This is a bit late (for a variety of pseudo-reasons), but at last the lengthy evaluation process is complete.
Today, Bolt Prospects is releasing its Mid-Term Rankings for the 2007-2008 season. Defenseman Mike Lundin has joined the graduated prospect list; therefore, he is no longer on the prospect rankings list. Mario Scalzo, acquired earlier in the season from the Dallas Stars organization, makes his debut on the rankings list.
Quick, a 6-foot-0, 175-pound defenseman, had two goals and two assists in 21 games with the University of Michigan Wolverines this season prior to joining the Admirals. The 19-year-old was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third round (78th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft out of The Salisbury School in Connecticut.
Quick was dismissed by Michigan last week for violating team rules. The Buffalo News has released a report on the incident.
A comprehensive overview of Quick's present situation, with quotes from Loiselle and Quick, was published out of Norfolk can can be found here. For more details of the signing, see the St. Petersburg Times.
Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster released the following statement on the Kevin Quick situation:
We have shared with his family adviser our thoughts on what is best for both Kevin's hockey career in light of the options that are available to him as well as for his own personal development and well-being.
Quick, a freshman defenseman with the University of Michigan and a Lightning draftee, was dismissed from the Wolverines yesterday after "violating team rules and trust."
Prior to Kevin choosing to return to Salisbury Prep after his draft year, the Lightning put the full-court press on him, encouraging him to go the Major Junior route with his development (Both Kevin and his younger brother, Kyle, have their rights held by the Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting). Kevin eventually returned to Salisbury for a year before choosing to play collegiately at Michigan.
Green Bay of the USHL drafted Kevin in 2006, but released him after Quick decided to return to Prep school.
With Quick's developmental path again at a crossroads, Feaster told BoltProspects, "We will be doing the same kind of lobbying in this case and, yes, we are interested in signing him."
Kyle Okposo, who is 19 like Quick, recently left the University of Minnesota on his own terms to join the New York Islanders' AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.
Quick could be signed and end up in the AHL with Norfolk, or he could go to Major Junior and play with the likely top 2008 NHL draft choice Steven Stamkos in Sarnia.
Culled from the message board...
Coach Red Berenson did not give the specifics of why he dismissed the freshman defenseman from the program but said once he learned all of the details Thursday of what Quick did, it was the right thing to do.
"Obviously, it was serious enough that we had to let him go," Berenson said. "It was just a total violation of our team trust and our rules.
"He's a good kid, and it's been a long, long week for me having to make this decision, but it was the only thing to do."
Michigan players declined to comment about the dismissal. Quick could not be reached Friday for comment.
Berenson has suspended players in season before for academic or behavior reasons, but rarely has someone been immediately dismissed.
"I didn't know everything until (Thursday), and once I did, it was a quick decision," Berenson said.
Quick, a 3rd round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, is considered one of the Lightning's brightest young prospects.
Hat tip to message board member Matt.
Adam Henrich: "If I didnâ€™t commit myself, I was going to have to find something else to do with my life"Submitted by chad on December 13, 2007 - 15:11
Former Lightning prospect Adam Henrich, who was not re-signed last summer after struggling with AHL Springfield, has been a completely different player recently while on a tryout contract with the Norfolk Admirals.
The Citizens Voice of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, recently caught up with Henrich after the former Brampton Battalion forward had a 4 point night leading the Ads to a 5-3 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
â€œI realized after last season I had to be more humble and work harder,â€ Henrich, who has 5 goals and 6 assists in 6 games since his promotion, told the newspaper.
No matter what his role is, Dana Tyrell's work ethic remains the same.
After playing in the shadows of Devin Setoguchi, Eric Hunter, and Jared Walker last season, Tyrell has broke out in a big way this season with the Prince George Cougars.
"Even if things aren't going for Dana offensively, his work ethic is always the strongest on the ice. He is avery humble young man who plays the same way if he's the main guy or not," said Cougars head coach Drew Schoneck.
"Last year, he wanted to be 'the man', but he had a strong supporting cast of players. This year, he has taken that extra pressure and really been a force for our team in so many ways."
For the full feature by Jason Hills of the Edmonton Sun, which includes several quotes that give evidence as to why the Lightning chose Dana with their first choice in the 2007 draft, click here: Tyrell claws his way into leading role with Prince George Cougars
Itâ€™s been a lengthy evaluation process but the time is finally here!
Today, Bolt Prospects is releasing its Preliminary Rankings for the 2007-2008 season. Due to the addition of the Lightningâ€™s 2007 draftees, who will be appearing in the rankings for the first time, we have re-expanded the list back to 25. Seven players who have never appeared in the rankings make their debut this Fall.
When Helenius gets really animated, he explodes into a steady cadence of Finnish and English. It's a hybrid of discordant syllables, and though no one really understands each word, the meaning is clear.
"There's some form of yelling coming out of his mask, but no one really knows what he's saying," Seattle coach Rob Sumner said.
"It just comes out naturally," Helenius said with a wide smile. "The players can figure out what I'm saying. There might be a couple of bad words, but those are bad words in Finnish, too."
For the remainder of the feature, see the Seattle Times story, T-Birds Goalie is a Force.
I was fortunate enough to be invited down to The Scope before Saturday morningâ€™s optional skate to talk to Norfolk Head Coach Steve Stirling and Norfolk General Manager Claude Loiselle. At about 9 am I made my way down to the building in the heart of a quiet downtown Norfolk. The hockey operations staff were in a good mood after beating the Binghamton Senators 5-1 in the Admiralsâ€™ home opener, and there was a feeling in the building that things were starting to get on the right track.
In the new era of the NHL where the salary cap reigns, it is imperative clubs find and develop their own talent through their farm system. Since the lockout in 2004-2005, the Lightning has been forced to compete to stay at the top of the food chain by carefully shopping for affordable free agents and coordinating financially-sensitive trades. While other clubs have had the option of plugging multiple holes with cost-feasible prospects, the Lightning has been forced to look outside the organizational depth chart for help.