By Peter Pupello, TampaBayLightning.com
Please excuse the United States’ neighbor to the north if the temperatures in Canada this time of year begin to feel a little bit warmer.
At least in and around the parts of Rouyn-Noranda, that is.
The city is home to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, whom since the arrival of Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov, have seemed to catch fire.
Since Kucherov joined the Huskies in a trade from the Quebec Remparts on November 21, the club has gone on to win seven of its previous nine games, including three straight.
Prior to the trade, Rouyn-Noranda had dropped five consecutive games, including two in a row by a score of 8-3. Kucherov, meanwhile, has elevated his game and has seemed to fit right in to his new surroundings as he emerges as a great talent at the Canadian junior level.
For the rest of this story, see TampaBayLightning.com.
By Damian Cristodero, Tampa Bay Times
University of Minnesota goalie Adam Wilcox claims he can solve a Rubik's Cube puzzle in "about a minute."
Yeah, right, said laughing Gophers goaltenders coach Justin Johnson. "Maybe if he was doing just one side."
No, really, Wilcox said, "It's just kind of learning patterns. You have to take it step by step."
And that is exactly how Wilcox has turned himself into one of the nation's top freshman goalies and one of the Lightning's most interesting and promising prospects.
For the rest of this story, see the Tampa Bay Times.
This week we continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
This week’s winner said good-bye to his club team with a dramatic exit.
The Prospect of the Week for December 10 is … Nikita Kucherov, RW, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL – Canada)
A lot is expected of Russia this month at the upcoming World Junior Championships. The city of Ufa, Russia, is hosting the tournament, and the Russians will not settle for anything less than a gold medal.
With the NHL mired in a lockout, a lot of attention will be on the tournament from North America, too, especially in hockey-rabid Canada.
It’s a big deal.
After only a handful of games, Jon Cooper saw the signs of what was to come from Vladislav Namestnikov.
The Syracuse Crunch head coach watched the same progression in many of the rookies on the Calder Cup-winning Norfolk Admirals last year, whether they were Tampa Bay Lightning picks like Ondrej Palat and Richard Panik, or undrafted free agents like Tyler Johnson and Cory Conacher.
“Those guys that came in, felt out the league, learned it and after Christmas, took off,” Cooper said. “That’s where Vladdy would have been this year, but we’re just going to have to wait a few months for that to happen.”