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Behind the Bench, August 26th Junior Hockey News

Published: Tuesday, 25 Aug 2020  
By: Michael Moore

Hello Everyone,

Another week and more changes. The NCAA announced today that players can opt to return to their Junior teams if they are still eligible. This will provide an opportunity to skate for players whose collegiate team/league has determined not to play this coming season. Great for the player but congesting for Juniors. Those returning players will take up roster spots that would have typically been filled by players trying to move up so that they can be scouted by NCAA programs. As spots at the top level dwindle the trickle will be felt down through the subordinate leagues. See the announcement here:

If that weren’t enough the Corpus Christi Ice Rays of the NAHL announced this week that will suspend team play until the following season. The Rays’ returning players, draft picks and tenders will be entered into a “dispersal draft” and placed with other NAHL clubs. Again, more roster spots will no longer be in play. Rumor has it that as many as five more NAHL clubs are planning to follow suit. That’s nearly 150 roster spots gone from contention. And that is just the NAHL. There are USHL clubs evaluating the prospect of going offline as well. See the announcement here:

We here at Victorious have been feeling the crunch ALL week (technically all summer). We had known that Corpus Christi was likely to not engage in play this season and advised our clientele accordingly. Right now, we are trying to get as many players locked into a signed team agreement as quickly as possible. Again, if you sitting on contract –sign it! If you are without a contract contact our office as soon as possible so that we can engineer a plan and get you placed with a team before it becomes too late. Stephen Heisler wrote a story about it here:

Okay, Junior hockey craziness aside, Coach Littler wants to share with us an article from inside the NHL Playoff bubble. Check out this piece about Boston Bruins’ David Krejci and what it is like being at the top of your game at the most critical time.

By Steve Conroy, Boston Herald, August 20, 2020

David Krejci’s list of clutch credentials continue to expand.

Krejci was the Bruins’ best all-around player in the Bruins’ five-game series win over the Carolina Hurricanes, helping to finish them off with a goal and an assist in the 2-1 win. He finished the series with 3-5-8 totals in five games.

“Well I’ve learned that he’s a big-time player. I’ve seen it in the playoffs now every year I’ve been here. Don’t overanalyze maybe some regular season games at times if he’s not put in key situations,” said coach Bruce Cassidy.

“I know that we’ve used him last minute a lot since I’ve been here with (Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand) on the wing and again he always rises up in those occasions. Game 3 is a great example of that, the play he made on the wall to flip it to (Marchand), a composure play, there’s still 35 seconds left in the game and he gets the puck out under duress and playing the wing. So I’ve learned that about him.

“He’s a real competitor, good team guy, well liked in the room, quiet, I think a good hockey mind. You can always talk to him about the game and get good responses and good dialogue and a guy that loves the game, he just doesn’t show it maybe like some other people would because he is kind of more of a composed guy that way, but certainly one of the more fierce competitors in terms of inner drive that I’ve been around here.”

Krejci had been playing so well that Cassidy decided to keep him on the top power-play unit even with the return of David Pastrnak.

“Well, he’s playing really well, really motivated, making good plays. I think having discussions with him and Marchy about how Krech likes that elbow where Pasta is so you’ve got to put him on the other one, it’s a different look for him. And then March moves off his elbow into the net front where you going to take a little more of a pounding, so they had to be willing to do that. I mean we had a pretty good power play as it is the other way, but this is a way to get Krech more involved and then with Pasta not having a lot of reps I think you saw the puck move around to the other side a little bit more because those guys are more into the game flow of things. So that was the other reason.

“Pasta certainly did his job on it, got to the front of the net, couple of good shots, obviously picked up a couple helpers on it, made some good plays. So that was a part of the game we were hoping he’d get back quickly, his hands, and he’s going to need to get his legs under him and his battle level up. So that was the reasoning behind the power play, those guys were all amenable to being in one group and it worked out for us.”


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Thank you,

Team VHC

Author: Michael Moore
Michael is a professional hockey scout and advisor with Victorious Hockey helping North America’s top hockey prospects fulfill their ultimate playing potential.

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