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Quick Stand-In; Filiou Out; An OHL Education

ABC40 has the story on Gavin Lessard, the boy from Springfield who wore Jon Quick’s jersey during the Olympic roster unveiling at Fenway Park.

I absolutely loved the idea of having kids out there with the jerseys to announce Team USA.  I can’t think of a better way to do it.

Speaking of Quick, he had a career night as he made 45 saves in the Kings win over the Sharks last evening.

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If this poll from the Vees Blog is accurate, recruit Eric Filiou is out of commission with mono.  That makes him the second UMass commit not playing as Joel Hanley is still recovering from a broken leg.

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This article on the fallacy of players getting an education playing in the OHL has been making the rounds in college hockey circles and I thought it’s a good enough read to post here as well.

It also made me wonder about at the few UMass recruits who opted to head major junior instead of coming to Amherst.  So here’s a brief look at how things turned out for them.

Zack Phillips is the most recent recruit to jump to the CHL. He decided over the summer to play in the QMJHL after a series of events that basically made it look like he and his parents used his college committment to get his Q draft rights traded to a team closer to his Nova Scotia home.  So far he has 20 points in 38 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs, 12th on the team.  Only an 18 year old, it’ll be a while before anyone can judge if major junior was best for him.

John Carlson is probably the best known player to renege on his committment and head to the OHL, a decision made on the eve of the 2008 draft where he went in the first round.  He had a stellar season playing for the London Knights of the OHL putting up 76 points and a +23 in 60 games.  At the end of the season he joined the AHL’s Hershey Bears and help them win a Calder Cup.  This past November Carlson made his NHL debut with the Capitals and tonight will be playing for Team USA in the World Junior Championships.  As much as it pains me to say so, it would appear that Carlson going major junior was probably a good choice for him.

Vladimir Nikiforov was a teammate of James Marcou’s when they both played for the New York Bobcats (coached by Nikiforov’s father) of the AJHL and committed to UMass together.  Nikiforov however decided to go to the OHL instead and played three seasons for the Sarnia Sting and Barrie Colts.  Following his OHL career he played a handful of games in the AHL but has been in the ECHL ever since and it doesn’t appear he’ll be going anywhere soon.

The moral of the story?  There isn’t one.  I think for some players going major junior is a viable route for their hockey careers.  But not everyone has the raw talent of a John Carlson.  And for those who are not among the lucky few to make it to the NHL, a college degree will prepare them for a life after hockey.

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The Road Trip page has been updated as I finally found a decent place for a beer and bite to eat before heading to the luxurious Frietas Ice Forum.

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