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Monday, July 25, 2011

Austin Gryca to battle at Port Huron

 Picture from the Sylvania Northview Hockey Website.

Wildcats goal tender Austin Gryca is on a mission to fully establish himself as one of the elite.  At the conclusion of the Wildcats season Gryca proceeded north to Michigan, to test his skills at the Port Huron Falcons NAHL pre-draft tryouts.  He emerged from that experience with a solid invitiation to the Port Huron 2011-2012 selection camp.  That event is being conducted this weekend and head Coach Bill Warren is excited about the depth at the goaltender position.
In the draft the Falcons made a trade with the Amarillo Bulls so that Port Huron could acquire the 3rd overall selection.  With that selection the Falcons choose Honey Baked stand out Max Milosek.  Milosek went 11-1-4 with Honeybaked recording a 2.41 Goals against average.  Making him one of the most competitive goalies in AAA.
Gryca emerged from the predraft with high praises, well earned.  He was in the top 1% for physical conditioning, a statistic that every Northview fan can be proud of, and should know well. Every Northview player that has attended a Jr's try out camp, where physical testing was conducted, has been either the top rated or among the top rated in physical condiditoning.  A fact that has been well noted among Division 1, 3 and Jr's coaches and staff.  Its a tribute to work ethic, dedication and the health of the program.  Gryca was no acception and the staff were equally astonished with his game play.  Clearly indicated by his invitation to return, comments made and reenforced by being told he was in the top 2 at this camp, competing against other Jr and AAA veterans.
This week Austin is training hard and sharpening his skills with intensive on and off ice sessions.  Austin is training with Jeff Lerg-image rights Detroit News

Jeff seen here wearing the C for Michigan State is one of only a select few goalies at any level to ever be a captain.  Jeff made 3996 saves in his four career for the Spartans, many of them done with pure athleticism, earning a four average saver percentage of .921 and one National Championship in 2007 Defeating Boston College 3-1 where all three goals for the Spartans came in the 3rd period, where the Spartans will still out shot.  Its no mistake that Gryca is training with Lerg.  Both share many similar attributes from size to style of play, and attitude.  
For Gryca his debut to the world of Jr hockey and that eliet level of competition has fueled his fire, and shown the another piece of the JR hockey and College world that there is much to be had in the way of prospects from North West Ohio, again.
The Port Huron Falcons selection is open to the public and free of charge.  The camp is being held July 29th-31st at Hazel Park Ice Arena at 1555 East Woodward Heights Blvd., Hazel Park.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Drew Crandall Competes in EJHL summer showcase

Pictured above is #14 Yellow Drew Crandall.  The Sylvania Northview High School forward only recently closed out his sophomore season, with the Wild Cat's.  Receiving an invitation to compete with one of the top teams in the EJHL ( Eastern Junior Hockey League), the New Hampshire Jr Monarchs.  Truth be told since 2002 the Monarchs have won 6 Titles with two sets of back to back championships.  The New Hampshire Monarchs are noted for their annual placement of players in Division 1 NCAA hockey.  Team like Boston University, Boston College, North Eastern, Maine, and University of New Hampshire and any combination of Atlantic, ECAC schools are common place.  Drew was playing this weekend with a proverbially who's who, of who's to come in college hockey, ranging in age from 17-20.  In front of a vast majority of Atlantic, ECAC and Hockey East Divison 1 coaches, and 25+ Division 3 schools.
Drew is one of those players with the gift, and is up for the challenge.  He is relentless at both ends of the ice, posses the speed, hands and vision, to not only compete at these elite levels, but to excel.  Drew plays a complete game and is fearless.  His success this weekend as well as at previous events, and those to come over the summer are preparing him for a very challenging season of High School Hockey, and aiding him in making future plans.
Head coach Mike Jones of the Wild Cats, is going to continue developing eliet players, and challanging each and every boy to not only the best hockey player he can be, but student.  His methodologies and formulas are proving out.  It's not just where you play hockey that counts in development, it is who you play for, and what kind of development plan is in place that matters most.  Players learn the most, in practice.  Player grow physically from highly advanced modern conditioning programs.  Players thrive in a culture based upon support, success and camaraderie, while maintain great social lives and being surrounded by friends, family and fans. This is Northview Hockey, this is Northwest Ohio High School Hockey.
Drews games can be viewed on by looking in the archive section for the EJHL Summer showcase.  Drew played for the Monarchs White team in the A division, jersey color is Yellow in each game, and he wore the #14. 
For information on Northview Hockey, and becoming a Northview Wildcat please visit
This weekend NorthWest Ohio Teams will be playing in a tournament at Tamoshanter in Sylvania Ohio, the games kick off Friday night at 4pm, with a Northview and St. Johns match up at 830pm

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sylvania Northview HS players and North West Red Division players gaining traction in the JR world

Aside from the rise of Culver (93) and his hard work and opportunity now with the USHL Youngstown Phantoms for the 2011-2012 season.  There are several others working hard in the offseason, gaining attention and lassoing their own stars.
Goalie Austin Gryca is off to the NAHL Port Huron Falcons main camp at the end of July.  While a recent head line reads "Tyler Last deserves shot to compete for spot on Falcons"  the stark reality here is that Bill Warren the Falcons head coach is quoted as stating numerous times that he want a young goalie to back up his starter, some one to develop along the season, who is capable of playing numerous games, but not shouldering the load this season.  Austin Gryca a 94 goalie out of Sylvania Northview HS came out of the predraft camp as a top ranked prospect.  One of the top goalies, but also in the top percent of all at camp in physical testing.  Being a 94 and backing up a 91 would give the Falcons exactly what they are looking for, in a fully capable strong, net-minder.  This again is just another piece of testimony for the progressive development taking place at Sylvaina Northview.

Dalton Carter, the utility man is capitalizing on growing NAHL, EJHL, OJHL, BCHL and budding USHL interest.  Dalton will be showcasing his abilities in front of numerous EJHL coachs, D3 and D1 scouts when takes part in the Hockey Night Boston major division tournament in last half of July.  Dalton has been a player who stand on the blue, or work from the wing, and has good centering abilities as well.  He is most noted for his thunderous, laser accurate slap shots from point working on the power play, in conjuntion with his good size, and growing frame the boy is a protypical CCHA, WCHA player, who would aslo be a good fit in larger Hockey East teams like Northeasters and UNH's.
There is a lot of development to take place between now then.  The foundations are in place and were well noted by coaches Dennis Williams and Rocky Russo of the Amarilo Bulls, which is why Dalton is joining them to compete for a place on the 2011-2012 Bulls roster at the end of July.

Drew Crandall whats not to like?  The Toledo Cherokee third round draft pick 40th overall,  is a Quick, fast, tenacious, relentless, two way player, battler where all these adjectives can well be used to begin any description of what this young man brings to game every shift.  What do I like about Drew?  I like that he skates a fearless game.  He goes in to the hard places and wins battles when needed, but more often than not, at this point, he is there  first.  He could develop in to an all around star, following the off ice conditioning and training that is available to all Northview hockey players.  Drew has a good shot, his release I feel could be quicker, espically considering his shots come from prime shooting zones. Drew's passes are crisping up.  Drew has learned patience. He is using his high sustained speed to open up and stretch things out creating space for play-making, which a year ago he would rush, now he is allowing them to develop.
Drew is going be skating with a year in and out top ranked EJHL club in the summer showcase A division.  Playing with and against numerous Top 10 NCAA programs committed players at the end of July, in front of those programs very coaches, he is going to turn heads.  Entering his only his Junior  year, I feel that Drew can develop under coach Jones in to another USHL prospect.

I will have introductory posts / updates on: Reid Mankowski,  Zach Felzer, Tyler Dewitt, Kyler Omey, Nate Gay, and Brint Easton in the next edition.

Lets take a moment here and analyze prospect projection.  Just because some guy, or scout blowviates that this player is this or that at these early ages doesn't mean dinky do.  It merely means that if the players development trend continues to track on this trajectory that he is a prospect.  How do prospects develop?  Big question, with numerous formulas, all player specific, and position.  Basics are skating, shot, hands, hockey sense, mental  and physical.  Now the player must also have the desire.  Generally speaking for most this is where it can and does end, any number of reasons.  For some its that Jr. hockey is a business.  Mom and Dad dont have a say anymore.  Kids get traded and cut.  This is not as prominent in the EJHL where it is pay to play, but still happens.  So while son X may go to team Y, he may well go to teams A, B, C at any time for any number of reasons.  Then you have for most this will be their first time being away from home.  A support structure that the player has grown up with is now gone, this anxiety for both parent and player often kills the dream.  Then before you even reach that point a player maybe just burned out.  Take the average AAA player.  he has been spending on average 2-3 hours a day in his car driving to and from practices, add in the exorbitant number of games in the AAA season and length of season and you have another reason.  Then add in all that drive time equates to less study time, less time being young and experiencing a childhood and you now have a new reason.  As well as less time for physical conditioning.Girls- no explanation needed here. 
Lets look at Sylvania Northview.  They have year round conditioning program, available to all players.  Current and incoming.  Players are encouraged to go out and aided in gaining exposure to Jr level play.  Serving two functions.  Exposure for both player and Jr leagues, too each other, and where you need to be in your development to be in consideration for that level.  The Coaching philosophy of developing whole boys.  From the class room to society, the student comes first.  Extend that to a practice to game ratio that is less taxing on the growing maturing bodies, that is instruction heavy.  Then add in every player starts the year on the same footing.  No promises of position or special teams, each gets what he earns, and needs for development.  Again add in a coaching staff with ties to scouts, programs and coaches at every level and you've created a plan for progression beyond High School.
ON the players part he/she must still do their part.  Nothing again is given to anyone, the player needs to have the desire and work ethic both on and off the ice do progress.  Being the best Ohio High School hockey player, is like being the toughest kid in 2nd grade.  Your one of 150.  The USHL for example posses the top 1% of talent for any given birth year.  In every league they want the best.  The best is a lot of work.  A lot independent work.  While your team may require one hour on the bike, you had best put in two.  Minimum requirements are just that, minimums.  So in stead of picking up your golf bag and walking around chasing a ball for 3-4 hours, consider  getting on the bike on the highest setting for an hour, then doing squats, lunges, hill sprints and 1000 sit ups.  Get on the bike after the game and take long cold showers.  Then get your school work done, visit your friends and have fun with your family.