Team Canada

Sam Bennett

HC0002Date sent: September 17, 2017
Date received: October 24, 2017
Total time: 37 days
Total players responses: 559
Total 2017 responses: 18

I’ve been waiting a long time for Sam’s autograph on this Team Canada card and am so happy with the way it’s turned out.

As the 4th overall pick, Sam has done well fitting in with the Flames’ young core (and one old guy).  He’s had a bit of difficulty putting up points (his first full season he’s put up 36 points, then 26 points the season after) and is currently on pace for a career-low 12 points this season.  I personally haven’t watched many Flames games this season and can’t really comment on the drop in production over the years.  According to TSN, his TOI ranks 3rd among centers which may be an indication of a lack of opportunity given by the coach.  I’m positive Sam is much better than his point total indicate.

To much of Sam’s chagrin, there was a lot of attention around the fact he couldn’t do a single pull up at the NHL combine back in 2014.  In my opinion, not being able to perform a pullup shouldn’t be a huge deal for players.  I believe that scouting prospects on ice is a much better indicator, although it’s definitely hard to compare one player to another without some common benchmark.  Check out the article below on Sam’s 2014 combine:

https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/video-top-prospects-at-combine-sam-bennett-fails-to-do-pull-up/

 

 

 

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Nic Petan

Nic PetanTotal players responses: 548
Total 2017 responses: 7

Another Team Canada success, this time from local BC boy Nic Petan!  If you’ve been reading my blog, I like collecting autographs from BC NHL players as I think it’s pretty neat that someone from your area has made it into the big leagues.

If you’ve been watching the NHL lately, Nic has just started the season with a crop of great, young talent hoping to make the playoffs this season.  They didn’t start the season off great, against another potential playoff contender in Toronto, I still expect them to make the playoffs this year.  I’ve watched Nic as a Portland Winterhawk and am glad to see he’s competing for a roster spot with a Canadian team.

While Nic is still looking to complete an entire season in the NHL, he’s highly regarded as a top prospect in the league.  As of the writing of this post, Nic is slotted in as the 2nd top center prospects for the Winnipeg Jets.  See links here:

Top 25 Under 25: Number 10 Nicolas Petan

or

Hockey’s Future – Winnipeg Jets

It’s not hard to see that Nic possesses the skills to be a top player in the game, the translation for more consistency is what he needs to do, to get to that next level.

Thanks for the autograph Nic!

Kerby Rychel

Kerby RychelTotal players responses: 546
Total 2017 responses: 5

A great return from one of Team Canada’s finest!  With the NHL already commenting on their stance with the Olympics, it’s unlikely we will see any pros (AHL included) this year.  It’s an unfortunate turn of events as ice hockey was always a favorite of mine and many other hockey fans as it pits the best players in the world against each other.

While it’s obvious that Kerby is Warren’s son, what isn’t as obvious is that Kerby was actually born in the USA.  You might be wondering why that’s weird but as you can see from the autograph Kerby sent back to me, he clearly is in red and white.

Kerby grew up in Ontario and I can only presume that he has at least a dual citizenship which allows him to have chosen which country to represent.  Luckily Canadians were lucky enough to have Kerby on Team Canada as he helped win a gold medal during the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

Kerby, thank you so much for signing for me!

Mathew Barzal

Matthew BarzalTotal players responses: 544
Total 2017 responses: 3

Mathew grew up in the Metro Vancouver area and is one of my favorite players to have played on the Seattle Thunderbirds.  He was most drafted by the New York Islanders back in 2015, in a draft that all the hockey world was talking about!  I played close attention to his career in junior as I always enjoy watching people from my hometown make it into the NHL.

During his tenure with the Thunderbirds, he captained the team to a WHL championship in which he scored 25 points in 16 games during the WHL playoffs.  While Seattle made their way to the Memorial Cup, they unfortunately did not win the ultimate prize in the CHL.

Aside from his hockey accolades, I know Mat has supported various charitable causes as he posts on his social media accounts such as Luke Wilson’s 12 North Sports Celebrity Flag Football Event held for the past few summers in Burnaby, BC and meeting fans after games.  This just showcases the class and attitude Mat has towards his role as a role model and using his status for promoting the game and kindness.  Thanks for the autograph Mat!

 

Brad May

Date sent: April 27, 2012
Date received: May 9, 2012
Total time: 12 days
Total players responses: 486
Total 2012 responses: 89

A nice auto by former Vancouver Canuck Brad May.  Brad played for 7 teams in his career, most notably for the Buffalo Sabres.  His historic goal vs the Boston Bruins created the announcer to shout “May Day! May Day!” as he had deked out a few players to score a goal.  Thanks Brad for the nice auto!

Aaron Asham

Date sent: October 20th, 2011
Date received: January 26th, 2012
Total time: 98 days
Total players responses: 403
Total 2012 responses: 6

Nice to see Aaron Asham send back a return only after a few months!  Aaron looks like a typical tough guy in his picture, ready to scrap with anyone willing to cross his path.  Earlier this year, he knocked out Jay Beagle, then proceeded to make a gesture that not many people took too kindly to.  Thanks for the auto Aaron!

Luke Schenn

Date sent: January 17th, 2011
Date received: January 11th, 2012
Total time: 359 days
Total players responses: 399
Total 2012 responses: 2

A pretty good return from a great, young player.  Luke Schenn is the brother of Braydon Schenn.  Schenn is a stay at home type of defenseman who plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs and was drafted 5th overall in the 2008 entry draft.  He’s currently on pace to match his career high in points with 22!