Neate Sager

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Neate Sager is a blogger for Yahoo! Sports.

  • NHL draft tracker: Dominic Turgeon, Portland Winterhawks

    Turgeon interviewed with 22 teams during the NHL combine (CP)

    Dominic Turgeon's challenge is 180 degrees removed from what his famous father faced at the same stage of his hockey life.

    Well before the Portland Winterhawks centre entered this life, his dad, Pierre Turgeon, was a first overall pick in 1987 who went on to score more than 1,300 points across 19 NHL seasons. In Portland this past season, Dominic Turgeon was charged with playing on a checking line and chipping in complementary scoring on a loaded veteran team.

    "He was a highly, highly offensive guy," says Turgeon, who is NHL Central Scouting Service's No. 97-ranked skater. "He learned defence as the years went on. I feel like I'm the opposite right now. I started this year with a big defensive role but I know that I have that offensive ability and that it will come.

    "I feel like I'm a two-way forward," adds Turgeon, who had 10 goals and 31 points across 65 games for Portland. "I feel I can protect the puck well in the offensive zone, drive the net and I'm strong defensively."

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Dominic Turgeon, Portland Winterhawks
  • Minor hockey now costs more than horseback riding — study

    The Canadian Youth Sports Report states hockey now costs $1,666 per year (Sean Kilpatrick, The Canadian Press)

    Enrolling a daughter or son in hockey now costs more than joining the horsey set.

    Generally speaking, equestrian conjures up more elitist connotations than Canada's national sport. The stereotype doesn't hold up when the costs are counted. The Toronto-based Solutions Research Group released its Canadian Youth Sports Report on Tuesday, and found that hockey was the second-most expensive of the 44 that have sufficient participation numbers to be included in the study. Based on average cost (keeping in mind that using the mean instead of the median skews the results), minor hockey costs more than softball, swimming and skiing combined. This probably isn't a newsflash to many Canadian parents or to anyone who's wondered what pricing out many families from competitive hockey will mean for the sport's future. Seeing the cold, hard numbers really brings it home: it's not for nothing that putting a child in hockey long term can feel as onerous as owning a boat; the only youth sport that's more costly is water skiing.

    Read More »from Minor hockey now costs more than horseback riding — study
  • Byrne was Ottawa's GM for three seasons and coach for five (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)

    Chris Byrne, the man who followed The Man in the nation's capital, appears to be making a clean break from the Ottawa 67's.

    Perish the hypothesizing about how it might work with the new 67's coach answering to his predecessor as Byrne concentrated on being the OHL team's general manager, which was the initial announcement last month. Now it appears a long-standing connection between Byrne and Los Angeles Kings scout turned exec Mike Futa has paid off. Multiple sources — Chris Hofley of the Ottawa Sun and Steve Lloyd of TSN 1200 sports radio — are reporting that Byrne is set to leave the 67's to join the Los Angeles Kings as a scout. The Kings recently promoted Futa to vice-president, with presumably opened up a scouting job.

    (Update, June 10: The Ottawa Citizen reports Byrne's move is a "done deal.")

    Read More »from Ottawa 67′s now also searching for GM; Chris Byrne to scout for L.A. Kings — reports
  • NHL draft tracker: Ben Thomas, Calgary Hitmen

    Thomas represented Canada at the world under-18 championship (The Canadian Press)

    Ben Thomas is brutally honest about whether he met his expectations for his rookie season.

    The young Calgary Hitmen defender got on the NHL draft radar by exhibiting a light pair of feet at the end of his 6-foot-2, 193-pound frame as a newcomer with his hometown team. Thomas, who is Central Scouting Service's No. 86-ranked North American skater, hit most of the marks that a 17-year-old should but believes he could have delivered more.

    "I think I continued to grow a little bit, but I actually feel like my play might have dropped down a bit from the first half," says Thomas, who counted seven goals and 31 points while toiling in all 72 Hitmen games. "I did get more comfortable and I worked on some other things that were weaknesses in my game. Overall, it was good but I don't think the second half was as good as the first half.

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Ben Thomas, Calgary Hitmen
  • NHL draft tracker: Darby Llewellyn, Kitchener Rangers

    Kitchener Rangers forward Darby Llewellyn (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)

    Darby Llewellyn's hockey career almost ended before it began.

    Since the death of Columbus Blue Jackets fan Brittanie Cecil in 2002, nearly every rink in North America has added extra glass and protective netting to shield spectators from flying pucks. About a year before that, though, the young Llewellyn sustained a skull fracture after being struck while sitting in the stands watching his older brother Tristin. The Salem Township, Mich., native overcame that early setback, though, and it serves as a reminder to take nothing for granted.

    "I was actually watching my brother play a game for Detroit Honeybaked," says the Kitchener Rangers left wing, who is NHL Central Scouting Service's 64th-ranked North American skater. "There was really low glass at the time, no net, and it hit me right next to my right temple. I was only out for about three months. Right after that I got a concussion a couple weeks after I was finally able to come back.

    "Really, to be able to play hockey at this level, for me it's incredible to be given the chances that I've had."

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Darby Llewellyn, Kitchener Rangers
  • Chychrun makes Sting debut: the coast-to-coast

    Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...


    Will former NHLer Tim Cheveldae be retained as the Saskatoon Blades goaltending coach? (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

    Tenth overall sound about right for Red Deer defenceman Haydn Fleury? (Hockey Wilderness)

    Hey, Leon Draisaitl could still be on the board when the Calgary Flames are up in the first round of the draft. (Matchsticks & Gasoline)

    Twenty questions with Edmonton's Edgars Kulda? Yes please. (Edmonton Sun)

    Patrick Marleau is not the greatest Seattle Thunderbird? Andy Eide explains. (ESPN 710)

    Vancouver Giants draft choice Myles Mattila is helping raise sensitivity about mental health in Prince George, B.C. (Prince George Citizen)


    First overall choice Jakob Chychrun took his first strides in a Sarnia Sting uniform last weekend. (Sarnia Observer)

    Stray thought: is Anthony DeAngelo more polarizing than Ryan Murphy was three drafts ago? (Editor In Leaf)

    The skinny on North Bay's top pick, rugged forward Zach Poirier: "he’s going to rattle the glass a few times next season." (Bay Today)

    Read More »from Chychrun makes Sting debut: the coast-to-coast
  • NHL draft tracker: Francis Perron, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies

    Perron tripled his point total from his QMJHL rookie season (Ghyslain Bergeron, The Canadian Press)

    With Francis Perron, skill has never been called into question.

    The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies left wing came into the Quebec League as a No. 6 overall pick in the entry draft two years ago. This season, the 5-foot-11½, 165-pound Perron exhibited a flair for creating offence, counting 18 goals and 55 points over 68 games and manning the point on power plays. Still, there is some question of how the compactly built Rosemère, Que., native would be able to adapt to the next level.

    "After Christmas, I felt my work ethic was more consistent from game to game," says Perron, who is NHL Central Scouting Service's 70th-ranked North American skater. "I was going in the corners more and winning more of my battles. Even though I'm not very big, I was finishing my checks

    "It's all in my head," Perron adds. "I have to be more confident in my work ethic ... This year I had a lot of ups and downs. I need to be more consistent in my work ethic. I also need to put on a little weight and go in the corners."

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Francis Perron, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
  • Plymouth Whalers GM Mark Craig (left) with new head coach Don Elland (Rena Laverty, Plymouth Whalers photo)

    Having known Peter Karmanos for some 30 years, Mark Craig is eminently qualified to put the Plymouth Whalers owner's comments in context.

    Late last week, the Whalers' introduction of Craig and Don Elland as general manager and coach, replacing Mike Vellucci, was overshadowed by the owner's comments about the club's support in the Detroit area. ("If we continue to draw a couple thousand people a game, we’re going to take a look at some options.") The gist of it was that Karmanos, one of the OHL's longest-serving owners, was simply rallying the troops. Stability on the ice — Plymouth's OHL-best 23 consecutive playoff appearances — is nice. Keeping the status quo in the stands, where the Whalers have typically been around 16th in a 20-team league in attendance, is not.

    "I think Pete was sending us the message more than anything else," says Craig, who has jumped back into junior hockey after a long and successful career in the automotive industry. "Certainly we do know that he can't continue this forever. We've got a job to do. We've got to sell a small-market team in a large market. We've done a good job of that over the years, but I think he wants us to get better. And Pete, that's what he does, he drives it.

    Read More »from Whalers’ new management shoots for more fans in stands: ‘It’s in Plymouth, it’s going to be in Plymouth’
  • NHL draft tracker: Alex Schoenborn, Portland Winterhawks

    Schoenborn helped Portland win its 4th consecutive conference title (Larry MacDougall, The Canadian Press)

    The way Alex Schoenborn grew into his role was a major reason the Portland Winterhawks were able to stay near the pinnacle of the Western Hockey League.

    The one big yawning void on Portland's roster after its 2013 championship season was the absence of veterans to staff a 'grind line' that could wear down defenders. Necessity being the mother of invention, Winterhawks coach-GM Mike Johnston instead filled that niche with an all-American line of three NHl draft prospects, with the 18-year-old Schoenborn working in tandem with 17-year-olds Dominic Turgeon and Keegan Iverson. The trio helped the 'Hawks reach a fourth consecutive WHL final before losing Game 7 to Edmonton, the eventual Memorial Cup champion.

    Schoenborn, coming off his first full major junior season, is still raw but fills enriched by that experience.

    "Everybody says 'third line' but I don't think we looked at ourselves as a third line," says the 6-foot-½, 196-pound wing who is NHL Central Scouting Service's No. 78-ranked North American skater. "Our coach Mike Johnston trusted us to play against any line. It felt good to earn his trust. We felt like we had crucial roles on the team and it gave us a big confidence boost."

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Alex Schoenborn, Portland Winterhawks
  • Tim Bozon looked gaunt when released from hospital on March 28 (The Canadian Press)

    Three months ago, the hockey world held its collective breath after Montreal Canadiens draft choice Tim Bozon was put into a medically induced coma at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon after contracting neisseria meningitis.

    There is no sugarcoating what Bozon and those close to him endured, or what a setback this was to his professional hockey prospects. Playing a full game might still be a ways off, but Bozon has regained the strength to lace up his skates and hit the ice. On Thursday, the former Kamloops Blazers and Kootenay Ice forward posted photos and video to Twitter and Instagram video that showed him performing stickhandling and shooting drills in an undisclosed location.

    Read More »from Montreal Canadiens pick Tim Bozon skates for first time since meningitis scare


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