Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sea Dogs Notebook


The Sea Dogs tweeted the above on Friday, showing that Harbour Station is nearly set for start of training camp which gets rolling on Wednesday morning.

Former Sea Dogs tough guy Will Johnston has signed a one-year contract with the East Coast Hockey League’s Cincinnati Cyclones, reports the Summerside Journal Pioneer.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Johnston. "It's always something I've debated, whether I wanted to stay home or go away.

"I think I have made the right choice. If you have the opportunity now, you may as well take it because it may not come later in life."

The Charlottetown native played in five regular season games for Saint John in 2009-10, recording a goal and five penalty minutes. He saw action in nine playoff games due to injuries, registering no points and 10 penalty minutes.

Johnston, known more for his fists than his skills, has spent most of his junior career with the Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Junior Hockey League.

Former Sea Dogs sniper Scott Howes re-signed with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces earlier this week.

Howes is coming off a terrific season with the Kelly Cup champions, recording 22 goals and 36 assists in 59 regular season games. In the playoffs he added seven goals and 12 helpers in a dozen contests en route to being named the ECHL’s playoff Most Valuable Player.

He will be back for a second season in Alaska, but when he will make his debut this season is still unknown after undergoing shoulder surgery.

"It doesn't excite me,'' Howes said of his extended time off to the Anchorage Daily News. "I want to play. But it's not worth it. Really, we're looking at probably December to be 100 percent.''

Howes played for Saint John in 2007-08 as an overager, registering 42 goals and 28 assists in 59 regular season games and another 14 markers and 15 assists in 14 post-season tilts.

ESPN of all places has the Florida Panthers ranked as the top team in the NHL in terms of “the depth of their talent.” Sea Dogs forward Jonathan Huberdeau is a big piece of the first-place ranking.

From ESPN:
The Panthers have the most blue-chippers coming down the pipeline, and Jonathan Huberdeau (third overall, 2011) leads a long list of players who will play, and well, at the NHL level. He is a leader, loaded with desire and talent, and has a knack for making big plays. Eric Gudbranson (third overall, 2010) is ready to make the jump from juniors to the NHL, and there's also Quinton Howden (25th overall, 2010), and Nick Bjugstad (19th overall, 2010). All the Panthers need now is time to let their top prospects develop.
ESPN says the Panthers have 15 “top prospects” in their organization.

The Panthers blog ‘The Litter Box’ has more reaction.

The Sea Dogs newsletter is a must read this work. In the issue:

  • Ryan Tesink has been training with Mike Thomas this summer.
  • Beaulieu and Huberdeau at Team Canada camp.
  • Rivalry Cup point format to be revealed soon.
  • Sea Dogs received a Saint John Merit Award in the sports category.

Gare Joyce, ESPN’s hockey prospect writer, is moving on to join the Rogers family. He posted his final ESPN column yesterday where he writes about five players and moments that stand out over his time at the network.

No. 1 on his list is Jonathan Huberdeau.

“Despite those impressive showings, I'm not quite sure what kind of player he's going to be down the line,” he writes. “In terms of skating and dynamic skill in QMJHL, Claude Giroux comes to mind but that doesn't make Huberdeau any easier to categorize -- Giroux too is something of work in progress rather than a finished product.

“Watching Huberdeau's skating mechanics was a real treat for fans and scouts. It seems unlikely that the Panthers will keep him around this autumn (though never say never). He could be the player of greatest interest with the Canadian team at the WJC in Calgary.”

How about this for a name from the past – Dave Starenky.

The defenseman played in eight games with the Sea Dogs in their inaugural 2005-06 campaign, recording no points and 37 penalty minutes. He also played with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the MHL’s Woodstock Slammers that season.

The Calgary native signed with the Central Hockey League’s Fort Wayne Komets earlier this week.

Starenky has spent the past two seasons with St. Georges of the LNAH ranks.

Lastly, here is Steve Dangle’s recap of Team Canada summer Development Camp.

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