Man this is the best era to track hockey prospects. Back in the olden days, you got the Hockey News. Updates from all the NHL cities (except Oakland, where they apparently had no reporters employed in the entire city to cover the Seals), a strong dose of AHL, CHL, IHL and EHL updates and perhaps an item on NCAA hockey.
The final 10 pages or so were devoted to the OHA, WHL and QMJHL. Sometimes you’d get an MJHL update or something on an OHA Senior League player.
About this time of year you’d get this from all of the WHL and OHA cities. The item below is from the January 7, 1972 Hockey News (page 30):
- Edmonton: Being pushed for 2nd place after losing two of three games on the west coast, Oil Kings opened up a 5-point lead on Medicine Hat Tigers with a 5-1 win in Edmonton…..The dazzling play of last year defenseman Phil Russell has the pro scouts gathering in hordes. Russell may well be the best skating rearguard ever to come out of the west.
That’s what you got, from every city. Medicine Hat enjoyed strong scoring from Stan Weir, Tom Lysiak and Jeff Ablett and the talk of the league was big Calgary Centennials goalie John Davidson. You’d read about these kids when they were rookies and by the time they turned 20 you had an idea.
That’s the era I grew up in. In July, the Hockey News would print all of the drafted players and I knew the first rounders would be good (except Oakland, they didn’t have one. Pittsburgh too) and that the Seals would play at least three of their kids no matter how good they were (Oakland needed players).
Tonight we see the best of the CHL. There’s a very real chance one of these young men will don an Oiler uniform this summer during the first round of the entry draft. My bet is Couturier. The 1972 article would have said something like “disgruntled with his showing at the WJ’s, man among boys Sean Couturier aimed to set things right with a tremendous run in the QMJHL. His next hurdle will be to show those scouts what’s what at the Top prospects game.”
I guess some things don’t change.
The Memorial Cup, The CHL top prospects game and most of the Canadian NHL games are the only items Sportsnet has in their hockey arsenal at this point in time. Rogers must pay far less money, because the talent pool heavily favors tsn and whenever there’s a raid it’s SN talent headed to tsn not the other way around.
I’m okay with, don’t care really. But I do wish Sportsnet at least tried to make their between period experts and their play by play men world class. The fact is that many of the American pbp guys are better than the current bunch who man the mics for RSN and that’s a crying shame. No disrespect, these men worked hard to get where they are today and credit where due they made it. I do wish Rogers would at least respond to the challenge, though. Maybe upgrade here and there.
I hope you’ll comment on tonight’s game. It’s way more fun that reading the 1972 Hockey News.