Ranking the Carolina Hurricanes prospects — Part 1: Goalies

Ranking the Carolina Hurricanes prospects — Part 1: Goalies

If you were away from hockey for a slow late July weekend, Canes and Coffee turned two years old on Saturday. Here is a short article with a tiny bit of history and a few tidbits on the future without spoiling any fall surprises. To date, I have never written an all-encompassing “top 20 prospects” type of article. I do not have anything against them. I think they are interesting reads if researched well by someone knowledgeable about the players (not all are) and considered in full context. But a couple issues have always stood in the way of breaking down and just writing one. First is that trying to rank players of different positions in one pool has always seemed odd for me. How does a possible steady defenseman stack up against a risky by high-ceiling potential goal scorer? And where even do goalies, especially young ones who are still at least three years away from being NHL-ready, compare to players who could make the NHL squad next year? And how do you compare a player with a fairly high probability of making it to the NHL but with a low checking line ceiling to a wild card with a ton of skill who could either be a top 6 forward or a complete bust? But with the slow part of summer upon and the state of the Canes prospect pool being a fun topic of discussion right now, I will at least take a step in the direction of a ‘top 20’ with a try at evaluating and ranking Hurricanes prospects by position. Once I finish that,...
MIDTERMS: Jack LaFontaine (University of Michigan, NCAA)

MIDTERMS: Jack LaFontaine (University of Michigan, NCAA)

Jack LaFontaine 2016-17 season capsule After a solid 2015-16 season with the Janesville Jets in the North American Hockey League, LaFontaine was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the third round of the 2016 NHL draft. This past fall LaFontaine started his collegiate hockey career at the University of Michigan for the 2016-17 season. In a 3-goalie system, the freshman from Mississauga, Ontario has played in 11 games and notched a 1-7-1 record with a .911 save percentage and a 3.34 goals against average. Brandon Folsom at Hero College Sports News recapped LaFontaine’s first home start which which was a 3-3 tie with 42 saves.   Interview on Jack LaFontaine with Steve Shields, University of Michigan Goaltending Coach and former NHL netminder Steve Shields is the Goaltending Coach for the Michigan hockey program. After a standout career as a player at Michigan from 1990-1994 that saw him become the first NCAA goalie to reach 100 wins (finished with 111), he went on to a successful 12-year professional career including 10 years in the NHL. Shields played for Buffalo, San Jose, Anaheim, Boston, Florida and Atlanta and finished his NHL career with an 80-104-40 record.   Canes and Coffee: What were your first impressions of Jack LaFontaine after seeing him in practice, scrimmages and maybe his first few games of NCAA action with the Wolverines this fall? Steve Shields: My first impression of Jack was that here’s a guy that knows what he wants to do and how he wants to do it.   He is very polite and engaging,  a young man who is very easy to like.   I could relate...
BACK TO SCHOOL: Jack LaFontaine (University of Michigan)

BACK TO SCHOOL: Jack LaFontaine (University of Michigan)

To bide time until training camp, Canes and Coffee has been very fortunate to offer a ‘back to school’ series featuring great short interviews on the three 2016 Carolina Hurricanes draftees who are just starting college and preparing to play NCAA hockey for the 2016-17 season. Part 1 featured short interviews with Hurricanes prospect Matt Filipe’s 2015-16 USHL coach and also a great great site that covers Northeastern University which is where he will be playing in 2016-17. Part 2 featured the Carolina Hurricanes 2016 fourth-rounder Max Zimmer and interviews from his Chicago Steel coach and a great source for Wisconsin Badgers (where Zimmer will play in 2016-17) coverage. Today’s entry features goalie Jack LaFontaine whom the Carolina Hurricanes selected in the third round of the 2016 NHL draft. You can find a great menu of articles on LaFontaine from prior to the NHL draft HERE. LaFontaine was also included in the notes from the Hurricanes prospect camp in July.   Comments from Jack LaFontaine’s NAHL Coach Joe Dibble Joe Dibble is the head coach and general manager of the Janesville Jets. In 2016-17, he will be entering his fifth season as the Janesville Jets coach in 2016-17. In his 4 years with the Jets, Dibble has seen 46 of his players advance to play Division I NCAA hockey. Joe’s full bio can be found on the Janesville Jets web site.   Canes and Coffee: How would you describe Jack LaFontaine’s game in 2-3 sentences. What are his strengths? Janesville Jets Coach Joe Dibble: Jack has an unbelievable work ethic and he’s very athletic. He never gives up on pucks,...
Carolina Hurricanes NHL Draft 2016: Reading list for #75 (3rd round) Jack LaFontaine

Carolina Hurricanes NHL Draft 2016: Reading list for #75 (3rd round) Jack LaFontaine

Click HERE to go to the menu for all of the Hurricanes 2016 draftees.   Profile for Jack LaFontaine (added 7/5/16 before prospect camp) Jack LaFontaine was 1 of 3 players that the Carolina Hurricanes third round (#75 overall) in the 2016 NHL draft and also 1 of 2 goalies selected by the Hurricanes. LaFontaine is an Ontario native who moved to and played in the United States for the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League with the aim of playing NCAA hockey next season. He will play for the University of Michigan. LaFontaine has NHL size at 6-3 and has been described as smooth in his movement.   Reading list of external articles about Jack LaFontaine Bob Miller from The Wolverine has a great article that includes an interview with LaFontaine. Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News profiled LaFontaine back in November of 2015 calling him “a hidden draft gem.” Chris Dilks from SBNation’s College Hockey has a short profile for LaFontaine in his article reporting LaFontaine’s commitment to the University of Michigan. Added 7/5/16 before Hurricanes prospect camp—————————————– Iain Colpitts from The Mississauga News (where LaFontaine grew up) offers this post draft article including quotes. Mason Lyttle from the North American Hockey League’s web site wrote about LaFontaine in December when he committed to the University of Michigan.     Go...