Tuesday, December 30, 2008

WHL15 Season Outlook

Cammalleri, a highly skilled, speedy, offensive threat. The addition
of Cammalleri provides Minnesota with a proven scoring option that can play all 3 positions up front. In exchange for Cammalleri, Minnesota dealt prospect Dustin Boyd, a WHL16 draft pick and Chuck Kobasew, a potential scoring threat that has taken some time to develop and received a couple of upcoming draft picks as well. Cammalleri will fit in well on the Rink Rat’s first line with Derek Roy and Patrick O’Sullivan.

“Cammalleri is a guy that has scored at every level he’s played and I feel very confident he’ll be able to help us offensively,” said Head Coach, Barry Melrose. “I feel as though we have an improved team over last season and think we have a strong shot to make the playoffs again this season”.

The playoffs will be no easy task for Minnesota as many WHL teams are boasting improved rosters. Within their conference look for the Cats, Orcas and Fighting Irish to see improvements over last season and with the likes of strong clubs like the Bulls, Express, Voodoo, Dropkicks and Timberjacks the division will be pretty competitive again this season.

Minnesota will expect big things out of returning Hart Trophy runner-up Ryan Miller to help carry the team again. The defense looks to be somewhat improved over last season with Brent Burns looking pretty sharp in team training camp. Word has it that Burns is looking like he’ll be one of the best in the league and will most likely be paired with Captain Jay Bouwmeester on the squad’s first line and power play units. The remainder of the team will look like this:

Left Wing
Derek Roy
Geoff Sanderson
Rob Schremp
Mike York

Patrick O'Sullivan
Matthew Lombardi
Alexei Yashin
Kris Beech

Right Wing
Michael Cammalleri
Darcy Tucker
Richard Park
Petr Kalus

Jay Bouwmeester
Brent Burns
Derek Morris
Toni Lydman
Mike VanRyn
Karel Rachunek
Shane Hnidy

Ryan Miller
John Graham

David Krejci
TJ Hensick
Tyler Kennedy
Jimmy Howard
Ryan Potulny
Petteri Norkelainen
Kyle Cumiskey
Brian Elliott
Casey Borer

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