best by extending his point streak to four games. Earlier in the day, a tweet was posted that was clearly addressed.




The IceDogs return to action Saturday versus Sudbury.

Elsewhere in the OHL, Dan Catenacci posted a goal, an assist, and a career-best +4 rating as Owen Sound downed Windsor, 6-4.  Like Niagara's Shipley, the 5'10 speedster will look to extend his point streak to five games when the Attack travels to Sarnia on Friday.



Alex Lepkowski and Gregg Sutch were unable to get on the scoresheet as Barrie edged Mississauga, 2-1. The Colts will host Ottawa on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Kevin Sundher collected an assist as Victoria was doubled by Edmonton, 6-3. The Surrey native will look to make it points in six straight when the Royals visit Lethbridge on Friday.

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The Sabres announced Thursday that they have signed Sundher to a three-year entry-level deal. The second of three third-round picks at the 2010 draft (75th overall), Sundher's quick start this season has seen him rise to become the all-time points leader for the WHL's Chilliwack/Victoria franchise.

From the Sabres website:

“Kevin’s a very good skater, whose offensive abilities make him a natural fit for our organization,” Regier said. “With his progression over the last few seasons, his fast start this year is a very positive sign for his development.”

Sundher (5’11”, 184 lbs., 1/18/92), in his fifth season in the Western Hockey League, is ranked sixth in the league in scoring with 52 points (21+31) in 32 games as a member of the Victoria Royals. In 247 WHL games with Victoria and the Chilliwack Bruins, Sundher has accumulated 229 points (89+140) and 294 penalty minutes.

The native of Surrey, British Columbia has improved his point totals in each of his five WHL seasons, finishing the 2010-11 campaign with career highs in points (76) and assists (52).

Here is Sundher's profile from the Spring 2011 Prospect Rankings:


10) Kevin Sundher, C, Chilliwack Bruins (WHL), 2010 3rd round (75th overall)

Readers of this site knew who Kevin Sundher was before this season. Listed in the 2010 Draft Preview as my second option for the Sabres at #75, and seeing how my primary option (Minnesota C Max Gardiner) went at pick #74, it's safe to say I was happy when the Sabres landed Sundher with the 75th pick.

A highly touted player coming out of the bantam ranks, the 6'0, 193-pound pivot skated with a target on his back for two seasons for the sub-.500 Bruins, racking up 44 goals and an even 100 points before the Sabres even drafted him. The Surrey, B.C. native continued his trend in 2010-11, overcoming a slow start to finish 3rd in scoring for the Bruins with 24 goals and 52 assists (t15th in WHL). 

Sundher really turned it on from late-October through early December, amassing 24 points in a 15-game stretch. In February, he collected points in 11-straight games to tie Kassian and McNabb for the longest streak of the season. With the year's momentum carrying into the postseason (3+4 in 5GP), it's reasonable to suggest that a quick start next season sees the playmaker become the third member of the class of 2010 to earn Team Canada consideration.

Sundher, who will skate for the relocated Victoria franchise in 2011-12, rates well in four key competencies required of a successful NHL forward – strength, smarts, skill, and determination. He is a gifted passer and an above average stickhandler, so now what you need to see is more tenacity. This isn't to say he's "passive", but given the Sabres need for natural centers to develop quickly, playing with more fire in his belly will accelerate his progress as he moves up a level against bigger players of equal talent.


Lastly, enjoy a quick playlist of Sundher in action this season.


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