Interview with Gothberg

The Forum guys gave me a heads up that Sioux recruit Zane Gothberg will be on WDAY 970 AM at about 1:45 p.m. today (Wednesday). I would recommend checking it out. My interviews with Gothberg have been very good. He’s a nice guy and very well spoken. If you don’t live in the area, you can listen online at

I was able to chat with Gothberg a little bit after he was drafted Saturday and he mentioned that he’s spending much of the summer in the Twin Cities. He’s working out down there (and has even played some shinny hockey games with Nick Mattson). He’ll play for the Fargo Force for the next two seasons (unless Brad Eidsness leaves early).

Most, if not all, of the guys selected in the draft this weekend will be attending their team’s prospect camps this summer. It will be interesting to see if any of UND’s free agent players end up somewhere as well.

If you see news on any prospect camp stuff, feel free to post in the comments section and I’ll try to throw together some posts of random links and info this summer.

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Women’s Frozen Fours to UMD, Minny

UND and Ralph Engelstad Arena lost out on their bid to host the 2013 Women’s Frozen Four.

The NCAA announced Monday that Duluth will host the 2012 Women’s Frozen Four and Minneapolis will host the 2013 Women’s Frozen Four. Minneapolis hosted the event in March as well.

These events would fall on the junior and senior seasons for the Lamoureux twins. It’s too early to tell how the Sioux will be in those seasons, but you have to figure that there’s at least a chance of them being there (the twins are proven winners).

The one good piece of news for Sioux fans is this: The Women’s Frozen Four always falls on the same weekend as the WCHA Final Five. The semifinals are Friday and the national championship game is on the Sunday.

So, you could tack on an extra game to your Final Five trip, should the Sioux make the Frozen Four or national championship game. (And yes, I realize that Frozen Four talk at this point is kind of ridiculous.)

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Regionals, O’Donnell, etc.

Although the calendar is flipping to July this week, it remains busy news-wise in the world of hockey. Here are some items to report/watch for:

  • NCAA regional sites were announced for 2012. They are Minneapolis, Green Bay, Bridgeport, Conn., and Worcester. Chris Dilks pretty much says it all here.
  • UND recruit Brendan O’Donnell, who was just selected in the fifth round by Steve Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning, will play in the BCHL this season. A Penticton blog says the news should be official later this week. I hope to chat with O’Donnell sometime in the next two weeks. O’Donnell could have played with Des Moines in the USHL, too.
  • Expect Erik Fabian to be announced as the new women’s hockey assistant coach. He’ll join head coach Brian Idalski and former Swedish team national coach Peter Elander on staff. Fabian had been working at The Hockey Academy, where he helped train – among others – Leah Jensen, a 2011 Sioux recruit.
  • Even without Fabian and Brad Berry, who got a coaching job with the Columbus Blue Jackets, The Hockey Academy will keep going. Berry mentioned last week that there were some very good hockey people in the community who have been involved and could take on a larger role. Berry also will stay on as a director/advisor.
  • First-round draft pick Brock Nelson will be on NHL Live sometime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday. You can listen to that on XM Radio or watch it on NHL Network.
  • Former Grand Forks Red River and Minnesota standout Ryan Potulny was not qualified by the Edmonton Oilers, meaning he’ll be a free agent on Thursday. Potulny is coming off of a great season, where he scored 15 goals and had 32 points.
  • Most of the big-name UND players are already under contract for next season. Three guys who were on NHL contracts last year will be unrestricted free agents: Vancouver’s Ryan Johnson, Tampa Bay’s David Hale, Buffalo’s Jean-Philippe Lamoureux and Atlanta’s Rylan Kaip. Kaip and Lamoureux did not get qualifying offers, which make them unrestricted (if I missed someone else, let me know).
  • Brandon Bochenski would have been a free agent, but he’s opted to sign with a team in the Russian KHL.
  • Former Sioux defenseman Brad Bombardir, who was in town last week with the Wild Road Tour, has been promoted to director of player development. Previously, he was director of community relations.
  • The Boston Bruins’ director of amateur scouting commented on Zane Gothberg in this story: "We were really excited about Gothberg,” Wayne Smith said. "He’s a bankable kid for us. We have some goaltending depth right now that we’re very comfortable with. He has excellent quickness. We really like the kid’s character; we had him higher than where he went."
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NHL Draft Day 2 blog

Day 2 of the draft is complete.

UND’s Mark MacMillan went in the fourth round to the Montreal Canadiens and Mike Parks went in the fifth round to the Philadelphia Flyers. Brendan O’Donnell went in the sixth to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Zane Gothberg went in the sixth to the Boston Bruins and Nick Mattson went in the sixth to the defending Stanley Cup champ Chicago Blackhawks.

WCHA players noted below (let me know if I missed anyone).

Round 2
31. Edmonton Oilers — Tyler Pitlick, former MSU-Mankato
37. Carolina Hurricanes — Justin Faulk, Minnesota-Duluth recruit
53. Carolina Hurricanes — Mark Alt, Minnesota recruit
54. Chicago Blackhawks — Justin Holl, Minnesota recruit
59. Minnesota Wild — Jason Zucker, Denver recruit

Round 3
69. Florida Panthers — Joe Basaraba, Minnesota-Duluth recruit
74. St. Louis Blues — Max Gardiner, Minnesota recruit
82. New York Islanders — Jason Clark, Wisconsin recruit
88. San Jose Sharks — Max Gaede, MSU-Mankato recruit

Round 4
92. Florida Panthers — Sam Brittain, Denver recruit
103. Calgary Flames — John Ramage, Wisconsin
113. Montreal Canadiens — Mark MacMillan, UND recruit

Round 5
162. Washington Capitals — Caleb Herbert, Minnesota-Duluth recruit
148. Los Angeles Kings — Kevin Gravel, St. Cloud State recruit
149. Philadelphia Flyers — Mike Parks, UND recruit

Round 6
156. Tampa Bay Lightning — Brendan O’Donnell, UND recruit
165. Boston Bruins — Zane Gothberg, UND recruit
180. Chicago Blackhawks — Nick Mattson, UND recruit

Round 7
196. Ottawa Senators — Bryce Aneloski, Omaha recruit
199. Atlanta Thrashers — Peter Stoykewych, Colorado College recruit
201. Detroit Red Wings — Ben Marshall, Minnesota recruit
203. Buffalo Sabres — Christian Isackson, Minnesota recruit


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Draft notes

I posted some videos of interviews on the blog from the NHL site, so I hope it doesn’t bog down the site too much. Scroll down for more in-depth information on Derek Forbort and Brock Nelson — both of whom were selected in the first round tonight.

Also, check back around noon. I will likely have a live chat going. We can talk about the draft or anything else.

Here’s the Herald story on the draft, featuring both Forbort and Nelson.

Some other general notes about the draft:

  • A record 11 Americans were selected. Nelson’s selection to end the first round broke the previous record of 10.
  • UND might have to wait a little bit for its next draft pick. Nobody else is an imminent selection.
  • UND did put out a release on both Forbort and Nelson being picked, meaning Nelson has signed his letter of intent.
  • The WCHA had five players selected. Besides the Sioux players, Jaden Schwartz of CC went No. 14 to St. Louis, Nick Bjugstad of Minnesota went No. 19 to Florida and Beau Bennett of DU went No. 20 to Pittsburgh. All will be freshmen this season.
  • Former Mankato forward Tyler Pitlick was hoping to become the Mavs’ first first-round draft pick. He didn’t go, but should early in round two.
  • Commentators wondered if Jarred Tinordi would pull a Cam Fowler and reneg on his commitment to Notre Dame in favor of the OHL. If he doesn’t, he’ll be in REA in November, when the Irish play the Sioux. So will first-rounder Riley Sheahan.
  • Of the major junior players, I recognize at least three who have played in The Ralph: Jack Campbell (on U18 team), Cam Fowler (on U18 team) and Emerson Etem (in Little Caesars North American Showcase).
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High praise for UND at draft

The UND coaching staff had to be smiling Friday night.

Not only because Derek Forbort and Brock Nelson were first-round picks (they already knew how good they were), but because of the praise being thrown on their program all night.

After the Forbort pick, TSN’s Bob McKenzie said: "There’s no better place to go and develop than North Dakota. That place is a factory."

CBC Hockey Night in Canada analyst Cassie Campbell wrote that Forbort "will play under great coach Dave Hakstol at the U of North Dakota next season."

L.A. Kings amateur scout Tony Gasparini was asked if Forbort’s choice of North Dakota was OK with them. He said: "Very much so, without question. That staff does an outstanding job and they have a track record of developing players who move on to the next level. He’s in real good hands with coach Hakstol and coach Eades and coach Jackson. We couldn’t be happier with the path he’s chosen right now."

L.A. Kings general manager Dean Lombardi, who threw the University of Michigan under the bus earlier this year, said: "He’s going to a great program. We like where he’s going to be (attending UND); with our reserve list, we can do that now. We can put a kid in college and let him go, as long as he’s in a good program… obviously, we had some inside knowledge: Tony Gasparini, his dad was the legendary coach there at North Dakota, so we were connected there in terms of the type of kids they pick. (The hockey program at) North Dakota is like (the football program at) USC. They get good players, the right players."

After the Nelson pick, TSN’s Pierre McGuire said: "I’m just glad he’s going to North Dakota, because again, we talk about how they develop hockey players there. It’s a tremendous institution if you want to be a hockey player. They’ll help you along. Jonathan Toews went there and did very, very well."

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Nelson goes No. 30 to N.Y. Islanders

I haven’t had a chance to check in with Brock Nelson yet to see if he’s an Entourage fan, but if he’s not, he might have to start Sunday night when the new season begins. Kevin Connolly, a Long Island native who plays Eric Murphy on the HBO show, announced Nelson’s name on behalf of the Isles late Friday.

Here’s a story from the Islanders on Nelson.

And some videos for Nelson… Murphy Group calls Nelson’s name:

Nelson talks to New York Islanders TV:

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Forbort goes No. 15 to Los Angeles

Derek Forbort became UND’s first first-round draft pick since Jonathan Toews when he was selected No. 15 by the Los Angeles Kings.

He went to a team with plenty of UND connections. Matt Greene is the ‘A’ there. Ron Hextall, Brett’s dad, is the assistant GM and vice prez. Tony Gasparini, Gino’s son, is the Kings’ amateur scout for this area.

"Derek is a big defenseman who skates very well and has a well-rounded game," Gasparini said. "In time, as he matures as a young man physically, he is going to be a player who has the ability to eat up a lot of minutes in every area of the game."

The Kings posted a Q&A with Forbort here.

Also, you can watch videos. Gasparini says here that the Kings are pleased that Forbort is headed to UND. "He’s in real good hands with coach Hakstol, coach Eades and coach Jackson," he said.

Forbort meets with the Los Angeles media for the first time:

Forbort talks with the Los Angeles Kings’ Web site:

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First round live updates

The first round of the NHL Draft is underway in Los Angeles. Follow this post for updated picks and notes.

UND’s Derek Forbort went to the Los Angeles Kings at No. 15 overall. He was the second college-eligible player selected. Brock Nelson went No. 30 to the New York Islanders. His pick was announced by the Murphy Group.

1. Edmonton Oilers — Taylor Hall, F, OHL
          Note: As expected.
2. Boston Bruins — Tyler Seguin, F, OHL
          Note: The other easy pick.
3. Florida Panthers — Erik Gudbranson, D, OHL
          Note: First defenseman selected.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets — Ryan Johansen, F, WHL
          Note: Jackets with a little bit of a surprise, going with a forward.
5. New York Islanders — Nino Niederreiter, F, WHL
          Note: Swiss star.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning — Brett Connolly, F, WHL
          Note: Injured most of last season, X-factor pick.
7. Carolina Hurricanes — Jeff Skinner, F, OHL
          Note: Will the unexpected run on forwards cause Forbort to fall lower?
8. Atlanta Thrashers — Alex Burmistrov, F, OHL
          Note: First Russian-born player selected.
9. Minnesota Wild — Mikael Granlund, F, Finland
          Note: The drop of Fowler and Gormley is very surprising.
10. N.Y. Rangers — Dylan McIlrath, D, WHL
          Note: Big, physical defenseman goes ahead of Fowler.
11. Dallas Stars — Jack Campbell, G, U.S. Under-18 (OHL)
          Note: First goalie selected, first American selected.
12. Anaheim Ducks — Cam Fowler, D, OHL
          Note: Ducks get a steal with a top-five talent.
13. Phoenix Coyotes — Brandon Gormley, D, QMJHL
          Note: With Fowler and Gormley off the board, Forbort could go at any time.
14. St. Louis Blues — Jaden Schwartz, F, Colorado College recruit
          Note: Schwartz is the first college player selected.
15. Los Angeles Kings — Derek Forbort, D, UND recruit
          Note: The hometown crowd goes nuts for Forbort.
16. St. Louis Blues — Vladimir Tarasenko, F, Russia
          Note: Highly talented player, character a question mark?
17. Colorado Avalanche — Joey Hishon, F, OHL
          Note: Off-the-board selection here by the Avs.
18. Nashville Predators — Austin Watson, F, OHL
          Note: Etem, Bjugstad, Nelson, Pitlick and Bennett could be going soon.
19. Florida Panthers — Nick Bjugstad, F, Minnesota recruit
          Note: Mr. Hockey winner is the third college hockey and WCHA guy to go.
20. Pittsburgh Penguins — Beau Bennett, F, Denver recruit
          Note: Probably my pick for WCHA rookie of the year.
21. Detroit Red Wings — Riley Sheahan, F, Notre Dame
          Note: First non-WCHA college player selected.
22. Montreal Canadiens — Jarred Tinordi, D, Notre Dame recruit
          Note: Commentators wonder if Tinordi will go to the OHL.
23. Buffalo Sabres — Mark Pysyk, D, WHL
          Note: Rated No. 7 overall by Central Scouting.
24. Chicago Blackhawks — Kevin Hayes, F, Boston College recruit
          Note: Hayes is the first Hockey East player selected.
25. Florida Panthers — Quinton Howden, F, WHL
          Note: Panthers’ third pick of the first round.
26. Washington Capitals — Evgeny Kuznetsov, F, Russia
          Note: Caps get another Russian forward to join Ovechkin and Semin.
27. Phoenix Coyotes — Mark Visentin, G, OHL
          Note: Second goalie selected on Day One.
28. San Jose Sharks — Charlie Coyle, F, Boston University recruit
          Note: Coyle ranked one spot ahead of Nelson by CSB.
29. Anaheim Ducks — Emerson Etem, F, WHL
          Note: Shattuck product competed in REA’s midget tournament.
30. N.Y. Islanders — Brock Nelson, F, UND recruit
          Note: Eric Murphy from Entourage announces Nelson being selected with the last pick of the first round.

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What to expect

We’re about an hour away from the beginning of the 2010 NHL Draft in Los Angeles. You can watch it on Versus or follow live updates on the blog.

I’m thinking of doing a live chat on Day Two of the draft like I did last year. It begins at noon on NHL Network. UND has a handful of Day Two prospects who could go anywhere from the third to seventh rounds… or perhaps not get drafted at all.

What to expect from UND’s draft eligible guys

  • Derek Forbort, D. Should be the first Sioux off the board. Expect him to go between picks 7 and 15.
  • Brock Nelson, F. Will be interesting to see if he goes tonight in the first round. If not, he’ll surely be one of the first picks Saturday.
  • Nick Mattson, D. He’s an X-factor. Could go anywhere between third and seventh rounds. He’s a good all-around defenseman who will play for the Sioux in 2011.
  • Zane Gothberg, G. Another X-factor. Goalies are the hardest to predict in the draft. I don’t think UND has ever had a goalie selected in the top four rounds.
  • Mike Parks, F. Likely later round selection. Will play for the Sioux in 2011.
  • Mark MacMillian, F. Would be surprising if he gets passed up. I’ll guess fifth or sixth round for him.
  • Brendan O’Donnell, F. Although he was not ranked by Central Scouting in the final rankings, it is very possible that he gets picked this weekend. O’Donnell will likely play in the USHL this season.
  • Danny Mattson, F. It’s doubtful that Mattson will get drafted after being passed over last year. But he is draft eligible and we’ve seen surprising picks before.

I don’t think we’ll see much from UND regarding the draft picks because most of these guys haven’t signed letters of intent. Forbort may be the only one who has (Nelson possibly has, too).

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