Tag Archives: Kelly Klima

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 Alumni Report – Feb. 20th

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues are proud to have moved over 100 players onto NCAA and professional hockey during our tenure in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Here are a few whose play this past week has turned heads around the hockey world.

In what has become the ‘weekly alumni goaltender recap’, we once again start off with a goalie who is grabbing the spotlight. Devin Cooley, a soph. at Denver, was named the NCHC Goaltender of the Week after leading the Pioneers to a 1-0 victory over then-No. 4 Minnesota Duluth. The win was Cooley’s first game back from injury and illness and was his 9th win of the season. The Los Gatos, California native earned his third shutout of the season and now has a 1.93 GAA and a .929 save percentage on the season.

This week we’ll dive into how our forwards and defensemen have been performing lately in all levels of college and professional hockey. Kelly Klima, who is currently playing for the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals, has 4 goals and 2 assists in his last four games. The rookie forward now has 12 goals and 11 assists in 24 games this season after participating in training camp with the Arizona Coyotes.

Coale Norris, a soph. at Ferris State University, had the game-winning goal on Friday and an assist on Saturday against Alaska Anchorage. In 32 games this season Norris has 7 goals and 9 assists for the Bulldogs.

Sam Craggs had 2 goals and 1 assist in a blowout win for Bowling Green over Alaska-Fairbanks. He now has 6 goals and 5 assists on the season. Patrick Curry scored a goal against both Harvard and UCONN for Boston University last week. Curry, a junior, now has 11 goals and 8 assists for the Terriers in 29 games.

It’s important to take time to recognize our alumni in Division III and in the ACHA as well.

  • Patrick Flynn, F: 2 G vs. Skidmore; 4 game goal streak. (Babson College, NCAA D3)
  • Bryan Hovanec, F: 2 G, 3 A vs. Chatham & Stevenson. (Lebanon Valley Co., NCAA D3)
  • Nicholas Belger, F: 3 G vs. Syracuse; 9 points (3 G, 6 A) in last 4 games (Stony Brook, ACHA D1)
  • Josh Bell, F: 3 G in two games vs. Arkansas; 5 goals in last three games. (Missouri St., ACHA D1)
  • Joey Lupo, F: 2 G, 1 A vs. Middlebury. (Amherst, NCAA D3)
  • Chase Mickelson, F: 1 G, 1 A in two games vs. Finlandia. (St. Norbert, NCAA D3)

Jr. Blues Alumni Breakdown

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have advanced over 100 players onto college and professional hockey in the last 25 years. We’ve picked out a handful of alumni who have been excelling this season on and off the ice for this week’s Jr. Blues Alumni Breakdown.

Dryden McKay nabbed his fourth WCHA Goaltender of the Week award after going 1-0-1 for the MSU-Mankato Mavericks against the Michigan Tech Huskies. McKay, a freshman, stopped 57 of 60 shot in two games started and ended with a .950 save percentage and 1.38 goals against average. McKay turned aside 24 shots in Friday’s contest, and an additional four shooters in the shootout victory. On Saturday the Downers Grove, IL native made 33 saves in a 3-2 overtime win. He is now 17-5-2 over all with a 1.87 GAA and a .923 save percentage this season. McKay currently leads all freshmen goaltenders in minutes played (1477:55), wins, goals against average, and shutouts (3).

Stefanos Lekkas, to his own credit, has been playing equally as well for the University of Vermont Catamounts as of late. After going 1-1-0 against University of New Hampshire he was named the Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Lekkas, who is from Elburn, IL, stopped 57 of 59 shots he faced over the weekend. He denied 26 shots in a 1-0 defeat on Friday before making 31 saves in a 4-1 victory on Saturday. On the season Lekkas is 12-14-2 with a 2.26 GAA and a .931 save percentage.

Facing off with Lekkas was a fellow Jr. Blues alum in Mike Robinson. Robinson led the UNH Wildcats to a 1-0 victory on Friday behind a 29 save shutout, his fourth of the season. In Saturday’s 4-1 defeat Robinson turned aside 37 of 41 shots. In 25 games played this season he is 10-8-7 with a 2.25 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

Not to be outdone or forgotten, Tommy Nappier is continuing to win for the Ohio State Buckeyes. The St. Louis, MO native is 11-1-2 with a 1.60 GAA and a .946 save percentage for the #2 team in the nation. Over the weekend Nappier kept 29 of 30 shots out of the net in a 4-1 victory over Wisconsin.

McKay, Lekkas, Robinson, Nappier, and Devin Cooley have not only been topping our alumni list each week, but they’ve also been ranking at the top or near the top of statistical categories for all goalies in the NCAA. Nappier has the highest winning percentage in Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey (.857), while McKay sits at sixth (.750) and Cooley is 15h (.654).

All five are in the top 20 for goal against average: Nappier is second (1.60), McKay is seventh (1.87), Cooley is 14th (2.08), Robinson is 19th (2.25), and Lekkas is 20th (2.26). Nappier is also second in the nation in save percentage (.946), while Lekkas is fifth (.931), Cooley is 8th (.929), McKay is 15th (.923), and Robinson is 16th (.923).

Here is a quick recap of a few more of our alumni:

  • Max Kalter had 2 assists for UCONN (NCAA); he now has 6 goals and 7 assists in 28 games played.
  • Brian Rigali had 1 goal and 1 assist for UCONN (NCAA); he now has 4 goals and 5 assists in 23 games played.
  • T.J. Friedmann scored his first NCAA goal for Quinnipiac on Feb. 2nd against Clarkson University. He has four assists in 23 games as well.
  • Kelly Klima has four points in his last five games (2 goals, 2 assists) and has at least one point in 13 of his 20 games played this season (8 goals, 9 assists) for the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL).
  • Kevin Loppatto is currently on loan to IF Bjorkloven in HockeyAllsvenskan (Second League) in Sweden. He has 1 goal in three games played with the team. Loppatto had put up 16 goals and 13 assists in 33 games for Vannas HC in Sweden’s Division 1 League (Hockeyettan, Tier Three).
  • Evan Fear was traded to the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL by the Green Bay Gamblers. In 24 appearances this season, Fear is 10-9-4-0 with a 3.33 GAA and a .899 save percentage. He has three USHL Goaltender of the Week awards this season (10/22/18, 12/10/18, and 12/31/18).
  • Mike McKenna is now on his second AHL team this season (Belleville Senators, Lehigh Valley Phantoms) and his 14th AHL team overall (Norfolk, Milwaukee, Omaha, Portland, Lowell, Albany, Binghamton, Peoria, Springfield, Syracuse, and Texas). McKenna has played in 470 AHL games and holds a career line of: 228-176-25 with 27 shutouts, a 2.71 GAA, and a .913 save percentage. He has appeared in two Calder Cup Finals (Syracuse Crunch and the Texas Stars).
  • Luke Radetic has 13 goals and 9 assists for University of St. Thomas (NCAA D3) in 23 games.
  • Bradley Marek has 6 goals and 4 assists in 41 games for the Central Illinois Flying Aces (USHL).

Jr. Blues Alumni Report

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have been a member of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) since 1993 and have had alumni play college hockey and in professional leagues around the world. Here are a few alumni performances from the past week that we have chosen to spotlight.

Three goaltenders earned player of the week honors in three different conferences. Dryden McKay (Minnesota State-Mankato) has continued to impress as he was named the WCHA Goaltender of the Week. McKay, a freshman, stopped 26 of 27 shots in two wins over Alabama Huntsville this past weekend. In Saturday’s 4-0 win McKay stopped all 12 shots for his third career shutout. The Downers Grove, IL native currently has a 16-5-1 record with a 1.91 GAA and a .921 save percentage for the Mavericks.

Shifting to the east coast, Stefanos Lekkas was named the Hockey East Player of the Week after backstopping Vermont to a victory and a tie against #9 Providence. The Elburn, IL native made 33 saves in a 3-1 win on Friday, and made 46 saves in a 1-1 tie on Saturday. On the weekend Lekkas made 79 saves, posted a 0.98 GAA and a .975 save percentage. Overall Lekkas is 11-13-2 with a 2.36 GAA and a .929 save percentage for the Catamounts this season.

We would be remiss if we didn’t include Tommy Nappier in our Alumni recap as well. Nappier, a sophomore at Ohio State, was named the Big Ten #3 Star of the Week after leading the Buckeyes to a 2-0 win on Saturday against Notre Dame. Nappier turned aside all 30 shots that he faced to earn his fourth shutout of the season and his 10th win of the season. With just one loss on the season, Nappier’s 1.64 GAA and .945 save percentage both rank second in the nation.

But don’t think that it’s just goalies who are making strides since leaving Springfield. Boston University forward Patrick Curry scored two goals on Friday night against #3 UMass. Curry, who is from Schaumburg, IL, is in his junior season at BU and in 25 games played this season he has 9 goals and 8 assists.

Here are more alumni who have been playing well this season:

  • Russell Jordan (F) – 4 goals, 6 assists between Pensacola and Birmingham (SPHL)
  • Sam Craggs (F) – 4 goals, 4 assists in 29 games; Bowling Green St. Univ. (NCAA)
  • Coale Norris (F) – 6 goals, 6 assists in 28 games; Ferris State (NCAA)
  • Max Kalter (F) – 6 goals, 5 assists in 26 games; Univ. of Connecticut (NCAA)
  • Kelly Klima (F) – 7 goals, 8 assists in 17 games; Norfolk Admirals (ECHL)
  • Jack Summers (D) – 7 assists, +3 in 20 games; Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)

Jr. Blues Alumni Update

Springfield, Illinois – From the NCAA to the NHL, Jr. Blues alumni have represented the capital city since 1993. Over 100 alumni are currently playing in higher levels of junior hockey, college hockey, or professional hockey. Here is a quick look at the highlights from the past week.

Dryden McKay has been turning heads for Minnesota State-Mankato this season. The Buffalo Grove, Ill native helped the Mavericks sweep Ferris State over the weekend with a 3-2 OT win on Friday and a 2-1 win on Saturday. McKay stopped 45 of 48 shots in total over the weekend with a 1.46 GAA and a .938 save percentage, and was named the WCHA Goaltender of the Week. McKay, a freshman, is 11-4-1 on the season. 

The Air Force Falcons tied Army 2-2 in two games this past weekend, and two Jr. Blues alumni helped get them there. Trevor Stone scored on Friday night and Brady Tomlak scored on Saturday night. In 22 games played this season Stone has 5 goals and 2 assists, while Tomlak has appeared in 20 games this season and has 4 goals and 5 assists.

Tommy Nappier continues to shine for the Ohio State Buckeyes. On Saturday, Nappier stopped 24 of 26 shots from the Michigan Wolverines to claim his 8th victory of the season. The 6’3”, 220 lbs. St. Louis, MO native has a 1.58 GAA and a .945 save percentage in the 2018-19 campaign, both 2nd best in the nation.

Transitioning to professional hockey can be difficult for some players, but Kelly Klima seems to be progressing well for the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL. In 10 games for the Admirals this season Klima has 3 goals and 5 assists, including a goal and 2 assists in a three game series against Orlando this past weekend. Kelly’s brother, Kevin, also played for the Jr. Blues and is currently playing for HC Sparta Praha in the Czech league after starting the season in Tucson for the Arizona Coyotes’ AHL affiliate.

Here a few other outstanding performers:

  • Ross Olsson: 6 goals and 13 assists in 11 games for Endicott College
  • Josh Lammon: 8 goals and 8 assists in 24 games for Mercyhurst Univ.
  • Bryan Hovanec: 9 goals and 6 assists in 14 games for Lebanon Valley College
  • Luke Radetic: 10 goals and 4 assists in 15 games for Univ. of St. Thomas
  • Blake Robertson: 8 goals and 3 assists in 17 games for Trine Univ.
  • Sandro Aeschlimann: 1.83 GAA and a .932 save percentage in 6 games for EV Zug (Swiss)

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