Cheap Discount Vancouver Canucks Jersey

Rookie blue-liner proving to be a big surprise

Jalen Chatfield had plenty to chat about Monday.

There was his strong showing in Calgary and Edmonton last week — two goals and three assists by the undrafted defenceman in the National Hockey League pre-season outings — and a belief within the Vancouver Canucks organization that they may have something special in the late-blooming blue-liner.

Chatfield is also a huge National Football League fan. And because the 21-year-old native of Ypsilanti, Mich. is the product of biracial parents — his father is white, his mother is black — his take on anthem protests by NFL players was another talking point following a practice at Rogers Arena.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that NFL owners should respond in the following manner to players who kneel, sit or ignore the anthem: “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired.”

Jalen Chatfield
Jalen Chatfield

 

It created a firestorm of response from the NFL, its players and supporters of the right to protest, and it obviously resonated with Chatfield.

“I’ve been seeing that (protests) because I watch a lot of football,” said Chatfield. “It’s just their (players’) opinion and the way they express themselves. And for me, they have the right to protest. Personally, I’m neutral in the situation and they can do whatever they want.

“I’ve been living in Canada the last few years and it’s pretty good living here. I see a lot of stuff going on in this world and, at the end of the day, we’ve got to be united as one.”

Pretty good stuff from a guy who has had his own challenges to carve out a hockey career.

Passed over in the OHL and NHL drafts only heightened Chatfield’s resolve to silence his critics and make some noise with a game that features strong skating, a two-way awareness and offensive potential.

With the Canucks’ back end looking virtually set with the pairings of Alex Edler and Chris Tanev, Ben Hutton and Troy Stecher and Michael Del Zotto and Erik Gudbranson, getting another pre-season start Thursday or Saturday before being dispatched to the Utica Comets would only further Chatfield’s learning curve.

“It’s been a fun camp and I’ve been catching up on the pace,” said Chatfield. “I’ve been learning a lot and I’m just trying to play my game and battle hard. I’m trying to show them something every time I’m on the ice and I’m just going to keep doing that.”

A cheeky backhand goal to the far side off a pinch against the Flames is what excites the Canucks. Production from the back end has been on the wane and there may be potential in Chatfield. He never lit it up in Windsor — eight goals last season with the Memorial Cup-champion Spitfires — but his game is only starting to come around after he was overlooked by so many teams.

“It’s just part of life,” said the six-foot, 188-pound Chatfield. “Some get the easier path and some take the longer road and I’ve always been taking the longer one.

“But it has made me who I am today. I think I can play a two-way game and just as hard defensively as I play offensively. I went through a lot of adversity in my hockey career and I’ve just stuck with my game plan.”

Part of the plan was to enjoy sports and not get jaded early by the pressure to become somebody special. His dad played basketball and his sister played soccer, but just playing outside was all Chatfield ever wanted to do. It included biking, rollerblading, skateboarding and baseball.

“That really helped my athleticism,” he said. “And I watched a lot of hockey. I watch how a guy might play a 1-on-1 and I don’t really focus on any player. I just focus on being a pro. Here, I watch Tanev a lot and try to do some things he does in practice.”

Canucks general manager Jim Benning believed Chatfield was worth signing to a three-year, entry-level deal in March because of his natural ability.

“I thought he was excellent in both (Alberta) games,” said Benning. “He’s very mobile and he’s competitive in the puck battles. But it’s his ability to skate the puck up ice and jump up and get his shot through. Of the guys we had in those games, he was a bit of a surprise.

“Sometimes players develop later and he has the skating and competitiveness to make himself into a player. And he doesn’t give up. What stood out for us is he just loves playing the game and he’s serious, but it always looks like he’s having fun with it and that contagious.”

OVERTIME — Brock Boeser skated with Henrik and Daniel Sedin on Monday and with four goals in his three pre-season outings, there’s a chance the right-winger could get a look with the twins on Thursday against Calgary at Rogers Arena. “It was my first time practising with them and honestly it’s an honour to play on their wing and make the most of it,” said Boeser. “This whole camp is to make the most of it and this is a big one to contribute and gain some chemistry with them.” Bo Horvat (shoulder) is expected to skate Wednesday after being injured by a Drew Doughty hit Thursday. Cole Cassels (upper body injury) and Ryan White (concussion) remain sidelined while winger Reid Boucher was placed on waivers Monday.

Cheap Discount Washington Capitals Jersey

WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals return to the ice for the first time since the playoffs, as they travel to New Jersey to face the Devils in the first of their seven preseason games. You can listen live at 7 p.m. on WFED 1500AM or online at www.capsradio247.com.

Here are three storylines worth monitoring Monday night:

Roster competition: Defensemen

Among the bigger stories this training camp are the vacancies on the Washington blue line. With the offseason departures of defensemen Karl Alzner, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Nate Schmidt, the Capitals have a legitimate competition for roster spots on the back end.

A number of those competing for work in the NHL will suit up for the Capitals tonight, as Christian Djoos, Lucas Johansen, Tyler Lewington and Aaron Ness join veterans John Carlson and Taylor Chorney in Newark.

Djoos, who is expected to partner with Carlson tonight, is among the favorites to make the jump from AHL Hershey to the Capitals. A seventh-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, Djoos finished third in scoring among AHL defensemen last season with 13 goals and 58 points in 66 games.

“He’s proven himself at the American League level,” general manager Brian MacLellan said of Djoos. “He definitely has the skill level to play. He moves the puck, he’s smart, and he plays better with smarter players. For him, it’s going to be, can he adapt to the pace of the game, can he adapt to the strength of the game and how well does he defend?”

Chiasson makes Capitals debut:

A number of other roster spots are also up for grabs up front, with veteran forward Alex Chiasson in the mix. Chiasson is attending Capitals training camp on a tryout and will be in the lineup Monday night at Prudential Center. The 26 year-old had 12 goals and 24 points in 81 games with the Calgary Flames last season.

“He’s got really great size,” head coach Barry Trotz said of the 6’3”, 205-pound right winger. “You can tell he’s a pro. He’s got really good hands. He seems to have a good net-front presence at times, and he gets around the ice really well.”

Hello again:

The Devils lineup will include a familiar face in former Capitals forward Marcus Johansson. Johansson was traded to New Jersey in June as the Capitals looked to shed payroll to fit under the salary cap.

Johansson spent seven seasons in Washington, recording 102 goals and 290 points in 501 games. Although he primarily played as a winger in Washington, the Devils are considering using him as a center. The 26 year-old is expected to center New Jersey’s top line for the preseason opener, alongside Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri.

The Devils lineup will also include a pair of noteworthy rookies in No.1 overall pick Nico Hischier and Hobey Baker Award winner Will Butcher.

Below is how the Capitals are expected to lineup against the Devils (veterans indicated in bold)

Damien Riat – Chandler Stephenson – T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky – Travis Boyd – Alex Chiasson

Nathan Walker – Lars Eller – Kevin Elgestal

Beck Malenstyn – Tyler Graovac – Riley Barber

Christian Djoos – John Carlson

Aaron Ness – Tyler Lewington

Lucas Johansen – Taylor Chorney

Cheap Discount Winnipeg Jets Jersey

PENCTICTON, B.C. — The Winnipeg Jets took a different approach with their prospect pool this fall.

Instead of taking all of the top guns to Penticton for the 2017 Young Stars Classic, another group of high-end prospects stayed behind in Winnipeg for what was essentially a mini-camp.

The reason behind that decision was two-fold.

First and foremost, the players left behind — guys like Kyle Connor, Jack Roslovic, Brendan Lemieux, Nelson Nogier and several others — were able to get some individual work in with the Jets coaching staff.

Plus, they’ll have a better idea of the type of things required to compete for an NHL job.

“We wanted to be able to have them get one-on-one with those guys and say look, here’s what I’m looking for you out of training camp and here’s what I need to see, here are some things you need to work on,” Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said on Monday.

The other piece of the puzzle was to allow the group of first-year pros like Jansen Harkins, Michael Spacek and Mason Appleton to have an opportunity to take on a larger leadership role at the prospect tournament, as they get ready for what will be their first full professional season.

“When you turn players pro into the AHL from junior or college, we wanted these young guys here to see what kind of a step it was going to be,” said Cheveldayoff. “When you get into the AHL environment, it’s going to be tough. There are going to be veteran players and sometimes those young players get lost in the shuffle right away because they don’t get that feel of what it’s going to take.

“This is a big jump. We want you to take charge and be the guys that don’t get lost in the shuffle.”

The Jets wrapped up tournament action Monday afternoon with a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames in a game that saw Harkins score twice.

Defenceman Tucker Poolman has the best chance of any player that suited up for the Jets in the event to compete for an NHL roster spot.

But given that he’s coming off bilateral shoulder surgery, it’s likely Poolman will need some seasoning in the minors with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League before he makes the jump.

But as Poolman prepares to attend his first NHL training camp, he’s eager to show he’s ready right now.

“It’s just a focus on the details and focus on what the coaches ask,” said Poolman, who signed a one-year, entry-level deal after completing his junior season at the University of North Dakota. “It’s a combination of both (nerves and excitement). As a kid growing up, you want to be in this situation, so it’s exciting. At the same time, you’ve put in so much work that you get a little nervous. It’s going to be fun.”

What’s working against Poolman to a certain degree is that the right side of the Jets defence corps is pretty stacked — with Jacob Trouba, Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers all holding down spots.

Poolman is open to playing the left side and has done it before, so he’s just going to see how things shake down during the coming weeks.

“I played a year in college on the left, so I’m comfortable either way. I’ll do whatever (the Jets) ask,” said Poolman. “The biggest thing transitioning (to the pro game) is being a reliable defender and a guy that has good breakouts. To be a guy that coach can trust to put out there.”

Harkins, meanwhile, is ready for his first pro season and he’s taking a mindset that many young players have.

“I’m just trying to stick around as long as I can,” said Harkins, who was chosen by the Jets in the second round (47th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft. “I think every year, I’ve gotten a little better at camp. That’s from getting a little more experience and a little more confidence.”