Forward Jeremiah Addison and defenseman Jalen Chatfield, black co-captains of the Windsor Spitfires, together lifted the Memorial Cup after Windsor defeated the Erie Otters 4-3 Sunday to win the Canadian Hockey Leaguemajor junior championship.
Windsor Spitfires co-captains Jeremiah Addison, left, and Jalen Chatfield, right, accept Memorial Cup from CHL Commissioner David Branch ( Photo/ Aaron Bell/CHL Images).
The Spitfires, in the tournament because Windsor, Ontario, was the host city, overcame a 44-day layoff – they lost to the London Knights in the first round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs – to beat OHL Erie.
“We’ve battled with the most adversity between injuries, suspensions, and all kinds of stuff,” Addison told The Windsor Star after the game. “We battled through all kinds of adversity.”
Windsor became the first host team to win the Cup since the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Shawinigan Cataractes did it in 2012 and the 10th since the tournament went to a round-robin format in 1972.
“We just focused on what we could do,” Chatfield told the Star. “Get bigger, stronger, and come together as a team. Building more chemistry around the (locker) room and we’ve done that.”
Addison and Chatfield were held scorelessin Sunday’s game, but the two overage players were pivotal to Spitfires’ championship drive. Addison, a Brampton, Ontario, native, scored 3 goals to power Windsor past the Otters 4-2 on May 24 to earn a spot in the final.
Windsor Spitfires co-captains Jalen Chatfield, foreground, and Jeremiah Addison take the Memorial Cup for a skate after winning CHL championship (Photo/Aaron Bell/CHL Images).
Sunday’s game was the last major junior contest for Addison and Chatfield. Addison, 20, a 2015 seventh-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens, will look to land a playing spot in the organization in 2017-18. Chatfield, 21-year old native of Ypsilanti, Michigan, signed a three-year entry level contract with the Vancouver Canucks in March.
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Addison scored a hat trick – 3 goals – to lead the Spitfires past the Erie Otters 4-2 and to a spot in the Mastercard Memorial Cup final. The tournament, which Windsor is hosting, features the winners of the Ontario Hockey League, Western HockeyLeague, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championships.
The Montreal Canadiens selected Addison in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Ddraft with the 207th overall pick. He scored 24goals and 19 assists in 51 games for the Spitfires in 2016-17. He’s tallied 5 goals in five OHL playoff games and 5 Memorial Cup goals.
Jeremiah Addison of the Windsor Spitfires (Photo/Terry Wilson/OHL Images).
Windsor now awaits the winner of a semifinal game between OHL Erie and the QMJHL Saint John Sea Dogs.
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In a surprise move, Joshua Ho-Sang, a New York Islanders 2014 first-round draft pick, was traded Friday by the Windsor Spitfires to the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League.
A day after Windsor General ManagerWarren Rychel batted down rumors that he would move Ho-Sang, he shipped the electrifying high-scoring forward to Niagara for forward Hayden McCool, 17, and OHL draft picks in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Ho-Sang, 18, was the Spitfires top scorer with three goals and 19 points in 11 games. He amassed 49 goals and 148 points in 141 regular season games for Windsor.
“It’s more sad than anything, but that’s life,” Ho-Sang told The Windsor Star of the trade. “I’m excited to get a start with a new team and hopefully spark a few points.”
He played for Niagara Friday night against the Erie Otters and registered an assist in an IceDogs 2-1 victory. The game was coincidentally televised in Canada on Sportsnet and in the United States on NHL Network.
Spitfires Head Coach and former National Hockey League tough guy Bob Boughner acknowledged that his team gave up a lot of skill when it dispatched Ho-Sang. But he told The Star that “We really like our core group of young guys and we want to build around that core.”
“It’s a little bit of short-term pain for long-term gain, I think,” Boughner told The Star. “We want our team to go in a certain direction and we want to create that strong culture like we had in the past, and this deal allows us to do that.”
Friday’s trade appears to be more about Niagara needing Ho-Sang than Windsor shedding him. The IceDogs were 5-13 heading into Friday’s game. Canoe.ca Sports pointed out that the team will need 48 points in 50 games to remain in the playoff hunt. Their star forward, Brendan Perlini, an Arizona Coyotes first-round pick, has been out with a hand injury.
“We’ve had guys trying to do too much,” Niagara Head Coach and General Manager Marty Williamson told Canoe.ca. “I thought (Toronto Maple Leafs forward prospect) Carter Verhaeghe was a great example. He was just doing way too much.”
Enter Joshua Ho-Sang. He was the Spitfires first-round draft choice – the fifth overall pick – in the 2012 OHL draft. Hockey scouts drooled over his offensive skills: swift skating, slick stickhandling ability, and an array of lethal shots.
But some hockey people became wary of Ho-Sang. Some considered him too individualistic and more concerned about being a human highlight reel than a winning hockey player. They wondered whether he could conform to a team.
He sat out the Spitfires’ first six games under a suspension for a push on London Knights defenseman Zach Bell in last year’s playoffs that resulted in Bell suffering a broken leg.
Ho-Sang hasn’t been shy about speaking him mind. He talked freely about race in an interview with The Toronto Sun ahead of the 2014 NHL Draft, telling the publication that “I think color definitely plays a factor in perception.”
All of that frightened some NHL general managers to the point that they reportedly had Ho-Sang on their “Do Not Draft” list.
Ho-Sang sweated out the first round of June’s draft in Philadelphia until the Islanders and General Manager Garth Snow took him with the 28th overall pick in the draft. The team traded two second-round picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning to get the 28th selection.
Afterwards, Snow told TSN that he wasn’t worried about taking Ho-Sang because “They (critics) sh*t on me, too.”
Between the 2014 National Hockey League Draft and the start of the NHL’s free agent signing period, some old faces changed places and the league infused itself with new young blood via the draft.
A lot has transpired from the time NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was robustly booed when he first strode onto the stage at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on June 27 to begin the draft to the last breathless breath of NHL Network, TSN, and NBC Sports Network analysts summing up the hurly-burly of the week’s free agent signing frenzy. Let’s recap:
Hoping for a Rocky Mountain high from a Stanley Cup win, Jarome Iginla signs with Avalanche.
Perhaps the biggest free agent catch was landed by the Colorado Avalanche when it inked Jarome Iginla to a three-year, $16 million deal. The former Calgary Flames icon hopes his third NHL team in three seasons – he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012-13 and Boston Bruins last season – will be a charm and deliver the Stanley Cup championship he longs for before he takes residence among the greats in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Iginla’s relocation from Beantown to the Rockies wasn’t an issue of the Bruins not wanting to keep him or the player tiring of the team. It was a matter of dollars and cents, or the Bruins’ lack of it. Boston simply didn’t have the salary cap space to fit Iginla into its budget.
Boston’s misfortune becomes Colorado’s fortune, even though it’s costing the team one. In Iginla, the Avalanche get an aging-but-still-productive player who can provide hard-nose leadership to a rising young team that seeks to leapfrog the loaded Los Angeles Kings, ChicagoBlackhawks and St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference to get a shot at the Cup. Now 37, Iginla scored 30 goals and 31 assists for the Bruins in 78 games.
“In the NHL it’s hard to pick which team is going to win, but you want to be on a contender and I think at this
Manny Malhotra takes his face-off skills to Montreal.
stage of my career that is very important,” Iginla told Sportnet. “I know Boston, they have a great shot, they’re a great team and they work very hard and they’re committed. Unfortunately, it didn’t end the way we wanted it to this year in Boston, but they’ll be right back there and have a great shot again and I realize that. But it wasn’t really a full option and Colorado, to me, is a young, dynamic team and they’re just getting better.”
The Montreal Canadiens made a lesser but no less important free agent signing that the team is banking will help them get beyond the Conference Final next season. The Habs inked 34-year-old center Manny Malhotra to a one-year, $850,000 contract.
The Indo-Canadian Malhothra is a role player, but a very good one. He’s one of the NHL’s best face-off men and provides locker room leadership to a team that saw its captain, Brian Gionta, move on to the Buffalo Sabres. Malhotra is also one of the league’s best feel-good stories. He suffered a horrific left eye injury when he played for the Vancouver Canucks in 2011 that many thought would be career-ending.
With reduced vision, he made the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers on a tryout and was later promoted to the parent club, the NHL’s Carolinia Hurricanes. He had seven goals and six assists for the ‘Canes in the 2013-14 season.
Brandon Montour, left, jumped from 18th-round USHL pick to 2nd-round NHL pick (Photo/Britta Lewis)
Feel-good stories were also abundant at the draft. Brandon Montour was all smiles when the Anaheim Ducks selected the defenseman from the United States Hockey League’s Waterloo Black Hawks in the second round with the 55th overall pick.
Montour, who’s Canadian First Nation, was beaming because little more than a year ago he selected by Waterloo in the 18th round of the USHL draft, the league’s 276th overall pick. What happened between the USHL and NHL drafts? Montour was awarded both the USHL Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year in 2014.
He tallied 14 goals and 48 assists in 60 games for the Black Hawks, tops among USHL defensemen and ninth overall in the league in scoring. He was sixth among USHL players with a plus-35 rating.
Montour attended the Ducks’ prospects camp last week, but it will be a while before fans see
Mark Friedman hopes to join Montour in NHL after college (Photo/Britta Lewis)
him performing in Anaheim. He’s committed to play college hockey at the University of Massachusetts. The USHL is the nation’s top junior league and a prime hockey feeder to American colleges and universities.
“Brandon is truly a special player,” Waterloo Head Coach P.K. O’Handley said on the team’s website. “Even more than his tremendous natural abilities and instincts, our coaching staff, Brandon’s teammates, and certainly Black Hawks fans appreciate the tremendous effort that was evident anytime he was on the ice.”
Montour had company from Waterloo at the draft. Teammate Mark Friedman, a defenseman, was chosen by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 3rd round with the 86th overall pick. He scored 10 goals and 30 assists in 51 games last season for the Black Hawks. Friedman has signed a letter of intent to play hockey for Bowling Green State University, the school that produced former Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma.
Should Friedman reach the NHL after college he’ll be part of a small but growing contingent of Jewish players in the league. CalgaryFlames forward Mike Cammalleri, Phoenix Coyotes forward Jeff Halpern, Nashville Predators forward Eric Nystrom, and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Trevor Smith were among the NHL’s Jewish players last season.
Armada’s Daniel Walcott hopes to make leap from college club hockey to NHL.
The New York Rangers feel they got a diamond in the rough in defenseman Daniel Walcott, a defenseman selected in the fifth round with the 140th overall pick. Like Montour, Walcott, who played last season for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, was an under-the-radar player who took an unusual route to the draft.
Prior to joining Armada, Walcott, a 19-year-old Ile Perrot, Quebec, native, was playing U.S. college hockey – but not NCAA Division I, II or III. He was playing for Lindenwood University near St. Louis, Mo., a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association – club hockey.
Founded in 1991, the ACHA has 431 men’s and women’s teams spanning five competition divisions in 49 states. Teams like Navy, ArizonaState University, New York University, Florida Gulf Coast University, and San Jose State University are ACHA members.
Walcott, played organized travel team hockey in Canada when he was younger but stopped to play football and hockey at school. When his parents divorced, Walcott moved to Chicago where he attended high school for a year before accepting a scholarship at Lindenwood.
“They offered me a spot. I decided to take it because it’s university (hockey) and I always wanted to play there. Unfortunately, it’s not high quality. It’s not NCAA hockey, it was just club hockey,” Walcott told Yahoo Sports’ “Buzzing the Net.” “My assistant coach and (Armada coaches) were in contact, and my name came up. They invited to camp. I decided to come here because I live at home, basically. It was one of the major keys to the decision. Also, I wanted to get seen by scouts and here is a much bigger opportunity for that.”
Indeed. The Rangers looked at Walcott’s single season body of work in the QMJHL and decided he was worth drafting. In 67 games, Walcott scored 10 goals and 29 assists.
“I’m a two-way defenseman,” Walcott told “Buzzing the Net.” “I bring a lot of offense and I can play defense, too, and shutdown top lines. I can be in-your-face and physical. I give my heart out every game – a lot of character.”
Rick Zombo, Lindenwood’s hockey head coach and a former St. Louis Blues defenseman, said all Walcott needed was an opportunity to showcase his ability.
“He put all the work in and he got his opportunity, he was prepared and made the most of it,” Zombo said on the university’s website. “I’m very proud of Daniel and I fully expect him to make the most of his new opportunities.”
Walcott attended the Rangers prospects camp this week with fellow 2014 draftee Keegan Iverson, a forward for the Western Hockey League’s PortlandWinterhawks who was chosen in the 3rd round with the 85th pick by the Blueshirts. Also at camp was Anthony Duclair, a high-scoring forward with the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts. The Rangers chose Duclair in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft with the overall 80th pick. The speedy forward registered 50 goals and 49 assists in 59 games for Quebec in 2013-14.
Rounding out the 2014 draftees are Joshua Ho-Sang, a forward for the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires, who was taken in the first round with the 28th pick by the New York Islanders, and Jaden Lindo, forward for the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack who was taken in the fourth round with the 173rd overall pick by the Penguins.
With several National Hockey League teams reluctant to pull the trigger and use a first-round draft pick to take the flashy, high-scoring Windsor Spitfires forward, the New York Islanders eagerly snapped up the 18-year-old Ho-Sang Friday night with the 28th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. In fact, the Islanders made a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning to get back into the first round to get Ho-Sang.
Joshua Ho-Sang (left) was taken by the New York Islanders, the 28th player picked in the 2014 NHL Draft.
A relieved-looking Ho-Sang walked onto the stage inside Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, pulled on an Islanders jersey and happily tugged on a team cap.
“It’s just such an opportunity and a moment I’ll cherish forever,” he told TSN.
Many general managers were down on Ho-Sang, despite the 32 goals and 52 assists in 67 games for the Ontario Hockey League Spitfires last season. They viewed Ho-Sang as an individualistic, one-dimensional offensive machine who’s more of an electrifying highlight reel entertainer than a hockey player. They were concerned that he could not – or would not – conform his game to fit their teams.
Some comments he made in pre-draft interviews this week also didn’t endear him some in the hockey establishment. Some NHL team were quoted as saying Ho-Sang was on their Do Not Draft lists.
“All I was saying was that I truly believe in myself and I think if you ask any player in the draft, they do, too,” Ho-Sang said.
The Islanders weren’t scared off. General Manager Garth Snow said Ho-Sang will “fit right in” with the Isles and joked later in a television interview that “They(critics) sh** on me, too.”
“They can’t s*** on me any more than they do, I think is what I said,” Snow later told The New York Daily News. “I don’t care. We get players that we feel can help us win a championship, and we don’t give a s*** what anyone else thinks – except our fans, or course.”
So the son of a Jamaican father of Chinese descent and a Jewish Chilean mother with Russian and Swedish bloodlines now hopes to take his talents to New York. Ho-Sang isn’t NHL-ready yet. But he could be by the 2015-16 season when the Islanders move from Long Island’s Nassau County Coliseum – one of the NHL’s oldest arenas – to multi-ethnic, multicultural Brooklyn and the Barclays Center.
As this weekend’s 2014 NHL Draft approaches perhaps the biggest question is where Windsor Spitfires forward Joshua Ho-Sang will land?
Most scouts agree that Ho-Sang has first round talent – a natural goal scorer with great hands, vision, playmaking skills, agility and speed. Still, on the eve of the draft it’s anyone’s guess which team will select him and in what round. In its final draft rankings, Canada’s TSN.ca listed Ho-Sang as the 30th among North American and European skaters, a 10-slot drop from the sports website’s March ranking.
When and where will Windsor’s talented Joshua Ho-Sang go in 2014 NHL Draft?
He was ranked 18th in the NHL’s Central Scouting midterm list and slipped to 22nd in their final survey. Still, TSN Scouting Director Craig Button wrote that Ho-Sang “Continues to grow as a player. Excellent hands and can make plays in tight and is very difficult to get the puck from. He can make plays that very few are capable of. A dynamic type player. One of the most highly skilled players in draft.”
But Button’s assessment hasn’t stopped the naysayers from saying their nays about Ho-Sang.
Some of the negatives are physical: Listed at a generous 5-11, 176-lbs he’s considered undersized by some hockey people. But being short and light didn’t stop him from tallying 32 goals, 53 assists in 67 games for the Ontario Hockey League Spitfires. He’s scored 129 points in 130 career OHL regular season games. Defense isn’t his forte, though his plus/minus was a plus-26 in the 2013-14 season.
Then there are the questions of conformity. In a team sport the stresses playing the right way, Ho-Sang is pure offense and makes no apologies for it. He loves the puck and apparently it loves him because its hard to get it off his stick. He’s a human highlight reel who dangles, dekes, scores and enthusiastically celebrates. One of his tweets says “A goal without a celly is like peanut butter without jelly.”
“A majority of skill players love to dangle, everyone loves to score, set up nice goals,” he told Sportnet’s Damien Cox. “You kind of have to find that in-between because not every play can be a highlight reel, you can’t beat two or three guys every shift. You have to pick your spots. A lot of that comes with maturity and understanding when to o it and not to do it.”
And Ho-Sang talks proudly about his talents and who he is, the son of a Jamaican father of Chinese descent and a Jewish Chilean mother with
Windsor Spitfires’ Josh Ho-Sang skating for the Skillz Black Aces.
Russian and Swedish bloodlines. In interviews, he’s talked about being ready to be part of the changing face of the NHL, joining the likes of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, players who’ve also been under hockey’s sometimes harsh microscope.
“Because of all the backgrounds I have, I could bring a lot of interest in the game, for sure,” he told Cox. “I have all the pieces to bring a lot of people together. It’s cool to have the ability to inspire people, for sure.”
Ho-Sang hasn’t been afraid to mention race. He told The Toronto Sun “I think color definitely plays a factor in perception.” said Ho-Sang.
“When I start dangling, my GM calls me a Harlem Globetrotter,” Ho-Sang told The Sun’s Steve Simmons. Why am I a Harlem Globetrotter? Analogies get related to basketball all the time with me. I don’t play basketball. I’ve never played basketball. I’m a hockey player. Why are they doing that?
Apparently all of this – coupled with a six-game OHL suspension for a play that caused London Knights defenseman Zach Bell to suffer a broken leg – might be too much for some NHL teams. Simmons reported Tuesday that “numerous teams have Ho-Sang on their Do Not Draft List.” Simmons wrote that only 18 of the NHL’s 30 teams interviewed him at the NHL Combine.
“And if I picked him, my scouts would all revolt,” the chief scout told Simmons. “He doesn’t fit what we’re looking for.” So much for the sports mantra of taking the best available player with a pick.
The criticisms haven’t dampened Ho-Sang’s spirit or confidence going into the draft this Friday and Saturday at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, home of the Flyers.
“If I was a general manager and had first pick in the draft, I’d pick me No. 1,” he told The Sun. “In three years, I’ll be the best player in this draft. And I have no doubt about that. I know myself. I know the other players. I believe in my ability. There are guys ranked ahead of me who are nowhere near me.”
The National Hockey League’s 2014 midterm draft rankings are out and players of color populate the list from top to bottom. Forward Josh Ho-Sang of the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires placed highest – listed as the 18th best North American skater. Forward Keegan Iverson of the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks ranked 64th among draft-eligible North American players.Forward Jaden Lindo of the OHL’s Owen SoundAttack was graded as the 96th-best North American player. And Cordell James, a forward for the OHL’s Barrie Colts, ranked 126th among North American skaters.
NHL scouts ranked Windsor’s Josh Ho-Sang as the 18th-best North American skater.
Samuel Bennett, a forward for the OHL’s KingstonFrontenacs topped the list of North American skaters, with 26 goals and 66 points so far this season. Kasperi Kapanen, a forward for KalPa of Finland’s SM-liiga, heads the list of draft-eligible European skaters. He has four goals and four assists.
The draft will be conducted June 27-28 at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the PhiladelphiaFlyers. Last year, eight minority players were chosen in the draft. Some hockey experts think this year’s draft could exceed that number.
Some people believe that the offensively-gifted Ho-Sang could be a first or second round pick. He has 19 goals and 32 assists for the Spitfires in 42 games. Craig Button, director of scouting for Canada’s TSN, ranks Ho-Sang 33rd among North Americans and European draft-eligible players.
“I like him as a player,” Chris Edwards, a scout for the NHL’s central scouting bureau told The Windsor Star. “He’s highly-skilled and has a chance to be a good pro.”
Bob Boughner, Ho-Sang’s coach at Windsor, agrees but also noted that the young player still has some work to do.
Owen Sound’s Jaden Lindo ranks 96th among North American players.
“You can’t teach his skill, but he still has to learn to conform a little and make guys around him better,” Boughner told The Star.
Ho-Sang, who’ll turn 18 on Jan. 22, still has some growing up to do. he was scratched for one game this season for what Boughner termed “internal discipline problems.” Ho-Sang told The Star the benching stemmed from being late for a practice.
Portland’s Keegan Iverson occupies the 64th slot among North American skaters. (Brian Heim/Portland Winterhawks).
“I know it could (hurt my draft ranking), but that’s not what bothers me,” he told the newspaper. “It’s the 22 players (teammates) in that room that I let down.”
Barrie Colts’ Cordell James ranks 126th on NHL draft list. Barrie Colts (Terry Wilson Photography)
Button ranks Lindo the 76th best player available. Lindo has nine goals and nine assists in 35 games for the Attack. Iverson, who didn’t make Button’s list, has 10 goals and 11 assists for Portland. James has tallied two goals and three assists in 39 games for the Colts.