The Illegal Curve Hockey Show airs from noon to 3pm on TSN Radio 1290 in Winnipeg (will air at a special time of 9am-11am during the Summer). The following interview is transcribed and paraphrased from a previous episode, available directly at IllegalCurve.com. Alternatively, you can subscribe on iTunes and have the podcast automatically sent to you as soon as it becomes available.
This week the Winnipeg Jets development camp is taking place at the MTS Iceplex. Two players attending camp this year are Lukas Sutter (2nd round, 39th overall, 2012) and Ryan Olsen (6th round, 160th overall, 2012). Both players played for the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL this past season.
Following the NHL Entry Draft, Head Coach and General Manager of the Saskatoon Blades Lorne Molleken appeared on the Illegal Curve Hockey Show to discuss the two Jets’ draft picks.
Born: October 4, 1993 (age 18)
Weight: 215 lbs.
Last season: 70 GP, 28G, 31A, 59 P, 165 PIM
On Sutter’s greatest asset:
“First and foremost he’s a young guy that is very committed to being the best he can be. He’s a typical Sutter, they play for keeps, and Lukas has evolved into a player in Saskatoon that is difficult to play against. He’s a fierce competitor and on most nights he plays against the other teams’ best players. This year he put up some good numbers offensively and we feel he still has plenty of room to grow.”
On Sutter’s maturity and responsible play in the defensive zone:
“He obviously comes from a hockey background; he was probably the most improved player on our hockey club last year. As a seventeen year old, he struggled, as far as the different aspects. But certainly this year, he came in; he played in all situations for us, and was a guy that we really counted on. He takes a lot of pride in the little things and works extremely hard at it, when I talk about little things; that’s faceoffs, board battles, and puck battles in tight areas. He’s a player that has a chance to be a guy that can contribute at the NHL level.”
On his skating which has been seen by some as a weakness:
“I think that we all maybe questioned that as a sixteen and a seventeen year old, but he’s worked real hard at that skill and his skating never hampered him at all last year. He’s shown steady improvement in that area. Like we talked about earlier, he finds a way to get things done, he’s a fierce competitor.”
Born: March 25, 1994 (Age 18)
Weight: 198 lbs.
Last season: 67 GP, 15 G, 17 A, 32 P, 64 PIM
On Ryan Olsen:
“We actually traded Ryan at our Bantam draft this year; he was a first round Bantam pick of ours, and certainly played extremely well as a sixteen year old for us. Last year he struggled in the first half of the year, but really improved his play in the second half. We host the Memorial Cup this year in Saskatoon and we decided at the Bantam draft we would make a couple trades, bringing in some older, experienced players who have all participated in the Memorial Cup.”
“Ryan was one guy that teams targeted; we didn’t want to give up that young asset. But as we move forward we knew we had to get older, we needed more experience, and unfortunately Ryan was the guy that we moved. I said to all teams, he’s a big centre iceman that skates extremely well, sees the ice extremely well and not to give up on him.”
The Illegal Curve Hockey Show will air at a special time this summer on Saturdays from 9am–11am.