By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Archive for the ‘Erie Otters’ category
Posted: July 2nd, 2014

A look back
The past selections in the CHL Import Draft:

Year Pos. Name (pick) Home country Career statistics
1996 D Arvid Rekis (21st) Latvia 25 G, 138 Pts, 337 PIM – 242 GP (1996-2000)
1996 RW Vadim Sharapov (50th) Russia 34 G, 77 Pts, 220 PIM – 118 GP (1996-98)
1998 RW Nikita Alexeev (5th) Russia 72 G, 160 Pts, 101 PIM – 189 GP (1998-2001)
1999 LW Ivan Huml (52nd) Czech Republic Did not report
2000 RW Lubor Dibelka (29th) Czech Republic Did not report
2001 C Alex Karaulchuk (47th) Ukraine 39 G, 97 Pts, 345 PIM – 185 GP (2001-04)
2001 LW/C Michal Kokavec (55th) Slovakia 7 G, 14 Pts, 49 PIM – 66 GP (2001-02)
2002 C Tomas Galasek (51st) Czech Republic 23 G, 41 Pts, 107 PIM – 184 GP (2002-05)
2003 C Ilya Yakovlev (12th) Russia Did not report
2004 LW Vladimir Tufykov (32nd) Russia 0 Pts, 0 PIM – 1 GP (2004-05)
2005 D Ivan Maximkin (28th) Russia Did not report
2005 LW Christian Seest Olsen (72nd) Denmark 3 G, 16 Pts, 24 PIM – 69 GP (2005-07)
2006 RW Stanislav Polodna (12th) Czech Republic 10 G, 35 Pts, 27 PIM – 84 GP (2006-07)
2007 G Jaroslav Janus (2nd) Slovakia 45-53-7-2, 3.69 GAA, .902 save pct. (2007-09)
2008 C/W Edgar Rybakov (4th) Lithuania 0 G, 1 Pt – 23 GP (2008-09)
2009 G Ramis Sadikov (36th) Russia 51-50-5-5 record, 3.53 GAA, .901 save pct., 2 shutouts (2009-11)
2010 F Tim Tankeev (29th) Russia 0 Pts, 3 GP (2010-11)
2011 LW Sondre Olden (31st) Norway 11 goals, 32 points – 48 games (2011-Present)
2011 C Vladimir Tkachev (37th) Russia Did not report
2012 G Oscar Dansk (3rd) Sweden 40-32-4-3, 3.25 GAA, .897 save pct., 6 shutouts (2012-Present)
2012 D Artem Kuleshov (63rd) Russia 4 points, 35 PIM – 50 GP (2012-13)
2013 RW Andre Burakovsky (5th) Austria 41 goals, 87 points – 57 GP (2013-Present)
Note: The Otters made no selections in 1997. 

Posted: June 29th, 2014

Here’s a list of the 41 OHL players selected in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft this weekend at Wells Fargo Center in Phiadelphia…

No. Pos. Name (OHL club) – NHL club
First round
1. D Aaron Ekblad (Barrie) – Florida
4. C Sam Bennett (Kingston) – Calgary
5. LW Michael Dal Colle (Oshawa) – N.Y. Islanders
10. LW Nick Ritchie (Peterborough) – Anaheim
12. LW Brendan Perlini (Niagara) – Arizona
19. D Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia) – Tampa Bay
21. C Robby Fabbri (Guelph) – St. Louis
24. C Jared McCann (Sault Ste. Marie) – Vancouver
27. RW Nikolay Goldobin (Sarnia) – San Jose
28. C/RW Joshua Ho-Sang (Windsor) – N.Y. Islanders

Second round
31. LW Brendan Lemieux (Barrie) – Buffalo
37. G Alex Nedeljkovic (Plymouth) – Carolina
43. C Ryan MacInnis (Kitchener) – Arizona
44. C Eric Cornel (Peterborough) – Buffalo
50. D Roland McKeown (Kingston) – Los Angeles
54. RW Hunter Smith (Oshawa) – Calgary
58. LW Christian Dvorak (London) – Arizona
59. G Brandon Halverson (Sault Ste. Marie) – N.Y. Rangers
60. D Alex Lintuniemi (Ottawa) – Los Angeles

Third round
71. RW Connor Chatham (Plymouth) – New Jersey
75. D Alex Peters (Plymouth) – Dallas
77. D Blake Siebenaler (Niagara) – Columbus
81. LW Dylan Sadowy (Saginaw) – San Jose
84. D Kyle Wood (North Bay) – Colorado
90. C Michael Amadio (North Bay) – Los Angeles

Fourth round
93. RW Nick Magyar (Kitchener) – Colorado
96. D Josh Wesley (Plymouth) – Carolina
115. G Brent Moran (Niagara) – Dallas
117. LW Michael Bunting (Sault Ste. Marie) – Arizona

Sixth round
154. D Aaron Haydon (Niagara) – Dallas
156. C Kyle Pettit (Erie) – Vancouver
157. C Jake Marchment (Belleville) – Los Angeles
170. LW Cristiano DiGiacinto (Windsor) – Tampa Bay
171. RW Kevin Labanc (Barrie) – San Jose
172. RW Chandler Yakimowicz (London) – St. Louis
173. RW Jaden Lindo (Owen Sound) – Pittsburgh
180. LW Matthew Mistele (Plymouth) – Los Angeles

Seventh round
187. D Kyle Jenkins (Sault Ste. Marie) – Carolina
195. D Patrick Sanvido (Windsor) – Dallas
209. RW Spencer Watson (Kingston) – Los Angeles
210. D Jacob Middleton (Ottawa) – Los Angeles


Posted: June 26th, 2014

The 2014 NHL Entry Draft has been described as wide open with several players capable of being the No. 1 pick.
That may be true, yet the player that should be picked first overall tonight at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia seems simple to me – Barrie D Aaron Ekblad. Why? Because I’ve always

Aaron Ekblad

believed you build a winning team from back to front.
Ekblad is the total package on defense – a big (6-4, 217 pounds) shutdown D who’s strong, physical, quick and agile on his skates. He can produce consistently on the offensive end, and has the hockey intelligence to spearhead the power play.
The Florida Panthers, who have the No. 1 pick, already have promising young D on the roster – Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov – but they should pounce on Ekblad quickly. If not, the Buffalo Sabres should say thanks to the Panthers for passing on him, and quickly make Ekblad their pick at No. 2.

Check out these videos on Ekblad and other top draft prospects

Now check out some mock drafts…

* Ryan Kennedy from The Hockey News

* overview
*’s Adam Kimelman
*’s Mike G. Morreale
*’s Steven Hoffner

First-round order 
1. Florida
2. Buffalo
3. Edmonton
4. Calgary
5. N.Y. Islanders
6. Vancouver
7. Carolina
8. Toronto
9. Winnipeg
10. Anaheim (from Ottawa)
11. Nashville
12. Arizona
13. Washington
14. Dallas
15. Detroit
16. Columbus
17. Philadelphia
18. Minnesota
19. Tampa Bay
20. San Jose
21. Buffalo (conditional from St. Louis)
22. Pittsburgh
23. Colorado
24. Anaheim
25. Boston
26. Montreal
27. Chicago
28. Tampa Bay (from N.Y. Rangers)
29. Los Angeles
30. New Jersey 



Posted: June 25th, 2014

Erie Otters C Dylan Strome joins 42 other CHL players that are invited to attend Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Selection Camp, which runs from Aug. 2-5 at Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary, Alberta. The camp will help determine the 22-player team that will represent Canada at the 2014 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup from Aug. 11-16 in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia. Canada has won that tournament 6 straight times and 9 of the last 10 years.
Here are the 15 OHL players invited to camp:

Justin Lemcke (Belleville)
Garrett McFadden (Guelph)
Matthew Spencer (Peterborough)
Mitchell Vande Sompel (Oshawa)

Lawson Crouse (Kingston)
Sam Harding (Oshawa)
Graham Knott (Niagara)
Travis Konecny (Ottawa)
Mitchell Marner (London)
Hayden McCool (Niagara)
Brett McKenzie (North Bay)
Blake Speers (Sault Ste. Marie)
Mitchell Stephens (Saginaw)
Dylan Strome (Erie)
Ethan Szypula (Owen Sound)

Posted: June 24th, 2014

The Erie Otters will headline opening night of the 2014-15 OHL season, when they visit Saginaw Sept. 24 at Dow Event Center in a rematch of a Western Conference first-round series won by the Otters in five games this past season. The other game features Kitchener traveling to Owen Sound for a Midwest Division matchup.
The league will unveil the complete season schedule on Wednesday.

Posted: May 17th, 2014

Shaun Bily is experiencing life in the OHL this weekend during the Erie Otters’ rookie development at Mercyhurst Ice Center.
But it could be Otters’ main camp in August before he chooses between the OHL and the NCAA.
“I’m undecided,” said Bily, the Otters’ third-round pick in last month’s Priority Selection who last October committed to join Northeastern as part of the Hockey East Association school’s 2016-17 recruiting class. “This is a great place. I see a lot of potential here. This is definitely a place where you can develop and get ready for the next level. Education wise, Northeastern is one of the best. There’s a lot of things that play into it. I’m just going to figure it out as I go.”
Bily broke his leg after getting tangled up with an opposing player while taking a faceoff against Detroit-based Victory Honda in the opening game of the 2013-14 season with the New Jersey Titans U16 club. He essentially missed the entire season.
While he recovered, Bily figured Northeastern was the best option. Then the Otters drafted a center with first-round potential.
“I got the feeling he wanted to play here,” said managing partner/GM Sherry Bassin, who planned to speak further with Bily and his family this weekend. “It’s a heck of an opportunity for him.”
* Making names for themselves: C Trent Fox (13th round, 2013) showed some glimpses of his brother, former Otters LW Dane Fox - who set a franchise record and led the CHL with 64 goals this past season – during Saturday’s scrimmage.
The younger Fox scored twice – once off a rebound, another with a strong move through two defenseman before scoring off a backhand. But fans shouldn’t expect a 64-goal season in his future. “I’m a different player,” he said. “I just work hard every shift. … I’ll get pucks deep and go to work on their defense. He’s a pretty skilled guy. He’s got a nice shot.”
LW Kyle Maksimovich (3rd round, 2014), younger brother of F Quentin Maksimovich, displayed speed and stick skills, especially when teamed with newly signed free-agent C Alex DeBrincat. “It’s pretty fast-paced. You’ve got to get going to keep with the guys,” the younger Maksimovich said. “I”ve just got to come here and work hard and compete.
Check out what RW Taylor Raddysh (1st round, 2014) had to say about being at camp and the help he’s received from his older brother, D Darren Raddysh by clicking the above link.
* Filling in on D: The Otters lose OA Spencer Abraham and could lose Troy Donnay (N.Y. Rangers), Kurtis MacDermid (Los Angeles) and Adam Pelech (N.Y. Islanders) to the professional ranks. So there are spots up for grabs on the blue line for the 2014-15 season. “I think the younger guys are going to have to play a bigger role,” Jesse Saban (2nd round, 2013) said. “We’re going to have to step in and fill the same role” played by promising young Ds Raddysh and Travis Dermott.
“Hopefully we can make it happen,” Saban said.
* Memorable experience: Millcreek Township native Nick Wilcox is the only local player participating in camp.
“It’s really hard work, and it’s lot of fun,” said Wilcox, a junior at McDowell who played for the West Seneca (N.Y.) Wings and Fairview High School this past season. “I was nervous in the beginning, but I got over that. I started having a lot of fun.”
He wants to use this experience to prepare to play for the Buffalo Regals U18 team. “The guys that are here have worked as hard as me,” he said. “I see how good they are. I try to build off that. I feel like I’m going to carry it over into my season.”

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: May 15th, 2014

Mastercard Memorial Cup schedule
at Budweiser Gardens – London, Ontario 
Friday – Val d’Or (QMJHL champion) vs. London (Host club), 7 p.m.
Saturday – Guelph (OHL champion) vs. Edmonton (WHL champion), 4 p.m.
Sunday – London vs. Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Monday – Guelph vs. Val d’Or, 7 p.m.
Tuesday – Edmonton vs. Val d’Or, 7 p.m.
Wednesday – London vs. Guelph, 7 p.m.
Thursday – Tie-breaker game (if necessary), 7 p.m.
Friday – Semifinal, 7 p.m.
Sunday – Championship game, TBD

Posted: May 14th, 2014

OHL All-Star Team
First team (voting points in parentheses)

C – Scott Laughton, Oshawa (62)
LW – Dane Fox, Erie (83)
RW – Connor Brown, Erie (88)
D – Aaron Ekblad, Barrie (93)
D – Slater Koekkoek, Windsor (55)
G – Alex Nedeljkovic, Plymouth (67)
Coach – D.J. Smith, Oshawa (48)

Second Team
C – Connor McDavid, Erie (61)
LW Michael Dal Colle, Oshawa (28)
RW – Scott Kosmachuk, Guelph (50)
D – Adam Pelech, Erie (52)
D – Nikita Zadorov, London (51)
G – Matt Murray, Sault Ste. Marie (57)
Coach – Kris Knoblauch, Erie (47)

Third Team
C – Sam Bennett, Kingston (38)
LW – Max Domi, London (23)
RW – Nick Baptiste, Sudbury (19)
D – Darnell Nurse, Sault Ste. Marie (34)
D – Matt Finn, Guelph (27)
G – Oscar Dansk, Erie (29)
Coach – Scott Walker, Guelph (38)


Posted: May 9th, 2014

Erie Otters Fs Connor Brown and Connor McDavid captured OHL awards. Now they have a chance to add CHL honors to their resume. The CHL announced today the finalists for 10 major awards that will be presented at the league’s annual Awards Ceremony on May 24 in London, Ontario. Brown, the OHL’s reigning Red Tilson Trophy winner as Most Outstanding Player, is a nominee for Sportsnet Player of the Year and Chrysler Dodge Top Scorer. McDavid is nominated for Subway Scholastic Player of the Year and Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year.

Here are the finalists for those four awards:

Sportsnet Player of the Year
Connor Brown (Erie – OHL)
Anthony Mantha (Val-d-Or – QMJHL)
Sam Reinhart (Kootenay – WHL)

Chrysler Dodge Top Scorer
Connor Brown (Erie – OHL
Mitch Holmberg (Spokane – WHL)
Anthony Mantha (Val-d’Or – QMJHL)

Subway Scholastic Player of the Year
Jeremy Gregoire (Baie-Comeau – QMJHL)
Connor McDavid (Erie – OHL)
Nelson Nogier (Saskatoon – WHL) Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year
Frederik Gaudreau (Drummondville – QMJHL)
Connor McDavid (Erie – OHL)
Sam Reinhart (Kootenay – WHL)


Posted: May 7th, 2014

Erie Otters Prospect Development Camp
May 16-18 at Mercyhurst Ice Center

May 17
11am-Noon — Team Blue practice
Noon-1pm — Team Red practice
6:30-8:30pm — Inter-squad game

May 18
7:45-9:45am — Inter-squad game
Note: On-ice sessions are open to the public


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