Thursday, 17 May 2012

2012 CWHL Draft Preview

Alberta Honeybadgers
Profile: 5th place in 2011-12, Meaghan Mikkelson most notable player on the team, Jenna Cunningham led team with 10 goals


Needs: The club needs another sniper to complement Cunningham. If Bailey Bram is available, she would be the right fit. Team needs to address special teams (lack of goals scored on both power play and penalty kill). National team member Jocelyne Larocque would bring strong leadership to defense. Kendice Ogilvie from Cornell would help bring a winning attitude to the team, and contribute as a defensive forward.

 
Andrea Boras, captain of the Alberta Pandas in CIS, has won gold with the Canadian National Team at the Winter Universiade in 2009 and 2011. A 2010 CIS National Champion, and Canada West First Team All-Star, Boras is another talent that could help bolster Alberta's blueline. A significant upgrade in goaltending would give the team more opportunities to win. Hillary Pattenden, the all-time winningest goaltender in NCAA history could fit the bill perfectly.

Long Term Outlook: Club will continue to endure expansion woes. Hope is on the way with the Calgary Dinos of the CIS recruiting elite prospects that should develop into CWHL worthy players.

Boston Blades
Profile: Qualified for Clarkson Cup playoffs, top scorers included Erika Lawler, Kelli Stack and Gigi Marvin, Angela Ruggiero retired after the 2010-11 season

Needs: The club needs more scoring depth. As Lawler, Stack and Marvin go, so does the team. Hilary Knight, a member of the NCAA 200 point club, would bolster a second line and add another dimension to the Blades offense. Drafting defenders such as Anne Schleper and Jen Schoullis would ease the pain of losing Ruggiero. Kelley Steadman is a versatile player that could handle both offense and defense.

Long Term Outlook: If the Blades draft Florence Schelling, the goaltending situation for the club will be established for the next decade. Molly Schaus and Schelling would anchor the club and give it an opportunity to compete for the Clarkson Cup every season.

Brampton HC
Profile: Clarkson Cup runner-up, trading for the rights to Vicki Bendus in 2011 was a shrewd move, Liz Knox won 13 games as a rookie

Needs: Club should use the opportunity to focus on defense, so rookie defenders can benefit from Molly Engstrom’s knowledge. Prospects such as Kasey Boucher, Brittany Haverstock (who played at Engstrom’s alma mater Wisconsin), and Tara Watchorn would work well with Engstrom.

With Lori Dupuis and Jayna Hefford in their mid-30’s, another young sniper or two would ensure team has a competitive future. Haley Irwin (another member of the NCAA 200 point club) would be a superlative choice. Laura MacIntosh, the all-time leading scorer in Ohio State history, could emerge as the steal of the draft.

Long Term Outlook: Should Natalie Spooner or Jenn Wakefield become available, a player of such high caliber would give Brampton a better opportunity of winning the Clarkson Cup. Liz Knox is quickly establishing herself as an elite goaltender in the CWHL, and brings a strong presence to the team. Selecting Providence goaltender Genevieve Lacasse would be a great insurance policy should Knox fall to injury.

Montreal Stars
Profile: Third Clarkson Cup in four seasons, Rookie Meghan Agosta broke the league record for most points in one season, Jenny Lavigne had career year as goaltender

Needs: The Stars biggest challenge is to provide all their elite players with enough ice time. With Charline Labonte available, and Kim St. Pierre possibly returning from maternity leave, team needs to make hard decisions regarding their goaltending. With the upcoming Sochi Winter Games possibly depleting the Stars roster, Marieve Provost (the all time CIS scoring queen) would adequately serve in a high scoring role.

Long Term Outlook: The 2012 McGill Martlets (from Montreal) produced their finest graduating class ever. Labonte, Ann-Sophie Bettez, Jordana Peroff, and Cathy Chartrand are CWHL ready. With the prospect of Lauriane Rougeau and Marie-Philip Poulin graduating from their NCAA teams within two years, the Stars are poised to be the team of the decade.

Toronto Furies
Profile: Qualified for Clarkson Cup playoffs, Jennifer Botterill retired after 2010-11 season, Kori Cheverie led team with 14 goals, Mallory Deluce was the Furies leading scorer

Needs: In order to compete with the cross-town Thunder, the Furies will require more depth on offense. The Furies need a first line in which each skater averages at least one point per game. Rebecca Johnston and Catherine White, (both from Cornell) would be ideal choices, and complement each other’s skills. Botterill was a huge loss to the Furies and was never adequately replaced. Spooner could fill that role perfectly, while Wakefield would ease the scoring woes of the club by adding depth to the second line.

Another area that needs to be looked into is goaltending. Amanda Mazzotta was an unselfish player and a key reason that the Cornell Big Red were so competitive. She would be an ideal player to eventually anchor the team’s goaltending needs.

Long Term Outlook: If Jesse Scanzano can regain the scoring touch she had with the Mercyhurst Lakers, Toronto will gain the opportunity to be more competitive. Suzanne Fenerty (from St. Francis Xavier) would work well as a defensive forward and shut down the high scoring Brampton skaters. Tessa Bonhomme is the face of the franchise and will anchor the defense for years to come.

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