If rumours do make the junior hockey world go around then the old mill is really turning.
Rampant rumours are running through the (in alphabetical order) Canadian International Hockey League, Midwest Jr. Hockey League, North American Hockey League and Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Easton Hockey for the week ending January 25, 2015. The Easton Hockey Divisional Stars of the Week is a weekly feature during the 2014-15 regular season that honors the top performing players in each of the four NAHL divisions. Only players that are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the Divisional Players of the Week award.
Soo Eagle Trevor Cope was named North Division’s 2nd star. Cope had two goals and an assist on Friday night, and was a +3, as his goals helped spur an Eagle’s comeback, and a hard-fought road victory against the Michigan Warriors.
Soo Eagle’s forward, Chase Mattson, earned an honorable mention.
Soo Eagles have completed a four-player exchange with the Odessa Jackalopes.
In a North American Hockey League trade finalized late Tuesday, the Eagles have acquired hard-hitting, 1995 birth-year defenceman Jake Hamilton and energetic, 1995 birth-year forward Leo Lumm from Odessa.
Heading from the Eagles to the Jackalopes are 1996 birth-year defender Drew Holcombe and 1995 birth-year forward Nick Keck.
“We were looking to add some veteran experience and we did so with this trade,” Eagles coach-general manager Bruno Bragagnolo told HockeyNewsNorth.com. “These are two guys who should be able to come in and take a regular shift for us.”
Hamilton, a big blueliner who plays it tough, racked up 125 penalty minutes with Odessa this season.
Lumm had 7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points for the Jackalopes, who have the worst record in the 24-team NAHL.
The Eagles, who are in third place, just one point out of second spot in the NAHL’s North Division, are home to the Janesville Jets for games on Friday (7:30) and Saturday (7:00) at Pullar Stadium.
Janesville is in first place in the North Division.
NAHL Top Prospect coaches, team breakdown announced
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the number of players that will represent each team at next month’s NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, presented by Easton, which will be held from February 23-24, 2015 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Michigan, along with the teams’ coaches.
The number of players each NAHL team can to send to the tournament, in which four teams from the four NAHL divisions: Central, Midwest, North and South and a special fifth NAHL Selects team, will each play in two game games, is based on each team’s winning percentage within their group as of January 18, 2015. For the Central Division, the Minot Minotauros (.718) will send five players, the Austin Bruins (.641) will send four, the Bismarck Bobcats (.538), Aberdeen Wings (.462) and Brookings Blizzard (.444) will each send three. To round out the Central Division team, the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, who are the 7th place team in the South, will send two representatives. The head coach of the Central team will be Marty Murray from the Minot Minotauros and the assistant coach will be Chris Tok from the Austin Bruins.
It’s part of a never-ending search to try to improve the hockey team.
And at the same time, it allows the coaching and scouting staff the opportunity to evaluate a player up close.
Soo Eagles of the North American Hockey League are known for bringing in select players from lower-level programs over the course of the season. The usual process involves bringing in a player for a week of practice to see how he measures up with those already on the Eagles roster.
After three days of practice, if the Eagles like the player in question, they can either sign him for the rest of the season, tender him for the following campaign or put him on their list of prospects for the annual NAHL draft.
“It gives us the opportunity to take a really close look at a player and have our staff evaluates him,” said Eagles coach-general manager Bruno Bragagnolo. “And it also gives the player the opportunity to practice with us and see how he fits in at the NAHL level.”
One such player who will head to Sault Ste. Marie to skate and practice with the Eagles before the end of the month is Jacob Hernandez, a 1995-birth-year forward with the Detroit Fighting Irish of the Midwest Jr. Hockey League.
In just 23 games with Detroit thus far this 2014-2015 MWJHL season, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Hernandez has 19 goals, 12 assists, 31 points and has racked up 104 penalty minutes.
“You just know never know when you are going to find a diamond-in-the-rough,” reasoned Tom Farnquist, the reputable chief scout of the NAHL Eagles.
The Soo Eagles are committed to developing a tradition of academic
growth, athletic skills, leadership, self-esteem, self discipline,
integrity, teamwork and sportsmanship. We will provide this opportunity
through the NAHL Tier Two Junior Hockey League as well as having the
players involved in the community of Sault Ste. Marie in many projects.