Friday, January 22, 2010

Triple Header on TV Today

The Kings may be off, but there is plenty of hockey worth watching on TV later today. In fact, several of the guys suiting up could one day be Kings. Three games with NHL Draft implications are available for viewing or recording:

Everrett Silvertips vs. Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
This game will be on later than the other two listed below - however, it's the marquee match-up of the day when it comes to Draft Watch 2010 as eight guys ranked by the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau will be playing.

Swiss superstar-to-be Nino Nierderreiter (RW) leads a loaded Winterhawks team that features five kids ranked in the top 100 - Nino (ranked #14), center Ryan Johansen (#16), defenseman Troy Rutkowski (#43), left wing Bradley Ross (#69) and defenseman Taylor Aronson (#90).

The Silvertips have three players of their own ranked as well - Kent Simpson (#7 ranked goaltender) and two defenseman, Alex Theriau (#74) and Radko Gudas (#131). If that last name sounds familiar to some of you, Gudas participated in the Kings rookie training camp back in September, wearing jersey #73. He is a year older than most draft eligible players and some scouts say he could be NHL ready next year.

The game can be seen on FoxSports Northwest (channel 687 on DirecTV).

Boston University at Boston College
As I wrote about a few weeks ago when these two teams played outdoors at Fenway, this is the best rivalry in college hockey and is almost always a great game. They've been battling each other for nearly 100 years! They've also won the last two NCAA Championships, Boston in 2009 and BC the year prior. Both are top five schools when it comes to producing future NHL players, including current Kings Rob Scuderi and Peter Harrold.

...and if you've been keeping up on the Kings news this week, Boston schools are favored by Kings GM Dean Lombardi. Shhh, don't tell Jack Johnson.

Scuderi and Harrold both played four years at Boston College. Scuds won a championship with the team in 2001 and Harrold served as team captain his senior year, 2005-06.

This year's BC roster features several potential NHL stars of the future. For example, Chris Kreider, who won a gold medal with Team USA at the recent World Jrs, and three of his teammates have already been drafted by NHL teams. Never to be outdone by their rival, BU's roster features the Colorado Avalanche's first and second round picks from 2007 - Kevin Shattenkirk and Colby Cohen.

Click here to read the recent BC vs BU article detailing the rivalry and all the connections to current and former Kings.

The puck drops at 4:30pm PST on NESN (channel 628 on DirecTV)

Denver Pioneers at Wisconsin Badgers
Another college hockey game, this time featuring two of the top ranked teams in the country - #1 Denver visits #3 Wisconsin. The Badgers have lost five straight games to the Pioneers, including the last two by shutouts. This season they're the second-highest scoring team in the nation though (with a 4.05 goals-per-game average), so they're hoping to reverse their fortunes tonight at home.

In an interesting twist, Denver head coach George Gwozdecky is a former Badger teammate of UW head coach Mike Eaves.

Players to watch: UW Junior defenseman Brendan Smith has been mentioned among the leading candidates for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award.

Jordy Murray, former Kings coach Andy Murray's 'other' son, also plays for UW. As most of you know, Jordy's brother Brady was drafted by the Kings and is still team property. Jordy injured his shoulder in December, however he has come on strong lately -scoring goals in three of the last four games, including a goal in both games last weekend versus #8 Colorado College.

John Ramage, a 6'1" defenseman for Wisconsin, is ranked #187 and will be drafted this June.

Current Kings defenseman Davis Drewiske played four years for the Badgers, winning an NCAA Championship in 2006 (beating Peter Harold and his Boston College teammates).

Read the interview with Andy Murray, where he talks about his sons, by clicking here.

This game can be seen on the NHL Network starting at 5pm PST (channel 215 on DirecTV)

Finally, back in October I wrote an article about the Kings being ahead of the curve in the NHL with their make-up of guys from the college ranks (available by clicking here). It was updated a few weeks later when another former college player, Scott Parse, was called up from Manchester. You can read the 10 Tidbits on Scott Parse article by clicking here.

Read. Watch. Enjoy.

The Mayor

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