Shootout
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 ‘troy donnay’
Posted: August 22nd, 2014

Connor McDavid heads into 3rd - and likely - final season with the Erie Otters (Erie Times-News)

Connor McDavid heads into 3rd – and likely – final season with the Erie Otters (Erie Times-News)

Connor McDavid arrived in Erie two years ago with an immense spotlight around him that seemingly extended from one end of North America to the other. The OHL’s most highly anticipated prospect in recent memory has been as advertised – and more – on the way to being a cornerstone of the Otters’ long-awaited turnaround a season ago and the projected No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
But the face of the franchise – and the league – hasn’t been the consensus leader of the Otters until now. Expect him to wear the ‘C’ in what should be one of the more uniquely challenging season for an Otters’ captain.
These Otters have potential, but they will be markedly younger and less experienced than the team Connor Brown led to a franchise-record 52 wins and its first trip to the conference finals since the 2001-02 league championship season. McDavid will have to keep this team even-keeled through the highs and lows – something he didn’t need to do the past two seasons – while dealing ramped-up distractions during his draft year.
So who will wear the As worn by Michael Curtis, Troy Donnay and Adam Pelech last season?
Donnay would get one, or D Kurtis MacDermid, if either returns to the team for their OA season. Yet no one on the current roster instantly jumps out at me. D/W Cory Genovese and RW Joel Wigle are the most experienced players on the team. But being a veteran doesn’t automatically make a player the right candidate.
Goaltenders have enough pressure on them to be the last line of defense, so count Devin Williams out. C Dylan Strome is a future captain in the making, but it may too much to ask a high-profile 17-year-old to take on that role in his second season.
So upon further review, here are two choices I would make – D Travis
Travis Dermott

Travis Dermott

Dermot
t and C Kyle Pettit, two hard-working players on and off the ice who have the even-keeled temperament needed to provide a calming influence. After that, veterans like Fs Jake Evans and Nick Betz need to step up into a possible alternate’s role.
Ultimately, though, this is McDavid’s team. He has the right makeup to lead the way.

- Victor Fernandes

Up next: The Williams’ era in net finally begins this season. Can he become the next great goaltender in Otters’ history? Find out on the Shootout blog and Twitter at www.Twitter.com/GoErieHockey on Saturday.

* 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 www.twitter.com/GoErieHockey or send an e-mail to victor.fernandes@timesnews.com, and then check out a recap of the chat on Shootout and Twitter.

Posted: August 21st, 2014

The Erie Otters will miss Adam Pelech's strong play and leadership on defense this season. (Erie Times-News)

The Erie Otters will miss Adam Pelech’s strong play and leadership on defense this season. (Erie Times-News)

Adam Pelech quietly went about his business on and off the ice in his four seasons with the Otters. Sometimes, you took for granted his importance, especially on defense, because of his consistency.
But if he doesn’t rejoin the Otters (and I don’t foresee a scenario in which the New York Islanders would return him to Erie instead of assigning him to Bridgeport in the AHL), the Otters surely will feel the void, especially in regards to his leadership.
He was No. 1 on the blue line, even with veterans like Spencer Abraham, Troy Donnay, Cory Genovese and Kurtis MacDermid around him. Pelech spearheaded a unit that evolved from the worst in the OHL from 2011-13 into the best last season.
He was steady, a calming influence, led by example and made his points to teammates stick because he picked his spots to be vocal. Someone has to step into role for a unit that will be younger than a year ago.
Here’s my vote – Travis Dermott.
He’s a star in the making. He’s a smooth, steady player at both ends of the ice.
Travis Dermott

Travis Dermott

The game seems to slow down around him when he has the puck. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Best of all, no situation seems overwhelming to him. He’s a calm, cool player, which the Otters will need on a young defense.
Mark Seidel, a former assistant general manager with the Otters who now serves as North American Central Scouting’s chief scout, has compared Dermott to young Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Morgan Rielly, the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft who played 73 games as a 20-year-old rookie last season.
“He’s going to play a huge role on that back end next year,” Seidel said of Dermott before the draft in June. And he will play that role well, which should improve his odds of being picked in the first round of 2015 draft.

Projected depth chart – defense
(OHL experience, regular season only)
Cory Genovese – 176 games
Darren Raddysh – 84 games
Travis Dermott – 67 games
Cole Mayo – 2 games (3rd round, 2013)
Jesse Saban – 0 games (2nd round, 2013)
Note: Donnay (N.Y. Rangers) and/or MacDermid (L.A. Kings) could be returned for their overage seasons. Justin Felker has chosen to enroll in and play for a Canadian university.

Up next: The Devin Williams era finally begins in Erie, as he faces the challenge of being the Otters’ No. 1 goaltender. Find out more Thursday on the Shootout blog and on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/GoErieHockey

* 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 www.twitter.com/GoErieHockey or send an e-mail to victor.fernandes@timesnews.com, and then check out a recap of the chat on Shootout and Twitter.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 16th, 2014

Joel Wigle

Joel Wigle

Spencer Abraham, Michael Curtis and Dane Fox brought different skills to the ice every night as the Erie Otters’ overagers in the 2013-14 season.
Abraham, who I thought would be the odd OA out when training camp opened last August, saved his best OHL season for last with a more solid two-way game (8-27-35, +29, 7 PPG, 1 SHG in 68 games). Curtis added an offensive side (28-28-56, 3 SHG in 68 games) to a overall skill set best known for leadership and defensive reliability. And Fox…he only led the CHL with 64 goals and finished second to linemate Connor Brown (CHL-best 128 points) in the OHL scoring race (107 points).
They’re all gone – Brown included (because I can’t imagine any scenario where the
Connor Brown (right) isn't expected to rejoin the Erie Otters for  his overage season (Erie Times-News)

Connor Brown (right) isn’t expected to rejoin the Erie Otters for his overage season (Erie Times-News)

Toronto Maple Leafs would send him back to the OHL instead of playing his first AHL season). Most, if not all, of the team’s 1994s – G Oscar Dansk, Ds Troy Donnay, Kurtis MacDermid and Adam Pelech, and C Brendan Gaunce aren’t expected back.
At this point, I suspect either Donnay (N.Y. Rangers) or MacDermid (L.A. Kings) would be the only signed prospect that could be sent back by their NHL club.
Cory Genovese

Cory Genovese

That leaves D/W Cory Genovese (0-3-3, +14, 91 PIM in 58 games) and RW Joel Wigle (6-7-13, 69 PIM in 41 games) as the OA headliners.
Here’s the long-standing rule about OAs: They have to be among the best players on the team. Wigle showed some potential as a power forward early in his OHL career with Niagara, but he’s been hampered by injuries since joining the Otters. Genovese had trouble cracking the D lineup some night this past season, and even was moved to the wing before Darren Raddysh‘s struggles prompted a move back to the blue line late in the season. That’s simply not good enough for a team that again considers itself a contender.
GM Sherry Bassin made a shrewd move to acquire Curtis from Belleville last August. Bassin needs to do that again, either before the season (where he could get a better deal) or in a higher-profile trade closer to the January trade deadline. These Otters will be a younger bunch with new faces in key roles (Ds Jesse Saban and Cole Mayo, Fs Shaun Bily and Alex DeBrincat).
They will need frontline 20-year-olds to lead the way.

- Victor Fernandes

Up next: The 2014-15 Otters are Connor McDavid’s team. But will he replace Brown as captain? Head to the Shootout blog or Twitter at www.Twitter.com/GoErieHockey on Sunday to read more.

* Let’s talk Otters: Join Victor Fernandes for the training camp edition of Otters Talk on Aug. 25 from 7-8 p.m. by heading to the Shootout blog. Can’t join in at that time? Post your questions on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GoErieHockey or send an e-mail to victor.fernandes@timesnews.com, and then check out a recap of the chat on Shootout and Twitter.

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: April 25th, 2014

Overagers Spencer Abraham, Michael Curtis and Dane Fox played their final OHL games tonight. But the Otters could lose X players of this team.
Here’s the list…

D Spencer Abraham (overager)
RW Connor Brown (Toronto – signed)
LW Andre Burakovsky (Washington – signed)
LW Michael Curtis (overager)
G Oscar Dansk (Columbus – unsigned)
D Troy Donnay (N.Y. Rangers – signed)
LW Dane Fox (Vancouver – signed & overager)
C Brendan Gaunce (Vancouver – signed)
D Kurtis MacDermid – (Los Angeles – signed)
D Adam Pelech (N.Y. Islanders – signed)

Brown, Burakovsky, Kurtis MacDermid, Troy Donnay, Brendan Gaunce and Adam Pelech may have played their final games in Erie, since all have signed NHL contracts. Oscar Dansk remains unsigned with Columbus. …

Posted: April 22nd, 2014

TONIGHT’S LINEUPS
(starters in bold italics)

 

ERIE OTTERS
Forwards
Fox-McDavid-Brown
Curtis-Strome-Burakovsky
Wood-Gaunce-Wigle
Evans-Pettit-Murphy

Defense
Genovese-Pelech
MacDermid-Abraham
Dermott-Donnay

Goaltenders
Williams
Dansk

Scratches: Felker, Raddysh, Maksimovich, Betz

GUELPH STORM
Forwards
Rychel-Fabbri-Mitchell
Bertuzzi-Dickinson-Kosmachuk
McGinn-Horvat-Auger
Bauman-Suter-Pierog

Defense
Finn-Trojanovic
Leslie-Ebert
Baltisberger-Harpur

Goaltenders
Nichols
Mancina

 Scratches: Craievich, Stevens, McFadden
 

Posted: April 18th, 2014

Western Conference finals, Game 1
Erie Otters vs. Guelph Storm

TONIGHT’S LINEUPS
Starters in bold italics

ERIE OTTERS
Forwards
Burakovsky
-Gaunce-Wigle
Fox-McDavid-Brown
Curtis-Strome-Evans
Murphy-Pettit-Betz

Defense
Genovese-Pelech
MacDermid-Abraham
Dermott-Donnay

Goaltenders
Dansk
Williams

Scratches: Felker (healthy), Raddysh (healthy), Maksimovich (healthy), Wood (healthy)

GUELPH STORM
Forwards
Rychel-Fabbri-Mitchell
Bertuzzi-Dickinson-Kosmachuk
McGinn-Horvat-Auger
Bauman-Suter-Pierog

Defense
Finn-Trojanovic
Leslie-Ebert
Baltisberger-Harpur

Goaltenders
Nichols
Mancina

Scratches: Craievich, Stevens, McFadden

Posted: April 7th, 2014

NHL Central Scouting unveils its final rankings for the 2014 Entry Draft on Tuesday. Erie Otters G Devin Williams may or may not make the list. But he likely impressed a group of scouts that numbered at least 15 with his 29-save effort and second straight shutout in a 2-0 Game 3 win against Sault Ste. Marie.
His teammates also deserve some credit for their strong defensive performance in front of him.
Here’s what D Troy Donnay and LW Andre Burakovsky had to say after the game.
Also, check out head coach Kris Knoblauch‘s post-game news conference…

Posted: January 4th, 2014

<>STARTING LINEUPS
* denotes starters

ERIE OTTERS
FORWARDS
Fox-Gaunce*-Brown*
Pettit*-Curtis-Wigle
Murphy-Evans-Betz
Maksimovich-Wood-Hodgson

DEFENSE
Dermott-Donnay
Genovese-Abraham*
Felker-Raddysh

GOALTENDERS
Devin Williams*
Daniel Dekoning

Scratches: G Oscar Dansk (World Juniors – Sweden), D Adam Pelech (WJC – Canada), RW Andre Burakovsky (WJC – Sweden), C Connor McDavid (WJC – Canada), C Dylan Strome (World Under-17s), TBD

OWEN SOUND ATTACK

FORWARDS
Hargrave-Cook-Gabriel*
Smith-Nastasiuk-Milne
Gabor-Gilligan-Brack
Heeps-Szypula-Annecchiarico

DEFENSE
Sharipzyanov-Rose
MacDermid-Schemitsch*
MacArthur-Walters

GOALTENDERS
Brandon Hope
Jack Flinn*

Scratches: RW Jaden Lindo, D Chris Bigras (World Juniors – Canada), LW Kyle Hope (suspension)

Referees: Sean Pindar, Scott Ferguson; Linesmen: Mike Harrington, Adam Harris

Posted: December 31st, 2013

<>STARTING LINEUPSw
* denotes starters

ERIE OTTERS
FORWARDS
Fox-Curtis-Brown*
Evans-Gaunce-Wigle
Murphy-Pettit-Betz
Wood-Mayo (OHL debut)-Hodgson

DEFENSE
Dermott-Donnay
Genovese-Abraham*
Felker-Raddysh

GOALTENDERS
Devin Williams*
Daniel Dekoning

Scratches: G Oscar Dansk (World Juniors – Sweden), D Adam Pelech (WJC – Canada), RW Andre Burakovsky (WJC – Sweden), C Connor McDavid (WJC – Canada), C Dylan Strome (World Under-17s), C Quentin Maksimovich (healthy)

KITCHENER RANGERS

FORWARDS
Llewellyn-Marcantuoni-Bailey*
Pedersen-MacInnis-Magyar
Kohn-Meighan-Robinson
Cascagnette-Soper-Davies

DEFENSE
Fanelli-Hora*
Iafrate-Schmidt
Blaisdell-DiPerna

GOALTENDERS
Jordan DeKort*
Matthew Greenfield

Scratches: RW Scott Teskey, Paxton Leroux, Radek Faksa (World Juniors – Czech Republic)

Referees: Pat Myers, Brent Coloumbe; Linesmen: Mike Harrington, Ray King

OTTERS WATCH
Kitchener Rangers (13-21-0-1) at Erie Otters (29-7-1-0)
When: Today, 6 p.m.
Where: Erie Insurance Arena
On the air: WFNN-AM/1330, www.ottershockey.com (live stream)
Up next: vs. Owen Sound (Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m.)
What to watch: The Otters look to end their first losing streak of the season – three games – against a Rangers club that gave them trouble in their last two meetings. The Otters allowed 12 goals – nearly four goals above their season average of 2.5 per outing – in splitting those two games – a 9-6 home win Nov. 19 and a 6-2 loss in Kitchener this past Saturday. … The Otters lead the Western Conference by four points over third-place Guelph. West Division-leading Sault Ste. Marie is five points back in second. … The Otters are a franchise-record 18-0-0-0 at home, which stands two wins shy of equaling the second-longest home streak in OHL history. The St. Catharines Fincups won 20 in a row from Sept. 24, 1976 to Jan. 18, 1977. The record is 33 straight by the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 1984-85 season. … LW Dane Fox has no points in the last three games. He still leads the league with 41 goals and trails only linemate Connor Brown 71-67 in the race for the scoring title. … G Devin Williams has followed a career-best, 13-game winning streak with three straight losses. … D Jesse Saban and C Trent Fox have joined fellow 2013 draft pick Cole Mayo, a defenseman, in Erie. But there are no current plans for them to dress for games. … The Rangers are last in the West, but they are only three points behind eighth-place Plymouth in the three-team battle for the conference’s final playoff spot. … The Rangers are without leading scorer Radek Faksa (14 goals., 25 points), who’s playing for Czech Republic at the IIHF World Junior Championship. … They have three promising young players in RWs Nick Magyar (10-15-25), Justin Bailey (14-11-25) and Darby Llewellyn (19-5-24).

- Victor Fernandes