Showing posts with label gogulla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gogulla. Show all posts

Monday, September 6, 2010

9/5 recap: Shipley to the shelf

SabresProspects has learned that 6'2, 205-pound center Steven Shipley of the Owen Sound Attack could miss the remainder of the pre-season after breaking a finger in the first week of training camp. It's a tough start for the Sabres 2010 fourth round pick after reporting a day behind schedule. We'll keep tabs on the injury as details become available. The Attack opened their exhibition schedule without Shipley on Sunday, defeating Barrie by a 6-3 count.

In the WHL, Riley Boychuk suited up for Portland's third game in three nights, registering a slashing minor and a couple shots on goal as the Winterhawks lost a 3-2 shootout to Spokane. The 'Hawks will continue their pre-season next weekend with games against Everett and Kootenay.

Mark Pysyk was given the night off as Edmonton dropped a 3-2 decision to Medicine Hat. After reassigning a trio of 15-year olds, the Oil Kings will correct some mistakes in preparation for next weekend's exhibition set with Prince George.

Gregg Sutch did not play as Mississauga opened their exhibition season with a 5-3 win over the QMJHL's Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Sutch, 6'2, 190 pounds, has spent the first week of split squad scrimmages skating on a line with Casey Czikas (NYI) and Justin Shugg (CAR). The Majors will next play at Owen Sound on Thursday.

Lastly Phillip Gogulla's return to the Cologne Sharks has started well, as the 2005 second rounder has a goal and two assists through the team's first two games. Gogulla is joined this season in Cologne by ex-Sabres Mike Card and Adam Dennis. Card is +2 for the Sharks while Dennis opened the season with a shutout.

Monday, May 24, 2010

One and done: Gogulla gallops back to Germany

After just one season of North American hockey, Philip Gogulla will be leaving the Portland Pirates and heading back to the DEL to play a sixth season for the Cologne Sharks.

Those close to the situation will say this is no surprise. The 2005 second round pick (48th overall) was unhappy and perhaps a little homesick in his first extended period away from Europe. The first red flag came when he reacted poorly to the rigors of prospect camp two summers ago. There was never any sense that playing in the NHL was his "dream gig".

The 6'2, 198 pound forward appeared in 76 games for the Pirates in 2009-10, finishing sixth in team scoring with 15 goals and 20 assists. Like many pro rookies, he had his good games and bad ones. When a load of teammates were called up to the big club following Portland's first round playoff loss, Gogulla (and fellow German Felix Schutz) flew to Cologne to play in the IIHF World Championships. Gogulla posted one goal and six shots on net in seven of Germany's nine tourney games.

And so the beat goes on when it comes to the Sabres history with European draft picks.

Moving on, Gogulla's departure puts the heat on the Sabres to get a deal gone with 2007 third rounder Corey Tropp. After a 20-goal junior year, the Michigan State forward is primed to begin his professional career in Portland. There was already a spot open, and now there is 35 points to replace with the loss of Gogulla.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Odds & Ends: Southorn talking; Tropp on the way?

With 2008 draft pick Jordon Southorn recently finishing his fourth QMJHL season, The Guardian is reporting that player agent Don Meehan is talking to the Sabres about a pro deal.

Southorn said his agent, Don Meehan, is talking with the Buffalo Sabres, the team that drafted him in the fourth round (104th overall) of the 2008 draft, about a three-year, entry-level contract. At the maximum, it can be worth over $825,000 a year.

Enter the Sabres blueline pipeline, where the system is rich with numbers. With Dennis Persson (one year), T.J. Brennan (two), and Drew Schiestel (two) having term remaining on their first contracts, and Nick Crawford recently added to the fold, it is thought that decisions on Portland defenders Matt Generous and Mike Kostka will play a role in what shakes out with Southorn and recent Harvard grad, Alex Biega.

The 5'11 Biega, who served as the Crimson captain this past season, moves well and plays a smart game, but the Sabres have to decide if he has enough juice to produce on the power play while providing consistent even-strength support. In 131 NCAA games in Cambridge, the Montreal native collected 15 goals and 55 assists with a net +1 rating.

Southorn, on the other hand, is waiting and working a summer job after an up-and-down season that saw a shift in his approach.

Southorn, who turns 20 today, had a solid 2009-10, if not bumpy one.
A pre-season suspension by the Rocket, his second in two seasons, cancelled Buffalo’s plans to bring him to its training camp.
But Southorn focused on his job, finished with a team-high plus-five plus-minus and fourth in hits with 86, and left the offence to itself (four goals, 19 assists, 67 games).
He was down 18 points in scoring from 2008-09, but up 18 points in his plus-minus ratio.
“I think my game changed this year. I was always the offensive guy. My plus-minus was up in the plusses,” he said. “My defensive game got much better. That’s what I was proud of.”
New head coach Eric Lavigne, hired in early October to replace the fired Guy Chouinard, stressed defensive zone coverage and it worked.

Southorn isn't a poor depth option by any stretch, but I was surprised to hear that discussions are taking place because there aren't that many jobs to go around in an organization that doesn't use an ECHL affiliate.

The Sabres have five blueliners under contract (Butler, Rivet, Sekera, Montador, Myers) entering 2010-11, with the expectation that RFAs Marc-Andre Gragnani and Mike Weber will be tendered. There is also the potential for UFA back-up plans like a Dennis Seidenberg and perhaps a Dan Hamhuis to be in place in the event that one of both of Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman sign elsewhere.

If you look at the depth chart, I already have Brayden McNabb penciled in to assume Dennis Persson's AHL slot beginning in 2011-12. I'll stop short of calling Persson a lame duck this early, but he will be entering the final year of his deal with the expectation of taking a huge developmental step on the Pirates blueline.


After signing forward Luke Adam to an entry-level contract at the end of his junior season, the Sabres still have decisions to make with some forwards in the coming weeks.

It's becoming more of a certainty that Michigan State RW Corey Tropp will follow in the footsteps of past collegians Chris Butler, Nathan Gerbe, and Tim Kennedy by leaving school after his junior season to sign with the Sabres. The CCHA program has already lost juniors Jeff Petry (EDM) and Andrew Rowe (PHI) to the pro ranks this offseason, making Tropp's departure a no-brainer given the Sabres depth needs. The 6'0 winger led the Spartans this past season with 20 goals and 42 points, and with MSU bench boss Rick Comley not having a consistent track record for developing pro bodies, it may be in both parties best interests to shift the development cycle to the AHL.

With the Sabres short on forwards, it seems that Jacob Lagacé will ultimately get a look as well despite his disappointing finish with Cape Breton. The fifth-round pick in 2008, Lagacé scored five goals in 25 games with the Eagles after having 30 in 35 with Chicoutimi at the time of the deal.


In other forward 'stuff', former first-rounder Marek Zagrapan has had his two-year KHL contract with Severstal terminated after one season. After a quick start in his return to European ice, the former Sagueneen/Amerk/Pirate found it tough to earn consistent time and ultimately became a non-factor down the stretch. It remains to be seen where Zagrapan will land moving forward, but the Sabres will continue to retain his NHL rights while the sting of another first round disappointment subsides.


Speaking of Sabres European prospects, Felix Schutz made noise on the international stage when he scored the overtime winner as Germany shocked Team USA to win the opening game of the 2010 IIHF World Championships. It was a nice touch for Schutz after a tough second half in Portland that saw the tweener limited in ice time while being left off the Pirates clear day roster.

Schutz has two goals through three games for Germany, while fellow Sabres prospect Philip Gogulla has yet to record a point.


When the University of North Dakota began stockpiling defensive recruits like Derek Forbort and Dillon Simpson, we began to think long and hard about the impact it would all have on Sabres 2008 third-rounder, Corey Fienhage. When Fienhage was sat late in the year in favor of forward-turned-defenseman Matt Davidson, those thoughts intensified.

When we reported that Fienhage was placed on the protected list by the WHL's Kamloops Blazers, the writing was seemingly being scribbled on the proverbial wall.

But when Fighting Sioux junior Chay Genoway announced that he would be returning to the team in 2010-11, the message on the wall stated that Fienhage was outsy.

Nothing is official, but whispers around Grand Forks are suggesting that Fienhage is as good as gone (along with Isles prospect David Toews). Fienhage needs to play, and since he didn't get in the lineup last season until Genoway suffered a concussion, it isn't too difficult to connect the dots.

My question is where does Fienhage go? If he opts for the WHL, his window to earn a deal is cut down to one season. Another option has him seeking a scholarship elsewhere, thus sending him to the USHL for a season of Jr. A to retain his NCAA eligibility, and in turn allow the Sabres to keep his rights for a longer term.

Fienhage is rugged and tough, and I would be eager to watch his game translate to the WHL. However, Fienhage is just 20 and needs consistent reps after playing a scant 39 games over two seasons with the Sioux. Couple that with the fact that the Sabres blueline prospect cupboard is already crowded, and I fully expect the Sabres to advise him to somehow stay in school.


While we're at it, might as well make official what we already knew. Mark Adams, the Sabres fifth round pick last summer, will be enrolling at Providence College this fall. The right-hander will join Vermont junior defenseman Drew MacKenzie in the competitive Hockey East.

Adams, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound defenseman, was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth round (134th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He played three seasons at Malden Catholic High School before spending one season with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League. While with Chicago, Adams played in 53 games and recorded four goals and 10 assists for 14 points during the 2009-10 season.

After a minor shoulder injury in the first half, "Roo" got his game clicking as the Steel's year wound down. Adams has good wheels that he'll need to use to limit stick infractions as he steps up a level of competition.


Lastly, if you're not doing so already, try to follow SabresProspects on Twitter. I'll be in Los Angeles for the draft and will be using it to communicate throughout the entire week. This space will be updated as well, of course, but that feed should be more lively.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gogulla going to Vancouver

Portland Pirates rookie forward Philip Gogulla has been named to Team Germany for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The 6'2 Gogulla has five goals, 16 points, and a +5 through the first 31 games of his North American career after posting 127 points in five seasons with Cologne of the DEL.

Veteran Buffalo Sabres forward Jochen Hecht was a noticeable omission by DEB head coach, Uwe Krupp.

Germany's Olympic roster includes six NHLers -- goaltender Thomas Greiss (San Jose), defensemen Christian Ehrhoff (Vancouver), Dennis Seidenberg (Florida) and Alexander Sulzer (Nashville), and forwards Marcel Goc (Nashville) and Marco Sturm (Boston). Winger Philip Gogulla, a Buffalo prospect who has yet to make his NHL debut, was chosen from Portland of the American Hockey League. In his first season of North American hockey, the 22-year-old Gogulla has 5 goals and 16 points in 31 games.

The remaining 16 skater all play in Germany's top professional league, the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.

Veteran center Jochen Hecht of Buffalo was surprisingly left off Krupp's roster, as was Atlanta defenseman Christoph Schubert. Both were included on a reserve list. Hecht has a long international resume and participated in the 1998 and 2002 Games. He was also selected to play in 2006 in Torino, Italy but suffered an injury in his last NHL game before the Olympic break and was unable to play. In eight Olympic games, Hecht has 2 goals and an assist.

This season with Buffalo, Hecht has only 6 goals and 15 points in 39 games and is eighth on the team in scoring.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Schiestel, Genny key as Pirates take three

Drew Schiestel and Matt Generous scored their first professional goals, and Felix Schutz scored his first goal of the season and added an assist as Portland defeated Norfolk, 4-2.

Schutz, returning after missing six games with a concussion (deemed a shoulder by most reports), got the Pirates on the board with a backhander to make it 1-1 in the opening period. Generous lit the lamp with a point shot in the second period before fellow rookie Schiestel scored from the high slot just :42 later as Portland pulled away.

Paul Byron, Nathan Gerbe, and Philip Gogulla added assists for the Pirates, while J.P. Lamoureux stopped 23 shots to secure the club's third straight win. The former Hobey Baker finalist started four games in five nights ahead of Jhonas Enroth, finishing the stretch 3-1.

The Rundown:
Schutz: 1G, 1A
Schiestel: 1G, +2
Generous: 1G
Byron: 1A, +1
Gerbe: 1A, -1, 6 SOG
Gogulla: 1A
Kostka: +1
Weber: +1
Brennan: even
Persson: even
Ennis: -2

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pirates halt hot Amerks in HSBC

The Portland Pirates sailed into HSBC Arena on Thursday to defeat the Rochester Americans, 6-3. The victory snaps a two-game skid for the Pirates while ending the Americans 11-game win streak. Mark Mancari, Philip Gogulla, and Cody McCormick each had a goal and an assist to lead the Pirates . Buzzing between Gogulla and Mancari from the first drop of the puck, Tyler Ennis picked up a pair of assists to fuel Portland’s effort. Ennis set-up a Mancari one-time laser to open scoring late in the period. He later shifted inside to create a tic-tac-toe passing play that was finished off by Gogulla to put the Pirates ahead for good at 12:56 of the second period. Rookie center Paul Byron also showed his quickness and offensive skills, scoring a short-handed goal at 4:43 of the second period to open Portland’s four-goal floodgate. The fleeting Byron spent most of his shifts between vets McCormick and Jeff Cowan. In a shuffling blueline, rookie T.J. Brennan spent most of his time with veteran Joe DiPenta. Drew Schiestel saw PK time with DiPenta, but played shifts with Mike Kostka. At one point, it appeared that Dennis Persson skated a shift at forward. Matt Generous and Mike Weber were a steady pair however. Weber was a +3 but did make one poor decision on a cross-ice pas in his own zone that was very similar to plays made in the pre-season. Jhonas Enroth, who was sent down by Buffalo earlier in the day, kicked aside 23 saves to earn his fourth win of the season. Enroth will need to remain sharp if the 6-10 Pirates are to gain ground in the standings. Nathan Gerbe (concussion), Marc-Andre Gragnani (leg), and Felix Schutz (shoulder) did not play for Portland. The Rundown: Mancari: 1G, 1A Gogulla: 1G, 1A, +1 Byron: 1G, 1 SOG Ennis: 2A Weber: +3 Brennan: even Schiestel: even Generous: +1 Turnbull: 1A Enroth: 23 saves, W

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pirates split weekend slate

In Friday farm action, Mark Mancari scored the overtime game winner while second-year man Jhonas Enroth made 36 saves as Portland defeated Lowell, 3-2. Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis each added a pair of assists for Portland, while T.J. Brennan and Travis Turnbull added single helpers. The win moved the Pirates season mark to 4-7, including a 3-0 record at home. The Rundown: Gerbe: 2A, +1 Ennis: 2A Turnbull: 1A Brennan: 1A Schutz: -1 Kostka: even Schiestel: even Gogulla: -1 Mancari: 1G ----------------------- The Pirates returned to the ice on Saturday with a 3-2 loss to Bridgeport. Enroth stopped 17 of 20 shots to take the loss in his 10th start of the season. Recently-inked Marc McCutcheon scored both Portland goals, while Mancari extended his point streak to six games with an assist. The loss was the Pirates first of the season on home ice. The Rundown: Mancari: 1A, +1 Schiestel: +1 Gogulla: +1 Kostka: +1 Gerbe: -1, 4 PIM Ennis: -2 Schutz: even Brennan: even Enroth: 17 saves Weber: -1 Generous: -1 Turnbull: 3 SOG

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ennis explodes as Pirates pound 'Pack

Tyler Ennis exploded for his first professional points, scoring three goals and an assist to lead Portland past Hartford, 6-3. The center's production stemmed from clicking with linemates Jeff Cowan (2G, 1A) and Nathan Gerbe, who added a goal and three assists. The trio swept the game's three star selections. T.J. Brennan also collected his first AHL points with a pair of assists. Marc-Andre Gragnani, Mike Kostka, and Mark Mancari added single helpers. Jhonas Enroth made 27 saves to earn the W, while Drew Schiestel remained in the press box. The Rundown: Ennis: 3G, 1A, +2, 6 SOG Gerbe: 1G, 3A, +2, 4 SOG Brennan: 2A Kostka: 1A, +1 Gragnani: 1A Mancari: 1A Gogulla: 1 SOG Weber: 1 SOG Schutz: 2PIM Persson: -1 Byron: -1 Legault: -2, 3 SOG Enroth: 27 saves, W Schiestel: DNP The Pirates begin a five-game road swing on Saturday at Manchester.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Byron keys Saturday win; Pirates sink on Sunday

On Saturday, Paul Byron scored the game winning goal and added an assist as Portland opened their home schedule with a 4-2 win over Providence. The game's #1 star, Byron scored his first AHL goal to cap the Pirates three-goal output within a span of 4:09 in the early stages of the second period. Nathan Gerbe started the roll on the power play with his second goal in as many games at 1:19. Moments later, Mark Mancari hit at even strength at 3:41 to tie the game 2-2. Mancari also picked up an assist on the night. Kyle Rank would score the final Pirates goal. Jhonas Enroth made 28 saves to earn his first win of the season, while Drew Schiestel was a scratch. The Rundown: Byron: 1G, 1A, +2 Gerbe: 1G Weber: 2A, +2 Turnbull: 1A, +1 Gragnani: 1A Brennan: +1, 5 SOG Persson: +2 Gogulla: 2 SOG Kostka: 4 SOG Schutz: 2 SOG Legault: 2 SOG Ennis: even Enroth: 28 saves The Pirates returned to the ice on Sunday in Lowell, where they came up short in 4-0 loss to the Devils. Enroth allowed four goals on 23 shots before giving way to J.P. Lamoureux at 12:15 of the second period. Lamoureux kicked away all 18 shots he faced the rest of the way. The Rundown: Ennis: 4 SOG Turnbull: 3 SOG Kostka: even Brennan: -1, 4 SOG, 16 PIM Weber: -1, 7 PIM Schiestel: -1 Gogulla: -2 Byron: -2 Legault: -2 Schutz: -2, 3 SOG Persson: -2 Enroth: 19 saves Visit the excellent Maine Hockey Journal for complete Pirates coverage.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Next batch heads to Portland as final cuts near

The Sabres today announced that forwards Philip Gogulla and Felix Schutz, defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani, and goaltender Jhonas Enroth have been assigned to Portland of the AHL. Also sent to the Pirates were veterans Joe Dipenta (D) and Jeff Cowan (F). Remaining with the big club for the final round of cuts are Nathan Gerbe, Tim Kennedy, Mike Weber, and Tyler Myers, with all but Weber suiting up for Saturday night's game at Montreal. The moves come on the same day that Mark Mancari decided to re-enter the Sabres fold on a one-year deal. Portland's top point-getter last season, the fifth-year man will be subject to waivers before re-joining the Pirates.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

9/17 Recap: Kassian captains streakbuster; "A" group battles Caps

The Sabres sent a half-dozen junior players back to their CHL clubs on Thursday just hours before starting their 2009 pre-season schedule. However, only five of the six were afforded down time as one prospect was able to drive 100 miles home to arrive in time for the start of his team's regular season. Peterborough Petes captain Zack Kassian left Buffalo in the 2:00 hour and joined his mates prior to the 7:11 puck drop with Brampton. Seeing loads of ice time from coach Ken McRae, the 6'3 banger assisted on the game-tying goal midway through the third period as the Petes came back to edge the Battalion, 2-1. The Petes victory was their first over the Troops since November 2006, a span covering nine regular season games and another four from last season's playoff sweep. Joining Kassian back in the OHL will be Marcus Foligno, who returned to Sudbury for Friday's contest with Erie, and Saginaw's Nick Crawford, who will get with the Spirit for their opener at Guelph. WHL defenseman Brayden McNabb is expected to play in Kootenay's season opener against Lethbridge after a late-Thursday arrival. Capping the list of departees, Cape Breton center Luke Adam and Chicoutimi's Jacob Lagacé are back in the QMJHL for weekend action. Adam will make his Screaming Eagles debut on Saturday against Saint John. Lagacé will be in uniform for weekend games against Victoriaville and Quebec. --------------------------- With six leaving town, the Sabres "A" list of remaining prospects got a solid look as the club opened the pre-season with a 4-3 OT loss to Washington. Bubble forwards Nathan Gerbe (16:25), Tyler Ennis (15:40), Philip Gogulla (13:54), and Tim Kennedy (13:36) all saw nice chunks of action, while Tyler Myers (21:01), Marc-Andre Gragnani (17:02), Mike Kostka (16:41), and Mike Weber (21:26) formed a youthful backline with Chris Butler and Andrej Sekera. Jhonas Enroth finished the game in Buffalo's net after Patrick Lalime's played his period-and-a-half. Myers (+1) made a positive impression by using his reach, executing sharp passes, and even making a nice hit on Caps defender John Carlson. As expected there's still a speed adjustment needed in terms of being an everyday NHL defenseman, but the foundation is clearly in place. In my opinion, the NHL-CHL rule with 19-year old players needs to be amended to at least allow first-round NHL picks to play in the AHL in their second post-draft season. Regardless of contract/budget issues, I'm seeing little developmental value in Myers going back to dominate the WHL. Ennis, who will make any line buzz when placed down the middle, put his speed and passing skills on display with Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville as wings. The creative element that Ennis brings to the top-six will not be ignored once the necessary strength is built on his smallish frame. His line saw top-unit power play time, yet connected for even strength damage on Buffalo's first goal of the night by Pominville. Also worth noting was the smart, effective blueline work by Kostka. The 23-year old hit for two shots on goal and picked up an assist on the Pominville tally. The goal tied the game at 1-1 after a Weber (-1) miscue earlier allowed the Caps a 1-0 lead. Late in the third period with the score tied 2-2, Gerbe's grunting forecheck behind the Caps' cage resulted in Gogulla finding Kennedy, who buried a backhand to put the Sabres ahead with 2:32 to play. With anything possible, the trio could be a potent combo if all three land on the farm to start the year. Just :23 later, a Gragnani turnover would allow Jay Beagle to beat Enroth and force overtime. A Brian Pothier slapper while on a 5-3 power play ended tings just :49 into the extra session. Enroth entered the game at 13:13 of the middle period, allowing three goals on 26 shots. (13:13. 26 shots. An interesting thought for superstitious stat junkies.) He got a taste of the NHL's down-low pressure on his first goal against scored by vet Mike Knuble, but played well overall. Remaining prospects in camp include T.J. Brennan, Drew Schiestel, Felix Schutz, Paul Byron, Matt Generous, Travis Turnbull, and Maxime Legault. All but Legault are under contract and slated for Portland. The Sabres will return to exhibition action on Saturday in Detroit. --------------------------- In Thursday KHL action, Marek Zagrapan was kept off the sheet as Severstal dropped a 2-0 decision to Mettalurg.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mid-summer heats up as 2009-10 looms

With the summer season hitting its second phase, national evaluation camps are hitting the radar as players ramp-up for the 2009-10 season. Miami University sophomore Connor Knapp will be one of four goaltenders and 43 players overall in Lake Placid, NY for USA Hockey's U20 Evaluation Camp running from August 8th-17th. The Americans will play three intra-squad scrimmages before a four-game set ensues against a team of Russian hopefuls. Dmitri Kugryshev (WAS), Kirill Petrov (NYI), and Andrei Loktionov (LAK) will be among the Russian shooters testing Knapp. Drafted players Nikita Filatov (CBS), Dmitry Kulikov (FLA), and Igor Bobkov (ANA) will not participate, nor will top '10 eligibles Kirill Kabanov and Evgeny Kuznetsov. A reader recently questioned Knapp's inclusion on the USA invite list, suggesting that he can't be a serious contender since another freshman ended the year as Miami's starting goaltender. I'm not sure that's a valid argument. While that was the case in Oxford, Cody Reichard was definitely more experienced as a 22-year old freshman compared to the 18-year old Knapp, and thus got the call for Miami down the stretch. A 6'5 EJHL product and former Rochester high school standout, Knapp went 13-5-3 with a 2.09 GAA to earn CCHA All-Rookie honors as a "true" freshman and recently performed well at the Sabres Development Camp. The invite is warranted when looking at it from that angle. Over the border, Tyler Myers, Zack Kassian, and Luke Adam will be in Saskatoon for Canada's National Junior Team Development Camp from August 5th-10th. The camp roster consists of 41 forwards and defensemen, and four goaltenders. Red/White scrimmages will be held on August 8th and 9th. A veteran of Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence, Myers returns after he and Keith Aulie (CAL) performed as the top shutdown combo for the 2009 gold medal winners. The 6'8 Calgarian struck gold a year earlier at the U18's in Kazan, Russia. Kassian, 18, played with Brayden McNabb on Canada's 4th place entry at U18's in Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN this past April. Last summer, he was an U18 gold medalist at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. The camp will be the first world junior invite for Adam. The 19-year old forward serves as the sole representative from Hockey Newfoundland & Labrador. A week prior to the U20 activities, Bob Boughner and his U18 Summer Team staff will host 38 2010 drafts eligibles and a pair of 2011's in Calgary for Canada's Hlinka selection camp. Team USA has already finalized their U18 Select Team roster for the tourney that will be held in Slovakia and the Czech Republic from August 11th-15th. In Europe, German hockey association DEB concluded their summer camp in preparation for the 2010 Olympics. In a competitive setback, bench boss Uwe Krupp was without the luxury of any NHL players in his five-day gathering.
The candidates from the National Hockey League – Robert Dietrich, Christian Ehrhoff, Marcel Goc, Philipp Gogulla, Thomas Greiss, Jochen Hecht, Christoph Schubert, Felix Schütz and Marco Sturm – will not join the camp due to insurance reasons after discussions between DEB and the players.
Back on North American soil, the Sabres selection of Marcus Foligno continues to draw positive press. A blue-collar, Buffalo-born player getting drafted by the same team that his father once wore the "C" for makes for a story worth following.
Mike, who is also the head coach and general manager of the Sudbury Wolves, said it was his son’s physical play and competitive spirit that made him stand out on the ice this year. “Everybody knows he’s a physical player,” the coach said. “He’s the type of guy who wants to win, he cares about his teammates, and he knows the physical game is his strength.” Marcus said he will be bringing his energy and strong work ethic to the Sabres organization. “Knowing you have your teammates looking at you to make something happen, to just spark them up and give the energy back to the team,” he said. “There’s nothing better than trying to put up points in the NHL and it’s one thing I’m capable of. I just need to keep working hard as the off-season goes on ... to develop into an NHL player.” Marcus said his goal for the remainder of the off-season is to continue getting bigger and stronger. “This is a player that has worked very hard to accomplish this first step of making it to the NHL, and he’s paid the price both on and off the ice,” the Wolves’ head coach said. “I think Marcus is really motivated right now to accomplish the dream of playing in the NHL.”
Mid-July also saw the annual Stanley Keg tournament play out in Montreal.
Held in the vibrant city of Montreal, the Montreal Stanley Keg is a summer hockey tournament that features eight teams of professional players from across North America. The trophy is an actual beer keg with a cup (similar to the Stanley Cup) mounted on the top, and the winning team gets its members’ names engraved on the trophy. The tournament is held at the beautiful 4 Glaces Sportplexe Pierrefonds facility and runs from July 17th – 19th, 2009.
NHLers Jason Pominville, Alex Burrows, and Guillaume Latendresse skated for the same side in the no-contact 5-5 summer staple. Other notables in the shinny included 2008-09 Portland Pirates Mathieu Darche and Kenny MacAulay, and Harvard's Danny and Michael Biega, brother of current Sabres defensive prospect, Alex. Marc-Andre Gragnani was a member of the winning side last season. Another summer happening of Quebecois flavor involves former Sabres property, Benjamin Breault (2006, 7th round). After completing five years of QMJHL service, the 5'10 offensive forward has signed on with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gogulla grinds in German loss

Philip Gogulla continued his North American primer at the World Championship with a -1 in 14:12 of work as the Germans lost to Switzerland in overtime, 2-1. Skating on Germany's third line, the 6'2 left wing failed to get a shot on goal as the Swiss rode a Mark Streit power-play winner to their second straight tournament victory. Wearing an "A" for Germany, Jochen Hecht led the German attack with four shots on goal while raking in 17:33 of time, a total right on par with his 2008-09 season average of 17:23. Germany will continue pool play on Tuesday against France. ------ In other Sunday action from the Worlds, Andrej Sekera had an assist as Slovakia lost a shootout to Belarus. The helper came on a Marcel Hossa goal to force overtime with 2:46 to play in regulation. The 22-year old defenseman led Team Slovakia with 24:20 of ice time. In Saturday play, Drew Stafford (+1) picked up a goal for USA in a 4-2 win over Latvia. Thomas Vanek was -1 with two shots on net in Austria's 7-1 loss to the fluid Swedes. On Friday, Derek Roy assisted on a Dany Heatley goal as Canada rolled past Belarus, 6-1. The Canadians will face Hungary later on Sunday.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gogulla at Worlds; Schutz en route?

On Friday, Philip Gogulla was -1 with two shots on goal as Germany opened the IIHF World Championships with a 5-0 loss to Russia. Gogulla skated for 14:36 (20 shifts), while fellow Sabre Jochen Hecht saw just 11:20 from bench boss Uwe Krupp in his return to international play after a four-year layoff. With the Pirates being bounced from the AHL playoffs, expect Felix Schutz to join the Sabres German troupe in the next few days after his successful rookie season.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gogulla to Sabres confirmed for 2009-10

Many thanks to Henrike Wöbking of for his recent interview of Philip Gogulla. Below is a select snippet, while the entire translated version can be viewed here. Despite the bad season for the club you scored a career high of 17 goals this year, most of them playing with Christoph Ullmann and Marcel Müller. Was that also a “sought and found”-kind of line? At the beginning of the season I was still on a line with Kamil Piros. Doug Mason [Coach for the Cologne Sharks 2005-2008] told us, he still had to find out who is going to be on our line, as Ivan wasn’t on the team anymore. The lines were put together well and he also didn’t want to separate us. So I played the first three games of the season with Kamil, then I went to Buffalo for training-camp, and when I returned Doug was gone. [Doug Mason got fired after the team lost its first seven games of the season.] They asked me if I would play with Ullmann and Marcel Müller. I said, sure, I’d love to. From then on we played together for the rest of the season. I think, we fit together pretty well. Doug always told me, your biggest problem is, you need to shoot the puck more often. I did that this year, whenever I had the chance. It’s great that it resulted in the most goals I ever scored in a season. Doug was absolutely right. He told me over and over again to just shoot. He said I have a good shot. That’s why he played me on the blueline [on the powerplay] a lot. He kept telling me, if you can’t shoot you have to pass, but if you have a chance to shoot just do it. That’s what I tried over the last couple of years. It worked out pretty well, I guess. I still like to make the final pass in a two on one situation, though. I consider myself rather a passer than a shooter. The 2008 playoffs have been your best playoffs so far. You’ve been a big factor in the success. I don’t think I ever saw you that focused before games like you were during that run. That was one of the most awesome periods of time I had with Cologne. I get goose bumps right now, just because it was so great back then. Really. We were listening to the same music in the locker-room before every game. I was really focused, like you said. I wanted to win the championship so badly. Coming up short in the final game was bad luck. I was completely focused. For example, in that game against Mannheim which went to the sixth overtime, I knew any mistake would be lethal. It was a tense situation. I wanted to win so badly. During that overtime I never had the feeling we could lose the game. Never in my life before did I ever have a feeling like that. I knew we were going to win that game. God having me scoring the winner was flat out amazing. The coach trusting in me and letting me play helped a lot. I just went out there and played, I guess. Scoring twelve points during that run was pretty good. The playoffs in prior years never felt like that. Over your five years with Cologne the attention you got from the media increased significantly. Did you have to get used to that? You bet. When you join a pro-team as a sixteen year-old it is something special. You were always excited and afraid of saying something wrong. I even was nervous at all the season openings when I had to go on stage and talk to the fans. It was tough. But over the years you get used to it. You are still a little bit excited but I think I’m doing quite well. I realized that journalists are normal people, too, who just want some information. Are you ready for the media circus in North-America? That’s going to be a whole different animal, of course. Even at preseason games there’s always so many camera teams rushing into the locker-room after games. It’s completely different compared to here. Hockey writers covering the Sabres think you should come over for the next season, as staying in Germany would not help your development anymore. Do you think so, too? One should mention that the DEL is a very good league. And it’s challenging, also. To say, if I stay another year I’d score 25 goals and 70 points, would be completely wrong. That just wouldn’t be the case. The league is becoming closer and closer every year. I don’t know if it really wouldn’t help my development if I’d play here for another year. I think, it’s simply time for me to go over. Two years ago I signed a three-year-contract. I know if I don’t give it a try overseas now, the window might be closing for me. If I don’t give it a try, I’d regret it for the rest of my life. As the season ended for the Cologne Sharks that early, theoretically there would have been the possibility to join the Portland Pirates for the remainder of this season. Would you have done it if they had approached you? That’s a difficult question. I think it’s always difficult when a player joins a team shortly before the playoffs. Not only for the team, but for the player as well. I don’t know if I’d be comfortable coming in and taking the spot of someone who did play for that team the whole season. Tough to say, if I would have done it. Also, the nationalteam might be calling soon. I would really have had to think about it. I probably wouldn’t have said no right away, but I would have had to think about it thoroughly, for sure. A year ago you were quoted by a German newspaper “NHL or I will not go”. Did you really say it like that back then? Yes, that’s always been my philosophy. I thought to myself, why should I play in Portland? I tried to compare the leagues [AHL and DEL] a little bit. I don’t know exactly, how it is over there. Of course it is a different game, but the guys, who came over here, said the DEL is a little bit better than the AHL. Plus you don’t make that much money over there, you don’t get a car and an apartment. Here you get all that and you make good money. Why should I go over if I’m playing for a top-notch club in Cologne and have the option to stay here? Now I have to go over. And today it would be naïve to say, I’m not going to play in the farmteam. I absolutely expect to be in the farmteam all year. If I get the chance to get called up once in a while – say if the Sabres run into injury trouble – I would be very, very happy. Are you concerned about adjusting your game to the smaller ice? A little bit. It is a different game and it’s more intense physically. You’ve got less time to do something. I realized that. You have to pay attention every single second. It’s incredible. It’s completely different. You literally have no time. Did you ever talk with Felix Schütz about which is the better way to make it to the NHL as he had a different approach than you spending time in the QMJHL? I think, that’s always hard to tell. He has the advantage of knowing how the small ice works, but he also returned to Germany after two years and gave it a shot in the DEL. I was lucky to have Hans Zach as a Coach [in Cologne, as he likes to work with young German players]. If it wasn’t for him I might not be where I am today. It’s really hard to tell. One guy is trying it this way, another guy is trying it a different way. Since you’ve been drafted you went to trainings-camp every year. Did you get any feedback from the coaches? What did they tell you to work on? I’ve been to the rookie-camp twice and also twice to the main-camp. When I returned from the rookie camp I was in great shape. I felt really good. But it’s a tough grind. Last year was the toughest camp I’ve ever experienced. Even in my first year I thought, this is tough. But last year they cranked it up another notch. It’s a little bit difficult, because they don’t see me play in Germany. Basically all they say is: good luck und keep working hard. That’s what I do. In the gym as well. At the rookie-camp you don’t get any feedback. You just work hard for a week. At the other camps they give you a “well done” once in a while, but that’s pretty much it. This year’s trainings-camp will be a whole different animal. How do you approach that? Are you already thinking of the time when the cuts will be made? Well, I will just try my very best. I don’t go in there thinking, I have to make the big team. That’s not going to work. I know I’ll end up in Portland. That’s how I approach it. If the coaches think I can do better than that, that would be absolutely awesome. But in no way will I be disappointed if it is going to be Portland for me. Right now I focus on the nationalteam. But once I’m at the camp, I’m sure I’ll be nervous. To say it will be any different than that would be a lie. Since you got drafted you knew you would have to leave Cologne at some point. Did you prepare for this moment all those years or didn’t you give it any thought at all? For the last two years I knew this day would come. When I got drafted it all seemed so far away. Very far away. I always wanted to win a championship with Cologne. I didn’t accomplish that. I always gave it my best for Cologne. As long as I was playing here I didn’t really think of Buffalo that much. I was watching their game highlights occasionally, but that was pretty much it. While I was playing here I never thought, wow, next year you’ll be in Buffalo or Portland. I didn’t think that right to the end. Then the season was nearing the end and there were only five games left to play, then three and then our final home game. In Ingolstadt, where we played our last game of the season, I sort of thought everything over during the final period. My whole career here just ran like a movie in my mind’s eye. I thought, strange, this is over now. Then I took off the jersey for the last time. At that point it was over. Later that week I enjoyed the season wrap party with the fans. But the sad part is, it’s always over so quick after the season ended. The same goes for the players. The guys all just leave suddenly. You never get to see them again. For example, saying good-bye to Frank Doyle, not knowing where he will play next year. I’ll probably never see him again. Same with Todd Warriner. Within one week after the final game it’s all over. In your dreams, what do the next fifteen to twenty years in your career look like? In my dreams I become a great hockey player – also for the German hockey -, spend many years in the NHL and make a lot of money. My biggest dream would be to win a championship. But the most awesome thing would be to raise the Stanley Cup at some point. There is no bigger dream for any hockey player in the world than to win the Stanley Cup. That would be a dream come true.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Table set for Gogulla move

With their DEL regular season complete, the Cologne Sharks have announced that Philip Gogulla will not return to the club for the 2009-10 season. Failing to make the playoffs a year after reaching the league finals, the 6'2, 198-pound wing finished as the Sharks' third-leading scorer with 17 goals and 38 points on the year. It's not plausible that the Sharks would just dump their 21-year old budding star. So barring an unlikely jump to the SEL or KHL, it appears that Gogulla will finally land in North America for the 2009-10 season as originally planned when he extended his deal with Cologne in May of 2006. With the 2005 pick already under contract (he was "loaned" to Cologne), why not look at the possibility of letting the winger get his feet wet down the stretch this season in Portland? It makes sense to explore the option on a few different levels. Gogulla played 48 of his team's 52 game season. On basic principle, getting as much experience under his belt in one calendar year will only lead to better preparation for the long grind of an 80+ game North American schedule. Inside of that idea, the opportunity to gel with the current Pirates prospects through a playoff run would go a long way towards building chemistry and confidence on and off the ice if a move is indeed pending next fall. He played well with Nathan Gerbe and Marek Zagrapan at the summer development camp, and generally looked good in training camp and preseason contests. His mere presence on the farm could open things up immensely, giving the Pirates a more balanced forward look. Let's also not forget that Gogulla will represent Germany in the Olympics next February. National Team coach Uwe Krupp, a former teammate of Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, should be on the phone encouraging his agent to make the move possible for the development of his young forward. Overall, it seems like a protracted visit could work out well for all parties involved. Until anything happens, we'll continue to wait for more news about Gogulla's future intentions.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

2/27 Recap: Ennis sparkles with six goal night

Reigning WHL Player of the Week Tyler Ennis was a one-man wrecking crew on Friday, connecting for an amazing six goals as Medicine Hat defeated Prince Albert, 6-2. Missing the WHL league record by one goal, the star left wing closed the night with two highlight reel plays to up his 2008-09 season total to 41 in 54 games. Trailing 1-0 to start the second period, the Edmonton native completed a natural hat trick through the first 11:48 to make it 3-1 Tigers entering the third. Minutes after scoring his fourth of the night at 2:48, Ennis shot down the right side past a Raider dman and buried a wraparound for his fifth. His sixth of the night came at 13:24 when he spun to his backhand on a partial break for a roofing finish. The speedster didn't see much action in the final 6:00, completing the most dominating single game performance that the league has seen in years. Tyler Myers was +1 as Kelowna fell to Red Deer, 3-2. The final buzzer saw a minor scrum that earned the defenseman a double minor for roughing and a misconduct. Myers, who has 10 points in February, saw his streak of four straight appearances in the Three Stars of the Game come to an end in the loss. He had earned three firsts and one second in that stretch. Alex Biega (+1) used a blistering left point shot to score the game winning goal as Harvard defeated Quinnipiac, 2-1. The junior defenseman scored his fourth of the year on a 4-4 after brother Michael put the Crimson on the board earlier with his sixth. Harvard is now unbeaten in five games since the Beanpot. Also from the ECAC, senior defenseman Matt Generous did not return from a first period injury as St. Lawrence defeated Union, 2-0. Generous went down with sprained MCL in his left knee after being checked in to the boards by Union's Brian Yanovitch. In Hockey East, Andrew Orpik picked up a late assist as Boston College cruised past Providence, 5-1. Justin Jokinen was even as a left wing in Mankato's 4-3 OT win over Wisconsin. Nick Eno served as Jimmy Spratt's backup as Bowling Green fell to Western Michigan, 5-2. In the QMJHL, Jacob Lagacé (-1) had a power play assist as Chicoutimi came up short in a 6-5 loss to red-hot Rimouski. Trailing 6-3 with just over 14:00 to play, the Sags would score two third period goals but couldn't catch up as the Nics won their 15th consecutive game. Paul Byron had five shots on goal and was stopped in the shootout as Gatineau lost to Lewiston, 2-1. J.S. Allard was even as Quebec lost to Shawinigan, 7-4. T.J. Brennan was -3 in Montreal's 7-3 loss to Drummondville. In OHL action, Drew Schiestel was -2 as Niagara got smoked by Brampton, 6-0. Losers of four of their last five, the struggling Dogs played without defenders Alex Pietrangleo and Reggie Traccitto. Now sitting at -25, Schiestel is among the bottom four for all league skaters in the category. In Germany, Philip Gogulla had two shots on goal in Cologne's 5-2 loss to Mannheim.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

2/22 Recap: Myers wires 8th; Allard, Lagacé roll fours

In the WHL, Tyler Myers (+2) continued his strong play in the 2009 calendar year by scoring the shorthanded winner in Kelowna's 4-1 win over Chilliwack. With his second game winner in as many nights, and eighth of the season, Myers earned the game's #2 star. The clinchers were his first two of the season and the first ever time he's scored in back-to-back games, while the weekend also saw the first two-goal game of his career on Saturday. Watching the gliding rearguard over the weekend reveals a player who, if able to maintain the pace and momentum since returning from Team Canada, will likely get some level of NHL exposure next season. In QMJHL play, J.S. Allard shook off a costly turnover on Saturday by scoring a goal and three assists on Sunday as Quebec doubled up Halifax, 8-4. Allard notched his 15th of the season while earning secondary helpers on three of Mikhail Stefanovich's four goals. The four-point night was Allard's highest single game output of the season. In Chicoutimi, Jacob Lagacé scored a goal and added three assists as the Sagueneens outlasted Baie-Comeau, 8-6. The 2008 fifth-rounder also fired seven shots on goal while blocking five. T.J. Brennan set up the game winning goal on the power play as Montreal defeated Bathurst, 4-1. Steady in both ends, Brennan was named the game's #3 star. Drew Schiestel was even as Niagara defeated Ottawa in overtime, 4-3. The defenseman was on the ice for a first period goal against, but wiped it off as the Dogs tied the game with :22 left in regulation. In Michigan, Nick Crawford finished -2 in Saginaw's 4-1 loss to Plymouth. In the DEL, Philip Gogulla had an assist as Cologne lost to Straubing, 7-5. The 6'2 wing spent most of the third period in the penalty box after getting ten for arguing a hooking call.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2/20 Recap: CHLers produce; Eidsness shines

Tyler Ennis had a goal and an assist as Medicine Hat defeated Lethbridge, 6-3. Ennis scored his 31st of the season when he pounced on a rebound from the end boards in the second period. Luca Sbisa (PHI), who leveled Ennis with a big hit in the contest, scored his first goal since returning from the NHL. The two teams will play it back on Saturday. Tyler Myers (-2) had no points but set the pace for Kelowna in their 6-2 win at Western Conference leader Vancouver. The towering defender made physical statements early, and logged monster minutes throughout en route to earning the game's first star. In the OHL, Nick Crawford scored his seventh goal of the season as Saginaw upended Erie, 6-4. Crawford recorded a season-best +4 on the evening after notching a season-low -3 on Monday. Drew Schiestel scored on the power play in Niagara's 4-2 loss to Kingston. Schiestel's eighth of the season put the Dogs up 2-0 before giving up four unanswered goals to the Fronts in the final period and a half. In the QMJHL, Jacob Lagacé had a goal and an assist as Chicoutimi downed Gatineau, 5-3. The goal, Lagacé's 28th through 55 games played, came off a solid second effort down low. Les Olympiques leading scorer Paul Byron did not make the trip due to illness. T.J. Brennan returned from his five-game suspension, posting an assist for Montreal in their 3-1 win over PEI. Jordon Southorn had a game-high five hits for the Rocket in defeat. The Rocket's anchor has gone six games without a point, and hasn't scored a goal since December 19th. J.S. Allard (+2) assisted on an empty net goal as Quebec defeated Bathurst, 5-2. Allard now has points in two games after forming a line with Kelsey Tessier (COL) at center and Mikhail Stefanovich (TOR) on the opposite wing. In Germany, Philip Gogulla scored his 17th goal of the season as Cologne lost a 4-3 shootout to Sinupret. Gogulla was the only Sharks shooter to connect in the deciding frame. In NCAA play, Brad Eidsness came up huge, making 25 saves as North Dakota won at Anchorage, 2-1 in OT. Keeping his team in the game late, Eidsness moves his record to 19-8-3 on the season. Harvard's Alex Biega (+1) posted five shots on goal as Harvard played to a 2-2 tie with #20 St. Lawrence. Despite not getting a point, it was a long headman pass from the junior defender that set-up the first Crimson tally. Matt Generous was even for the Saints. Andrew Orpik was -1 as Boston College lost to New Hampshire, 3-2. Nick Eno watched as Bowling Green dropped a 3-2 decision to Michigan State.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Allard breaks out for three

J.S. Allard (+3) had two goals and an assist as Quebec downed Chicoutimi, 8-2. Allard opened scoring just :14 in, and later added his 14th of the season in the third period to earn the game's #2 star. Jacob Lagacé had an assist for the Sags in the loss. In the DEL, Philip Gogulla was even with three shots on goal as Cologne fell to Krefeld, 3-1. Dennis Persson was -1 in 11:41 of work in Timra's 4-1 loss to Djurgardens. On Monday, Nick Crawford was a season-low -3 as Saginaw lost to Oshawa, 7-5. Crawford has been a plus player just once in seven February games. Tyler Myers was even as Kelowna came up short against Portland, 4-3. In Sunday QMJHL action, Lagacé potted his 27th of the season on the power play as Chicoutimi lost a 3-2 shootout to Baie-Comeau. Lagacé added seven shots on goal to earn the game's #2 star. Paul Byron had an assist and five shots on goal as Gatineau lost to Montreal, 4-3. Rounding out the OHL weekend, Drew Schiestel finished +1 as Niagara defeated Kingston, 4-1. Amidst a career offensive year, the defenseman has now gone five games without a point for the first time all season. 2009 prospect Ethan Werek had a goal for the Fronts. Also from Sunday, Gogulla had an assist in Cologne's 8-5 win over Hannover.