Tag Archives: Henry Graham

Jr. Blues Represented at Seven NHL Development Camps

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have six players, current or alumni, on NHL development camp rosters. Development camps are not tryout camps, but rather are an opportunity for players to showcase their talents to that respective team. Draft picks from this year and previous years will be in attendance as well as invitees who have not been drafted yet. 

Henry Graham, a Manhattan, NY native, will be participating in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ development camp this week in Ohio. Henry played in two regular season games for the Jr. Blues at the end of the 2018-19 NAHL season and finished with a 1-0-0 GAA and .907 SV % after playing for Honeybaked U18 previously. Graham is one of eight players to have signed a tender with Springfield for the 2019-20 season. 

Tommy Nappier, the Big Ten Goaltender of the Year, is in Pittsburgh to showcase his skills for the Penguins. The Ohio State goalie played for the Jr. Blues during the 2015-16 season before playing in the USHL for the Chicago Steel and the Omaha Lancers. The St. Louis, MO native just wrapped up his sophomore season for the Buckeyes, leading them to a regular season title behind a 12-4-3 record with a 1.86 GAA and .934 SV%. 

Kelly Klima, who played for the Jr. Blues with his brother Kevin during the 2014-15 season, will be at the Arizona Coyotes camp for the second year. The Tampa, FL native split this past season between the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL) and the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL). In 27 ECHL games Klima put up 14 goals and 14 assists while adding 1 assist in 10 games in the AHL. 

Mike Robinson, a Bedford, NH native, will be in San Jose for the Sharks development camp. The 2015 3rd Round pick of the Sharks spent the last two seasons at the University of New Hampshire after playing for the Jr. Blues during the 2016-17 season. In 31 games for UNH this past season Robinson posted a 2.48 GAA and .915 SV%. It will be the fourth appearance for Robinson at the Sharks development camp. 

Devin Cooley, a goaltender at the University of Denver, will be participating in the Toronto Maple Leafs camp this month. The Los Gatos, CA native played here in Springfield during the 2016-17 season with fellow alumnus Mike Robinson. Devin had a solid season for the Pioneers this past season, compiling a 11-6-2 record with a 1.85 GAA and .934 SV%. 

Patrick Curry, who will be entering his senior season at Boston University, is currently participating at the St. Louis Blues development camp. The Schaumburg, IL native played for the Jr. Blues during the 2013-14 season before playing for Bloomington in the USHL for two seasons. This past season Curry put up 13 goals and 13 assists in 38 games for the Terriers.

The final Jr. Blues alumnus on an NHL development camp roster is University of Vermont goaltender Stefanos Lekkas , who is attending the Florida Panthers camp. The Elburn, IL native just finished up his third season with the Catamounts, posting a 2.27 GAA and .930 SV%. Lekkas played for the Jr. Blues during the 2013-14 season before joining the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL. 

In addition to Jr. Blues alumni there are three players who played in the NAHL this past season who are also on development camp rosters. Jake Veri (Lone Star Brahmas), Trevor Smith (Northeast Generals), and Pavel Rotenberg (Brookings Blizzard) will also be attending camps this summer. Six NHL teams have yet to release development camp rosters, while the majority of league will be hosting their camps this week.

Jr. Blues, Jets Split Series to Finish Regular Season

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues split their final regular season games against the Janesville Jets this past weekend. On Friday the Jr. Blues fell to the Jets 4-2, but bounced back with a big 4-3 overtime victory on Saturday night. The Jr. Blues finished the 2018-19 NAHL season with a 33-22-4-1 record for 71 points and a 3rd place finish in the Midwest Division.

Friday’s game had major implications in the divisional standings. If the Jr. Blues won both games over the weekend against the Jets and the Minnesota Magicians lost both of their games against the Chippewa Steel, then the Jr. Blues would finish in 2nd place and earn home ice in the first round of the playoffs. The Jets, however, would have different plans as to how the weekend would go.

The Jets opened up the scoring early in Friday’s contest and took a 1-0 lead into the 1st intermission. Caden Villegas would score his 9th goal of the season to open the 2nd period and tie the game up momentarily. Janesville would add two more goals in the 2nd period to take a 3-1 lead into the 2nd intermission. A 3rd period strike from defenseman Sam Sterne cut the deficit to 3-2, but the Jets would regain their two goal lead and never look back. With the 4-2 loss, the Jr. Blues sealed their 3rd place finish. Jack Williams picked up the loss in the contest, stopping 17 of 20 shots. Henry Graham made his debut in relief of Williams and stopped 11 of 12.

With the playoffs set in stone, Saturday’s contest became a game of pride and bragging rights as we honored our 12 senior players before the game. Ryan Murray, Sam Sterne, Cade Groton, Nikita Kozyrev, Nigel Nelson, Brendan Aird, Braden Stewart, Ben and David Schmidling, Max Brainin, Brandon Puricelli, and Nick Techel all suited up for their final junior hockey games of their careers. After this season, many of them will continue their play at NCAA Division 1 or Division 3 schools, while others will turn to the ACHA to continue their careers.

With emotions high, the Jets once again struck first to take a 1-0 lead early. But the Jr. Blues would not let this game get away from them. Caden Villegas scored his 2nd goal in as many games and his 10th of the season to tie the game 1-1. Ben Schmidling would prove that his timing is impeccable as he gave the Jr. Blues their first lead of the weekend with 0.1 seconds left in the opening period. At the intermission the Jr. Blues led 2-1 and had the momentum squarely in their corner.

Nick Techel would contribute a goal early in the 2nd period to increase the lead to 3-1 and seemingly put the game away for the Jr. Blues. But the Jets would battle back with a goal in the 2nd and a goal in the 3rd to tie the game 3-3. 60 minutes would prove to not be enough time to determine a winner, and the game would head to overtime. In overtime Graham would save the Jr. Blues from a penalty kill early in the extra frame, and Max Brainin would send the crowd home happy with his 20th goal of the season with less than :20 left in overtime for a 4-3 Jr. Blues win.

Henry Graham stopped 28 of 31 shots to earn his first NAHL victory on Saturday night while defenseman Kobe Pane made his Jr. Blues and NAHL debut as well. Both players are currently signed to tenders for the 2019-20 season.

Jr. Blues Notes:

  • The Jr. Blues will face off against the Minnesota Magicians in the 1st round of the playoffs. Games 1 and 2 will be in Minnesota on April 12th and 13th, while Games 3 and 4 will be in Springfield on April 19th and 20th. Game 5 would be back in Minnesota on April 21st. Games 4 and 5 are both if necessary.
  • Brandon Puricelli finished the 2018-19 season with 30 goals and 50 assists for 80 points. He set the Jr. Blues record for assists in a season and ranks 2nd in points in a season. Puricelli finished the season on a 14 game point streak and finished 4th in points in the NAHL.
  • With his overtime goal, Max Brainin reached the 20 goal plateau for the first time in his career. The goal also gave the Jr. Blues four 20+ goal scorers this season after having none last season.
  • Brendan Aird had 4 assists on Saturday night giving him 11 points overall in his time with Springfield (22 GP; 1 G, 10 A).
  • Ben Schmidling finished up his 2018-19 campaign with 1 goal and 2 assists on the weekend to bump his total points on the season to 68 (37 goals, 31 assists). Ben finished 3rd in the NAHL in goals and is currently on a 10 game point streak.

Jr. Blues Sign Tender for 2019-20 Season

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud member of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that the first tender of the season will be used on goaltender Henry Graham. Graham is now tendered with the Jr. Blues for the 2019-20 season.

Graham has compiled a 1.47 GAA and a .947 save percentage while playing for Honey Baked U18 this season. He will finish out his high school career at Detroit Hockey Academy before coming to Springfield.

The 6’ 0”, 175 lbs right-handed goalie had this to say about being a tender for the Jr. Blues: “I am extremely excited to play for the Springfield Jr. Blues and Coach Rennette, and to contribute to the excellence of the Jr. Blues organization.”

“We are excited to welcome Henry,  he is a very quick and skilled goalie with great vision,” Coach Rennette said, “All of us here with the Jr. Blues look forward to seeing what Henry can bring to the team next season.”