Friday, March 5, 2010

Draft Watch - Lots of prospects on TV

Want to see some Kings prospects on television this weekend? How about some of the kids that will be drafted by NHL teams at the 2010 Draft being held in Los Angeles? How about some college hockey tournament action?

All three can be seen over the next three days, including a Calgary Hitmen game - which features LA Kings goaltending prospect Martin Jones in net and possible WHL scoring champion Brandon Kozun at right wing. So fire up the DVRs...

Here is a quick rundown on games you can choose from:

Seattle Thunderbirds vs. Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

Unless you've been living under a rock (or not reading this site), you know how much Kings GM Dean Lombardi loves the Western Hockey League. So much so that the last three years running he's taken a player from the Dub in the first round - Thomas Hickey ('07), 'Mr. Nasty' Colten Teubert ('08) and Brayden Schenn ('09).

Tonight's game starts at 7pm PST on Fox Sports NorthWest (DirecTV channel 687). The showcase player in the game will be T-birds goalie Calvin Pickard. He's currently ranked #1 among all North American goalies by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau. The 6'1" netminder is expected to give Team USA phenom Jack Campbell a run for his money at the draft. One of them is expected to go early in the opening round as the first goalie taken this year.

Kelowna also features two ranked players of their own...Mitchell Chapman (ranked #151) is a 6'2" defenseman who loves to drop the gloves. To see his latest fight, as well as some other clips of his physical altercations, click here to see some clips from

Brett Bulmer, a 6'2" right wing, is ranked #164.

Also playing in the game are Tyson Barrie (selected in the third round of last year's draft by the Avalanche) and Prab Rai (a 5th round pick of the Canucks in '08). Both are among the top 20 scorers in the WHL's Western Conference.

Becuase the Olympic talk never ends around here...Nashville Predators and Team Canada defenseman Shea Weber played his junior hockey for the Kelowna Rockets.

And one final note on two weeks the Detroit Red Wings will take a very rare late season bonding trip to Kelowna. It seems that GM Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock figured it would be a great way to spend the off days between a Monday game in Calgary and a Friday game in Edmonton. They'll be hosting an open practice for the town and have a few other events planned. To read more about their unique plans click here.

Saskatoon Blades vs Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

This game is on Sunday afternoon and will be a double can catch five ranked players for this year's draft in catch two Kings prospects.

Martin Jones has been an outstanding free agent signing for the Kings. He played a little at the recent World Junior Championships for Canada (winning a silver medal) and has been rock solid in goal for the Hitmen all year - winning WHL player of the week honors in February.

Meanwhile, last year's 6th round pick by the Kings, Brandon Kozun, has been a one man wrecking crew. He also played for Team Canada at the World Jrs and is the only 2x player of the week this season in the WHL. He currently has 94 points, only 3 behind league leader Jordan Eberle of the Regina Pats.

Saskatoon's ranked players for the 2010 draft:
#56 - Curtis Hamilton 6'2" LW
#68 - Charles Inglis 5'11" C

Calgary's ranked players:
#85 - Matt Mackenzie 6'1" D (to read a scouting report on him click here)
#181 - Cody Beach 6'4" RW

Mackenzie also played for Team Orr at the recent CHL Top Prospects game. He finished the night with zero points and a +1 rating.

Calgary and Saskatoon are two of the top three teams in the WHL, with Calgary leading all teams at 97 points. Saskatoon has 93 points, good for third best in the Eastern Conference. So, on paper, this looks to be an outstanding game.

It will be the first WHL game of the year to be broadcast in the U.S. on the NHL Network (DirecTV channel 215). The puck is scheduled to drop at 4pm PST on Sunday.

NCAA College Hockey

Friday 4:30pm PST - #5 ranked Boston College at #10 New Hampshire (Rob Scuderi went to BC and helped take his team to the NCAA hockey championship game three of his four years, finally winning it all in 2001...his final season as an Eagle) - NESN (DirecTV channel 628)

Friday 5:30pm PST - Michigan Tech at #7 ranked North Dakota (Kings d-man Matt Greene played for the Fighting Sioux, losing out on the NCAA championship to Denver during his final season there, 2004-05) - NESN (DirecTV channel 628)

Friday 6:30pm PST - Colorado College at #1 ranked Denver - FSN Rocky Mountain (DirecTV channel 683)

Saturday 4:30pm PST - CCHA Tournament - Lake Superior State at Michigan (like Jack Johnson says 'Go Big Blue') - Fox Sports Denver (DirecTV channel 663)

Saturday 6pm PST - #1 ranked Denver at Colorado College - FSN Rocky Mountain (DirecTV channel 683)

Take lots of notes, there will be a quiz later.

Read. Watch. Enjoy.

The Mayor

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