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
Posts tagged ‘nhl central scouting’
Posted: August 19th, 2014

Darren Raddysh

Darren Raddysh

Erie Otters D Darren Raddysh began the 2013-14 season with the promise that was on display during a 24-game stint with the club a season earlier.
He built on that promise in the opening half of the season, as he earned a regular shift on a veteran-laden defense. Then it went downhill, in a hurry, for Raddysh.
By the end of the regular season, he had a difficult time cracking the lineup. He dressed for only two of 14 playoff games. Then he slipped out of NHL Central Scouting’s list of draft prospects before being passed over in the June draft.
Raddysh admitted he didn’t work as hard as possible as the season progressed. That can’t happen this season, not a defense that will lose most, if not all, of that veteran unit. Raddysh has the ability to be a consistent performer. He isn’t the most dynamic player on the blue line. But Raddysh is at his best when he makes simple plays at both ends of the ice. He did that early in the season. Yet he seemed overmatched later in the season, which led to glaring mistakes.
Raddysh has plenty of motivation to raise his game this season – the opportunity to get a regular shift as a top-four D, and a chance to prove he deserves to be drafted next summer. Now he simply has to make that happen.

- Victor Fernandes

Up next: The Otters lose plenty of scorers from the 2013-14 club. So role players like Nick Betz, Jake Evans and Kyle Pettit need to step up to the forefront. Find out more Tuesday on the Shootout blog and on Twitter at

* Let’s talk Otters: Join Victor Fernandes for the training camp edition of Otters Talk on Monday from 7-8 p.m. by heading to the Shootout blog. Can’t join in at that time? Post your questions on Twitter at or send an e-mail to, and then check out a recap of the chat on Shootout and Twitter.

Posted: January 14th, 2014

Check out NHL Central Scouting’s full list of prospects in the midterm rankings for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and then find out why the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday in Calgary, Alberta, will play a key role in how the draft unfolds…

Posted: April 24th, 2013

Erie Otters winger Stephen Harper stood 128th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, which was released Wednesday. Harper, 18, slid 90 spots down the list after being picked 38th in the midterm rankings released in January. He had 18 goals and 38 points in 67 games this season after totaling 24 goals and 35 points in 63 games as a rookie in the 2011-12 OHL season.
Otters winger Nick Betz, 17, doesn’t appear in the final rankings after standing 106th among North American skaters on the midterm list. He had four goals and 12 points in 44 games this season. He missed two months of the season’s opening half recovering from an appendectomy.
Defenseman Seth Jones (Portland, WHL) and goaltender Zachary Fucale (Halifax, QMJHL) top the list among North American skaters and goaltenders, respectively. Sault Ste. Marie defenseman Darnell Nurse and Ottawa center Sean Monahan rank among the top five skaters, while Mississauga’s Spencer Martin ranks fifth among goaltenders. The Finnish-born duo of Aleksander Barkov and Juuse Saros top the list of European skaters and goaltenders, respectively. The NHL Entry Draft is set for June 30 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Posted: November 20th, 2012

Erie Otters winger Stephen Harper stands eighth among OHL skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary rankings for next summer’s NHL Entry Draft, which was released Tuesday. Ottawa center Sean Monahan tops the list, followed by Sault Ste. Marie defenseman Darnell Nurse, Windsor winger Kerby Rychel and London’s frontlin duo of Max Domi and Bo Horvat. Mississauga’s Spencer Martin headlines the list of the OHL’s top goaltenders, followed by Peterborough’s Michael Guigovaz and Barrie’s Alex Fotinos.

Posted: October 27th, 2012

Erie Otters winger Nick Betz had a 103-degree temperature Wednesday night. So club officials initially thought he had the flu.
However, his condition was much worse. Betz underwent emergency surgery Friday night for a ruptured appendix, Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, confirmed before Saturday night’s game against the Sarnia Sting at Erie Insurance Arena. Betz will miss a minimum of six to eight weeks, Bassin said, because the surgeons “had to cut him open.”
The absence of Betz leaves a sizeable hole in the Otters’ lineup. Betz, a 6-foot 5-inch, 210-pounder from Clinton Township, Mich., had been playing alongside Jake Evans and Stephen Harper on the No. 2 line this season. Second-year winger Travis Wood, a converted defenseman, has moved up on the second line after starting the season on the fourth line. The Otters already are without frontline center Dane Fox, who hasn’t played in a game this season because he’s recovering from surgery on a broken bone in his left foot.
“It seems to be that time of year,” said Bassin, referring to his club’s rash of serious injuries to key players the past few years. “We should be expecting it. It seems to happen so often.” Betz, who joins Harper and Fox on NHL Central Scouting’s watch list of prospects for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has two goals, five points and nine penalty minutes in 11 games after totaling five goals, 14 points and 45 penalty minutes in 61 games as a rookie a season ago.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: June 27th, 2012

The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League selected Swedish goaltender Oscar Dansk (DAHN-sk) from Brynäs of the Elitserien with the third overall selection in the 2012 CHL Import Draft Wednesday morning.

Born February 28, 1994 in Stockholm, the 6-foot-2, 187-pound Dansk was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the 31st overall pick of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Dansk was ranked second among European goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting in their final rankings for the draft.

In 28 games in the junior-level Super Elitserien, Dansk had a 2.82 goals-against-average and a save percentage of .910 with Brynäs. He also won a silver medal with Sweden at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 World Championships.

Dansk has previously played in North America with the storied Shattuck-St. Mary’s program in Minnesota, which has produced hockey superstars such as Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, New Jersey Devils left wing Zach Parise and Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews.

Elite Prospects describes Dansk as “A very agile goalie with a large frame. Plays a hybrid style of play. Solid technical skills and is also strong mentally. Uses his size to his advantage and cuts off angles well. A good competitor.”

The Otters will select their next player in the 63rd spot.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Moncton Wildcats used the first overall pick to select Russia left wing Ivan Barbashev. The Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League selected German left wing Leon Draisaitl with the second overall pick.

- From Erie Otters news release

Posted: April 9th, 2012

Erie Otters center Dane Fox stands 46th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, which was released Monday. Five teammates join him on the list, including first-tim selection Luke Cairns. The veteran center is considered No. 189 among North American skaters after not appearing on Central Scouting’s preliminary and midterm lists.
Right wing Connor Brown (No. 110 from No. 85 in the midterm rankings) as well as defensemen Adam Pelech (No. 120 from No. 54), Troy Donnay (No. 122 from No. 115) and Liam Maaskant(No. 195 from No. 134) slipped down the list.
Former Otters winger Chris Marchese, now with Windsor, stands at No. 122. Center Drake Caggiula, the Otters’ third-round pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection, appears at No. 185. Caggiula, who played for Stouffville in the Ontario Junior A Hockey League this season, has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at North Dakota.
Sarnia’s duo of right wing Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk rank first and fourth, respectively, followed by Ottawa defenseman Cody Ceci (sixth), Kitchener center Radek Faksa (seventh) and London defenseman Olli Maatta (eighth). Belleville’s Malcolm Subban (first), Saginaw’s Jake Paterson (third) and Kitchener’s Frank Palazzese (ninth) rank among the top 10 North American goaltenders.
The NHL draft takes place June 22-23 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Check out the the complete rankings by clicking on the link.

Posted: January 11th, 2012

Third-year forward Dane Fox and second-year defenseman Adam Pelech headline five Erie Otters named to NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings for the NHL Entry Draft in June.

Fox, 18, who was acquired along with second-year defenseman Troy Donnay from London last week, stands 48th among North American skaters. Pelech, 17, is six spots back at No. 54. Rookie winger Connor Brown, 17, stands at No. 85. Donnay, 17, and rookie defenseman Liam Maaskant, 17, are Nos. 115 and 134, respectively.

Former Otters winger Chris Marchese, who was traded to Windsor for winger Anthony Cortellessa last month, stands at No. 97. Center Drake Caggiula, the Otters’ third-round pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection, is at No. 197. He plays for Stouffville in the Ontario Junior A Hockey League and has committed to the University of North Dakota.

Sarnia winger Nail Yakupov ranks first overall among North American skaters. The OHL has eight other skaters among the top 20 – Kitchener C Radek Faksa (No. 4), London D Olli Maatta (No. 6), Belleville C Brendan Gaunce (No. 11), Guelph D Matthew Finn (No. 15), Ottawa D Cody Ceci (No. 16), Peterborough D Slater Koekkoek (No. 17), Belleville LW Daniil Zharkov (No. 19) and Owen Sound C Gemel Smith (No. 20). Belleville’s Malcolm Subban ranks first among North American goaltenders.

Check out the complete lists on, including the top European goaltenders. Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, has said the 2012 CHL Import Draft in June features goaltenders that could be selected in the first round of the NHL draft.

Bassin likely will focus on the CHL draft to find a goaltender to replace overager Ramis Sadikov next season. Rookie backup Devin Williams, who has played 18 minutes in his brief OHL career, is currently the most experienced prospect in the organization.





Posted: January 10th, 2011

TORONTO (January 10, 2011) – Left wing Gabriel Landeskog (Kitchener Rangers) of the Ontario Hockey League and defenseman Adam Larsson (Skelleftea AIK) of the Swedish Elite League were named the top draft-eligible skaters from North America and Europe, respectively, as the NHL Central Scouting Bureau released its mid-season rankings on Monday.

The Swedish duo — Landeskog from Stockholm, Larsson from Skelleftea – aim to be the first Swedish player selected first overall in the NHL Entry Draft since Mats Sundin was selected in 1989 (Quebec Nordiques).

Landeskog, in his second season with the Kitchener Rangers will appear in studio tonight on NHL Network’s On the Fly along with NHL Vice President of Central Scouting E.J. McGuire. Landeskog became the youngest player in 30 years to be named captain of Kitchener and the first European captain in the 48-year history of the Rangers’ franchise. Despite being currently sidelined by an ankle injury, he has 25 goals in 32 games to lead the Rangers in goal scoring this season.

A 6-3, 200-pound defenseman, Larsson was a towering presence for Team Sweden at the 2011 World Junior Championship and is competing in the Swedish Elite League. In 2009-10, he posted 17 points (4-13-17) to equal the record for most points by a defenseman under the age of 18.

Two players with connections to the Erie Otters are on the North American skaters list – left wing David Broll (No. 78), who was traded to Sault Ste. Marie on Monday in the Brett Thompson deal; and former draft pick Michael Mersch (No. 63), who now attends the University of Wisconsin.

- From NHL news release, Victor Fernandes

Posted: October 20th, 2010

Fairview native Eric Rex has always felt at home in Mercyhurst Ice Center.

But that feeling has rubbed off on the rest of the Canisius College hockey team.

The Golden Griffins extended their win streak at MIC to five straight games with a 5-2 Atlantic Hockey Association win against Mercyhurst in front of 793 Tuesday night. “It’s exciting every time I come here,” said Rex, a senior forward who had a goal and assist. “It’s even better when we leave with a win.”

Canisius won five of six meetings with the Lakers last season, including all four in Erie. The Golden Griffins’ final two wins – in the AHA Tournament quarterfinals – ended the Lakers’ season.

Both teams are evenly matched, Rex said. Their styles are similar, too. Yet Canisius (2-1-0, 1-0-0 AHA) has enjoyed the upper hand. “It comes down to who wants it more in the end,” Rex said.

Lakers coach Rick Gotkin praised his team’s effort. The Lakers (0-3-1, 0-1-0) held two of the nation’s top offensive performers – seniors Cory Conacher and Vincent Scarsella – to a combined one point and the Golden Griffins’ normally dangerous power play to an 0-for-6 outing.

“We had too many mental lapses,” Gotkin said. Rex’s line capitalized on the Lakers’ miscues.

Rex and freshmen Ryan Bohrer and Kyle Gibbons combined for three goals and five points in their first game as linemates. Gibbons recorded the first two goals and three points of his collegiate career.

Gibbons turned an errant pass in the Lakers’ zone into a momentum-changing goal 9 minutes, 16 seconds into the opening period. That goal tied the score at 1 seven minutes after Lakers senior Ryan Raven opened the scoring with a short-handed goal.

“I feel like we clicked well,” Gibbons said. “Hopefully we’ll stay together and do well in the future.”

Gibbons scored again late in the second, with Rex earning an assist, 28 seconds after Matt Zuke snapped the 1-1 tie. Mercyhurst moved within 3-2 on freshman Taylor Holstrom’s power-play goal 4:25 into the third. But Rex scored with 8:55 left to regain a two-goal lead. He has two goals and four points in three games last season. That surpasses his total from last season (two goals, two points in nine games).

“They clearly were the better team,” Gotkin said. “We’ve just got to find a way to get better.”

The Lakers are struggling mightily on offense. Since totaling four goals in a season-opening tie against then-No. 4 Michigan, they have scored five goals in the past three regular-season games.

“I don’t think we’re getting some bounces out there. Pucks aren’t going in for us right now,” senior forward Mike Gurtler said. “I think guys are pressing. We’ve got to start finding the back of the net.”

Gurtler gave credit to the Golden Griffins for their play. But the Lakers’ struggles against them begins at home – as in their dressing room. “I don’t think it’s so much their team,” he said. “It’s more our team, what goes on her with us. We need to get better.”

* News and notes: Lakers goaltender Ryan Zapolski, an Erie native, completed his five-game suspension for violating team rules. The senior goaltender should play in Sunday’s exhibition game against the United States National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team. … Rex and Goebel were teammates with the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets, a now-defunct team from the United States Hockey League. … The Golden Griffins arrived late because of a blown bus tire. The start of the game was delayed by 10 minutes. … Brennan Serville, a defenseman in Canisius’ 2011 rookie class, appears on NHL Central Scouting’s North American players to watch list for the 2011 draft. Serville, a defenseman, plays for the Stouffville Spirit in the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

VICTOR FERNANDES can be reached at 870-1716 or by e-mail.


Canisius 5, Mercyhurst 2

Canisius  1  2  2  —  5

Mercyhurst  1  0  1  —  2

1st Period — 1. Ryan Raven 2 (Jones), 2:18 (sh). 2. Canisius, Kyle Gibbons 1 (unassisted), 9:16. Penalties — Gurtler (M) boarding, :19; Carkin (M) high sticking, 4:25; Kenney (C) obstruction-hooking, 7:10; Mercyhurst, too many men (served by Coccimiglio), 16:12.

2nd Period — 3. Canisius, Matt Zuke 1 (Rauch), 14:07. 4. Canisius, Gibbons 2 (Parker, Rex), 14:35. Penalties — Noble (M) interference, :39; Bohrer (C) hooking, 4:12; Goebel (M) roughing, 14:48.

3rd Period — 5. Mercyhurst, Taylor Holstrom 2 (Cameron, Pitt), 4:25 (pp). 6. Canisius, Eric Rex 2 (Danford, Gibbons), 11:05. 7. Canisius, Scott Moser 1 (Conacher, Rauch), 18:19. Penalties — Moser (C) interference, 2:56; Conacher (C) interference, 12:14; Coccimiglio (M) hooking, 19:49.

Shots on goal — Canisius, 4-16-12—32; Mercyhurst, 10-15-12—37.

Goaltenders — Canisius, Dan Morrison 2-1-0 (27 shots, 25 saves); Mercyhurst, Jordan Tibbett 0-3-1 (32 shots, 27 saves).

Power plays — Canisius (0-6), Mercyhurst (1-4).

Referees — Steve Marofsky, Peter Feola. Linesmen — Zach Roberts, Chris Woodworth.

Attendance — 793.