Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pre-draft link roundup

On NHL Draft eve, a few links to peruse while going through your favorite mock draft:
  • On Monday, former Indianapolis Ice goaltender Dominik Hasek became the 17th person with Indianapolis hockey ties to be chosen for the Hockey Hall of Fame. THN's Matt Larkin makes the case for the Dominator to be considered the greatest goalie ever. That was a title many once bestowed to another HOFer to matriculate in Indianapolis -- Terry Sawchuk.
  • This week, former Indiana Ice defenseman (and Fort Wayne native) Blake Siebenaler was profiled in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. Siebenaler is one of several Ice players who are considered NHL Draft prospects. Also getting some ink this week in larger draft stories: 2012-13 Ice D Rinat Valiev & 2013-14 player Mitch Slattery, who was an affiliate list member who played one game for the Ice this past season. Ryan Mantha and Josh Jacobs are also projected to be picked in the draft. The first round is Friday night, with rounds 2-7 on Saturday. 
  • We look forward to the draft, but it's also a time to look back. With the Indy Fuel being affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks, members of past draft classes could be in Indianapolis this fall. looks back at the 2010 class (which includes a familiar face in Nick Mattson -- whose development the Blackhawks seem to be happy with. Mattson will play at North Dakota this year), as well as the 2011, 2012 and 2013 classes. 
  • On the fun side, the Indy Fuel have unveiled the team mascot, a dragon. They're now seeking fan input on a name
  • ECHL affiliation news: the South Carolina Stingrays announced an affiliation with the NHL's Washington Capitals. South Carolina had previously been affiliated with the Boston Bruins. Washington moved its affiliation from Reading, which aligned with the previously-unaffiliated Philadelphia Flyers. This currently leaves Boston as one of five teams without an ECHL affiliation (the others: Colorado, New Jersey, San Jose, Ottawa). Currently, two of the ECHL's 21 teams are listed as independent, although Fort Wayne is reportedly open to seeking affiliation (the other team is Colorado). There are six ECHL teams that each have two NHL affiliates. Current ECHL-NHL affiliations.
  • More NHL news: the Pittsburgh Penguins have found a coach from the Western Hockey League: Mike Johnston of the Portland Winterhawks.
  • Don't forget to check our posts from earlier in the week: an interview with the Fuel's first player, Pete Massar, the Fuel's second signing - Rhett Bly, the ECHL's new division alignment and rules changes, and former Ice player Torey Krug being named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team.

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