TSN reports the final cuts for Team Canada at the upcoming 2011 World Junior Championship have been made and both Lightning first rounders Brett Connolly and Carter Ashton made the team. This is the first time two Lightning prospects have made Canada's squad. The last representative for the Lightning on Team Canada was goaltender Dustin Tokarski in 2008-2009. Tokarski was player of the game for Canada in the gold medal match against Victor Hedman and Sweden.
Ashton, taken 29th overall in 2009, currently plays for the Tri-City Americans of the WHL, though he hasn't suited up for the team yet. He was traded from Regina last week. Connolly, taken sixth overall in 2010, is captain of the Prince George Cougars.
Canada will play three exhibition games beginning Monday against Switzerland, with the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championship beginning December 26 in Buffalo, New York, USA.
Connolly and his morning hair appeared on TSN's video segment this morning. Watch here: http://watch.tsn.ca/international-hockey/clip389669#clip389669
The American Hockey League announced today that Norfolk Admirals forward Johan Harju has been named Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending November 28, 2010. Harju scored six goals and notched one assist for seven points while posting a plus-5 rating in five games for the Admirals.
Norfolkâ€™s week began in Charlotte last Monday, and Harju scored twice as the Admirals rallied from two goals down to earn a 7-3 victory. Harju netted four points, including a hat trick, to help Norfolk to another come-from-behind win on Friday night, a 6-3 decision at Adirondack, and scored the game-winning goal in the Admiralsâ€™ 5-2 victory in Springfield on Saturday.
In recognition of his achievement, Harju will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Admirals home game.
Harju, 24, is in his first season of North American hockey after being drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2007. He leads Norfolk and ranks third in the AHL with 13 goals this season and has a team-high 23 points in 17 games with the Admirals. The native of Overtornea, Sweden, has also appeared in four NHL games with the Lightning, making his NHL debut on Nov. 12 at Pittsburgh.
Harju becomes the first AHL Player of the Week from Norfolk since Mathieu Darche won the award on November 18, 2007.
--Norfolk Admirals press release
Yesterday the Ontario Hockey League announced Garrett Wilson (Panthers, 4th - 2009) as its Player of the Week for the week ending October 17. Geoffrey Schemitsch's teammate in Owen Sound had seven goals and added an assist for eight points in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-7.
Lightning prospect Richard Panik of Belleville was named as an honorable mention for the award. Tampa Bay's 2009 second round pick had five goals and two assists for seven points in three games, including his first career hat-trick in a 3-2 win over Saginaw on Saturday.
Panik's 10 goals in 10 games are tied for second in the league, and his 17 points are tied for fourth. Last year Panik had 21 goals and 20 assists in 60 games split between Windsor and Belleville.
The Norfolk Admiral fanbase have selected their All-Time AHL 1st and 2nd teams as part of a 10th Anniversary team celebration at norfolkadmirals.com.
Current Bolt prospect defenseman Vladimir Mihalik and goaltender Dustin Tokarski were voted on the 10th Anniversary 2nd Team. Joining Mihalik and Tokarski on the 2nd team is former Lightning prospect forward Justin Keller. Former Tampa forward Brandon Bochenski was voted on 10th Anniversary 1st Team.
Lightning prospect Mark Barberio, a 2008 sixth round pick of the Bolts, has been named by the QMJHL as a finalist for the Emile "Butch" Bouchard Trophy, awarded to the league's top defenseman.
Joining Barberio as finalists are his Moncton teammate David Savard, a 2009 fourth round pick of the Blue Jackets, and JoÃ«l Chouinard of Drummondville, a sixth round pick of Colorado in 2008.
Barberio set career highs in goals, assists, points, and plus/minus this season, finishing with 17 goals, 43 assists, 60 points, and a plus-39 rating. He finished fifth in the league in points among defensemen, sixth in goals, fifth in assists, and seventh in plus/minus.