Kelly Friesen

  • Like
Author

Kelly Friesen is a blogger for Yahoo! Sports

  • Predators pick Jack Dougherty leaves Wisconsin for WHL’s Portland Winterhawks

    Jack Dougherty is poised to play for the WHL's Winterhawks next year after signing with Nashville. (NHL.com)Jack Dougherty is poised to play for the WHL's Winterhawks next year after signing with Nashville. (NHL.com)

    Portland Winterhawks GM-head coach Jamie Kompon has given his club’s back end an extreme makeover this offseason. Roughly three months after signing Edmonton Oilers draft choice Caleb Jones, the brother of former Winterhawk Seth Jones, he has appeared to land Nashville Predators second-round pick Jack Dougherty.

    The 6-foot-2, 190-pound rearguard, who turned 19 in May, signed his entry-level contract with the Predators today, which makes him ineligible to return to the University of Wisconsin next season because of NCAA regulations. There is a chance he could go straight to the AHL next year, but it seems that isn’t in Nashville’s current plans. The organization said in its press release regarding Dougherty’s signing that he is expected to play for Portland in 2015-16. It’s a good indication that he knew he would be Oregon bound when he signed his contract with the Predators.

    The Cottage Grove, MN., native, who is regarded as a solid all-around defenceman with a good puckhandling

    Read More »from Predators pick Jack Dougherty leaves Wisconsin for WHL’s Portland Winterhawks
  • Jost, Fabbro put 2016 NHL draft spotlight on BCHL’s Penticton Vees

    Tyson Jost #10 of Canada White prepares for a faceoff against Finland during the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)Tyson Jost #10 of Canada White prepares for a faceoff against Finland during the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
    The BCHL’s Penticton Vees are poised to be one of the top 2016 NHL draft hotspots. The Junior A club should garner no shortage of draft attention next year with top 1998-born prospects Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro in their lineup.

    Albeit a lot can happen between now and June, Jost and Fabbro are expected to don jerseys within the first 30 selections in Buffalo. If that comes true, it would be a memorable moment for the Vees. There have only been two BCHL teams to have multiple first-round selections in the NHL draft since 1979, when the process switched from an amateur draft to an entry draft.

    It’s not surprising to see Penticton lead the way among Junior A clubs in draft eligible talent. Evident in how the Vees had 16 players with Division 1 commitments in 2014-15, they have developed an esteemed reputation for attracting high-end players who want to go the NCAA route. The club has seen the likes of Columbus Blue Jackets star Ryan Johansen, Pittsburgh Penguins first-round pick Beau

    Read More »from Jost, Fabbro put 2016 NHL draft spotlight on BCHL’s Penticton Vees
  • Athol Murray College of Notre Dame proves to be unique hockey hotspot

    Athol Murray College of Notre Dame has built an esteemed reputation in the hockey world. (image credit to Notre Dame)Athol Murray College of Notre Dame has built an esteemed reputation in the hockey world. (image credit to Notre Dame)

    Unlike most prominent minor hockey programs, Athol Murray College of Notre Dame isn’t based in a large city or heavy-traffic area. It’s located in the small village of Wilcox, Sask., the home of roughly 350 people.

    Despite its unique location, Notre Dame has developed a reputation as one of the top hockey programs in the world, let alone Western Canada. It seems the school has at least two or three future NHLers in its development program at any given time. They have played a role in helping mold many young stars such as Jaden Schwartz, Morgan Rielly and Sean Couturier as well as retired greats like Wendel Clark, Rod Brind’Amour and Curtis Joseph.

    The school is best known as a breeding ground for the Western Hockey League. They have had 22 players selected in the past three WHL bantam drafts, including many first-round selections such as Kelowna Rockets sniper Dillon Dube (21st overall, 2013), Moose Jaw Warriors prized prospect Josh Brook (fifth overall, 2014) and Tri-City Americans

    Read More »from Athol Murray College of Notre Dame proves to be unique hockey hotspot
  • Previewing the 2015 NHL draft’s top 10 prospects

    Connor McDavid will officially become an Edmonton Oiler on Friday at the NHL draft. (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)Connor McDavid will officially become an Edmonton Oiler on Friday at the NHL draft. (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)

    With the 2015 NHL draft set to get underway on Friday, BTN teamed up with some scouts to preview the top 10 prospects of the draft class.

    It goes without saying that Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are the top two talents in the draft, but there's room for debate beyond the two phenoms. Dylan Strome and Mitchell Marner seem to be the draft’s next best forwards while Noah Hanifin and Ivan Provorv are neck and neck for the top defenceman honour.

    Here’s a look at BTN’s top 10 prospects of the 2015 draft class.

    1. Connor McDavid, centre, Erie Otters (OHL) – The Newmarket, Ont., native needs no introduction, as he’s been hyped as the NHL’s next big superstar since he was in junior high. He has undoubtedly lived up to the heavy expectations laid on his shoulders throughout his three seasons in the OHL. He went out with a bang this past year, tallying 44 goals and 120 points in 47 games, helping the Otters make it to the league finals and capturing a gold medal with Team Canada at the world

    Read More »from Previewing the 2015 NHL draft’s top 10 prospects
  • NHL draft tracker: Adin Hill, Portland Winterhawks

    Portland's Adin Hill is one of the top goalies in the 2015 NHL draft class. (Winterhawks)Portland's Adin Hill is one of the top goalies in the 2015 NHL draft class. (Winterhawks)

    Adin Hill was by no means on any NHL team’s radar last year this time. He spent the majority of his 2013-14 season on the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks, posting a 3.92 average and .897 save percentage throughout 19 games.

    Twelve months later, the Calgary, Alta., native is pegged as the top North American goaltender in the 2015 draft class according to International Scouting Services. He has earned this high praise by asserting himself as one of the top goalies in the WHL, using his size (6-foot-4, 198 pounds), excellent rebound control, quickness and instincts to post a 2.81 average and .921 save percentage in 46 contests.

    “I think I’ve matured a lot since then,” says Hill on the difference between him this year and last season. “I do a lot more physically to prepare for games and have grown a lot over the past year. I’m also on a better team this year, so that has helped, too.”

    The draft attention is something Hill couldn’t have predicted early on in the season, let alone a year ago. His

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Adin Hill, Portland Winterhawks
  • NHL draft tracker: Ryan Pilon, Brandon Wheat Kings

    Brandon blueliner Ryan Pilon is one of the WHL's top prospects in the 2015 draft. (Wheat Kings)Brandon blueliner Ryan Pilon is one of the WHL's top prospects in the 2015 draft. (Wheat Kings)

    Brandon Wheat Kings rearguard Ryan Pilon has deep hockey bloodlines. The game is ultimately a part of his family’s identity, as his uncle, Rich Pilon, spent 14 seasons in the NHL and his cousin, Garrett Pilon, is a prized prospect of the Kamloops Blazers.

    “Hockey is something we take pride in as a family,” says Pilon, who is ranked 24th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting Service. “We’re into sports and love to play them, especially hockey. I’ve loved the game ever since I was a kid and it’s a part of our family. With my uncle and Garrett, it shows I’m not the only one in my family who loves the game.”

    Pilon, 18, developed into a more polished player this year by taking the next step forward in his game. He used his mobility, good positioning and strength to keep opponents to the outside and limit their time and space on the defensive side of the puck. Offensively, he showcased his quick and accurate shot and superb passing abilities, especially when making outlet

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Ryan Pilon, Brandon Wheat Kings
  • NHL draft tracker: Giorgio Estephan, Lethbridge Hurricanes

    Giorgio Estephan is ranked 144th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting Service. (Hurricanes)Giorgio Estephan is ranked 144th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting Service. (Hurricanes)

    Early on in the season, it didn’t’ seem Giorgio Estephan would hear his name called at the 2015 NHL entry draft. He only managed to muster one goal and four points throughout 21 games in the first two months of the year. But in the second half of the season, the Lethbridge Hurricanes centre hit his offensive stride, averaging 1.09 points per game with 19 goals and 37 points in 34 contests.

    “In the second half I wanted to come back and make a statement,” says Estephan, who finished the year with 23 goals and 51 points in 64 matches. “I also had more confidence going into the second half and felt more comfortable out there.”

    Lethbridge’s coaching change appeared to play a role in the 6-foot, 184-pound Estephan boosting his stats sheet. He started to truly take off when Peter Anholt went behind the bench following the firing of Drake Berehowsky just 29 games into the year.

    “It gave us a fresh start when that happened,” he says. “We started over and focused on what was in front of us and

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Giorgio Estephan, Lethbridge Hurricanes
  • Curtis Hunt returns to Prince Albert, and other WHL news and notes

    Former Pats coach Curtis Hunt (left) is Prince Albert's new general manager. (Raiders)Former Pats coach Curtis Hunt (left) is Prince Albert's new general manager. (Raiders)

    The Prince Albert Raiders have found their man after parting ways with longtime general manager Bruno Campese about a month ago. They named Curtis Hunt the 10th architect of the storied organization’s history today.

    “It is exciting to be able to come to the Raiders,” Hunt said in the release. “There has been a lot of good work done already and there is a solid foundation both in hockey and the business operations. I am eager to get to know the people and sink my teeth into the task at hand.”

    In a sense, Hunt is returning to Prince Albert as he spent three seasons with the club as a player in the ‘80s. He began making headway in coaching when he became the bench boss of the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2002. He went on to spend six seasons as the head coach of the Regina Pats (2004-2008, 2009-2011) and split time between the Ottawa Senators and their AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Senators, in 2008-09. He was the GM and head coach of AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons this past season.

    Albeit the

    Read More »from Curtis Hunt returns to Prince Albert, and other WHL news and notes
  • Lethbridge Hurricanes take two steps forward, but remain community owned

    The Lethbridge Hurricanes have named Brent Kisio as their next head coach. (Hitmen)The Lethbridge Hurricanes have named Brent Kisio as their next head coach. (Hitmen)

    The Lethbridge Hurricanes took two major steps forward as a franchise today after a disastrous past couple of seasons. They announced the hiring of new head coach Brent Kisio and the signing of top 2014 bantam pick Jordy Bellerive.

    Kisio, who is the son of longtime Calgary Hitmen president of hockey operations Kelly Kisio, takes over from general manager Peter Anholt, who became Lethbridge’s interim head coach after Drake Berehowsky was canned 29 games into the 2014-15 season. He is on the younger side at the age of 32, but he’s well beyond his years when it comes to experience. He has held various coaching roles with the Hitmen over the last eight seasons. This past year, he was the cub’s associate coach and held the assistant general manager duties. In addition, he played the game at a high level as he spent four seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the CCHA.

    Read More »from Lethbridge Hurricanes take two steps forward, but remain community owned
  • Kelowna’s Nick Merkley tops Memorial Cup’s best 2015 NHL draft prospects

    Nick Merkley has been on fire for the Rcokets in the Memorial Cup. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)Nick Merkley has been on fire for the Rcokets in the Memorial Cup. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

    Kelowna Rockets sophomore Nick Merkley has lived up to the hype as the Memorial Cup’s top 2015 NHL draft prospect. He has used his elite playmaking abilities, incredible work ethic and high-tempo style of play to rack up three goals and five points in his first two matches in Quebec. He put it all on display yesterday against the Rimouski Oceanic when he grabbed a pass down the middle, went through three opponents and backhanded the puck blocker side past Louis-Philip Guindon.

    The Calgary, Alta., native has ultimately picked up in the Memorial Cup right where he left off in the WHL playoffs. He was on fire in Kelowna’s 19-game post-season run, notching five markers and 27 points. Moreover, he put his name on the score sheet in all but three contests.

    That said, the 5-foot-10, 187-pound Merkley’s draft stock hasn’t always appeared

    Read More »from Kelowna’s Nick Merkley tops Memorial Cup’s best 2015 NHL draft prospects

Pagination

(383 Stories)