Nine from California reach the NHL this season

Nine players with direct ties to California played in the NHL this season, and two – defensemen Brian Salcido (Anaheim) and Ray Macias (Colorado) – made their NHL debuts in 2009.

And there is an interesting connection between those two. Salcido’s father, Frank, has coached numerous youth hockey teams over the years in Southern California, and Macias’ mother, Helen, often served as his team manager with the LA Jr. Kings. The families are close, and both have plenty to celebrate this season.

Two other notable performances were by Anaheim rookie Bobby Ryan, who spent part of his early teen years in Southern California playing for the old El Segundo Regents and the Jr. Kings travel teams, and Islanders veteran Richard Park. Ryan led all NHL rookies in scoring (57) and goals (31) – both Ducks records – and is a favorite for the Calder Trophy, while Park scored a career-high 14 goals and wore an A most of the season on Long Island. Interestingly, both played major junior in the OHL.

Others in the league this season: Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios, who played Bantam and Midget hockey in San Diego; Toronto forward Ryan Hollweg, a product of the old Norwalk ice rink; Atlanta forward Brett Sterling, who played out of Pasadena; Dallas forward Landon Wilson, who played minor hockey in LA while his dad was a Kings assistant coach, and Dallas defenseman Garrett Stafford, who registered his first NHL points during his recall with the Stars. Stafford also played in LA against the Kings for the first time in early April.

For the complete rundown on the alumni’s seasons, visit calirubber.com

And thanks for making this month’s the highest yet for traffic (and we’re only half done!).

California hockey alumni update

My most recent California hockey alumni update is posted on www.calirubber.com

Please click here for the story.

Among this week’s highlights:

  • Numerous California natives are tearing up the ranks of NCAA women’s hockey, including Providence freshman Laura Veharanta of La Verne and Northeastern sophomore Kristi Kehoe of Bakersfield.
  • Bobby Ryan has been called up by the Ducks.
  • Defenseman Garrett Stafford of Los Angeles had a four-point week for Grand Rapids of the AHL.
  • And Tyler Maxwell of Manhattan Beach had a four-point game at Moose Jaw in WHL play.

California hockey alumni report

Some highlights from this week’s California hockey alumni report that I write each week on www.calirubber.com include:

The influx of California players to the AHL. This includes Brett Sterling, Ray Macias and Matt Ford.

CJ Stretch has been named the WHL’s Player of the Week.

Brandon Richardson has been named the USHL’s Offensive Player of the Week.

Click here for more on what California hockey players were up to around North America last week!

California alumni updates on calirubber.com

Looking for comprehensive lists of California alumni in the pro, college and junior levels? Check out www.calirubber.com, where Publisher Brian McDonough and I are compiling where are they now lists for current players.

In addition, each Tuesday morning my weekly alumni update appears on the site. I run you through the NHL, AHL, ECHL, NCAA, WHL, USHL and NAHL. Click here for this week’s update.