|Voice of the Pats Phil Andrews|
SAM STEEL COMPLETES NHL COMBINE - Regina Pats forward Sam Steel is back at home after taking part in the 2016 NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo, New York last week. He was one one 114 prospects in attendance.
“It was a pretty cool experience that’s for sure. I am just lucky enough to be a part of it. It’s kind of relieving that it’s over now and you just gotta wait until the draft but overall it was an awesome experience and I was really glad I could take part in it.” Steel said.
Sam showed well in the fitness testing portion of the week, finishing in the top 25 in four of the events.
7th in the Aerobic Fitness: VO2max (ml/kg/min).
Tied 17th in the Anaerobic Fitness: Peak Power Output (watts/kg).
Tied for 7th in the Musculoskeletal: Bench Press 70-80% of Body Weight (# of Reps) where he put up 13 reps. Two back of the overall leader.
Lastly Sam was alone in second with 13 reps in the Musculoskeletal: Pull-Ups Consecutive (max #).
Steel says he didn't hurt his draft stock with his performance both in the testing and meeting with NHL clubs. “The interviews you just gotta be yourself. I thought all the interviews went well so it’s good with that and with the fitness testing I did what I could so I don’t think I hurt my stock there. Overall though I think a lot of it relies on the season.”
The NHL Draft is June 24th and 25th in Buffalo. Steel is ranked 30th in North America by the NHL's Central Scouting Service.
AMERICANS LOOK FOR CONSECUTIVE CHAMPIONSHIPS - Former Pats forward Dyson Stevenson and the Allen Americans are a win away from a second consecutive Kelly Cup Championship. The Americans lead the Wheeling Nailers 3-2 in the series with game 6 going Thursday night in Allen, Texas.
TIM HUNTER TO REPRESENT CANADA - Moose Jaw Warriors Head Coach Tim Hunter has been named an Assistant Coach for Team Canada for the 2017 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. This marks the second time that Hunter will be on the bench for Hockey Canada, in 2015 he was the Head Coach of Canada’s Under-18 team that captured a bronze medal at the IIHF World Under-18 Championships in Switzerland.
GIANTS HIRE NEW COACH - The Vancouver Giants unveiled Jason McKee as the seventh Head Coach in franchise history at a press conference on Thursday in Vancouver. McKee, 37, has served as the Head Coach and General Manager of the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League for the last six seasons. During his tenure, the Saints played in the AJHL Final on five occasions, winning the league championship three times. A two-time AJHL Coach of the Year, McKee was named the Canadian Junior A Coach of the Year for the 2013/14 season.
COUGARS HIRE MATVICHUK - Prince George Cougars General Manager Todd Harkins announced Thursday that former NHL defenceman Richard Matvichuk (Fort Saskatchewan, AB) has been named the 12th Head Coach in the history of the Prince George Cougars. Matvichuk, 43, spent the past two seasons as the Head Coach and the Director of Hockey Operations for the Missouri Mavericks of the East Coast Hockey League. In 2015-16 Matvichuk led the Mavericks to the Brabham Cup title as the ECHL’s regular season champions. Their record was 52-15-5 (109 points), a 44 point improvement compared to a season prior. For his efforts, Matvichuk was named both the ECHL Coach of the Year and the ECHL Executive of the Year. Previously he spent two seasons with the Allen Americans (2012-13 and 2013-14) as the Assistant General Manager and Assistant Coach where he helped guide them to back-to-back league championships.
CJFL SIGNING DAY - Last week Wednesday was signing day for CJFL teams across the country including the Regina Thunder. The Thunder had a great day, inking 40 players to their organization. If you missed it, here is who has committed to the football club. http://philandrews18.blogspot.ca/2016/06/thunder-ink-40-players-on-cjfl-signing.html The 2016 Thunder season starts on August 14th at home to the Edmonton Huskies.
STANLEY CUP FINAL - Lots of talk about Phil Kessel as the possible Conn Smythe favourite as playoff MVP. He and the Penguins lead the Sharks 3-1 and can close out the series at home tomorrow night. Kessel has 10 goals and 21 points in 22 games. San Jose has three guys ahead of him, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns but Kessel has been the best player in the Stanley Cup Final. Are there Leaf fans out their cringing that he is having such success and could very well be hoisting the cup in the next few days? A lot of fans were happy to see him go but I read something once somewhere I will never forget. 'There are no bad players in the NHL, just players playing in the wrong role.' Now with Kessel, he was previously a top 10 scorer as the number 1 guy in Toronto but him playing on the third line in Pittsurgh doesn't hurt what e is able to do on the ice. He is having a fantastic playoffs.
NBA FINALS - The Golden State Warriors have done to the Cavaliers what Cleveland did to Toronto in the Eastern Conference Final. The Cavs have been embarrassed through two games on the road but much like the Raptors I think as the series shifts to Cleveland the Cavaliers will get back into the Finals. The Cavs have done a good job limiting Steph Curry and Clay Thompson and there is no way the Warriors bench will continue to shoot 60 per cent on the road. Conversely Kyrie Irving will find his scoring touch and the Cavaliers will make this a series in my opinion. It won't be a sweep.
BLUE JAYS - What a waste of an incredible start from Aaron Sanchez last night. Sanchez fanned 12 and gave up just one hit through 8 innings and the Jays led 2-0 going to the 9th. They had the bases loaded and could not get a run across, the Detroit Tigers scored twice in their half to tie and won it in the 10th. The Jays just could not buy a hit with runners in scoring position. So disappointing but things are looking a lot better for the Jays in the last month. The starting pitching has been good and other than last night the run production is coming along.
That's all I have for today, looking forward to seeing the 2016 Riders for the first time this weekend at Mosaic, even if it is pre-season.