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Hockey Challenge 2014

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CHL Import Draft

Seattle's first selection this morning is a 17 (technically he's still 16 and his birthday is on the 17th of July) year old Center from Denmark named Alexander True. True is listed at 6'3" (Surprise! a big guy... never saw that coming) and 179 lbs. So he's tall with a frame that probably needs to fill out. He played in several places last year, playing 16 games for Rungsted U17 and posting 62 points in 16 games. He then also played for Rungsted's IK team in the Denmark 2 league for 25 games and with the big club for 11 games.

Here is a video profile on him from Hockey's Future.

True is a cousin to the recently drafted Nikolaj Ehlers, who went 9th overall to the Winnipeg Jets.

Have fun trying to search for much on this guy... I can't find much of anything.

As usual... with a bigger guy. I really want to see how he skates. Too many big guys can't skate and this is a league where you have to be able to skate.

Seattle's second selection this morning is another 17 year old. This time it is Florian Baltram from Austria.

Baltram is a smaller player at 5'10" and 170lbs (nearly the same weight at True) and is listed as a LW.

Playing 42 games for the U20 Lower Austria Stars Club (which appears to be a part of the Okanagan Hockey Academy) he posted 17 goals and 24 assists and a +16 rating last season.

Collection of videos here and I believe he is wearing #89 (that would be sweet if he wore that here).

He played for Austria's U18 team at the WJC-18's (In a lower group with Hungary, Japan, Ukraine, Poland and Slovenia) and had 2 points in 5 games.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure that there are others like me out there who are drawing up the roster on scratch paper and trying to figure out where the T-Birds stand as of today. I have the current roster at 19 players after removing the names of 3 of 6 overagers that figure to return. My 'yes' list does include Hickman, Theo, the 2 new Euros, Khaira, Elder, and Volcan. My 'no' list has Troock, Maxwell, both of last year's Euros, and two question marks next to Wolf and Honey's names which I left out of the roster as well. Quite the flurry of activity to follow over the offseason!

Anonymous said...

My big question mark is next to Kozun. I think at this point you have to trade him. Mumaugh and Flodell need to see more time in net this year. Interesting that we took two 97's this year. That indicates to me that we are building for 2015-16 and beyond, when this team might be the best in the west depending on how our development goes. Theo is my favorite player now that Troock is gone, but the way things are going it might make sense to trade him and pick up a top 96 born forward or D. I'm on the fence about it though.

The 20's on my list are Hickman, Mac and Yak. Mostly because I think Henry has the best trade value and the shut down line of Yak, Mac and Eansor would be worth keeping around. As for Hickman, he just seems to bring so much passion every night, I think the younger guys can learn a lot from him.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sold on Kozun either. But if you keep 3 20 yr old forwards, who are your top 6 d-men? Theo, Hauf, Bear, Smith and ???? Are you comfortable with Wolf and Khaira? Not sure a team is going to trade for a 20 yr old D-man like Henry or Wardley and send a 19 or 18 year old d-man with any quality back to Seattle. That would be counterproductive. The Fabbro decision really mucked up the back end.

Kodi said...

So before I get started and until proven otherwise I believe that Russ will trade 20 year olds that he can get the most value for. That being said I put some information below that will help people see where we are currently at.

Here is the roster with the 20's removed (this includes all signed players)

Forwards (11)
Player DOB Status
Calvin Spencer 26-Feb-96 Signed
Scott Eansor 3-Jan-96 Signed
Ryan Gropp 16-Sep-96 Signed
Mathew Barzal 26-May-97 Signed
Lane Pederson 4-Aug-97 Signed
Nolan Volcan 4-Jul-98 Signed
Keegan Kolesar 8-Apr-97 Signed
Alexander True 17-Jul-97 Signed
Florian Baltram 25-Mar-97 Signed
Kaden Elder 16-Mar-98 Signed
Donovan Neuls 24-Oct-97 Signed
Defencemen (6)
Player DOB Status
Jerret Smith 21-Apr-95 Signed
Kevin Wolf 7-Apr-96 Signed
Shea Theodore 3-Aug-95 Signed
Ethan Bear 26-Jun-97 Signed
Jared Hauf 6-Mar-95 Signed
Sahvan Khaira 2-Jan-98 Signed
Goalies (2)
Player DOB Status
Danny Mumaugh 19-Mar-96 Signed
Logan Flodell 10-Feb-97 Signed

Going off those numbers you would probably want 2 Forwards and 1 defender. I would prefer Kozun behind the net though so I would go 1-1-1 Selecting Hickman, Henry, and Kozun

Here is the 20's that could be coming back

Player DOB Status
Sam McKechnie 8-Jul-94
Justin Hickman 18-Mar-94
Connor Honey 1-Apr-94
Jaimen Yakubowski 28-May-94
Adam Henry 24-Nov-94
Evan Wardley 26-Apr-94
Taran Kozun 29-Aug-94

Honey - Just not convinced he could last a full season if healthy and I would rather have our players on the ice.
Wardley - He's one bad boarding play away from a 10 game suspension and I would rather have our players on the ice.
Yak - Toward the end of the season he received two upper body injuries. Would hate to risk having another Chaffin/Alos/Honey and I would rather have our players on the ice.
McKenzie - Would rather have Hickman so he ends up being the odd man out

And finally here are some prospects from last year's prospect list (Thanks to Alan Caldwell). Please note that any of these players could have been delisted. The first two were at the U-16 Tournament this year and the rest are doing the college route.

Player DOB Status Notes
Colton Thomas 23-Feb-98 Prospect U-16 Tournament
Cameron Coutre 11-Apr-98 Prospect U-16 Tournament
Evan Cowley 31-Jul-95 Prospect 2013 92nd Pick NHL Draft
Shane Gersich 10-Jul-96 Prospect 2014 134th Pick NHL Draft
Avery Peterson 20-Jun-95 Prospect 2013 167th Pick NHL Draft
Dylan Gambrell 26-Aug-96 Prospect 2014 Undrafted Attending NYI Camp
Dante Fabbro 20-Jun-98 Prospect Committed to BCHL 2014

If any of those decided to change there mind could change the direction the team goes.

Anonymous said...

I think they are going to keep kozun he is a instructor at the t birds hockey school.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't assume that being an instructor at kids' camp assures a roster spot. There is so much movement that happens from camp-20 year old deadline and with goalies in particular. Those moves tend to happen after camp. Remember DeSerres? He blew away all training camp records the year they traded him for an up and coming Pickard.

I love the idea of keeping the Mac Yak and Eansor line together, I just don't think it will happen Looking at those 6 D I think you need a 7th who is a leader like Henry. Wardley going to camp helps to increase his value in a trade.

I think Russ holds onto Henry and Hickman for their leadership and the rest will sort out based on what he can get in trade.

Anonymous said...

Henry has to be here at least until the 20 year old deadline, maybe Wardley too. Theodore is probably going to be at camp with Anaheim longer then he was last season. Without either of those two the opening week or two of the season we would have a top 6 D of Smith, Hauf, Bear, Wolf, Khaira and who?

Anonymous said...

That forward group is just too young. I think we need to keep Hickman and Yakubowski or else trade for a 95 born forward. The defensive group right now is relatively old but I can see the value of keeping either Henry or Wardley. Kozun has some value as a 20 year old goaltender with experience in the league ideally I would like to see us move him for a forward in the 95 age group.

Anonymous said...

20's rarely get moved in the offseason for anything but draft picks or fringe prospect. It just doesn't make sense to trade for a 20 year old by dealing a 19 year old with any quality the other way. Why would a team trade a 20+ goal scoring forward they control for two seasons for one season of a 20 year old goalie? Maybe in a package deal but not straight up 1-for-1. I think for Seattle to get a 19 or 18 year old talented forward, they will have to trade younger talent/prospects, not 20 yr olds. And any forward you trade for has to be of quality. If he's not equal to or less talented then our younger players, you play our younger guys. Are you willing to trade a Volcan or an Elder for a high end 19 yr old who is probably out of the league after this season?

Anonymous said...

Cant see Tbirds keeping Wolf. Never plays and is a waste of a roster spot. Also I hear rumblings of Flodell having a lot of hip issues and his upcoming season in Seattle could be in Jeopardy. Team is extremely young and I am thinking next year will be a decent year but the 2015/16 year will be the year to compete. We need Fabbro for that 2015/16 season

Grover Cleveland said...

Hickman performed very well in his AHL tryout this spring. I don't think we should count on seeing him back.

Anonymous said...

Hickman was not signed after that tryout by the NY Islanders AHL team. He has been invited to the Winnipeg Jets rookie camp though, along with about 30 other players.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think that Russ is going to be trading away some draft picks (and likely Kozun)in the near future. Looking at the roster that Kodi put together, what really stands out to me is the list of 19 and younger players and how little WHL experience there is there. 5 of those 11 non-20 Forwards have never played in a WHL game, and Spencer and Pederson were used sparingly last year. Eansor, Gropp, Barzal, and Kolesar would be the only 'proven' players behind the overagers.. And with 'Mack and Yak' putting up a measly 33 combined points on offense last year, we'd be asking a lot for the young talent to carry the team in the scoring department if those two both return.

Mr Tell13 said...

I don't get why people would say that they are "not sold" on Kozun.
In the 24 games with the tbirds, he had a GPG avg of 2.4 and a save %.928. Theses kind of stats would put him in goalie of the year discussion if he did not play for a crappy team for 29 games. I am all for looking at trainign camp to evaluate guys (and kids can take a step back...) but I think that the tbirds would be much better served with a tandem of Kozun-Flodell at the trade deadline. Even if Kozun takes a step back from last season, (lets say GPG of 2.55 and a save% of .918ish) that is still top 10 in the WHL in any year. And remember, the lofty numbers from last year were done with a defense that most of us consider average.

Anonymous said...

Mr Tell13, I couldn't agree more. I've been reading comments regarding Kozun and wondering if people are just getting caught up in the 20yo numbers game. This team would certainly benefit from the return of any of 20s in question. Just look at the ages of the probable forwards for the upcoming season as an example. That being said, how can anyone (prior to training camp and preseason) think that Mumaugh can carry the starter position, and know for a fact that Flodell can back him up? Kozun left no question that he was better than Mumaugh, and it's up to Mumaugh to take it back. The ideal scenario for Seattle is that he does earn it and Flodell proves he can back him up, or even better, push to start himself.

Anonymous said...

Kozun started like a house on fire, winning what? his first 8 games with the T-birds? But then he went something like 6-9 after that. In the playoffs he was good against Everett (a weak offensive team)except for game 4 where he wasn't good at all. He wasn't very good against Kelowna in Rd 2. Until the 2nd half of last season he'd never been a #1 in the WHL. If I recall, when Seattle traded for him it was with the idea of splitting time with Mumaugh, but Kozun got hot and they rode him. Even a bad Kamloops team traded for another 19 year old goalie (Pouliot) prior to last season instead of handing the job to Kozun. Then, at the trade deadline they kept the goalie they traded for (who had been injured)and traded the one they had in their system for 3 and a 1/2 years. So, when I say I'm "not sold" on Kozun, it doesn't mean I don't think he can do the job, it's just that 1/2 a season with a 14-9 record isn't much better then what Mumaugh did for half a season last year (15-10-2-3). Kozun could be the right choice but he's not a slam dunk. Mumaugh's stats took a hit on the Eastern swing (just before the trade deadline) when Myles came up lame and Mumagh had to play every game. I'm not sold on Mumaugh either but their WHL careers are as such: Kozun 31-33-3-4 910% 3.00 GAA playing primarily as a back up with a very good Kamloops team that twice went deep in playoffs. Mumaugh 16-17-4-4 .891% 3.70 GAA. Remember, Mumaugh is 2 years younger the Kozun. With the exception of a 2 month stretch with Seattle Kozun really hasn't stood out as a WHL goalie. I won't be shocked if he's the T-birds starting goalie this season but I also wouldn't be surprised if he's traded.

Anonymous said...

Myles wasn't the only injured player on that Eastern swing. Bench was short every game and they had to use two 15 yr olds. No Barzal, Yak, Eansor, Honey, Troock, Bear or Kolesar. Mumaugh's #s pretty good if you take out a couple of those games. Just remember though, you might get more in trade for an 18 year old goalie then a 20.

Mr Tell13 said...

@anon 10:40
I think its a bad argument to give Mumaugh excuses for his numbers and to try to "artificially" level the playing field between him and Kozun. Just look at each goalie stats in Feb and March. (and lets not minimise Kozun's performance againt EVT in the playoff when most peoples were predicting that they would lose to the tips who still manage 3.00 GF/G in reg season)
In my opinion, the starter job is (right now) Kozun's to lose.

Anonymous said...

Nothing "artificial" about the numbers. Got it off the WHL website. T-birds with a short roster and an injured Myles played Edmonton and Calgary on back to back nights and Mumaugh allowed 12 goals. Seattle dressed under the limit in those games and Kevin Wolf and Austin Douglas were both in the lineup as d-men and 15 year olds Elder and Volcan played regular shifts. You don't think that will affect a goalie's stats? Kozun with Kamloops prior to the trade was 5-19-2-1 with an .897 % and a 3.95 GAA. He was playing for a bad team but I guess using that as an excuse would be "leveling the playing field". Fact is, he was 6-9 down the stretch with Seattle and he was 1-5 in his last 6 postseason starts with a GAA of over 5. I didn't say the job wasn't his to lose. In fact, I fully expect he will be the goalie this season. I just don't think his history in the WHL screams slam dunk 20 yr old goalie. Brandon Glover had a great playoff run his last season in Calgary but was fairly mediocre his one season with the T-birds. Mumaugh was 1-7 his rookie season with a Seattle team that won just 24 games. but was over .500 last year when the team won 41. The supporting cast around a goalie matters. Mumaugh's #s over the first half of last season with the same team are pretty comparable to Kozun's over the 2nd half. Kozun had a great January & February, which also coincided with the T-birds getting all their players back from tournaments and injury. I'm just saying the way Kozun finished the regular season and the playoffs left some doubt in my mind. I'm hoping it was just fatigue from a guy who carried the load for the first time in his WHL career.

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