The Victoria News' Travis Patterson recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lightning draft choice and Victoria Grizzlies winger Justin Courtnall.
Q: Youâ€™ve committed to skate with the Boston University Terriers in the NCAA next season. How did that choice come about?
A: Boston had been watching me for the past couple of years. Itâ€™s a place I always wanted to go to. As a top-rated school, itâ€™s a dream for a lot of kids to go there, luckily it came through for me.
Q: What do you plan on studying?
A: I want to get into business education, but Iâ€™ll just generalize going into next year.
Q: Grizzlies part-owner Len Barrie has since become a part-owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team that drafted you n 2007. Did you know Len before?
A: I met him when I first came to the Grizzlies. I was pleased to hear Len bought the team, but it doesnâ€™t change anything, itâ€™s just part of hockey. Tampa (ownership) was looking to sell there team and Len was interested, people buy stuff.
For the rest of the interview, click here. (Pictured: Courtnall in the BCHL All-Star game)
With about a month to go in the regular season over in Europe, and a little over a couple of months left to go in North America, the 2008-2009 season has turned out to be a good one for the prospects of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Asked to buoy the Lightning's sagging playoff hopes and to compensate for a spate of injuries on the top club's blueline, the team's youth has served admirably and done their part to help right the ship for Head Coach Rick Tocchet's club. Heading into the stretch run of the season, it looks like the youth in the Lightning organization may be priming for a big finish, capping a 2008-2009 season that in many ways has been a validation of the work that's been done by the club's scouts and developmental people, past and present.
By Corine Gatti
NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk defenseman Andy Rogers did not anticipate the difficulty or adjustments he would endure at the start of his professional career. Now, it's a fight to prove to himself and to the brass upstairs that he can move on.
Riddled with injuries and the usual lack of maturity found in many players, Rogers was slipping behind on the depth charts. After two seasons of moving off the radar, Rogers entered the final year of his three-year entry-level contract this season and the 22-year-old started to hush critics. Before the 2008-09 campaign, Rogers had a solid outing at camp for Tampa Bay. He climbed out of obscurity and moved up in the depth charts and prospect rankings during the fall. Rogersâ€™ skating developed further this season, along with working developing better gap control. The Calgary, Alberta native earned 16 to 24 minutes of ice time under the leadership of Norfolk coach, Darren Rumble, according to Admirals General Manager Mike Butters.