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Kaprizov Headlines 2021 Rookie Draft

In Uncategorized on October 3, 2021 at 5:57 pm

The Adirondack Aces finally found the silver lining to their nightmare season, drafting dynamic winger Kirill Kaprizov with their first overall pick in the 2021 GWMHL Rookie Draft.

Otherwise, it was a relatively quiet day, with no real blockbuster trades, although the Delta Sturgeon flipped its 2022 first rounder for El Dorado’s first this year and grabbed goaltender Jake Oettinger with the pick.

Oettinger was one of four netminders to be picked in the first round, as Ice Harbor took Spencer Knight at 9th, Pittsburgh took Jeremy Swayman at 16th and Boston took Ilya Sorokin at 17th.

After Kaprizov, probably the consensus first overall, the draft saw Alexis Lafreniere go to Farmington at 2nd, Cole Caufield go to Hamilton at 3rd, and Tim Stutzle land in Parry Sound at 4th.

See the complete results of the 2021 GWMHL Rookie Draft here.

Night Train Add Veteran Stastny

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2021 at 1:09 pm

It’s been a relatively quiet offseason, but with the 2021 Rookie Draft now only weeks away, the action is about to heat up. The Vancouver Night Train made their first pre-draft move of the year, acquiring veteran centre Paul Stastny from the expansion Clarington Coyotes, along with a fourth round pick, for their second rounder, 43rd overall.

Stastny, who scored 35 goals for the Farmington Fighting Saints last season, was one of the best offensive performers to be picked in the expansion draft. The veteran is likely in the twilight of his career, but the Night Train hope he can settle into a third line role or possibly play on a second line with Mat Barzal to shelter him from faceoff duties. The Coyotes, meanwhile, have no shortage of experience up front and need to build a solid prospect pool around them.

South Side Adds Carlo to Blueline

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2021 at 2:37 pm

The Boston Banshees and South Side Renegades broke the silence of a slow off-season trade period, agreeing to a deal that will send defenseman Brandon Carlo to South Side in exchange for Filip Chytil and a 4th round pick in the 2021 rookie draft.

Carlo, a former 13th overall pick, has 252 games under his belt as a regular defensive defenseman for the Banshees. He notched 14 points in 78 games for Boston in 2020-21. Chytil, who was drafted 16th overall in 2018, never found his stride for the Renegades, and has 22 points in 102 career games.

Boston Opens Trading with Pair of Moves

In Uncategorized on June 16, 2021 at 8:47 am

To the surprise of no one, it was the Boston Banshees – a team in constant flux – who were the first to strike once trading opened following the 2020-21 season.

The Banshees made a pair of moves, first acquiring veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak and a third round pick from the expansion Clarington Coyotes in exchange for defenseman Oliver Kylington and two fourth rounders. Then, in a splashier move, the Banshees unloaded veterans Joe Pavelski and Zach Parise to the West Virginia River Rats. In return, the Banshees acquired promising forward Robert Thomas, Nicolas Roy, and a third.

The latter move signals a retooling year for the Banshees and a commitment to go all-in by the River Rats, who are fresh off a 6-game loss to El Dorado in the cup finals. The Rats lost three key veterans in the expansion draft (Jacob Markstrom, Mark Giordano, and David Savard) and seem intent on reloading quickly. Parise had 37 goals and 59 points in 82 games last season for Boston, while Pavelski added 20 goals and 52 points.

Season in Review: Records Toppled in 2020-21

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2021 at 2:52 pm

As the league enters the offseason and begins planning for 2021-22, it’s a good opportunity to look back at a few of the major milestones we saw during this past regular season.

Most notably, El Dorado‘s Alex Ovechkin has become the GWMHL’s all-time leading goal scorer with 699, just eclipsing Teemu Selanne’s previous mark of 697. He’s poised to become the league’s first 700-goal man early next season. His 74 goals last year were both a career best and good for 6th all-time. Quite a season for the sniper, who also hoisted the cup with the champion Lynx.

Salem‘s Patrick Marleau also etched his name in the books, becoming the league’s all-time leader in games played with 1626, breaking the record of 1,603 previously held by Jaromir Jagr. Denver winger Tom Wilson set a new single-season record for hits with 294, five ahead of Keith Tkachuk’s 289 from all the way back in 1997-98.

Great Lakes starter Andrei Vasilevskiy faced the third most shots of all time (2,575), behind only Henrik Lundqvist (2,675 in 10-11) and Miikka Kiprusoff (2,602 in 06-07). Great Lakes also set a new single-season high for total shots allowed (3,415), but, shockingly, were surpassed by another, even more porous defense: the Portland Winterhawks allowed 3,446 shots against, the most ever in a single season.

Not to be outdone, the Parry Sound Orrsmen posted the third worst goals against average (4.40) in league history, behind only the New Jersey Devils and Rochester Chenes Royale. If those names don’t ring a bell, it’s because those records were both set in the 1993-94 season, nearly 30 years ago.

Adirondack Keeps First Pick, Farmington Climbs in Draft Lottery

In Uncategorized on June 14, 2021 at 6:15 pm

The Adirondack Aces, who endured a nightmare 22-53-7 regular season, retained the first overall pick today, as the league held the lottery to determine the order of the first round of the 2021 Rookie Draft. Bigger news was that the Farmington Fighting Saints, who initially held the 11th spot in the lottery, climbed all the way to the number two spot. Hamilton claimed the third pick, leaving Parry Sound, Portland, South Side, and Great Lakes fans reeling at having dropped two spots. Still, in what projects to be a strong draft pool in the first round, all teams should be able to walk away with a blue-chip prospect.

The opening 12 picks in the first round will be:

1. Adirondack
2. Farmington
3. Hamilton
4. Parry Sound
5. Portland
6. South Side
7. Great Lakes
8. Denver
9. Ice Harbor (from Charleston)
10. San Jose
11. Salem
12. Ice Harbor

The Expansion Draft is Complete!

In Uncategorized on June 8, 2021 at 12:44 pm

The first GWMHL expansion draft in over two decades took place this week and last, and saw 60 players join either the Clarington Coyotes or the Hershey Bears. With the 20 existing teams largely protecting their more promising young players, Clarington and Hershey had their pick of several bigger veteran names, including Mark Giordano, Paul Stastny, and Dustin Brown.

See the complete 2021 Expansion Draft results here.

Who was hit the hardest?

Every team lost three players, meaning no one really avoided losing a regular roster contributor, but a few teams felt the pain more than the rest.

Farmington gave up Stastny (35 goals last year) alongside Tanner Pearson (23 goals) and prospect defenseman Andrew Peeke. They’ll need youngsters Drake Batherson, Josh Norris, and Conor Garland to step up and fill the void in the top nine. The newly crowned champs, El Dorado, lost two key depth pieces in Mats Zuccarello (21 goals in 50 games) and Brown (19 goals), along with checking centre Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. In losing Brown and Bellemare, they enter next season without either of the players they acquired in a mid-season trade with Parry Sound.

Also of note, the West Virginia River Rats two veteran defensemen — including Giordano (23 points in 59 games) — and goaltender Jacob Markstrom, who they may have been banking on shouldering quite a few starts next season. The Vancouver Night Train were relieved of goalie Chris Driedger (2.33 and .932 in 14 game), steady two-way defenseman Dmitry Orlov (24 points in 56 games) and Adam Henrique, who scored 39 goals last season — the most among the drafted players — while riding shotgun with Mat Barzal.

Finally, the Baltimore Crab lost two key players nursing serious injuries, winger Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Hampus Lindholm to Clarington and Hershey, respectively. Their new clubs hope they can both bounce back. If they do, the losses could prove costly for the Crab.

A look at the expansion teams’ rosters

So where do things stand? With trading set to open and both Clarington and Hershey now spilling over with depth, we could see a flurry of moves. But if the season started today, this is what the Expansion Draft has added to these teams’ rosters.

Clarington Coyotes

Already on the roster: F Vitaly Abramov, F Jack Studnicka, D Cale Fleury, D Riley Stillman, G Sergei Bobrovsky

C Nazem Kadri
C Paul Stastny
C Nick Bonino
C Lars Eller
C Blake Lizotte
C Mitchell Stephens
LW Tanner Pearson
LW Nick Paul
LW Scott Laughton
LW Jeff Skinner
LW Artturi Lehkonen
LW Brock McGinn
LW Tyler Benson
RW Mats Zuccarello
RW Vladimir Tarasenko
RW Jeff Carter
RW Joel Armia
RW Josh Archibald
RW Jake Virtanen
D Alex Goligoski
D Jamie Oleksiak
D Brendan Smith
D Calvin de Haan
D Connor Clifton
D David Savard
D Justin Braun
D Dennis Cholowski
G Jacob Markstrom
G Braden Holtby
G Jaroslav Halak

Hershey Bears

Already on the roster: F Jesper Boqvist, F Pierre Engvall, F David Gustafsson, F Nikolai Prokhorkin, F Eric Robinson, F Carter Verhaeghe, F Mikhail Vorobyev, D Dennis Gilbert, G Adam Werner

C Chandler Stephenson
C Adam Henrique
C Radek Faksa
C Tyler Bozak
C Alexander Kerfoot
C Colton Sissons
C Ivan Barbashev
C Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
C Brandon Sutter
C Aleksi Saarela
C Alexander True
LW Calle Jarnkrok
LW Boone Jenner
LW Valeri Nichushkin
RW Dustin Brown
RW Warren Foegele
RW Luke Glendening
D Mark Giordano
D Dmitry Orlov
D Kevin Shattenkirk
D Danny DeKeyser
D Brady Skjei
D Patrik Nemeth
D Travis Hamonic
D Hampus Lindholm
D Andrew Peeke
D Martin Fehervary
G Mike Smith
G Chris Driedger
G Antti Raanta

Expansion Draft Hits Halfway Point

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2021 at 2:19 pm

The 2021 Expansion Draft has hit its midpoint, with 15 picks in the books for each of Clarington and Hershey.

Both teams grabbed goalies early, with Clarington picking veteran Jacob Markstrom from recent cup finalist West Virginia and Hershey selecting relatively inexperienced Chris Driedger from Vancouver, but after that the picks were dominated by forwards. Notables include now-former El Dorado wingers Mats Zuccarello (to Clarington) and Dustin Brown (to Hershey), along with Jeff Carter (from Salem to Clarington) and Paul Stastny (from Farmington to Clarington).

Both teams took big swings at injured Baltimore skaters, as Clarington made Vladimir Tarasenko an early pick while Hershey added defenseman Hampus Lindholm.

To date, both West Virginia and Winnipeg have had three players chosen and the rest of their rosters are now safe. Meanwhile, neither Great Lakes nor Portland have had a single player chosen.

See the complete results here.

The Expansion Draft begins

In Uncategorized on June 2, 2021 at 11:36 am

The GWMHL’s first expansion since 1999 is well underway, as the two new teams — the Clarington Coyotes and Hershey Bears — began making their Expansion Draft selections. The process is expected to take some time as teams update their protected lists with every selection.
Kicking things off, Hershey selected versatile forward C Chandler Stephenson from the Winnipeg Falcons. Stephenson joins a growing roster that already includes promising 2020 draftees like Carter Verhaeghe.

Dave Atkinson (1964-2021)

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2021 at 2:00 pm

GWMHL founding member, former commissioner, and most passionate supporter Dave Atkinson passed away at his home in Washington on May 10, 2021. He was 57 and is survived by his wife and two sons.

Dave was a good friend to many in the APBA Hockey community and a linchpin of the NHL hockey disk team, devoting countless hours of his time to allow others to enjoy this hobby. It’s impossible to imagine this community without him. Dave’s passion, commitment, and rigorous standards may be unmatched in the APBA Hockey world. The GWMHL family misses him deeply. This league and, most importantly, the friendships we’ve formed through it stand as a tribute to his memory. Good travels, Big Dog.

Read Dave’s obituary here.

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