The Canada Russia Super Series gets underway tonight at 10:00 when Team WHL takes on Team Russia in the 1st of two games. The Super Series is a largely a tryout for the World Juniors and the Red Wings have two representatives this year. Joe Hicketts returns for the Western Hockey League team, and Evgeny Svechnikov will represent Team Russia.
Svechnikov was just named the QMJHL's 2nd start of the week for last week after posting 9 points (1 goals & 8 assists) in 3 games. Joe Hicketts continues his consistently impressive performance and ahead of tonight's tilt, the guys on the HockeyProspects podcast talked about HIcketts a little bit. They didn't say anything we don't already know from watching 1/2 of the Tiny Terrors pairing (Vili Saarijarvi is his other half), but it's great to hear it from scouts who analyze players for a living. Here's what Alex Stewart, a WHL scout, had to say about Hicketts. You can listed to the entire podcast via the link at the end of the quote.
Being stuck out in Victoria he's a bit underexposed, I know a lot of scouts have trouble getting out there to go see him. I've seen him play probably a dozen of so times in the last year and twenty or more times in the last few years. He's really outstanding in terms of his consistency level, he just makes a wonderful first pass, he has tremendous poise, and being a sub 5'11" defenseman one of the things that's most impressive about him to me is his ability to clear the front of his net. He would be impressive at that if he was 6'5" but he does a really really good job at it for a guy of his size.
He doesn't shy away from contact, which you definitely have to like, and he's a guy that's got a physical build already for a guy his size. Stick handling's good, skating's good, how does he not get drafted?
I think it also goes back to being stuck out on the island and a lot of scouts just don't want to take the ferry out there... Most scouts only see him when he's on the road so they don't really see him at his best. I actually went to Victoria last year during the playoffs when they had that series with Kelowna and I thought he played with a little more confidence at home. Not to say that he isn't a great player on the road, but that was probably the most impressed by him I've been in all my viewings.
Hicketts will be an alternate captain for game 1 in Kelowna, and then will be the Captain of Team WHL in game 2 that's played in him hometown of Kamloops. How cool is that! Because Team Russia plays every game, they have 2 teams worth of players, and haven't yet announced which roster will play in which games; so we don't know yet which games Svechnikov will play in.
Games are broadcast via Neulion for a subscription fee, and also live broadcase on SportsNet and TVA Sports in Canada.
Here's the full schedule from theCanada Russia CHL web site
|1||Nov 09, 2015||Russia||0||WHL||0||10:00 EST||0|
|2||Nov 10, 2015||WHL||0||Russia||0||10:00 EST||0|
|3||Nov 12, 2015||Russia||0||OHL||0||07:00 EST||0|
|4||Nov 16, 2015||OHL||0||Russia||0||07:00 EST||0|
|5||Nov 17, 2015||Russia||0||QMJHL||0||07:00 EST||0|
|6||Nov 19, 2015||QMJHL||0||Russia||0||07:00 EST||0|
and the game 1 preview video
This tournament has World Junior implications, so I'm looking forward to seeing how both these guys perform.