Prospect Profile: Stefan Noesen

Stefan Noesen (RW, 6’0, DOB 1993, 1-21/11)
2009-10 OHL Plymouth 33-3-5-8 +1 4pim (0.24) 18th pts
2010-11 OHL Plymouth 68-34-43-77 +14 80pim  (ppg 1.13) t-1st
2011-12 OHL Plymouth 63-38-44-82 +18 74pim (ppg 1.30) 1st

An off the radar first-round selection (ranked #35 by Central Scouting), Noesen shook off a slow start to lead the Plymouth Whalers in scoring and improve on his production from last year.  He was signed by the Sens during the season, but he can only turn pro next year if he makes the NHL roster (which is very unlikely).  He should dominate the OHL next year and would play for the US at the World Junior Championships.  Red Line Report compared him to Jamie Benn, “Texas native decided to get serious about the game, especially his conditioning, and as a result took huge strides this season.  Always possessed buttery soft hands and a quick release, but took his game to the next level.  In the process, became more of a physical power-type forward who down the homestretch and playoffs was Plymouth’s “go-to” guy, and most consistent and dangerous scoring threat.  Plays an edgy physical game that makes opponents take notice when he’s on ice, but also takes lots of questionable penalties.  Still has to work on first two-step acceleration, but the time he put in last summer showed us he’s grown up and is now willing to give that off-ice effort.  Strong on skates and tough to separate from puck.  Has trouble defensively handling coverage assignments down low.”  ISS compared him to Colin Wilson, “He kept elevating his game throughout the year to secure his promising ranking here at ISS for the upcoming NHL draft. Noesen is a big, physical center that plays a real hard-nosed style of game. He possesses a very good combination of physical tools; he skates well considering his size, displays soft hands and a real touch with the puck while using his size effectively. He seems to relish playing in traffic while showing a willingness to compete in all three zones. Noesen shows the odd flash of quickness and he is always moving his feet. A very unselfish player, he is aware of where his teammates are and makes good crisp passes. Excellent secondary scoring option that brings great energy to shifts. NHL Potential: Solid two-way forward can chip in offensively.”  Pierre Dorion said, “He’s shown that he’s a power forward type of winger who was willing to go to the net and had good skills. He made plays off the rush and he’s got a really good shot. We believe he’s going to be a guy that helps us win down the road.”  Here’s Noesen being drafted (via TSN).

Senators News: April 19th

-It’s remarkable that the Sens are tied in their series with the Rangers when their key players have yet to dominate.  Craig Anderson lost his best game of the series (game three), Jason Spezza has been a non-factor, Milan Michalek and Kyle Turris didn’t score until last night, Erik Karlsson has only one point, and Daniel Alfredsson only played one full game.  As a franchise, anything short of stellar play from their stars used to spell death for the Senators, but this year their depth has been good enough to win for them.

Kyle Turris talked about scoring the OT winner, “To score in the Stanley Cup playoffs, in overtime, is something that every kid dreams of. It was very exciting … that’s for sure. [Paul MacLean] come up to me in practice, told me not to grip my stick and that it’s going to come. He told me at the morning skate, ‘Don’t get down on yourself, you’re a good player. The puck is going to come to you. Don’t worry about it’. Stuff like that gives you all the confidence in the world and it allowed me to score the goal tonight, I think.”

-After all the playoff mayhem of late NHL officials cracked down last night as the three games combined for 32 powerplays (26 between the Ottawa and Philadelphia games alone).  It didn’t make the games safer (hooking calls aren’t related to dangerous hits), but I’m interested to see if it’s forms a trend.

-Elmira lost 2-0 to Florida last night, with Brian Stewart taking the loss; Bobby Raymond scored a goal for the Everblades.

Darren Kramer‘s Spokane Chiefs were eliminated last night, ending his CHL career.

Stu Hackel rips into Don Cherry saying in part, “It was [Monday’s Coaches Corner] vintage Cherry, filled with half-truths, distortions and deceptions, all calculated to counteract the rising anger among fans who don’t like what they have seen. And you will hear and read those who think like Cherry parrot what he says time and time again. His main points sort of sound sensible — until you really think about them and examine them rationally.  A shoulder to the head is not fighting.  A head being held and smashed into the glass is not fighting. Crosschecks to the head are not fighting. Jumping a non-combatant is not fighting. Sucker punches are not fighting. Launching yourself into a player along the boards or in open ice is not fighting.”  And so on and so forth.  Picking apart Cherry is easy and old hat, but he still gets ratings and people still repeat his talking points (The Team 1200 springs to mind), so it’s worth delving into his nonsense from time to time.

Red Line Report‘s latest issue is out with an updated list of 2012′s top prospects (with the position changes noted; for the previous report go link).  Coming into the 2011-12 season scouts believed the 2012 draft was going to be a deep one, but now the sentiment is the opposite.
1. Nail Yakupov (Sarnia, OHL)
2. Filip Forsberg (Leksand, Sweden)
3. Ryan Murray (Everett, WHL) (+2)
4. Mikhail Grigorenko (Quebec, QMJHL) (-1)
5. Matt Dumba (Red Deer, WHL) (-1)
6. Alex Galchenyuk (Sarnia, OHL) (+4)
7. Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw, WHL) (-1)
8. Sebastian Collberg (Frolunda, Sweden)
9. Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton, WHL)
10. Pontus Aberg (Djurgarden, Sweden) (-3)
11. Andrey Vasilevski (Salavat, KHL)
12. Jacob Trouba (US NTDP, USHL)
13. Matt Finn (Guelph, OHL)
14. Derrick Pouliot (Portland, WHL) (+1)
15. Cody Ceci (Ottawa 67s, OHL) (-1)
16. Radek Faksa (Kitchener, OHL)
17. Teuvo Teravainen (Jokerit, Finland) (+1)
18. Slater Koekkoek (Peterborough, OHL) (-1)
19. Damon Severson (Kelowna, WHL)
20. Zemgus Girgensons (Dubuque, USHL)
21. Phil Di Giuseppe (U. Michigan, NCAA)
22. Scott Kosmachuk (Guelph, OHL)
23. Jordan Schmaltz (Sioux City, USHL)
24. Olli Maatta (London, OHL)
25. Brendan Gaunce (Belleville, OHL)
26. Oscar Dansk (Brynas, SEL)
27. Henrik Samuelsson (US NTDP, USHL)
28. Anton Slepyshev (Novokuznetsk, KHL)
29. Brady Skjei (US NTDP, USHL)
30. Tomas Hertl (Slavia, Cze)

No one fell out of the top-30 this month. Here’s the movement among former top-30 players: Martin Frk (#31, +7), Colton Sissons (#35, -3), Scott Laughton (#43, +6), Nick Ebert (#48, -17), Chandler Stephenson (#55, NR), Troy Bourke (#59, +1), Gianluca Curcuruto (#66, -15), Calle Andersson (#90, -11), Eric Locke (#95, -6), Jarrod Maidens (#98, -13), Matia Marcantuoni (#107, -2), Patrik Machac (#153, -20), Ryan Olsen (#221, -5), and Luca Ciampini (NR, -25).

Ottawa 3, New York Rangers 2 (OT)

In an exciting game that the Sens dominated despite falling behind 2-0, they were able to tie the series at two.  Ottawa needed their offensive stars to come through and both Milan Michalek and Kyle Turris scored their first goals of the series.  Marc Staal went after Jason Spezza‘s head for some reason, but as Spezza wasn’t seriously hurt I don’t expect the NHL to take any action.  Here’s the box score.

First Period
On a good first shift Smith took a boarding penalty.  Anderson gave up a fat rebound and Stralman scored to give the Rangers the lead.  The Sens regained the pressure, but a Karlsson a tripping penalty on Anisimov lead to a Callahan goal.  Prust continued the penalty parade this moments later.  The best chance for Ottawa came from Neil trying to jam the puck in.  Konopka then took a penalty for…checking?  A weird call.  Anderson continued to give out huge rebounds, but the Sens were able to hold on.  Ottawa dominated the 5-on-5 play again and eventually drew another penalty.  The Sens came close, but couldn’t connect passes to complete their plays.  Cowen had a big hit late in the period on AnisimovMichalek had a great late chance, but was unable to slide the puck under Lundqvist.  Ottawa dominated the period except while short-handed.
Second Period
The Rangers had early pressure off an inexplicable non-icing call, which was followed by Karlsson getting crosschecked in the face after a rush.  The Sens struggled to get pressure on their powerplay, but back to 5-on-5 Ottawa dominated again.  Cowen made a great defensive play about five minutes in batting the puck away from danger.  Carkner took a hooking call on that play to put the Rangers back on the powerplay.  Anderson made one great save on the man advantage (on Staal) which turned into a Michalek goal who beat Lundqvist with a backhand.  On the next shift Smith missed a glorious chance to bury the puck but can’t score on his backhand (Ottawa got a powerplay on the play).  The Sens had incredible pressure during the man advantage, but couldn’t capitalise.  Smith then got called for checking Fedotenko too hard.  Anderson made an awkward stop on Del Zotto and Winchester saved the day off McDonagh, but otherwise the Rangers struggled to generate chances.  As 5-on-5 play resumed the game was a bit more back and forth, with Gaborik falling into the boards followed by Anisimov taking a penalty on Spezza.  On the powerplay Staal hit Spezza in the head (no call was made).  The Sens scored on the following faceoff with Gonchar squeezing the puck through Lundqvist.  Ottawa dominated most of the period again, but lost Winchester to an injury (no video of it was shown so I can’t speculate about what it is).
Third Period
Anderson made a good stop on Richards in the first minute.  Foligno took a high sticking penalty early, but the Rangers had no good scoring chances from the powerplay.  Anderson made an important save five minutes in when he sprawled after over committing on the initial play, then another a few minutes later stopped a Callahan deflection.  Ottawa had a 2-on-1 just after the midway point, but Smith couldn’t connect with Greening.  The Sens followed that with a great shift where Phillips had a great chance.  Ottawa continued to carry the play and Turris had a scoring chance in the slot.  Foligno was then called for a trip.  The Rangers weren’t able to generate any chances on the man advantage.  There was a frenetic finish to the period, but the Sens had a hard time getting shots through the shot-blocking of the Rangers.
OT
Scrambly play to start with Anderson making a couple of routine stops off Rupp before Gonchar blocked a shot that lead to a 2-on-2 for O’Brien and Turris with the latter beating Lundqvist top-shelf far side.

Here’s a look at the goals:
1. Rangers, Stralman (pp)
Anderson gives up a fat rebound and an untouched Stralman beats him far side
2. Rangers, Callahan (pp)
Anderson gives up another fat rebound and Callahan gets behind coverage to bang it in
3. Michalek (Carkner, Spezza)
Carkner comes out of the box and sends a great pass to Michalek who beats Lundqvist with a high backhand
4. Gonchar (Neil, Foligno) (pp)
Neil centers the puck and Gonchar’s shot squeezes through Lundqvist
5. Turris (O’Brien, Gonchar)
Gonchar blocks a shot and Turris and O’Brien rush down the ice with Turris beating Lundqvist t0p shelf far side

Top-performers:
Kyle Turris – scored the OT winner
Jim O’Brien – must love the playoffs because he’s been fantastic
Chris Phillips – great play in all three zones

Players Who Struggled:
Jason Spezza – his best game of the series, but that’s not saying much
Bobby Butler – largely invisible