After a little, oh, two week break from any writing, time to get this thing updated.
Let’s start with a few signing announcements:
-On Tuesday a pair of 2012 draft picks, both names familiar in Albany, agreed in principle to entry level deals. The first announcement was for forward Ben Johnson, a 3rd round selection who appeared in 5 games as an amateur tryout at the end of the regular season after finishing his third year with Windsor in the OHL. The second is fourth round choice Ben Thomson, who participated in Albany’s training camp in September before returning to Kitchener in the OHL. Thomson split the season between Kitchener and North Bay, scoring 45 points in 55 games and adding 14 points in 22 playoff games for North Bay. There is a chance Johnson could return to Windsor next season for his overage year. In Lou We Trust posted a scouting report earlier today on both Bens and also Graham Black.
-We have our first A-Devil moving on, as earlier this week forward Harri Pesonen signed a two year deal in Switzerland, for Lausanne in the NLA.
-As for the Calder Cup…we are down to the final four teams, as the Conference Finals get underway tomorrow in the West and Saturday in the East. Here are the second round results:
(4) St. John’s eliminated (8) Norfolk 4-2
(6) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton eliminated (7) Providence 4-3
(1)Texas eliminated (4) Grand Rapids 4-2
(3) Toronto swept (2) Chicago 4-0
With the Griffins out, there will once again be a new Calder Cup champion. All four remaining teams are looking for their first Cup, with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton being the closest, finishing as runners up in 2001 (Saint John), 2004 (Milwaukee), and 2008 (Chicago). Toronto finished as the runner up to Norfolk in 2012. Texas and St. John’s are looking for their first ever Finals appearance.
And to think, if only things had gone differently in the first round, Albany could have had home ice once again…
-Meanwhile over in Belarus, there is one A-Devil participating in this year’s World Championships. Raman Hrabarenka (well, Roman Graborenko according to the official roster) has appeared in 7 games for the host country, posting 2 assists.