When asked, there's no hesitation.
Kyle DeCoste quickly admits that yes, this is the biggest year of his life.
A fifth-round draft choice of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008, DeCoste's play over the next several months will determine whether he gets a professional contract.
But it may take the London, Ont., native some time to be completely ready for his fourth Ontario Hockey League season.
The 19-year-old right-winger, who joined the Soo Greyhounds just before last season's Jan. 10 trade deadline, is recovering from shoulder surgery in April.
The six-foot-two, 196- pounder, is "almost 100 per cent back," after having a torn labrum (cartilage) repaired on his left side.
But the surgery kept DeCoste, who scored 15 times a season ago, including seven in 26 games for the Greyhounds, from training the way he needed to.
For the rest of the story, see the Sault Star by clicking here.
Lightning prospect Tokarski does nothing but win
(National Post) The 19-year-old goaltender obsessively taps his posts and his chest. And during every stoppage in play, he pokes the top of his net twice with the blade of his stick.
"That kid must take forever to wash his hands," one fan observed after watching Tokarski mind the Spokane Chiefs' net during a Western Hockey League game last season.
Like baseball player Nomar Garciaparra's ritual of adjusting and readjusting his gloves before every pitch, Tokarski's habits can be enervating to watch.
But as much as his twitchiness makes him appear unsettled, it also puts him in a comfort zone.
"I've been doing that ever since I was 13 years old," he says.
Tokarski has also made a habit of winning.
To read the rest of the story, see the National Post/StarPhoenix by clicking here.
With two weeks now passed since a very successful 2009 NHL Entry Draft and an equally successful Young Guns prospect camp, Bolt Prospects has released a supplemental update to its 2008-2009 Final Rankings. The rankings primarily reflect the addition of the team's recent draftees, as well as recent contractual moves by the team and its prospects.
Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick ahead of schedule in recovery from December knee injury
It wasnâ€™t the way he envisioned spending his winter months, but Dana Tyrell is making the best of a bad situation and is hoping to hit the ice this summer stronger than ever.
After completely tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and partially tearing the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during a Dec. 18 World Junior exhibition game against Sweden, Tyrell has taken to the arduous task of rehabbing the knee with his trademark hard working approach.
The soon-to-be 20-year-old has been working on the knee with a Hockey Canada physiotherapist at Canada Olympic Park, along with his trainer of over two years, Doug Crashley.
â€œMy (physiotherapist) says itâ€™s ahead of schedule so things are moving along quickly,â€ Tyrell said after a recent morning workout session at COP. â€œItâ€™s a six month recovery, but Iâ€™ve seen guys Iâ€™ve been training with in here that are at a five month point and Iâ€™m ahead of them already.â€
To read the rest of the story, click here: Airdrie Echo