Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Post-Draft Team Profiles- Des Moines Buccaneers

The Des Moines Buccaneers finished off their 2009-10 campaign the way that they finished a lot of games last season; with a loss. Losses were the story of the season for the Buccaneers, dragging along for the third-worst record in the league, going 20-34-6 for a total of 46 points, only 6 points ahead of the league worst Lincoln Stars. The Buccaneers will be returning a solid top line with T.J. Tynan and Conor Brickley, who are both NHL prospects who promise to improve the Buccaneers' record next season. Des Moines goal going into the draft had to be to surround Brickley and Tynan with solid players and try and make a run for the Clark Cup. So let's run through Des Moines' picks starting with the Futures Draft and ending with the Entry Draft...
Futures Draft
Round 1 Selection
Miles Koules (Shattuck-St. Mary's) was the first pick by the Buccaneers and the sixth overall selection in the Futures Draft. Koules, a 5'11", 172 pound playmaker finished up his season with Shattuck with 58 points in 53 games. Of those 58 points, 20 were goals and 38 were assists. Koules is a great skater and moves well on the ice. He uses his stick very well, and uses his teammates well to set up goals, which is why he got so many assists. Koules' biggest asset to his game is probably his vision. He sees the ice very well and sets up his teammates for goals. Koules' dad is an owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, so that be a possible connection for the advancement of his hockey career. Koules doesn't have any college interest at the moment, but if he plays in Des Moines, I would expect that to change.
Round 2 Selection
Ray Pigozzi (Chicago Mission U16) was the second selection by the Buccaneers, was the second forward in a row picked by Des Moines. Pigozzi played for the U16 division champion Chicago Mission, where he compiled impressive stats despite being hampered by an ankle injury that forced him to miss a chunk of the season. That injury, however, isn't anything to worry about, and he will be able to play for Des Moines whenever they need him. This past season, Pigozzi put up a very impressive 30 points in just 20 games played. Of those 30 points he collected, 11 were goals and 19 of them were assists. Not surprisingly, Pigozzi has attracted plenty of college hockey attention, mainly from Michigan, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. Pigozzi was definitely a nice pick by the Bucs.
Round 3 Selection
Ian Spencer (North Jersey Avalanche) was the first defenseman selected by the Buccaneers and was their third overall selection. Spencer was one of the best overall defenseman in the Futures Draft, he doesn't totally stand out offensively or defensively, but is a good player overall, solid on both sides of the puck. On the offensive side of the puck, Spencer picked up 27 points in 35 games last season. Of those 27 points, 7 were goals and 20 were assists. Defensively, Spencer is very solid and rarely gets beat to the outside when a rush is forming. He is also a pretty good skater, which adds to his defensive worth. Spencer is committed to play for the University of Vermont in 2012, so he is obviously a good player to have a college scholarship as a '94. Photo from icehousenj.com.
Round 4 Selection
Connor Wood (Honeybaked U16) was the third forward drafted by Des Moines and the first player out of the Tier 1 Elite League picked by them. Wood is obviously a character guy, being captain of the U16 squad for Honeybaked. On the ice, Wood is widely regarded as one of, if not the fastest player of the 1994 class. He improved a lot as the year went on, and is consistently one of the best players on the ice. He uses that incredible speed to take the puck wide and show off his scoring ability, which he has quite a bit of. In 37 games played last season for Honeybaked midget minor, Wood scored 17 goals and picked up 20 assists for a total of 37 points, which means he averaged a point per game. The speedy forward hasn't received any college attention yet, but it's only a matter of time before he does.
Round 5 Selection
Eric Sade (Team Maryland U18) was the fifth selection of the Bucaneers, and with this pick, Des Moines went for Sade, a defenseman. Sade is another all around skilled defenseman, just like Ian Spencer, the Buccaneers' third pick. Sade helped out a bit offensively for Team Maryland, gaining 17 points in 75 regular season games this past season. Of those 17 points, 4 were goals and 13 were assists. Those are pretty good numbers for a (then) 15 year old playing a division up, in the U18 division, with players that were two or three years older than him. I know I'm going to sound like a severely broken record when I say this next sentence but bear with me. Sade currently doesn't have any colleges interested in him, but with the fact that he's playing up a division, I would expect that to change.
Round 6 Selection
Liam McDermott (Cleveland Barons U16) was the Buccaneers' last pick of the Futures Draft and was Des Moines' fourth forward drafted. McDermott played midget minor hockey for the Cleveland Barons last season. He is a very solid skater and moves around the ice very well. McDermott shows a lot of patience with the puck, and makes the right decision most of the time the puck is on his tape. In 37 games played for the Barons, McDermott netted 4 goals, 3 of them on the powerplay, and 12 assists for a total of 16 points, adding 46 penalty minutes on the year. McDermott's best asset to his game is definitely his hockey sense. He sees the ice well and always knows how to make the right decision. We should see McDermott in the USHL soon.
Entry Draft
Round 1 Selection
Peter Stoykewych (Winnipeg South Blues) was the third overall selection in the USHL Entry Draft, and Des Moines took Stoykewych, a 6'3", 195 defenseman out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Last season, with the Winnipeg South Blue of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, Stoykewych had a good year statistically. He got significant time on the powerplay, and put his time to good use. On the year, Stoykewych put up 31 points, 12 of them coming on the powerplay. Of those 31 points, 6 were goals and 25 were assists. Stoykewych also racked up 63 penalty minutes in his 56 games played. As a '92, Stoykewych has three years of USHL eligibility, but I doubt he will use them up. He is scheduled to start playing for Colorado College during the 2011 season, so it will likely be a short stay in Des Moines.
Round 2 Selection
Brendan O'Donnell (Winnipeg South Blues) was selected in the second round by Des Moines, and they took O'Donnell, the teammate of first round pick Peter Stoykewych. O'Donnell is a 6'0", 185 pound forward out of Winnipeg. O'Donnell has quite the scoring touch, being ranked 11th in the MJHL in goals, 18th in points, and 10th in powerplay points. On the season, O'Donnell put up 61 points, 19 of them goals and 32 assists in 53 games played for the Blues. He had 33 of his 61 points come while on the powerplay, and I think he can be used in the same role on the Bucaneers, and could possibly be that line mate for Tynan and Brickley, whose line could be the most productive line in the USHL next season. O'Donnell is scheduled to start at North Dakota for the 2011 season.
Round 3 Selection
Nick Kulmanovsky (Culver Academy) was the Bucaneers' third pick and their first goalie drafted in either of the drafts. Kulmanovsky comes out of the prestigious Culver Military Academy, who is well known for producing great junior players. The interesting thing is that Kulmanovsky came all the way to Indiana to board at Culver from his native Fairbanks, Alaska, a long journey indeed. On to Kulmanovsky however, he posted a 14-12-5 record for Culver in 31 total appearances. The 5'10", 155 pound goaltender also put up a 2.55 GAA and .908 save percentage on the season. Kulmanovsky has received some college attention, but hasn't quite lit the world on fire yet, and if he comes in next season and plays for the Buccaneers, I can see him getting a scholarship. Photo.
Round 5 Selection
Patrick Kirtland (Topeka RoadRunners) was the fourth pick of the Buccaneers in the Entry Draft and Des Moines went after Kirtland, a forward out of the NAHL, one level below the USHL. Kirtland is your prototypical bottom six forward, and that is more than likely the role he will be playing in Des Moines next season. In 56 games played for the RoadRunners last season, Kirtland netted 12 goals and picked up 20 assists for a total of 32 points. Kirtland was also a +13 on the year and racked up 96 penalty minutes. A fight accounted for 5 of those 96 PIM, though apparently Kirtland only landed a punch and was wearing his cage during the fight. Either way, it's nice to know that a player will drop the gloves if he absolutely needs to. Photo from cjonline.com.
Round 6 Selection
Andrew Miller (Team Illinois U18) was Des Moines' fifth pick of the Entry Draft, and he was the 78th overall pick of the draft. The 6'0", 185 pound forward from West Dundee, Illinois is a guy who can be whatever the Buccaneers need him to be. He has the skills and stats to play in a top six forward role and also has the size and bulk to play a bottom six checker role as well. Playing for Team Illinois' midget major squad, Miller played 48 games last season. In those 48 games played, he scored 25 goals and picked up 19 helpers for a total of 44 points. With those 44 points, Miller finished fourth on Team Illinois in scoring. Miller as a '91 has two years of USHL eligibility, and I think he may use them both. Miller hasn't received much of any collegiate attention yet.
Round 7 Selection
Daniel Milan (Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep) was the second big defenseman drafted by Des Moines in the Entry Draft. He is a self-described defensive defenseman, but he also has offensive skills, and can skate well, which is always a concern for big players. Milan stands at 6'3", 190 pounds, which the Buccaneers' coaching staff obviously couldn't resist. Milan posted some good offensive stats, such as the 5 goals and 13 assists in 31 games played he posted. Now I don't believe he has any colleges interested in him, which is kind of a surprise, but that will change soon I'm sure. Milan could come into Des Moines and be in the top defensive pairing if he plays well enough at the Buccaneers tryout. Milan has been mentioned on a few NHL Draft previews, so he may get drafted later this month.
Round 8 Selection
Christian Frey (Dallas Stars U16) was the seventh selection of the Bucs and was their second goaltender drafted by Des Moines. Frey finished up his 2009-10 campaign with the Dallas Stars midget minor team with a 5-12-6 record. On top of the record, Frey put up a 2.38 GAA and .928 save percentage. Those are pretty good stats for a goalie who was on a less than average team. This pick for Des Moines is more than likely the coaching staff trying to cover their bases with the departure of goaltender drafted by Des Moines. Frey finished up his 2009-10 campaign with the Dallas Stars midget minor team with a 5-12-6 record. On top of the record, Frey put up a 2.38 GAA and .928 save percentage. Those are pretty good stats for a goalie who was on a less than average team. This pick for Des Moines is more than likely the coaching staff trying to cover their bases with the departure of goaltender Eric Mihalik and the possibility of Charlie Williams leaving as well. But if Williams sticks around, they now have two incoming goaltenders to increase the competition at their tryouts. Also, Des Moines always has an open tryout, so more local goalies could challenge these drafted goalies for spots.
Round 9 Selection
Connor Kucera (Culver Academy) was the eighth selection by the Buccaneers, and the second player from Culver that they picked up in the Entry Draft. With this pick, Des Moines got another big defenseman. In fact, throughout the whole Entry Draft, the Bucaneers didn't draft a defenseman shorter than 6'0". Kucera, however, stands at 6'2", 195 pounds which is great size. This past season with Culver Military Academy, Kucera scored 3 goals from the blue line, and helped out on 19 goals, getting him a total of 22 points in 42 games played. Kucera would be a great fit on Des Moines' blue line next season. He hasn't attracted any college attention so far, but with his size and ability, plus being drafted by the USHL, he should get a scholarship soon.
Round 10 Selection
Gavin Tufte (Blaine HS)  was the ninth selection by Des Moines, and he was the first Minnesota High School hockey player to be drafted by the Buccaneers. Tufte is a big guy who has a great scoring touch. Tufte stands at 6'0", which is about average height for the USHL, but what really stands out about Tufte is his weight. Tufte weighs 200 pounds, which is fairly thick for his height. To go along with his size, Tufte has quite a bit of scoring touch. Last season with Blaine High as a senior, Tufte scored 22 goals and got 18 assists for a total of 40 points in 30 games played. In the consolation tourney of the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament, Tufte scored two goals and got an assist in a 7-5 loss to Roseau High School. Tufte again doesn't have any college offers yet, but has generated some interest.
Round 15 Selection
John Olen (Chicago Mission U18) was the tenth pick by the Buccaneers, and they went with Olen, a 5'10", 145 pound winger. From Tufte on, these picks are just in case things don't work out with the players drafted earlier and whatnot. Olen, however, is a nice pick in this situation by Des Moines. Olen is a guy that has quite a bit of potential, and although he is kind of a lightweight, Olen possesses a nice offensive skillset. Last season, Olen posted 14 goals and 23 assists in 48 games played with the midget major squad of the Chicago Mission. Olen, just like a lot of Des Moines' picks doesn't have a college commitment yet, but he does have quite a few colleges interested in him, and the list of interested colleges should only increase when he starts playing in the USHL.
Round 16 Selection
Logan Nelson (Russell Stover U16) was the Buccaneers' eleventh selection of the Entry Draft. They took a chance on the 16 year old forward. Nelson stands at 6'1", 165 pounds, which is not bad size for a 16 year old. Along with his size, Nelson has some solid offensive skills and he showed them off last season for Russell Stover's midget minor squad. In the 38 games he played this past season, Nelson put up 18 goals and 17 assists for a total of 35 points. Of those 18 goals, 4 came on the powerplay and 3 came while his team was a man down. Nelson doesn't have a college commitment, and I don't believe he's generated any interest from colleges yet, but again, expect that to change if he gets a crack at the USHL this coming season with the Buccaneers.
Round 17 Selection
Luke Veitch (Ohio Blue Jackets U18) was the twelfth selection by the Buccaneers in the Entry Draft, and with this pick, Des Moines went for another 16 year old in Veitch, who's playing a division up at the midget major level. Veitch is a 6'0", 160 pound defenseman out of Lewis Centre, Ohio and he plays a more defensive game than offensive, but he proved he can produce offensively this past season for his Blue Jackets. In 48 games played last season, Veitch scored 3 goals from the blue line and also picked up 3 assists for a grand total of 15 points on the year. Veitch racked up 60 penalty minutes in those 48 games. Veitch, along with much of the players on this post, has not created much of any collegiate interest in himself, but naturally, that will change if he plays in the USHL.
Round 18 Selection
David Jacobson (LA Selects U16) was the thirteenth selection of the Buccaneers, and was the third goalie drafted by Des Moines in the Entry Draft. Jacobson is a 1994 birthdate, so he was passed up in the Futures Draft, but was taken in the Entry Draft by Des Moines, and as far as I know, will be given a square shot at making the team for Des Moines. Jacobson is said to have all the skills to be a great goaltender, he just needs to work at putting all those skills together and work at getting better to have a shot at the USHL. This past season with the LA Selects, he appeared in 21 games, and posted a 10-6-4 record with a 2.53 GAA and .911 save percentage on the year. Jacobson also stopped every shot he faced in three games, which is pretty impressive overall.
Round 19 Selection
Trent Ruffolo (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs) was the fourteenth pick of the Buccaneers and was drafted in the 273rd overall slot of the Entry Draft. The eighteen year old, 5'11", 170 pound forward out of Coral Springs, Florida was the last winger drafted by Des Moines. Ruffolo recently completed his season with the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs of the EJHL. He led the Jr. Monarchs in scoring, and I just don't see how he dropped this far in the draft. Ruffolo played 49 games for the Jr. Monarchs, scoring 21 goals and picking up 44 assists, showing that he prefers to pass the puck more than shoot. Of his 65 points, 25 came on the powerplay, and one came on the penalty kill. In my opinion, Ruffolo has a legitimate chance to make the Buccaneers next season. Photo from USAHockey.com.
Round 20 Selection
Willie Faust (Hill-Murray HS) was the last pick of the Buccaneers in the Entry Draft and they went with the 5'10", 170 pound center from Hill-Murray High School in Minnesota. Faust was an integral part of Hill-Murray's successful season, netting 23 goals and picking up 24 assists for a total of 47 points in the 30 games that Faust played. Faust had two assists in the third place game against Apple Valley, in which Hill-Murray won the game with a score of 6-3. Faust just graduated from Hill-Murray, so he has to play juniors somewhere, and that place may be Des Moines. If he doesn't make the Buccaneers roster, there is always the NAHL and EJHL for example. Faust is probably going to be a bottom six forward depending on what league he ends up in. Photo from GameFaceMN.com.
Probable Returning Players
Taylor Wolfe (F)
Cal Decowski (F)
Colton Saucerman (D)
Connor Frick (D)
Tyler Lapic (F)
Luke Sandler (F)
T.J. Tynan (F)
Connor Brickley (F)
Garrett Ohrn (D)
Mitch Cain (F)
Charles Williams (G)
Probable Overagers
Austin Coldwell (D)
D.J. Vandercook (F)

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1 comment:

  1. I think Doerring will be back for sure.

    ReplyDelete

Keep it clean, and don't attack individual players.