March 30, 2008

Another Year in the Books

Well, this wraps up another season of the Ottawa 67s and my second year as a blogger.

There were three signed NHL prospects on the roster this year: Jamie McGinn and Logan Couture with the San Jose Sharks and Adam Courchaine with the Boston Bruins, and two unsigned prospects: Radim Ostrcil (Boston) and Jason Bailey (Anahheim).

By all accounts Killer had drafted reasonably well (draft held Saturday May 5th), picking 6th. The complete list is (Round. Overall draft pick, OHL Team Player Name Team Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate):
  • 1 6 Ottawa 67's Michael Latta Waterloo Wolves RC 5.11 180 5/25/1991
  • 2 26 Ottawa 67's Ryan Martindale Whitby Wildcats LC 6.01 170 10/27/1991
  • 3 46 Ottawa 67's Chris Perugini Mississauga IceDogs G 5.09 125 2/6/1991
  • 4 66 Ottawa 67's Johnathan Carnevale Central Ontario Wolves RW 5.10 165 6/21/1991
  • 5 100 Ottawa 67's Marc Anthony Zanetti Toronto Marlboros LD 5.11 180 5/20/1991
  • 6 106 Ottawa 67's Cam McLean Niagara Falls RW 6.00 165 2/13/1991
  • 7 126 Ottawa 67's Paul Phillips Chicago Chill Midget LD 5.11 175 7/16/1991
  • 8 146 Ottawa 67's Blake Barbieri Mississauga IceDogs RD 6.00 170 3/3/1991
  • No 9th round pick
  • 10 186 Ottawa 67's Riley Sonnenburg Cambridge Hawks LW 6.01 170 1/1/1991
  • 11 206 Ottawa 67's Brian Birkhoff Wexford Raiders LD 6.00 180 5/27/1991
  • 12 226 Ottawa 67's Dustin Walsh Quinte Red Devils LW 5.10 140 3/20/1991
  • 12 228 Ottawa 67's Ben Sexton Kanata Blazers RC 5.10 165 6/6/1991
  • 13 246 Ottawa 67's Jonathan Demme Brampton Battalion AA LD 6.01 175 3/11/1991
  • 14 266 Ottawa 67's Joseph Quattrocchi Kanata Blazers G 6.00 165 4/30/1991
  • 15 286 Ottawa 67's GianPaul Delle Donne Guelph RW 5.11 160 2/11/1991
The first four draftees reported, stayed and contributed in a year when rookies played more than they normally would have. We also had a chance to see Marc Zanetti for a few games during the flurry of tournaments that had a few regulars out of the lineup.

The import draft was held on June 28, 2007 and Killer’s picks were (Overall, Team, Time of Pick, Player, DOB, Pos, Last Team/Country, Height, Weight, NHL Draft):
  • 17, Ottawa 67's , 12:10, Radim Ostrcil, Jan.15.1989, D, HC Vsetin/Czech, 6.00, 194, '07, 169th
  • 38, Ottawa 67's (from Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds), 3:40, Martin Paryzek, March.23.1989, D, HC Ceska Budejovice/Czech, 6.01, 185, 2008
Again, both players reported, stayed and contributed.

Other player changes during the year:
  • Aaron Alophonso was traded to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the off-season for a 3rd round draft pick in the 2008 OHL priority selection and the 38th pick in the European draft.
  • Tye McGinn, younger brother of Jamie, was acquired in a deal for future consideration with Owen Sound. He was drafted by Owen Sound in the 9th round, 168th overall, 2006 OHL Priority Selection.
  • D-Keith Wynn was acquired from the Windsor Spitfires (for future consideration) as an overager. He didn’t last too long – not sure whether he quite or was fired. He just slipped off the radar without (or because of) making much of an impact.
  • Overager D-Zach McCullough was acquired from the Sudbury Wolves for a 3rd round draft pick in the 2008 OHL entry draft.
The season started with high hopes and expectations given that Jamie and Logan were back together, signed by their NHL teams and for all intents and purposes healthy and ready for a stand-out season. Some solid veterans were returning and the crop of rookies was promising.

But, it wouldn’t quite turn out that way. The first sign of trouble was rookie goal tender Adam Courchaine coming down with mono during the summer. By all reports it wasn’t a serious bout but it was a sign of things to come. Then Radim Ostrcil suffered a broken wrist at camp with the Boston Bruins. It delayed his start with the 67s. The OHL doesn’t produce a list of player games lost due to illness or injury but here’s a partial list of the major games lost:
  • Jason Bailey only played 34 games of the regularly scheduled 68 games. Reasons for his absence: mono (17 games), broken face (nose and orbital bone), hip flexor and sports hernia. He needs to go under the knife for the hernia.
  • Logan Couture and Jamie McGinn missed 17 games each due to concussions and back / shoulder issues respectively.
  • Matt Lahey only played 22 games before being permanently side-lined with a shoulder injury that requires surgery.
  • Jon Carnevale was just about to play in the 2008 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge as a member of Team Ontario when he was diagnosed with mono.
  • Tyler Cuma had to sit out the Prospects Game as he had bronchitis.
In fact, there wasn’t a single player who made it through the entire year without missing a game due to illness or injury.

But it wasn’t all bad news. The Ottawa 67s had good representation on a number of national / provincial teams:
  • Tyler Cuma was named to the Under 18 team to defend Canada's title at the eight-country Ivan Hlinka Memorial in Piestany, Slovakia, and Hodonin, Czech Republic.
  • Tyler Cuma was also named to the OHL Top Prospects team. When he couldn’t make it due to illness, Julien Demers went.
  • Martin Paryzek was a member of the Czech National Team in the 2008 World Junior Hockey Championship tournament.
  • Michael Latta and Ryan Martindale were named to the Ontario squad in the 2008 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
  • Chris Perugini starting in net in Barrie against his brother Andrew and coming away with the win.
  • Michael Latta playing in Kitchener in front of friends and family and leading the team to a win with two goals and was named the game’s first star.
  • The 67s beating the loaded-for-Memorial-Cup Kitchener Rangers twice.
  • The rookies playing much more than expected and stepping up - sometimes outplaying the veterans.
  • 4 shut-out wins
  • season sweep of the Barrie Colts
  • 24 1-goal games
  • highest scorers on the team, Jamie McGinn and Logan Couture, ranked 56th and 57th respectively in the league.
  • 6 shut-out losses (2 in a row)
  • third season in a row of below .500 hockey
  • 4-game sweep in the first round of the playoffs
Final Thoughts
  • ya – a tough year to be a fan especially with all the hope we started with. The discussion boards were filled with the usual armchair advice regarding coaching, drafting and trading. But I still had more entertainment value from my 67s tickets than my Senators tickets.
  • By my reckoning Ottawa should be picking 6th or 7th in the draft again so they should have a good chance for quality picks. Let’s hope Killer will start drafting and trading for bigger lads who can also move the puck.
  • I don’t want to get my hopes up too early but it appears that the the 67s could have a solid core of players for next year (and the year after that).
  • Jamie McGinn has already reported to the Worcester Sharks. He registered his first assist in their Saturday night game (a loss – the Sharks are in tough just to make the playoffs).
  • Logan has not been called up, most likely to take the time to get 100% better for next year. Hopefully that will include some serious training for him to get stronger on his feet. It seemed that every other picture I have of him he’s down on the ice. BTW – belated happy birthday to Logan (March 28th).
  • Another belated vsechno nejlepsi to Martin Paryzek (March 23rd) (I hope that means happy birthday in Czech – I looked it up on the web.)
  • Zach McCullough, Matthieu Methot and Jason Bailey have now completed their major junior hockey careers. No word on what their plans are. Good luck guys.
  • Possible overagers for next year: Thomas Kiriakou (Kilrea has already made it clear that he would love to have Thomas back. I would bet he gets the “C” if he returns), Matt Lahey (I wouldn’t bet on it with his history of injuries), Sean Ryan (on the bubble I would think) and Jamie McGinn (hard to call – depends on how it goes in Worcester).
  • Special thanks to Walt for his faithful production of his game sheets which he shared with the regulars in our section. He puts a lot of time and effort into these informative documents and it’s greatly appreciated.
  • We have our tickets to the Memorial Cup in Kitchener. A chance to combine golf and hockey. It should be fun. I’m thinking that I may attempt to work in some time to blog from there (but may get sidelined by other fun stuff).
  • The NHL Draft is in Ottawa this year and I plan to attend the first round. Hopefully we will see Tyler Cuma go early and get pleasantly surprised with good results for the other eligible 67s players.
  • Thanks to photographers Mike, Robert and Jean who were generous with their time and advice - it is much appreciated.
  • And finally thanks to you for taking the time to read my musings and take a look at my pictures. Hopefully we will all be here again next season.

Cheers Everyone!

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