Hershey is loaded this year. What are we going to do next year when these guys are even more ready to join the NHL. Our roster 'problem' this year will only get 'worse' the next few years. What a great problem to have. I wouldnt be surprised if we package a few top prospects for a top NHL guy. yes, we have that much depth.
With the Bears season kicking off tonight I thought I would type up the Bears roster capsules from the Harrisburg Patriot. I will start with the goalies.
#1 Daren Machesney (6'0/195; Catches left; Born 12/13/86; Hamilton, Ontario) - Washington's 5th round pick (143rd overall) in '05 draft. Third year pro had a breakout '07-'08 season (22-10-2, 2.55 GAA, .916 SV%) and became a growing fan favorite with his earnest approach and mental toughness.
#30 Michal Neuvirth (6'1/193; Catches left; Born 3/23/88; Usti Nad Labem, Czech) - Washington's 2nd round pick (34th overall) in '06 draft. Washington mulled the idea of having the touted prospect turn pro last season after a 26-8-4 '06-'07 at Plymouth (OHL). Has fully recovered from offseason knee surgery.
#31 Simeon Varlamov (6'1/183; Catches left; Born 4/27/88; Samara, Russia) - Washington's 1st (23rd overall) round pick in '06 draft. Led Yaroslavl Lokomotiv to the finals of what's now called the Continental Hockey League in Russia last season. Had a strong camp shortened by a groin injury.
#2 Patrick McNeill (6'1/200; Shoots left; Born 3/17/87; Strathroy, Ontario) - Washington's 4th round choice (118th overall) in '05 draft. Split his rookie season between Hershey and South Carolina (ECHL). Wtih a year of experience, should be able to showcase his skating and puck moving skills.
#4 Josh Godfrey (6'0/197; Shoots right; Born 1/15/88; Collingwood, Ontario) - Washington's 2nd round (34th overall) in '07 draft. Possesses a potent point shot that can exceed 100 mph. Scored 41 goals and 67 assists the past two seasons for Sault Ste. Marie (OHL). Had a plus-31 rating last season.
#5 Tyler Sloan (6'3/205; Shoots left; Born 3/15/81; Calgary, Alberta) - Summer '08 free agent signing. The slick-skating seventh year pro has developed into one of the club's top defensemen. He'll again be counted upon for loads of minutes and key roles and has implanted himself on Washington's radar as a recall option.
#6 Sean Collins (6'1/215; Shoots right; Born 10/30/83; Troy, Michigan) - Signed by Washington as a free agent out of Ohio State in '07. Had AHL rookie growing pains (including a concussion) last season, but made positive strides in South Carolina (ECHL) and ahs followed through with a strong '08-'09 training camp.
#7 Karl Alzner (6'2/210; Shoots left; Born 9/24/88; Burnaby, B.C.) - Washington's first choice (5th overall) in '07 draft. Touted prospect with size, skill, game smarts and age-belying maturity. Expected to be a future NHL regular, he's here to get more playing time than would be possible in Washington.
#20 Bryan Helmer (6'1/210; Shoots right; Born 7/15/72; Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) - Sommer '08 free agent signing. Venerable veteran is climbing the all-time AHL charts in games played and defensemen points. One of the league's premier blue liners for more than a decade. Terrific leader and mentor in addition to playing skills.
#27 Grant McNeill (6'2-215; Shoots left; Borm 5/8/83; Vermillion, Alberta) - Summer '08 free agent signing. Provides tough guy presence with a versatility to play defense or forward. Has amassed 534 AHL-ECHL penalty minutes the past two seasons. Originally a Florida Panthers draft pick. Popular team guy.
#29 Dean Arsene (6'2/210; Shoots left; Born 7/20/80; Abbotsford, B.C.) - Summer '08 free agent signing. Heart and soul fan favorite, dubbed the unofficial "Mayor of Hershey" is healthy after two injury plagued seasons. Bruce Boudreau calls him the embodiment of what it means to be a Hershey Bear.
#32 Greg Amadio (6'2/225; Shoots left; Born 5/13/81; Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) - Summer '08 free agent signing. RUgged blue liner figures to become a fan favorite, a process he already started with a spirited exhibition season. Fifth-year AHL pro bolsters team toughness with physical style and ability to drop the gloves.
#37 Sami Lepisto (5'11/180; Shoots left; Born 10/17/84; Espoo, Finland) - Washington's 3rd round pick (66th overall) in '04 draft. Had a strong North American rookie campaign in '07-'08 (45 points). Disappointed by being a late Washington cut, he'll be a Hershey mainstay and a top Caps recall option.
thanks man and godfrey is the one who really excites me as a prospect besides alzner on defense. He sounds like the perfect offensive dman to pair with Mike Green on the powerplay in a couple of years.
#11 Keith Aucoin (5'9/187; Shoots right; Born 11/6/78; Waltham, Mass.) - Summer '07-'08 free agent signing. One of the AHL's premier pivots. The talented playmaker has recorded 20 goal-plus seasons. Hershey hopes he can provide the presence and production at the position that Kris Beech did during the 2005-2006 Calder Cup run.
#14 Jay Beagle (6'3/201; Shoots right; Born 10/16/85; Calgary, Alberta) - Upgraded to two way NHL-AHL contract during the '07-'08 season. The Caps think they've discovered an undrafted gem who had an eye-opening rookie season in '07-'08 (37 points). His organizational stock is soaring thanks to high energy NHL exhibition work.
#18 Kyle Wilson (6'0/200; Shoots right; Born 12/15/84; Oakville, Ontario) - Summer '07 free agent signing by Washington. Reached 30-goal summit last season to follow storybook '06-'07 rise (25 goals) from the ECHL. Has showcased a knack for big production during a season's second half crunch time.
#23 Andrew Joudrey (5'11/187; Shoots left; Born 7/15/84; Bedford Nova Scotia) - Washington's eighth round choice (249th overall) in '03 draft. Heady checking line and penalty kill player scored 11 goals last season as a rookie. Given the club's depth at center, Hershey has been experimenting with him at left wing.
#24 Mathieu Perreault (5'8/166; Shoots left; Born 1/5/88; Drummondville, Quebec) - Washington's 6th round pick (177th overall) in '06 draft. Promising rookie scored 75 goals for Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) the past two seasons. Had a strong NHL Camp with Washington. Has a fearlessness that belies his size.
#12 Alexander Giroux (6'2/200; Shoots left; Born 8/16/81; Quebec City, Quebec) - Reaquired in '07-'08 traded in exchange for Joe Motzko. One of the AHL's most prolific goal scorers. Has tallied more than 30 goals in each of the last four seasons, including a team high 42 for Hershey in '06-'07.
#15 Michael Dubuc (6’2/177; Shoots left; Born 6/29/88; Ganby, Quebec) – Training camp free agent signing. Scored 83 goals the past two seasons for Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL). Showcased that scoring touch as a tryout player in training camp and exhibition games. Will be a recall option if ultimately assigned to Double-A.
#17 Chris Bourque (5’8/180; Shoots left; Born 1/26/86; Boston, Mass.) – Washington’s 2nd round pick in 2004 draft. Fourth year pro made a strong bid to earn a season opening NHL roster spot. Scored 53 goals for Hershey the past two seasons. Made his NHL debut last season and will get more recall shots this year.
#26 Quintin Laing (6’2/200; Shoots left; Born 6/8/79; Harris, Saskatchewan) – Summer ’07 free agent signing upgraded to two-way NHL-AHL contact last season. Enjoyed storybook NHL rise to Washington in ’07-’08 and was nominated for the prestigious Masterton Memorial Trophy. Tremendous role and leader.
#36 Oskar Osala (6’4/217; Shoots left; Born 12/26/87; Vassa Finland) – Washington’s 4th round pick (97th overall) in 2006 draft. A promising power forward prospect who one teammate already is starting to compare to Keith Primeau. Named rookie of the Year in the Finnish League last season.
#10 Andrew Gordon (5'11/180; Shoots right; Born 12/13/85; Halifax, Nova Scotia) - Washington's 7th round pick (197th overall) in 2004 draft. Earnest high energy player rallied from an early South Carolina (ECHL) stint to record a strong rookie season in '07-'08 (51 points) and was Hershey's best playoff performer.
#13 Steve Pinizzotto (6'1/195; Shoots right; Born 4/26/84; Mississauga, Ontario) - Signed as a free agent in '07 by Washington. Spent most of his rookie season in South Carolina (ECHL), scoring 15 goals and adding 17 assists. Increasinly showcasing the gritty, pugnacious play needed for fourth line role.
#19 Darren Reid (6'2/205; Shoots left; Bon 5/8/83; Lac La Biche, Alberta) - Summer '08 free agent. Former Philadlephia Phantom adds tteam toughness and 15-plus goal capability. Versatile fifth year pro can play it any way you want it, fitting both scoring lines and checking lines. Originally a Tampa Bay draft pick.
#21 Graham Mink (6'3/220; Shoots right; Born 5/21/79; Stowe, Vermont) - Summer '08 free agent signing. One of the heroes of Hershey's 2005-2006 Calder Cup club returns after two seasons with Worcester-San Jose. Fearsome forechecker has averaged nearly half a goal per game the last three seasons. A leader with a hunger to win.
#22 Francois Bouchard (6'1/188; Shoots left; Born 4/26/88; Sherbrooke, Quebec) - Washington's 2nd round choice (35th overall) in '06 draft. Promising rookie scored 114 goals for Baie-Comeau (QMJHL) the last three years. Joined Hershey late last year as junior eligible. Brother Marc-Pierre plays for Minnesota Wild.
There you go boys. Your 2008-2009 Hershey Bears. Season kicks off tonight. You can listen to the game by going to www.sportsjuice.com.
I combined the prospects/Hershey bears threads which are both stickied into one thread. I think they are very similar (about our future caps) so with the season coming and game threads needing to be stickied this will be more clean and have less threads stickied. Anyone object to this call?