Browsing posts in the ‘Amerks’ category

Happy days are here again

September 16, 2017 - By
Happy days are here again

Is that excitement for Amerks hockey we’re hearing!?! Thanks to Randy Sexton and Jason Botterill the answer to that question is a resounding YES.

In what was the most active and exciting summer of signings since 2009-2010 – building what looks to be the deepest roster since 2004-2005 – we are now right on the doorstep of what hopefully is a fun and LONG season.

Let’s take a quick look at 13 of the key non-prospects who could spend significant time here this season… and who can hopefully help us get out of the first round for the first time in 13 years:
(Clicking on the name will take you to their hockeyDB page)

Kevin Porter (Full VET)
Porter returns to the Amerks as one of the premiere 2-way AHL centers. He’ll provide depth for the Sabres… but look for him to be a huge part of the Amerks resurgence this season and maybe wear the C.

Seth Griffith (Exempt VET)
One of the best scorers at this level. Better than a point per game kinda scorer. 4A player. Will provide depth for the Sabres, but if he’s here expect [...]Read More

Botterill Signs a Player for Amerks, Rochester Media is Silent as Usual

May 23, 2017 - By
Botterill Signs a Player for Amerks, Rochester Media is Silent as Usual

Just over a week and a half ago the Buffalo Sabres hired Jason Botterill as the their new GM and it’d still be tough to find anyone that doesn’t like the move. A guy who played for the Amerks and Sabres and a guy who’s been a part of a Stanley Cup winning team. During his opening remarks he openly talked about the need for depth and the need to win in Rochester as an important piece of success with the Sabres. No one had to ask Botterill about the Amerks, he lead the conversation.

Local media ran with it as they should have mentioning that winning is the goal unlike the last decade where the only thing local media seemed to care about was players moving up to the Sabres. The talk of Jason Botterill and winning with the Amerks was mentioned everywhere on social media, print, television and the radio. All the talk was about the need to win to get better.

That brings us to Monday afternoon when the announcement was made that Jason Botterill signed his first player, Justin Danforth and local media was for the most part silent.

ESPN Rochester mentioned the signing during the late afternoon broadcast. Paul [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 4/8/2017 – Alexandre Goulet

April 9, 2017 - By

I want to start this report off by giving a tremendous amount of credit to Alex Kile and Justin Danforth. To join a team this late in the season and enjoy immediate success like they have is quite the achievement. Unfortunately, Alexandre Goulet was not able to replicate the performances of his fellow ATO’s. Even though he played along side Grant and Fasching, he wasn’t able to generate anything positive all night. I am going to rate his performance an N. Whether that stands for Nerves or Not good enough, time have to tell. For a player who scored 89 points in 68 games with the Victoriaville Tigers this year I certainly hope it’s the latter.

Offensively, Goulet was a train wreck. He was consistently out of position on the breakout, at times even colliding with other forwards drawing teammates offsides. His struggles continued when he found himself on the puck. Goulet was dispossessed with ease trying to take on defenders creating even more turnovers. When Alexandre was actually able to gain the zone, he was pushed out wide and into the boards before he could get the puck deep. Even though #26 was often out of position, the presence [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 4/7/2017 – Brendan Guhle

April 9, 2017 - By

Like most in Rochester, I was very excited for the highly anticipated arrival of Brendan Guhle. It was unquestionably worth the wait. Even in a loosing effort, Guhle was the best Amerk on the ice. It’s unbelievable to see such a high hockey IQ in a 19-year-old prospect. He was rewarded with the 2nd star of the game. I’m going to rate his performance an A-.

Offensively, Guhle was a revelation. Unlike Fedun, he was able to make an impact without skating the puck very often. Instead, he moved extremely well off the puck finding gaps and creating space for others. Early in the first after starting the breakout, he flew up the ice splitting the defense. A quick return pass from Vaive left him wide open in the slot, allowing him to coolly sneak a quick wrister past the goalie on the far post. Guhle also used his effortless speed to generate multiple odd man rushes without shirking his defensive responsibilities. He chose his moments to join the rush well, and was able to quickly recover if a stray pass was made. His decision-making was equally strong when choosing to pinch.

Defensively, Guhle played very well against a [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 4/5/2017 – Hudson Fasching

April 7, 2017 - By

Hudson Fasching continued his strong play on Wednesday by netting a goal in the 5-2 victory against the Senators. His work rate was excellent, but after watching him I feel he still has plenty of work to do before he can effectively play at the next level. I am going to rate his performance a B.

Offensively, Fasching was able to use his strengths to create chances. He drove the net exceptionally well for the duration of the night. It was that net drive that led to his goal. After Fasching made a nice cut to split defenders, Bailey threaded a fantastic backhand pass to Kennedy who centered it to Hudson for a tap in. He continued to work hard in front of net by setting up screens. His net front presence led to several rebound chances for him but he wasn’t able convert any.

His finishing was a weak point Wednesday. He had two dangerous opportunities in the slot that were wasted; the first was a shot wide and the other into the chest of the goalie. More importantly, he seemed outmatched physically. When trying to take on defenders he had a very difficult time getting past them. His [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 3/31/2017 – Casey Nelson

April 1, 2017 - By

On Friday night I was absolutely awestruck by the performance of Casey Nelson. His struggles have been well documented this year, and before puck drop I thought there was a chance of handing out my first F. Instead, Nelson put together the best 60 minuets of hockey I have scouted this year, earning my first A+. I had him rated as the best player on the ice Friday, and that included a spectacular 50 save performance from Linus Ullmark.

Offensively, Nelson played a phenomenal game in all areas of the ice. When under pressure in the defensive zone, he played conservatively and did not turn the puck over; instead keeping the puck on the boards and getting it to an Amerk stick. On more than a few occasions, that meant taking thunderous checks behind the net, but Nelson was willing to take the blow. However, Casey was even more impressive when given time to lead the breakout, where he was consistently able to regroup behind the net and skate the puck out of the zone with pace.

Once in neutral ice Nelson put on a passing clinic. Whether it was a quick direct pass up the wing, or a long [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 3/26/2017 – Justin Danforth

March 27, 2017 - By

Sunday’s rematch against the Thunderbirds was just as good as the first tilt. Derek Grant stayed hot registering his 6th goal in 3 games, and Linus Ullmark recorded his first shutout of the year. Even though playoff aspirations are a distant memory, it was nice to see the team play with pride this weekend. Their newfound confidence will certainly be put to the test on Friday when the Comets come to town.

Like Alex Kile, the latest Amerks college prospect Justin Danforth surpassed expectations. This year Justin finished up his senior year at Sacred Heart with a team high 32 points. Unlike Kile, he seemed more than comfortable with the speed of the game, and in fact he set the pace. Danforth was a wrecking ball in the fore-checking game and was very unlucky to be kept off the score sheet. Unfortunately, his defensive aggression landed him in the penalty box once, and he was very lucky not to receive a second minor right when he got out. For those two reasons Danforth narrowly avoided my first A of the year. I am going to rate his performance a B+.

Danforth’s Defensive work was the catalyst for his offensive production. [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 3/24/2017 – Alex Kile

March 25, 2017 - By

Rochester’s new ATO performed admirably on the left wing in his first game at the Blue Cross Arena. After finishing his senior year at Michigan with 7 goals and 7 assists, Alex Kile was quick to get on the score sheet for the Amerks, netting his first goal Friday night. Though he looked a bit raw, his performance was very encouraging. I’m going to rate him an A-.

Offensively, Kile’s hard work allowed him to grow into the game very nicely. In the first period he was very shaky on the puck and struggled to find teammates starting the breakout. Alex was also slow in transition, and as a result was not able to make an impact on the rush. However, he was much more successful once possession was set up in the offensive zone. Kile’s best asset was his commitment to driving the net. In the second, he made a nice backdoor cut behind a defenseman allowing him to deflect Patrick Mullen’s shot between the legs of the Springfield net-minder. He continued to make an impact in front of the net in the latter stages of the game. While on the power play he set up a great screen [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 3/10/2017 – Mac Bennett

March 12, 2017 - By

Though Mac Bennett was among the Amerks best players on Wednesday, he did not receive a similar amount of ice time on Friday night. For that reason I am not going to assign a rating to his performance. I think he played well, but his identity as a forward still remains quite foggy.

Offensively, Bennett was not able to contribute. I thought he worked very hard, but chemistry on the breakout was a major issue. They had difficulty clearing the zone and as a result, spent very little time in the opponents half. The lack of chemistry was even more evident in neutral ice. Early on, Bennett tried cutting behind Cornel to set up a drop pass entering the zone. Unfortunately, Cornel did not expect it and the two collided resulting in a turnover. Though zone entry was a struggle, Bennett was able to get a few pucks deep. However, it was very rare that an Amerk was able to retrieve it.

Defensively, Bennett seemed much more comfortable. He pressured the puck well, and back-checked exceptionally. On one occasion he harassed his man from behind his net all the way into the offensive zone before basting him into the glass. [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 3/8/2017 – Eric Cornel

March 10, 2017 - By

Going into Wednesday night, I had very low expectations for Eric Cornel. He by no means surpassed them. I am going to rate his performance an E, for Elmira. It was made very clear throughout the night his primary focus was on playing safe defensive hockey. In my eyes, Cornel only put fourth one shift of impressive hockey the entire game, during which he took two very good low shots that generated big rebounds.

For the majority of the night, Cornel offered very little offensively. He was most ineffective on the breakout. Early in the game, with plenty of time and no one around, he panicked flipping the puck high off the glass and right at the feet of a Marlie defender. Later on, he had a chance to get behind defenders and start an odd man rush. Instead of skating into space along the wing (the natural choice for a winger), he cut inside towards the defender. Not surprisingly, the pass from Austin went up the wing and missed him completely. Cornel showed good hustle to beat the icing call, but missed a big opportunity. Finally, during an odd man rush, he failed to get around his man and [...]Read More

Steve Donner’s Thoughts on Lease Drama and HOF night

March 8, 2017 - By
Steve Donner’s Thoughts on Lease Drama and HOF night

Over the past week many of us have come to realize that while PSE may be using the media to leverage a better lease and renovation deal, there also is real sense that we could possibly lose our beloved Amerks. I thought it would be useful and interesting to chat with former Amerks owner and Calder Cup champion Steve Donner and get his thoughts on everything transpiring. No matter your feelings on Steve Donner, few people have the insight, experience, successes and failures with all of this than he does. He is very much up to date on Amerks news and we even discussed the recent excellent HOF class of Kevin Oklobzija and Scotty Nichol.

I thank Steve for taking time out of his busy schedule in Florida that includes running & renovating his rink (for a new Juniors team) and working to get his pork/beef (Abe’s Finest Meats) hots into a difficult market that currently favors all beef hots.

Steve Donner owned the Amerks from 1995 until 2008 which included the 1996 Calder Cup championship. He also started the Rochester Knighthawks in 1994, was a part owner of the Rochester Rhinos soccer team and part owner of the Rochester Rattlers outdoor [...]Read More

Scouting Report – 3/4/2017 – Justin Vaive

March 5, 2017 - By

Though Rochester might already be eliminated from playoff contention, they could have finally found a winning formula. Their dismantling of Sound Tigers on Saturday night was by far one of the most physical games they have played all year. I expect this type of effort was exactly what coach Lambert was looking for when saying, “The team needs to play the way they are supposed to play.” As a result, they outshot the visitors 44 to 16. However, not everyone bought into the physical style of dump and chase hockey. Nick Baptiste continued to struggle; He seemed more interested in trying to stickhandle past the entire Bridgeport team rather than dumping the puck. Consequentially, the most talented player on the roster was rendered completely ineffective.

On the other hand, Justin Vaive flourished. I am going to rate his performance an A-. He almost perfectly performed the role of a 4th line winger. If he had dropped the gloves after an enemy winger ran Ullmark knocking the net off its moorings, he would have received my first A of the year.

Offensively, Vaive put forth the effort of a man fighting to keep his career alive. When the puck was dumped, [...]Read More