Monday, June 29, 2009

Check out what the Carolina Hurricanes have to say about PuckAgency client Mattias Lindstrom

Mattias Lindstrom was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the third round of the Entry Draft on Saturday. Lindstrom, chosen 88th overall, is a 6'4" Swedish defenseman. Hear what the Hurricanes have to say about Lindstrom.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

David Rundblad selected 17th overall by St. Louis in NHL Entry Draft

The St. Louis Blues selected PuckAgency client, defenseman David Rundblad, in the first round of the Entry Draft on Friday night. Rundblad, 18, played in the Swedish Elite League during the 2008-09 season. John Davidson, President of the Blues said, "We always talk about you can never have enough defense. We had David ranked in our top 10. That's high-end skill there." (USA Today)

Blues Select Rundblad at 2009 Draft
Swedish defenseman was selected in first round, 17th overall
St. Louis Blues
Jun 26, 2009, 9:32 PM EDT

MONTREAL – The St. Louis Blues today selected defenseman David Rundblad with the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.Rundblad, 18, a native of Lycksele, Sweden, competed in the Swedish Elite League for SkellefteĆ„ in 2008-09. As a 17 year old rookie he held his own on the blue line recording 10 assists (0-10-10) in 45 games. He spent 10 games with the junior team this season, showing his offensive side, contributing 15 points (8-7-15).At the 2009 World Junior Championships, Rundblad helped Sweden win a silver medal, finishing with a plus-three rating and two points (1-1-2) in six games. He won gold at the 2007 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament, defeating Finland 3-2 in the final.In 2007-08, as a member of the SkellefteĆ„ Junior team, Rundblad led all defensemen in points (26) and goals (11) in 35 games. The 6-2, 189-pound defenseman was ranked 6th among all European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

PuckAgency's Tim Erixon selected 23rd overall by Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames selected Swedish defenseman Tim Erixon in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft in Montreal. Erixon was selected 23rd overall on Friday night.

Flames select Swedish bloodlines in Erixon
By Scott Cruikshank, Calgary Herald, June 26, 2009

There had been pre-draft buzz that the Calgary Flames would pick according to bloodlines.
Maybe Landon Ferraro, son of Ray.
Maybe Carter Ashton, son of Brent.
Maybe Dylan Olsen, son of Darryl.
Well, none of the above.
But the Flames didn’t deviate far from the family tree.
With their first-round selection at the National Hockey League draft Friday at the Bell Centre, the Flames bagged Tim Erixon, a Swedish defenceman who’s the son of Jan, a splendid defensive forward for the New York Rangers (1983-93).
But this day belonged to the boy.
“It’s a great feeling, for sure, an awesome feeling,” Erixon, via telephone, said from Montreal. “It’s a dream come true. A great organization. I’m very happy about it.”
Added the proud papa: “Can I brag? He’s a two-way defenceman with offensive skills. He can play on the power play, I would say, and on the penalty kill, too. Good size. He’s a pretty good skater for his size. Mobile. He has a good first pass.
“It was a tough night. It’s great to see him picked by a classy team, and I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing him play there.”
This past season, Erixon skated primarily in Swedish elite league, making 45 appearances and collecting seven points.
“One of the reasons he was able to play against men — and that’s the top men’s league — is because he’s smart,” said Flames director of scouting Tod Button. “He’s got some physical development to do. He doesn’t have to grow any more, he’s just got to get man strong. His ability to read the game, to get to the right spots ahead of time, is what allows him to play in the elite league at a young age.”
Jan had been drafted by the Rangers, 30th overall in 1981 (which just happens to be one selection before Mike Sands — currently director of amateur scouting for the Flames — was taken by the Minnesota North Stars).
Jan ended up making 556 appearances (many against the arch-rival — and current Flames employees — Duane and Brent Sutter in Long Island), collecting 216 points, for the Blueshirts.
Flames scout Tom Webster, once upon a time, coached Jan in New York.
And while pedigree always makes for intriguing storylines, it’s not something the scouts discount, either.
“It doesn’t make a defining difference,” said Button, “but you know what? He’s ahead of the game mentally, in how to prepare for games, and his maturity level . . . because of his dad. He can go to his dad for advice. (Bloodlines) aren’t going to make a bad player a good player, but it’s certainly going to help make a good player settle down and be more mature.”
Operating out of the 20 hole, the Flames boss did what he likes to do.
Trade down, splitting his pick into two.
Moments before his first-round holler, Sutter found a willing partner.
His old friend Lou Lamoriello, boss of the New Jersey Devils (and, until recently, employer of Brent Sutter).
After a brisk negotiation, the Flames’ original pick was parlayed into the 23rd and 84th selections. And that’s how Erixon, the sixth Swede taken on the night, got fitted for a Calgary sweater.
“We think he’s a well-rounded player,” said Button. “He can carry the puck a little bit. I wouldn’t say he’s a rusher, but if the ice is there, he’s got the ability to take it and make plays with it. We think his best asset is probably his hockey sense and his vision.
“The standard line (of success) is a top-four D . . . you don’t want to overblow guys or over-rate them, but we think he’s more than that. We think he’s a No. 2 or 3 down the road with his ability. The ability to play in any situation. That’s the biggest thing for us.”
Netting a Swede in the first round for the second time in three years — Mikael Backlund was plucked, 24th overall, in 2007 — the Flames feel they have added another reliable rearguard to their cupboard, which is brimming with top-notch defenders (such as John Negrin, T.J. Brodie, Keith Aulie).
“You have to be able to project those guys out, and I really believe that if there’s a tie between a defenceman and a forward, you take the defenceman,” Darryl Sutter told NHL Radio. “(Erixon) is a good defenceman, very stable, and the boy is pretty close to playing and he’s very well-prepared. You’re trying to get a good player in the first round always, but when you pick at the bottom of the first round, you know there’s time.
“There are a pile of good players this year, and we’re lucky to have lots of picks tomorrow. Hopefully it goes well for us.”
The draft resumes this morning, with the Flames holding seven selections.
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PuckAgency client, Brian Leetch, to be inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

On Tuesday, June 23, the Hockey Hall of Fame selected Brian Leetch as one of four players to be inducted into the HHOF on November 9, 2009. Leetch won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1989, the Norris Trophy in 1992 and 1997 and the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy in 1994. Leetch scored over 1,000 points in his NHL career. He retired in May 2007.

By Mike Brehm, USA TODAY
The four players from the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2009 would scare opposing goaltenders.
The fifth electee would figure out to shut them down.
Forwards Brett Hull, Steve Yzerman and Luc Robitaille scored more than 2,100 goals among them. Defenseman Brian Leetch has more than 1,000 points. Together they won seven Stanley Cups. Hull, Yzerman and Robitaille were together on the 2002 champion Detroit Red Wings team.
Lou Lamoriello, the general manager of the New Jersey Devils, won Stanley Cups in 1995, 2000 and 2003. Backstopped by Martin Brodeur, his teams are known for having strong defense and opportunistic offense.
The group will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at ceremonies in Toronto on November 9.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thrashers re-sign Salmela to a multi-year contract

Anssi Salmela will be returning to Atlanta in the 2009-10 season. The Atlanta Thrashers re-signed the defenseman to a multi-year contract on Thursday.

Last season Salmela had one goal and five assists in 26 NHL games, playing for the New Jersey Devils and the Atlanta Thrashers. Don Wadell, General Manager of the Thrashers said, “He is a guy we wanted to get, and he showed us exactly what we wanted to see [during his time with the Thrashers]...He’s a high-end skill player, and we wanted to move forward with him.”

Thursday, June 04, 2009
Thrashers re-sign defenseman Salmela
By Chris Vivlamore
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Thrashers re-signed defenseman Anssi Salmela to a multi-year contract Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Salmela, 24, was acquired by the Thrashers on March 2 in a trade with the New Jersey Devils for Niclas Havelid and Myles Stoesz.

“He is a guy we wanted to get, and he showed us exactly what we wanted to see [during his time with the Thrashers],” general manager Don Waddell said. “He’s a high-end skill player, and we wanted to move forward with him.”

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound defenseman scored his first career NHL goal in his second game with the Thrashers, which came against the Washington Capitals on March 16. In his nine games with the Thrashers he had three points (one goal, two assists). He also played in 17 games for the Devils last season with three assists.

“I see him as being with the team [next season],” Waddell said. “We are going to carry seven defensemen, and we expect him to be one of them. He’s not in the top four yet, but he’s young and has a lot of upside.”

Following the NHL season, Salmela played for his native Finland in the World Championships. He had one goal in seven games as Finland advanced to the quarterfinals.

Salmela was originally signed by the Devils in May 2008 as a free agent after four seasons in the Finish Elite League. He also played in 40 games in the AHL last season with Lowell and Chicago, where he combined for 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists).