Note: With the playoffs being the focus of the hockey world right now, there isn’t a whole lot of big stories breaking in Leafland these days. As such, I’ll be helping out Alec with his “Bits & Pieces” articles, touching briefly on various topics, and providing the occasional draft primer for the Entry Draft this coming June.
This session’s topics include the Phoenix Coyotes, Mike Komisarek and 2010 draft prospect Joey Hishon.
The Toronto Star reported a few days ago that another Phoenix Coyotes sale has blown up, and that the likelihood of Winnipeg reclaiming the team is increasing day by day. I don’t really know where I stand on the whole issue. Obviously it’d be fantastic to have another team in Canada, but imagine what it’d feel like to be a Yotes’ fan and to have a team and sport you love ripped away from you.
On that note: let’s say hypothetically that the team was being targeted by Jim Balsille to be placed in Hamilton instead. If you you’re a Hamilton native, are you more excited at the notion of adding the Coyotes franchise or the Predators? Phoenix is the upstart top 4 seed with a great young core, with 6th overall pick Oliver Ekman-Larsson still waiting in the wings, and armed with a pair of 1st round picks. On the other hand, Nashville is poised to ice the league’s most fearsome defensive corps over the next few seasons with the likes of Weber, Suter, Franson, Blum and Ellis roaming their blueline. Tough choice.
The St. Petersburgh Times reports that Pierre Mcguire may have been contacted regarding Tampa Bay’s vacant GM position. How awesome would that be?
Mike Komisarek is the Maple Leafs’ King Clancy Memorial Trophy nominee, which is awarded to the player who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy contribution to the community. The Leafs’ website has the details on some of Mike’s community involvement during his time here in Toronto. Good for him. Class and character off the ice is just as important off the ice as it is on it.
Draft Primer: Joey Hishon – Centre, Owen Sound Attack
Strengths: Hishon really possesses the entire package you want in a hockey player. He presents a nice array of offensive skills highlighted by a very good shot and the ability to create chances on the rush. His effectiveness in open ice is accentuated by his excellent speed and ability to evade hits. Joey’s also a tenacious player who plays with great passion and does a solid job at both ends of the ice. He really burst onto the scene with a fantastic U-18 tournament last season (don’t sleep on this – see Jerry D’Amigo).
Weaknesses: Despite playing with a big heart, he unfortunately also plays with a small frame. Hishon is only 5’11 163 lbs, and could have a tough time against bigger, stronger defenders at the NHL level. He could be a few years away from being a full-time contributor. There’s also some concern regarding the fact that he did not take a step forward from last season’s offensive breakout campaign, but the upside is there.
Long-Term Upside: Hishon’s a good player and he really offers everything you want in a potential draft pick. He’s got a shot at becoming top six forward who is versatile and can play in multiple situations. He doesn’t take shifts off,Â is a defensively responsible player, and is one ofÂ those guys you just have to have on a contending team.
Draft Day: Hishon’s currently ranked 55th overall amongst N.A skaters by Central Scouting. Some team is going to look at the fact that he was billed as as a potential top 10 pick only 10 months ago, and will call his name a lot earlier than that on draft day. Somebody’s going to take a gamble that this was just a down year, and they’re going to be pleasantly surprised. Anywhere after the mid 2nd round and you’ve got a steal. Let’s hope Burkie can grab a pick to steal this kid.