Anton But continued his torrid scoring pace today registering a helper on Yaroslavl's opening goal in a 2-1 win over Cherepovets. Alex Polushin returned to the lineup for Severstal in the game after being scratched in the club's last two outings.
Last night the scouts got an opportunity to put the class of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft to the test in skills testing in conjunction with tonight's CHL Top Prospects Game. Ben Maxwell, a center out of Kootenay in the WHL, was the big winner, no doubt improving his stock by winning the 60' and 150' dash and the puck control test. File these away. The Lightning routinely like to take players who are superior skaters and these tests are very revealing about CHL prospect's real skating proficiencies.
Tonight Paul Ranger played his 40th NHL game. That means on Friday, in Dallas, the 21 year old defenseman will graduate from his prospect status on Bolt Prospects and be officially considered an NHLer by this site's criteria. In addition, right winger Evgeny Artyukhin played his 38th game tonight. Barring any scratches, he too will graduate from prospect status next Tuesday, January 24th, against the Florida Panthers. Congratulations to both young men for reaching an early milestone in their careers. Ranger and Artyukhin will remain listed at #1 and #2 in the Bolt Prospects Midterm Rankings until we release our Final Rankings at the conclusion of all Lightning prospects' 2005-2005 seasons.
Congratulations to Norm Milley on his first NHL goal. It was very surprising to see him on the ice protecting a lead with about a minute left to go with Labarbera pulled. But he delivered. John Graham stopped 22 of 23 for the win including a Sean Avery penalty shot.
Norm Milley played 10:34 of even hockey. He had 2 hits and scored on his lone shot, pretty much a walk in for the empty net goal. Evgeny Artyukhin had his 10th assist of the season on the Lightning's third goal by Ruslan Fedotenko. He was +1 in 9:06 of ice time with two shots on goal and 3 hits. Ryan Craig played a quiet 15:21 of even ice time with 1 shot on goal and 2 blocked shots. Quiet, dependable Paul Ranger played 16:20 of even hockey with 1 shot and 3 blocked shots.
Game sheet from NHL.com.
The Johnstown Chiefs completed a trade today sending veteran winger Paul Caponigri and defenseman Tyler Kindle to the Idaho Steelheads. In return, the Chiefs received defenseman Jim Hakewill and and center Brad Thompson. Hakewill, a former 5th round pick of the Calgary Flames in 2001, is a rookie who is playing his first professional season after graduating from St. Lawrence University. In his senior year, his best college season, he had 4 goals and 8 points 33 games to go along with 44 penalty minutes. At 6'5" 222 lbs, Hakewill is a prototypical big stay-at home defenseman. Thompson, who stands at 6'0" 190 lbs, is also in his rookie season out of Minnesota State-Mankato. In his senior season he tallied 13 goals and 24 points and 24 penalty minutes in 38 games.