It's been a long offseason and I've been waiting to do some cleaning on the prospects page. It's been somewhat unseemly to still have players listed with Springfield of the AHL, but without any definite placement of players in the system for '07-'08 that's how it had to be this summer. Now that we've seen the initial rosters for both Tampa and Norfolk's camps, however, we can start to put players into the appropriate teams for which they are going to camp with, which is what I did tonight. Throughout camp, as cuts are made, we'll adjust the page as appropriate to reflect the transactions.
The Mississippi Sea Wolves have signed right wing Justin Cross and defenseman Pat Oliveto. Cross, 25, played 73 games for Kalamazoo of the UHL last season, scoring 26 goals and 55 points with 28 penalty minutes. The 5'10" 185 lbs forward is entering his second season of professional hockey. Oliveto, 23, received a 7 game amateur tryout last season with Reading of the ECHL where he had 1 assist and two penalty minutes.
Both players are alumni of Niagara University of the Division I CHA. Cross' best college season came in 2003-2004 as a sophomore when he scored 12 goals and 29 points in 34 games with 14 penalty minutes. Oliveto posted his best college season last year as a senior with 2 goals, 21 points, and 26 penalty minutes in 36 games.
Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune blogged the initial roster for Lightning camp today. No huge surprises except perhaps the inclusion of Mike Lundin over Mike Egener and Andy Rogers. My guess is this is to 1.) Send a message to Egener and Rogers for not developing as quickly as hoped and 2.) To get a first look at Lundin who has never attended a pro training camp having spent four years at Maine. It sets up a very odd scenario where Lundin, who gets the honor of attending Lightning camp, might get sent down and then struggle to make the Admirals with so much defensive depth in Norfolk this season.
The most interesting news came in the form of the defensive pairings in the key #6/#7 defenseman battleground roster spots. What conclusions do you draw? Mine? Matt Smaby's going to have to shoot wildly at his foot not to make this team and Dan Jancevski and Doug Janik look like the favorites over Bryce Lampman and Jay Leach for the other spot.
We'll see who steps up at Traverse City and shuffles the deck.
Roster and line combos after the flip:
I don't have official confirmation, but today was the scheduled unveiling of the new Admirals jerseys and this was posted by a fan on Admirals Zone:
Those are, um, colorful. No one can say they didn't see our kids coming from now on.
Norfolk's website confirms the Brett Hull circa the early 90's look is in for Ads.
Lightning 2007 draft pick Luca Cunti is not likely to play with St. Cloud State University of the WCHA this year. He was recently listed by a SCSU publication as being a commitment for 2008-2009, not this season, and his name was not appearing on the Chicago Steel (USHL) roster. Because of Cunti's late commitment, his arrival at SCSU this year was pending NCAA clearinghouse approval.
A WCHA blogger is now saying he's listed with Chicago, but he may be thinking of the Steel's protected list -- which is true. He's not on the roster on their web site.
We are currently awaiting official word from the Lightning, but at this point it looks as though Cunti will be in Chicago this year and SCSU next year. He could return to Europe this year, but that doesn't appear to be his intention.
Just some quick thoughts of mine going into this week's tournament:
Redwingscentral has released their copy of the Lightning's Traverse City roster with only a few minor amendments to the roster released by Erik Erlendsson of the Trib. As expected, Windsor forward John Kurtz will suit up for the Red Wings instead of the Lightning and defenseman Justin Fletcher will replace injured enforcer Arthur Femenella.
The Lightning prospects' first official practice is slated for Friday at 11 am with their first game action coming that night at 7 pm against the New York Rangers' prospects.
Kelowna Rockets goaltender Torrie Jung had the "honor" of taking the loss for the first win by the WHL expansion Edmonton Oil Kings. The Oil Kings defeated Jung and the Rockets 4-3 Saturday during the Oil Kings Preseason Invitation in the the Edmonton area. Jung, who did not start the game for Kelowna, allowed two goals on 15 shots, including a breakaway goal.
Seattle fell to Everett 4-1 in Day 2 of Everett's Preseason Tournament, but Riku Helenius did not play for Seattle and Dane Crowley did not hit the scoresheet for Everett, who dressed more veterans this game.
Eat your heart out Gordon Solie...
Team Canada completed a 4 game sweep of the Russian leg of the Super Series today defeating Team Russia 4-2. Brad Marchand led the way for the Canadians with 2 goals and 1 assist in the contest. Lightning prospect Dana Tyrell was again scoreless in the match. The Super Series will now shift to Canada for its remaining four games.
Lightning 2006 first rounder Riku Helenius made his much-anticipated North American debut Friday night for the Seattle Thunderbirds, albeit in a preseason game. Helenius played the first half of Seattle's 5-4 win over Chilliwack, stopping 17 of 18 shots. According to the Seattle papers, the Thunderbirds view Helenius' addition as a substantial piece to their league title chances.
Everett also began their preseason Friday night, but it is unclear as of yet if Dane Crowley played. The official WHL site does not provide stats for preseason games and a game report from the Silvertips did not mention Crowley in the game.
In the QMJHL, defensemen Michael Ward had an assist, four PIM, and a minus-1 rating for Lewiston in a 8-4 preseason loss to St. John.