Category Archives: Jeff Zatkoff

>A Promising Future for Weber, Mercier, Zatkoff

>Over at Hockey’s Future, they have released the 2008 Columbus Blue Jackets’ “System Audit,” as it’s called. RedHawk freshman defenseman Will Weber headlines the group of young Blue Jacket…”future” defenseman (and Goodness, don’t they need it right now.)

In the amateur ranks, the Jackets have a number of defensive prospects who may develop into NHL-caliber talents with more seasoning in either the NCAA, junior North American leagues or across the ocean. Headlining this group is 2007 second-round pick Will Weber, a lanky two-way rearguard still growing into his oversized 6’4 frame. While still several years removed from an NHL audition, Weber may well have the most talent below the NHL level among the organization’s defensive prospects. He’ll get a chance to further refine his game just a few hours down the road from Nationwide at developing collegiate powerhouse Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of Weber…offensively and defensively. In my opinion, he hasn’t shown much in this early season, but he definitely has the size and the ability to adapt to the college level and play “his game.” As a Blue Jackets fan, I’m very excited to watch him develop.

Also, Justin Mercier receives a mention among the Colorado Avalanche prospects:

Mercier, a sixth-round pick in the 2005 draft, plays a game that may adapt easily to the pros. He always competes hard on the forecheck and backcheck and is effective with the puck down low. He broke out last season with Miami University with 25 goals in 42 games and has four points in six games to date this season.

And finally, Jeff Zatkoff gets some love from the LA Kings:

Two other goaltenders that will be battling Bernier for the starting duties in Los Angeles every step of the way are Jeff Zatkoff and Jonathan Quick. Zatkoff, who is in his first professional season, does not have the athleticism of Bernier or Quick, but is a fundamentally sound goaltender. He might be the perfect fit as the back-up to Bernier in five years if he does not beat out Bernier as the starter or can be used in a trade to fill gaps in other areas. Which ever of the three that finds himself as the starter in net for Los Angeles will have earned it with the level of competition that there is in the system. The others may find solace in the arms of another organization.

>The Zatkoff Talk Continues

>The latest LA Kings Prospect Update has been posted on the club’s official web page and it profiles on man in particular…Jeff Zatkoff. As we know, Zats has been very impressive with Ontario of the ECHL thus far, and one would think he’d be in line for a call from Manchester sometime soon, but I digress.

From reading the update, it seems that Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford seems to have a lot of faith in the Chesterfield, MI native. Take a look for yourself:

“I had a chance to see Zatkoff in his first [professional] game [on Oct. 18]. He is a young guy with a lot of energy and he is excited about his first year pro. I think he will bring that enthusiasm to the group of guys in Ontario. If everything goes according to plan, we will see him in Ontario for one or two years, but in a perfect world, hopefully next year he will be able to make the jump to the American Hockey League. Then after a few years in the AHL, make the push for one of the jobs in L.A.”

“Jeff does a really good job with rebound control with his stick, and up to this point, he has done a very good job in controlling pucks to his body. In today’s game most goals are scored are on little tiny rebounds in front and he has been doing a good job in taking those away. The biggest thing that he has got to work on is dealing with traffic and his foot speed, being quicker in the crease.”

Let’s hope that “JZ” doesn’t stick around in the ECHL for two years! If you’re interested in reading the rest of the Prospect Update (there is more on Zatkoff), click here.

>Zatkoff Named RBK Goalie of the Week

>Former RedHawk goaltender Jeff Zatkoff has been named the RBK Goalie of the Week in the ECHL. Zatkoff, a member of the first-year Ontario Reign, is undefeated in this early season.

Ontario Reign rookie goaltender Jeff Zatkoff is the RBK Hockey ECHL Goaltender of for Oct. 20-26. He was a runner up for the award last week after making 29 saves in his first professional start, a 2-1 win at Bakersfield on Oct. 18.

Selected in the third round (74th overall) by Los Angeles in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and under NHL contract to the Kings, the 21 year old was 2-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.50 and a save percentage of .954 against defending National Conference champion Las Vegas. After making 28 saves in a 4-2 win at Las Vegas on Thursday, Zatkoff had 34 saves in a 4-1 win on Saturday as the Reign won their first game in the new Citizens Business Bank Arena. In his first three professional starts he is 3-0-0 with a goals-against average of 1.33 and a save percentage of .958. He is tied for the league lead in wins and ranks third in goals-against average and save percentage.

Zatkoff played the last three years at Miami University where he was 55-21-5 with seven shutouts, a goals-against average of 1.93 and a save percentage of .927 in 82 games.

Runners Up: David Shantz, Dayton (2-0-0, 0.50 GAA, .979 save pct.) and Jean-Phillippe Lamoureux , Alaska (1-0-0, 0.00 GAA. 1.000 save pct.).

>Fun With eBay!

>Just stumbled something I had to post here. Someone on eBay has a listing for some old sports cards and who else did I find, but a very young Joe Cooper and Jeff Zatkoff.

>Zatkoff Expected to Reign Over Ontario Goaltending

>After a five day drive from Manchester, New Hampshire to Ontario, California, Jeff Zatkoff is just ready to play some hockey. The San Bernadino Sun has a quick article about Zatkoff’s cross country quest and future with the Ontario Reign this season…a season in which he’s slated to be “the man” between the pipes for the first year ECHL franchise.

You can see the article at this link. Thanks to laxmom for the heads up…again.

>Zatkoff to Play for Ontario Reign

>The Manchester Monarchs have assigned former RedHawk standout goaltender Jeff Zatkoff to the Ontario Reign of the ECHL.

I must say I’m surprised to see this move, as I thought Jonathan Bernier would have been playing with the Kings in net this season, but with Bernier’s assignment to the AHL, and Jonathan Quick also in Manchester, Zatkoff wouldn’t have gotten much playing time in all probability.

Is this the right move for the Kings and Zatkoff’s development? Is Zats too good for the ECHL? What do you think?

>Updates from Around the NHL

>Just a short update here. I’ve compiled this post of where our Miami alumni are, training camp wise after all the cuts, reassignments, and whatnot.

Los Angeles Kings:

Assigned goaltender Jeff Zatkoff to Manchester of the AHL

Montreal Canadiens:

Assigned forward Mike Glumac to Hamilton of the AHL

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins:

Assigned forward Nino Musitelli to Dayton of the ECHL

Other notes:

– Ryan Jones is still in the hunt for an NHL roster spot in Nashville

– Marty Guerin will be attending the Hartford Wolfpack AHL camp

– Nathan Davis is attending the Rockford IceHogs AHL camp

– Mitch Ganzak is in camp with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL

– Alec Martinez is still in camp with the LA Kings

– Kevyn Adams may indeed be a Chicago Blackhawk on opening night, as he was a free agent invitee. He’s had a solid camp for a veteran player.

>Zatkoff Update

>Jeff Zatkoff saw his first NHL preseason action last night, as the Kings traveled to Kansas City to take on the St. Louis Blues.

Zatkoff reportedly played a decent game, but allowed one goal, to veteran Paul Kariya.

Also, letsgokings.com has a nice interview with Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford who had a few things to say about JZ:

Ranford on Zatkoff and the tandem he shared at Miami of Ohio vs. Bernier who played as a starter at Lewiston:

I think the best way to explain that we had two individuals. We had Jeff Zatkoff and Jonathan Bernier; one playing junior as a starter and one flip-flopping in Miami. Over a two-year process, Zatkoff might get maybe 50 starts and then Bernier would probably get close to 100 to 120 starts. As far as a development process, we were concerned. We talked with the school and they felt strongly that Jeff would move into the No. 1 role. He was handed that role last year and it was a real learning experience for him being able to play the bulk of the load. I think he grew as a goalie. The way you grow as a goalie is by playing games.

Ranford on Zatkoff’s continued development if he finds himself in a tandem for the net in Manchester:

There’s going to be a four-way battle for it. You never know; injuries come into play. You never know what’s going to happen after the two spots are taken here in L.A. It’s going to be a four-way battle down in Manchester until we decide which way the guys go. So right now the way our organization works, we’ve got two guys here in L.A. There’s going to be two guys battling in Manchester; and then probably one guy in Ontario down the road here, and one in Reading. Our hope is that it’s a good goalie battle right to the bitter end and they make it tough for us to make a decision on who goes where.

On a side note, I just realized something with Zats’ mask. Yes, it’s a Manchester paint job, but it’s very similar to the design he wore as a RedHawk. Look below and note the large white space in the middle between each logo:

>Monday’s NHL Training Camp Notes

>Los Angeles Kings:

Split squad game in Kansas City vs. St. Louis tonight. Jeff Zatkoff and Alec Martinez will both dress for tonight’s game.

Nasvhille Predators:

Brandon Felder over at HockeyBuzz has some great Predators news & notes and some great observations on Ryan Jones: (Thanks to Bill for the heads up)

“Ryan Jones is very good with the puck in tight around the goalie. He scored a couple times on the drill in which the forward comes out from behind the net and shoots near side.

Felder’s Friday Fantastic Five:

3. Ryan Jones – A pretty significant difference in Jones play today. I would have to say that Jones game translates much better 5 on 5 than it does in drills like yesterday. Jones took a pass from Mike Ryan, who had to dig the puck out from the corner, and set up Weber for a real nice goal. Also, Jones showed a real drive and played physical when needed. One of his hits even took out two Silver squad players at one time…

Ryan Jones on his first impressions of Predators camp:

“Well it’s a little different. It’s my first camp so I didn’t really have anything to base it off of. I came in early to skate with the guys and this is obviously a step up from that, the games will be a step up from this and then regular season games will be a step up from that so it’s a lot faster, the guys move the puck quicker, so basically I’m just trying to stay with my game and not really step away from it too much.”

Jones on his style of play :

“I’m a power forward player so I play a puck possession game, try to grind it out down low, look for guys open out front, and I just try to get to the front of the net, get in front of the goalie and clean up the garbage.”

Preds head coach Barry Trotz on Ryan Jones:

“Sometimes you just watch practice and Jonesy in practice blends in. But when you put 5 opponents on the ice and the game starts he always seems to be around the puck and the net. He made a real good play on that goal. That’s part of our game. It was textbook. Get on the forecheck, separate someone, get a loose puck with quick support and activate people from the backend and that’s how they score so it was sort of the textbook Predator game right there.”

>Updated: Miami Alumni In Training Camps

>As training camps begin to open for many leagues, here is a running list of former RedHawks who’ll be involved. Obviously, some of the names won’t be a shock, as there are a few “established NHL-ers” here. If you find a name I’ve missed, please contact me.

Binghamton Senators:
Mitch Ganzak, Defenseman
(Link to Official Release)

Chicago Blackhawks:
41- Nathan Davis, Center
(Blackhawks Team A Camp Roster)

17- Kevyn Adams, Center
**Adams was a free agent invitee**
(Blackhawks Team C Camp Roster)

Los Angeles Kings:
53- Alec Martinez, Defenseman
36- Jeff Zatkoff, Goaltender
(Kings Training Camp Roster)

Montreal Canadiens:
98- Mike Glumac, Forward
(Canadiens Training Camp Roster)

Nashville Predators:
28- Ryan Jones, Left Wing
(Predators Training Camp Roster)

New Jersey Devils:
6- Andy Greene, Defenseman

San Jose Sharks:
22- Dan Boyle, Defenseman
(Sharks Training Camp Roster)

Toronto Maple Leafs:
*Joe Cooper, Forward
(Maple Leafs Rookie Training Camp Roster)

Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins:
Nino Musitelli, Forward
(WB/Scranton Training Camp Roster)

*Denotes rookie camp attendee