General manager Ray Shero spoke briefly with the media a moment ago. Here are some of the highlights from that conversation, which mostly centered around free agency.
On trying to lock up the team's free agents before July 1
"We'll go back Monday and really turn our attention to trying to get the players before July 1."
On possibly re-signing Ruslan Fedotenko
"We'll see where that goes over the next week as well. We'll wait and see what happens next week."
On if he expects Rob Scuderi to test free agency
"I think he'll do that and it's a good idea. We've had conversations with his agent and Rob and there is the unknown as far as what's out there. We've had good discussions but I believe he will go to July 1. When guys go to July 1, sometimes they come back, sometimes they don't. They don't know what a hometown discount is; they don't know what's out there. We'll have a conversation Monday and Tuesday but that wouldn't surprise me, wouldn't shock me, won't disappoint me. Rob knows we'd like to have him back but at the same time, Rob has never made a lot of money. We'll see how it goes for him but we've made it clear that we want him back."
A very green, but reliable defensive-defensemen who is still developing. Samuelsson lacks the skill of most drafted defenders, however.
He gets himself into a good position, which makes him a big presence down low. Very conscious in his own end. Does a good job of getting stick in passing lanes and forcing turnovers, especially with a poke check. Should take the play to the opposition instead of waiting. Average skater who needs work to on improving his overall footwork, strength, and stride. Also needs to become more efficient moving the puck out of his own zone. Has a tendency to try and force the puck up ice. Generally stays glued on the back end in the offensive zone. Developing a hard shot from the backend. Needs to get quicker with his hands in all areas. Sees time on special teams.-Hockey Futures
The first thing any fan will notice about Ben Hanowski are his amazing point totals; more than any other high school hockey player in history. An honor like that is sure to draw people's interest, but also draws a fair amount of skepticism. There's two things to know about Hanowski: 1. He didn't play very good competition at Little Falls HS 2. He's played in enough other events that have showcased his abilities as an elite player.
In addition to playing high school hockey, Hanowski has also participated in the Minnesota HS Elite League, playing the state's best players, participated in USA Hockey National Festivals playing the best in the country, and has participated in international events for the US. His high draft rankings is based almost as much on his performance in these elite events as it is on his high school performance.
Hanowski has good size for a forward, but he plays much more of a skill game that relies on his great hands and scoring ability that using his size to score. Hanowski will continue his hockey career at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota next fall.
Some more quick facts from [Pens.com]
• Hanowski had a prolific high school hockey career leaving a legacy at Little Falls that will be hard to surpass. He had 73 goals and 135 points (73-62-135) in 31 games, this season, including 14 hat tricks and 10 games with six-or-more points.
• He set the record for most points in a high school hockey career, surpassing an 11-year-old mark of 378 points, set by Johnny Pohl of Red Wing High from 1994-95 through 1997-98. Hanowski finished his career with 405 points (196-209-405) needing 111 games to break the mark Pohl had set in 112 – he tied the record with a shorthanded goal during a five-on-three and surpassed the record with a power-play goal.
• The Little Falls Flyers have made five consecutive appearances at the Minnesota Class ‘A’ State Tournament, four of them with Hanowski. In his career he has only lost three times on his home rink, finishing with an overall high school record of 105 wins 16 loses and two ties (105-16-2).
• In 2008-09 he was named the Associated Press State Player of the Year and a Mr. Hockey Finalist. Next fall he'll play for St. Cloud State University.
• His older brother, Beau, finished a four-year career at Little Falls in 2008 with 237 career points and will be a sophomore at South Dakota State next year. His youngest brother, Joey, centered the third line at Little Falls as a freshman this season.
• He credits his dad for having the most influence on his career – “he coached me until I was 14 and taught me how to play the game” and his childhood hockey idol was John Pohl – “I watched the Gophers when I was little”.
• Making it to the State tournament in his senior year, by way of an overtime win, is his most memorable hockey moment.
From [NHL.com]Velischek helped lead the Delbarton School of Morristown, New Jersey to its second straight state championship (Interscholastic Athletic Association Non-Public School) this season. The team captain, he had 51 points (16-35-51) and a plus-61 rating leading his team to a state-record 27 victories -- Anaheim Ducks forward George Parros also went to Delbarton High School.
• His father, Randy, was drafted by Minnesota in the third round, 53rd overall in 1980. A Providence College graduate (1983), he played 509 NHL games for three NHL teams (Minnesota, New Jersey and Quebec) between 1982 and 1992.
• He will attend Providence College in the fall of 2009, following in his father’s footsteps.
The Brampton, Ontario native didn't up impressive numbers in last year's run with Belleville but that's due more to a shoulder injury that took him off the ice for most of the season. He has since been patched up and is back to 100%.Round 6, 130Viktor Ekbom, Falkoping, SwedenPlayed in Swedish Elite League and in the World Juniors.Someone on LGP posted this about him:Ekbom played for Sweden in the U20 WJC. He was passed over in 2008. Said to be a poor skater with a good head. Two-way d-man with a below average shot and slightly above average physicality. Good reach. Good wingspan. Can use his body well to shield off defenders from the puck when he has it on his stick. Average straight line skater, poor lateral skater, poor agility.