Neate Sager

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Neate Sager is a blogger for Yahoo! Sports.

  • Nedeljkovic was named OHL Goaltender of the Year (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)Nedeljkovic was named OHL Goaltender of the Year (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)

    Working down from the top of last season's standings, it is time for OHL Burning Questions. For your consideration, the Plymouth Whalers.

    Last season went like — On the ice, goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made roughly a bajillion saves to help a team with 15 newcomers extend the franchise's streak of playoff appearances to 23 seasons. Off the ice, coach-GM Mike Vellucci moved up to the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes. One week after the Memorial Cup owner Peter Karmanos issued a call to action, stating attendance will have to increase in order for the OHL's charter U.S. franchise to remain in Plymouth. 

    2013-14, by the numbers — 28-33-0-7, .463 point pct., 180 GF/231 GA. Eighth, Western Conference. Lost 4-1 to Guelph in first round.

    Drafted — LW Sonny Milano (Columbus Blue Jackets, first round), G Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes, second), RW Connor Chatham (New Jersey Devils, third), D Alex Peters (Dallas Stars, third), D Josh Wesley (Carolina, fourth), C Victor Crus Rydberg (New York

    Read More »from Plymouth Whalers ready to gain after last season's short-term pain: OHL Burning Questions
  • Owen Sound Attack leaning on last line of defence: OHL Burning Questions

    Nastasiuk returns for his second season as Owen Sound's captain (OHL Images)Nastasiuk returns for his second season as Owen Sound's captain (OHL Images)

    Working down from the top of last season's standings, it is time for OHL Burning Questions. For your consideration, the Owen Sound Attack.

    Last season went like — Owen Sound was Owen Sound, a bit spartan offensively but tough to take two points from, thanks in large part to Brandon Hope emerging as the No. 1 goalie. Those elements might have more currency within a somewhat deflated conference. 

    2013-14, by the numbers — 31-29-3-5, .515 point pct., 202 GF/232 GA. Seventh, Western Conference. Lost 4-1 to Sault Ste. Marie in first round.

    Drafted — D Chris Bigras (Colorado Avalanche, second round), C Zach Nastasiuk (Detroit Red Wings, second), C Kyle Platzer (Edmonton Oilers, fourth), RW Jaden Lindo (Pittsburgh Penguins, sixth).

    2015 NHL Draft watch — G Michael McNiven, D Thomas Schemitsch, C Ethan Szypula and D Connor Walters are each on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary list.

    1. What are the chances coach Greg Ireland's gang will punch above its weight?

    Decent to outstanding. The

    Read More »from Owen Sound Attack leaning on last line of defence: OHL Burning Questions
  • Saginaw Spirit eager to 'start a rebuild': OHL Burning Questions

    Stephens had 12 points in five exhibition games (OHL Images)Stephens had 12 points in five exhibition games (OHL Images)

    Working down from op of last season's standings, it is time for OHL Burning Questions. For your consideration, the Saginaw Spirit.

    Last season went like — Saginaw's season was rendered trivial by the tragic loss of centre Terry Trafford, who committed suicide in March of 2014 after parting ways with the team. It has sparked changes to how the OHL views mental health and it will be "something that's always there" for the Spirit franchise. To their credit, Saginaw's grieving coaches, players and staff pulled themselves together to have a good playoff showing, avoiding elimination on home ice with an emotional victory and making the Erie Otters earn their five-game win.

    2013-14, by the numbers — 33-30-4-1, .522 point pct., 250 GF/247 GA. Sixth, Western Conference. Lost 4-1 to Erie in first round.

    Drafted — C Jimmy Lodge (Winnipeg Jets, third round), LW Dylan Sadowy (San Jose Sharks, third), C Nick Moutrey (Columbus Blue Jackets, fourth).

    2015 NHL Draft watch — C Mitchell Stephens had a

    Read More »from Saginaw Spirit eager to 'start a rebuild': OHL Burning Questions
  • Max Domi facing stiff test with Arizona Coyotes: the coast-to-coast

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

    WHL

    Drop everything! The first Centrral Scouting rankings are out! (NHL.com)

    With the Nikita Scherbak trade, what will the Everett Silvertips do if 19-year-old Swiss defenceman Mirco Mueller is returned from the San Jose Sharks? Everett GM Garry Davidson: "The trade filled the absolute need we feel we have at the moment. If Mirco gets sent back later we'll deal with that at the time. But for now we're not going to worry." (Everett Herald, Vancouver Province, Silvertips blog)

    Saskatoon coach Bob Woods on life without Scherbak: "I believe we can make a few additions or adjustments here. I think we'll be a tough team. Our vision is still there." (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

    You could say Edmonton's young goalie is seizing the Dea. And everyone would groan. (Edmonton Sun)

    Defenceman Joe Hicketts has returned from the Detroit Red Wings to rejoin Victoria, and not a moment too soon. (Victoria Times-Colonist)

    Overage Scott Cooke and 19-year-old Brandon Potomak, who did not play on the opening weekend, have left the Moose Jaw Warriors for those never-stated "other opportunities." (Moose Jaw Times-Herald)

    It was good for Kelowna's Austin Glover to score on the opening weekend after missing much of last year due to a broken leg, writes Regan Bartel. (Regan's Rant)

    OHL

    Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, on the gauntlet a 19-year-old Max Domi must face to stick in The Show: "Those players are talented in juniors. They can get away with things that they can’t get away with here. There has to be a base of knowledge of structure and how to play in certain situations before you can use that skill here." (Heat Waved)

    Read More »from Max Domi facing stiff test with Arizona Coyotes: the coast-to-coast
  • Sudbury Wolves likely looking at long winter: OHL Burning Questions

    Baptiste will be highly sought on the OHL trade market (CP)Baptiste will be highly sought on the OHL trade market (CP)

    Starting from the top of last season's standings, it is time for OHL Burning Questions. For your consideration, the Sudbury Wolves.

    Last season went like — It was one for the fatalists. The Wolves went for it by trading for centre Radek Faksa and defenceman Trevor Carrick. They took their shot and it did not work out; they won only 10 of 33 games after the trade deadline, counting the first-round sweep.

    2013-14, by the numbers — 33-24-3-8, .566 point pct., 217 GF/220 GA. Third, Eastern Conference. Lost 4-0 to Barrie in first round.

    Drafted — RW Nick Baptiste (Buffalo Sabres, third round), C Pavel Jenys (Minnesota Wild, seventh).

    2015 NHL Draft watch — D Kyle Capobianco, the 2013 first-rounder who's stretched into a 6-foot-2 offensive defenceman, will likely play a lot this season. Sophomore goalie Troy Timpano does not turn 17 until mid-November, putting him in the '16 class..

    1. Without being too snarky, why are the Wolves the consensus pick to own the basement?

    There is no

    Read More »from Sudbury Wolves likely looking at long winter: OHL Burning Questions
  • Ho-Sang will miss at least the first six Spits games due to a suspension. Photo by Rena Laverty/OHL ImagesHo-Sang will miss at least the first six Spits games due to a suspension. Photo by Rena Laverty/OHL Images

    Working down from the top of last season's standings, it is time for OHL Burning Questions. For your consideration, the Windsor Spitifires.

    Last season went like — Once GM Warren Rychel made the big Kerby Rychel/Nick Ebert trade with Guelph, and once star defenceman Slater Koekkoek needed a second shoulder operation, the air went out of the Spitfires' balloon.

    2013-14, by the numbers — 37-28-3-0, .566 point pct., 246 GF/231 GA. Fifth, Western Conference. Lost 4-0 to London in first round.

    Drafted — C Josh Ho-Sang (New York Islanders, first round), LW Markus Soberg (Columbus Blue Jackets, sixth), LW Cristiano DiGiacinto (Tampa Bay Lightning, sixth), D Patrick Sanvido (Dallas Stars, seventh).

    2015 NHL Draft watch — How about 2016, when incoming LWs Logan Brown (6-5, 215) and Luke Kirwan (6-2, 213) will be up for grabs?.For this draft, one should not sleep on D Andrew Burns, who came up toward the end of last season.



    1. How much can Ho-Sang, et al., cover up for a defence corps that is

    Read More »from Windsor Spitfires talented up front, but are building on the blueline: OHL Burning Questions
  • Trust an aspiring doctor such as Aaron Gazendam to be smart enough to perform two once-a-lifetime football feats that are only doable on our Canadian gridiron.

    In this country, of course, a football field is 110 yards long, with 20-yard end zones. That can and goes lead to (sometimes painful) occurrences that you will never see in a U.S. game. Or those that are statistically impossible south of the border, like the Canadian Interuniversity Sport record 101-yard punt single that the University of Toronto Blues' Gazendam booted against the Western Mustangs last Saturday in London, Ont.

    Gazendam, a medical student who is U of T's kicker/punter, came on to hoof the ball away from the 24-yard line. With the wind behind him, his punt sailed past Mustangs returners Shaquille Johnson and Justin Sanvido and just bounced and bounced along the turf before finally going out of bounds in Western's end zone. You better believe that got him OUA special teams player of the week.

    Officially, it broke

    Read More »from Only in CIS: 101-yard punt from University of Toronto's Aaron Gazendam is a Canadian university football record (VIDEO)
  • Barrie Colts have reinforcements at the ready: OHL Burning Questions

    Buffalo Sabres second-rounder Brendan Lemieux enters his third season in Barrie (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)Buffalo Sabres second-rounder Brendan Lemieux enters his third season in Barrie (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)

    Starting from the top of last season's standings, it is time for OHL Burning Questions. For your consideration, the Barrie Colts.

    Last season went like — After coming within a pinged crossbar in Game 7 of the OHL title, Barrie stayed up with pack in its conference thanks to a certain NHL No. 1 pick-to-be and a 49-goal, 95-point season from Andreas Athanasiou (who's also gone now). Their youth caught up to them by Round 2, though.

    2013-14, by the numbers — 37-28-1-2, .566 point pct., 261 GF/216 GA. Third, Eastern Conference. Lost 4-2 to North Bay in conference semifinal.

    On the junior-or-pro bubble — Sorry, Aaron Ekblad is not walking through that door. No NHL first overall choice has returned to junior since 1996. 

    Drafted — LW Brendan Lemieux (Buffalo Sabres, second round), LW Kevin Labanc (San Jose Sharks, sixth).

    2015 NHL Draft watch — G Mackenzie Blackwood was the only OHL 'tender on NHL Central Scouting futures list released in August; D Rasmus Anderson (6-foot, 210) and RW Roy

    Read More »from Barrie Colts have reinforcements at the ready: OHL Burning Questions
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Via Nick Patterson, the Everett Silvertips have pulled off a blockbuster trade with Saskatoon for Montreal Canadiens first-rounder Nikita Scherbak. What does that mean for the 'Tips other imports? (Everett Herald)

    What is in store for Edmonton Oilers pick Jackson Houck in Vancouver? (The Pipeline Show)

    Now that Brendan Leipsic is out of the league, who will be its premier agitator? Brandon's Jesse Gabrielle has put an application in, writes Greg Harder. (Regina Leader-Post)

    Think Lethbridge's promising goalie, Stuart Skinner, will ignore that "vehement goal celebration" by Medicine Hat on Saturday night? (Medicine Hat News)

    Buzz phrase emanating out of Calgary's opening weekend: "Mental toughness." (Calgary Herald)

    OHL

    The Sarnia Sting's Anthony DeAngelo is bidding for an extended stay with the Tampa Bay Lightning. (TBO.com)

    Talk about Dog-goned bad luck: Niagara's best goal scorer, Arizona

    Read More »from Montreal Canadiens top pick Nikita Scherbak has WHL rights dealt to Everett; IceDogs' Perlini breaks hand: the coast-to-coast
  • North Bay Battalion have a tough act to follow: OHL Burning Questions

    Paul played his way on to Team Canada's radar during Norh Bay's playoff run (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)Paul played his way on to Team Canada's radar during Norh Bay's playoff run (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)

    Starting from the top of last season's standings, it is time for OHL Burning Questions. For your consideration, the North Bay Battalion.

    Last season went like — A honeymoon that seemed wonderful even though airline lost a bag on the flight home? The Battalion was hovering around .500 after an overtime loss in Ottawa on the first Saturday of 2014. Then it won 20 of its final 29 games to outpace rival Sudbury for the No. 2 playoff seed. It got more resolute and hard to play against as the playoffs unfolded, but just couldn't contain Guelph for a full 60 minutes during three close losses in the OHL final. 

    2013-14, by the numbers — 38-24-4-2, .603 point pct., 215 GF/187 GA. Second playoff seed, Eastern Conference. Lost 4-1 to Guelph in OHL final.

    Drafted — D Kyle Wood (Colorado Avalanche, third round), RW Mike Adamio (Los Angeles Kings, third), C Nick Paul (Ottawa Senators, fourth*) D Miles Liberati (Vancouver Canucks, seventh).

    2015 NHL Draft watch — LW Brett McKenzie will have a larger

    Read More »from North Bay Battalion have a tough act to follow: OHL Burning Questions

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