Curtis Clairmont will always have a soft spot for two young Russian goalies, Leo Lazarev and Evgeny Kiselev. As president and director of hockey operations for the Waterloo Siskins, Clairmont signed both goalies to play in the Junior B Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League in back-to-back years, Lazarev in the 2013-14 season and Kiselev in 2014-15.
Despite the best efforts of 22 young men, Canada fell short at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament for the first time in nine years. Making matters worse, it was Team Canada’s inability to close games out that sealed their fate.
Alexis Gravel, who spent the last two seasons between the pipes for the Mississauga Senators, is heading east. One of the top goalies in Ontario during his time with the Sens, Gravel has committed to the Halifax Mooseheads, the team that selected him in the second round of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft in June.
There were a few surprises early on in the NHL Draft, starting off with Pierre-Luc Dubois. For several months, it was a foregone conclusion that Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi would be the first three players drafted, which would have marked the first time in the event’s history that the top three picks came from European teams.
It was the last headline in a press release, but it was arguably the most important one. Summarizing a handful of decisions made at the Western Hockey League's annual general meeting, the release highlighted more evolutions of major junior hockey west of Ontario.
The CHL held its annual European Import Draft on Tuesday, June 28. This year’s draft marked the 25th anniversary of the annual event, with 79 players (53 forwards, 26 defencemen) being selected.
When the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft wrapped up on Tuesday, not a single goaltender’s name had been called. To be fair, that was expected. In fact, it has been the norm since the CHL decided in 2013 to ban import players at the position, in an effort to fix what was being called a crisis in Canadian goaltending.
Many men are built up like legends, but so few live up to the lore. Gordie Howe was one of those few. His accomplishments on the ice are insurmountable, but it was his character away from the game that truly made him the man known as Mr. Hockey.
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