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in Infinity ocean, the ocean of knowledge. Ocean life. Esoteric Club. Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:01 am
by sakura698 • 260 Posts

Nik Stauskas was nine years old and already thoroughly smitten with basketball when a chance meeting with Vince Carter sealed his fate. San Diego Padres Store . Stauskas and his family were at a Toronto Raptors open practice at the Air Canada Centre when he was plucked out of the crowd to shoot hoops with Carter and Morris Peterson. "He hit a three-pointer on Vince Carter, so Vince tackled him to the ground and gave him a noogie," dad Paul said, laughing. "We got pictures of all of it, it was great. That was the tipping point I think." The sweet-shooting 20-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., is one of six Canadians at the NBA pre-draft camp this week in Chicago, hoping to catch the favourable eye of league general managers and scouts. The others are Jordan Bachynski of Calgary (Arizona State), Khem Birch of Montreal (UNLV), Tyler Ennis of Brampton, Ont. (Syracuse), and Torontos Melvin Ejim (Iowa State) and Dwight Powell (Stanford). You can watch live coverage of the NBA combine on TSN2 and TSN GO on Thursday and Friday at 1pm et/10am pt. Canadian star Andrew Wiggins, considered a top-three prospect in the June 26 draft, isnt attending the combine. Stauskas is part of a growing crop of Canadian kids making their mark on the game. The six-foot-six guard earned Big Ten player of the year in his sophomore and final season with Michigan, leading the Wolverines to their second consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournaments Elite Eight. Stauskas, who had a career-best seven three-pointers at Illinois in March, is known for killing defenders with his quick step-back and release. Its ". . . so fast, youre not going to (defend it). Hes quick. Hes like a cat," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said of Stauskas after his teams loss to Michigan in January. Stauskass accuracy was developed over thousands of hours chucking up shots, first in their driveway and then on their custom-made backyard basketball court. The day nine-year-old Stauskas squared off against Carter, Paul Stauskas said his son already "had range. At the time he would shoot with two hands, he only developed his one-handed shot probably when he was 13, 14. So it was more of a chest pass. But he was very accurate doing it." Stauskas first played when he was seven, on a Lithuanian club team in Toronto coached by his uncle Vic Simkus. Even then, he was three inches taller than any kid on the court, so he played centre. He scored four points in first game a 6-4 victory. "Nik had this big smile on his face, because we were all so enthusiastic, we were cheering for him, Go Nik go! He just had such a good time. Thats kind of what started it," Paul Stauskas said. "And if a kid enjoys doing something, whether theyre golfing or skating or whatever, when you do it enough times, you become really good at it." Stauskas became really good after the family moved to their Mississauga home when he was in Grade 5. His dad wanted to install either a pool, a putting green or a basketball court in the backyard. They went with the court, because Nik was "just so enthusiastic about basketball and went above and beyond the call of duty to work on his game," Paul said. The dad wanted the best for his boys Nik has an older brother Peter so had the court installed by a company that specializes in modular sports flooring. The backyard court, the first by this company in Canada, is made of interlocking tiles that both gives the feel of a real court surface, and help prevent ankle problems and shin splints. Good thing, because Stauskas would practically live on that court for the next several years. In the winter, he would plug in a space heater to warm his hands. Its also a good thing, Paul said, that he chose the court over the putting green. "Maybe Id be a much better golfer," he said. "But Im 100 per cent convinced Nik would not be where he is today if we had not done that. "This was just one of those things, he could be by himself and he was just happy as a lark, he didnt need anybody, he could be there for hours, flicking shots. And you know how kids get, they start playing games in their head and they start fantasizing that theyre hitting the last-second shot in an important game. Hed just play games with himself, just very happy." Stauskas shared his backyard shooting exploits online, turning into a bit of a YouTube showman. In one video, shot on Christmas Eve of 2012, Stauskas, in tuque and track suit, dropped 45 of 50 three-point shots. In another, shot on a rainy day last spring, he made good on 70 of 76 attempts including 46 in a row in the span of five minutes. That YouTube video has over 500,000 views, and even caught the attention of Stephen Curry. Golden States star guard retweeted the video, and wrote: "3pt contest sometime @NStauskas11 ????? this is Impressive." Stauskas tweeted: "I love waking up to a challenge by the best 3 point shooter in the world!!! Today might be a good day HA!" The Canadian quickly gained a fan following in his rookie year at Michigan. Paul Stauskas remembers it was a couple of tuba players on the school band that came up with the maize-and-blue version of the Maple Leaf that flew at games in Ann Arbor. The tuba players then created a T-shirt with the maize-and-blue flag. Underneath the Maple Leaf it read: "The best Canadian import since Molsons." For a pre-season game this past winter, Paul Stauskas and 50 friends, neighbours and family members chartered a Greyhound bus from Mississauga to Ann Arbor. They all wore the T-shirts. "We were the Nik Stauskas cheering section," Paul said. He and his wife Ruta were regulars at Wolverines games, attending about 15 games in each of Niks two seasons. "Weve followed him all over the country, to Atlanta, to Dallas, all over the place, and those road trips for us were a ton of fun," Paul said. "The whole point is, my wife and I, were financially secure. We never needed our kids to Oh youve got to get this good job to get me out of a bad situation, go pro. It was always just having family fun. And Nik just happened to be really good at what he was doing. "Its been fun, the entire ride. You think Disneyland is fun. This is a helluva ride." The family is happily buckling up for what lies ahead. Most mock drafts have Stauskas going anywhere from 11th to 14th (Denver, Orlando, Minnesota and Phoenix). Next seasons NBA rookie scale has the No. 11 pick getting paid just under US$1.9 million in the first year. "Its really exciting to think of the teams he might play on, and the players he might play with and against," Paul Stauskas said. "Nik has idolized LeBron James from the second LeBron stepped on the court. I was just saying to Nik Nik youre going to be playing against him! "The first time he steps out on the court, and he plays against LeBron, I think hes going to be shell-shocked. Hes probably going to go up to him and ask him for his autograph," he added, laughing. Paul Stauskas cant help but imagine the possible roster permutations. Hes heard the Chicago Bulls who have the No. 16 pick might like his son. "We were sitting there thinking Can you imagine Nik, youre playing with (Derrick) Rose? WOW. . . I can just hear it now: Rose to Skauskas, Stauskas back to Rose, OH AND ITS INNNN! That would be fantastic." He thinks Boston which has both a lottery pick and the No. 17 pick would be a good fit. "With Rajon Rondo there, I can imagine Nik playing with Rondo," Paul said. "When Rondo first came in the league, both me and Nik saw his very first game and we looked at each other and we go, Wow, is this guy good. So imagine we see this guy and a few years later (Niks) playing side-by-side with him. Its crazy." Rowan Barrett, the assistant GM of Canadas mens basketball program, saw Stauskas play in high school when he was a 15-year-old at Mississaugas Loyola Catholic School. "It was clear that there was talent, there was ability," Barrett said. "The keys you wanted to know were: What was his mind like? And how much would he be willing to work at it? The great thing is he is excellent in both of those areas. Tremendous work ethic and definitely has the mind of a winner. You put those things together with size and length and skill, and you can find yourself a pretty good basketball player. "Im very excited for him." Wiggins, Ennis and Stauskas are all projected lottery picks, which would make this years draft the most successful, in terms of numbers, in Canadian history. Anthony Bennett became the first Canadian to be picked No. 1 overall when he went to Cleveland last year. Canadian Kelly Olynyk (Boston Celtics) was the 13th pick last year. Barrett, 41, said the Canadian growth in the game is a product of opportunities and exposure that werent there when he was growing up in Toronto. "Night and day," Barrett said comparing the generations. Wiggins, Stauskas and Ennis grew up watching the Raptors. Barrett aspired to be a track and field athlete. "I played many of the sports but at that time in Canada, you just had some tremendous athletes in track and field who were bringing home medals from Olympics Games. So those athletes were the ones you wanted to emulate," Barrett said. "But a funny thing happened, I kept growing. "Its a tremendous environment right now for these kids." The 60 participants in this weeks NBA combine will be tested on skills such as vertical leap, shooting, lane agility, and speed. Each team is also allotted a half-hour interview with 18 players of their choosing. Custom San Diego Padres Jerseys . Ferguson told Uniteds in-house TV channel on Saturday that he has no immediate plans to walk away from the game, and that he still hungers for more trophies even after 25 years in charge of the club. Cheap Padres Jerseys . Its not intended to be some magical formula and doesnt apply any context, like, for example, taking injuries into account. This remedial statistical method has gone 9-5 in picks through the first three rounds. https://www.cheappadresjerseys.us/ . Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings (3) - Early goal against was on the power play.The Dallas Stars returned to the postseason, after missing for five straight years, and appear to be a team on the rise with two of the games best under-25 forwards leading the way. Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Stars team that is trending in the right direction, but likely needs an offensive boost to take the next step. The Stars were a strong puck possession team, that made the playoffs despite below-average 5-on-5 goaltending results (more a reflection on backups than starter Kari Lehtonen) and were carried offensively by Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, who combined for 163 points on 231 Stars goals. They were also the only Stars forwards to finish with more than 35 points, so that could be the next area on which to focus for improvement -- boosting the secondary scoring so that the weight doesnt fall so heavily upon Benn and Seguin. "I think if you want to be a contender, you have to be deep down the middle," GM Jim Nill told the Dallas Morning News. "Thats something weve talked about over and over again." Having needs is not a big deal -- every team can get better -- but the Stars are in a good position because, after last summers additions of Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichushkin, theyve added building blocks that give the team a reason to have a positive outlook. Now, its a matter of finding the right pieces for the supporting cast so that the Stars are ready to make noise in the postseason, taking the next step to compete with the powers of the Western Conference. The TSN.ca Rating is an efficiency rating based on per-game statistics including goals and assists -- weighted for strength (ie. power play, even, shorthanded) -- Corsi, adjusted for zone starts, quality of competition and quality of teammates, hits, blocked shots, penalty differential and faceoffs. Generally, a replacement-level player is around a 60, a top six forward and top four defenceman will be around 70, stars will be over 80 and MVP candidates could go over 90. Sidney Crosby finished at the top of the 2013-2014 regular season ratings at 87.12. Salary cap information all comes from the indispensable www.capgeek.com. CF% = Corsi percentage (ie. percentage of 5-on-5 shot attempts), via www.extraskater.com. GM/COACHJim Nill/Lindy Ruff Returning Forwards Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Cap Hit Tyler Seguin 81.11 80 37 47 84 52.3% $5.75M Jamie Benn 80.78 81 34 45 79 51.9% $5.25M Ryan Garbutt 69.07 75 17 15 32 51.6% $1.8M Rich Peverley 65.72 62 7 23 30 49.6% $3.25M Valeri Nichushkin 64.73 79 14 20 34 50.8% $925K Alex Chiasson 63.87 79 13 22 35 49.5% $867K Erik Cole 63.78 75 16 13 29 49.3% $4.5M Shawn Horcoff 62.24 77 7 13 20 48.9% $5.5M Free Agent Forwards Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Cody Eakin 67.77 81 16 19 35 51.2% RFA $638K Antoine Roussel 65.59 81 14 15 29 52.1% RFA $613K Ray Whitney 63.26 69 9 23 32 50.3% UFA $4.5M Vernon Fiddler 62.64 76 6 17 23 48.1% UFA $1.8M Dustin Jeffrey 56.25 34 2 2 4 49.3% RFA $625K Acquiring Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins last summer shifted the Stars franchise. They landed a premier young scorer around whom they could build and Seguin responded to an increased role in Dallas by finishing fourth in the league with 84 points. Signed to a team-friendly deal for five more years? Thats icing on the cake. Seguin paired with Jamie Benn on the Stars first line and they were a formidable tandem. Only Anaheims duo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, with 128 points, were teammates with more points than Benn and Seguin, who had 116 last season. Benn is a model power forward complement to Seguin and at 24-years-old, is hitting his prime. Over the past four seasons, Benn has been an elite offensive performer, ranking second only to Evgeni Malkin, in points-per-60-minutes during 5-on-5 play (minimum 3000 minutes). Seguin, still in the infancy of his career, ranks 14th on that list. An undrafted free agent out of Brown University who climbed through the Central Hockey League, ECHL and AHL before reaching the NHL, Ryan Garbutt is blue collar, yet surprisingly productive. He was one of four forwards to record at least 30 points and 100 penalty minutes last season and, since arriving in the league, this grinder has been generating shots on goal like a scorer. Over the past couple seasons, Rich Peverley has been one of the lowest-percentage finishers, among players that have generated at least 200 shots, but hes generally an effective and versatile forward who can move around the lineup as needed. The primary issue for Peverley is that he collapsed during a game last season and there is the possibility that the cardiac event will prevent him from playing again. Theres a lot of uncertainty regarding Peverleys future, so the Stars will need to have some options ready if Peverley cant make it back. After his rookie season, even though he scored one goal in 24 regular season games after the Olympics, it sure appears that the Stars stole Valeri Nichushkin with the 10th pick in last summers draft. He has a huge frame and has high-end skill; its just a matter of harnessing that talent and getting the most out of it. Nichushkin spent much of the year riding shotgun with Benn and Seguin and if the Russian teenager develops quickly, that line could be unstoppable. Alex Chiasson burst out of the gate, with nine points in nine games, before points and shots on goal dried up, and his ice time declined. A 6-foot-3 winger with some skill and a solid two-way game, Chiasson was one of the unluckiest players in terms of goaltending save percentage when he was on the ice. 35-year-old winger Erik Cole is two seasons removed from a career-high 35 goals, but that seems like eons ago. His production has fallen the past couple seasons and, with one year left on his deal, Cole could be a buyout candidate. Shawn Horcoff was a spare part for much of the season, playing under 12 minutes a game from January through April, and he wasnt terribly effective when he did play, but raised his game in the playoffs and the last year of his contract pays $3-million (compared to his $5.5-million cap hit). Cody Eakin provides a solid two-way game, but may not yet score enough to capably hold down a top-six role. At the same time, hes 23, so its possible that his offensive game could continue to grow, particularly if there is a skill upgrade on his wings. Agitator Antoine Roussel is becoming even more annoying to play against because, in addition to his in-your-face style of play, hes chipping in offensively. Since 2006-2007, there is one other forward (Steve Downie, 2009-2010) who, while accumulating more than 200 penalty minutes, had more than the 29 points that Roussel contributed last season. Picked up on waivers from Pittsburgh, Dustin Jeffrey is battling for his NHL life. He has 31 points in 124 career games, and last seasons 34 games represented a career-high, but with only 9:34 average time on ice. If the Stars were to seek another scoring centre, they could try for Paul Stastny or Mikhail Grabovski in free agency but, aside from those two, might be looking to the trade route for a bigger fish like Eric Staal or Jason Spezza. Those wont come cheaply, either, but that might be the kind of move to push the Stars to a new level. Returning Defence Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Cap Hit Alex Goligoski 72.96 81 6 36 42 50.8% $4.6M Trevor Daley 72.08 67 9 16 25 50.9% $3.3M Jordie Benn 65.13 78 3 17 20 50.5% $700K Kevin Connauton 64.32 36 1 7 8 49.8% $683K Sergei Gonchar 60.96 76 2 20 22 48.8% $5.0M Aaron Rome 55. Padres Jerseys 2019. 91 25 0 1 1 49.0% $1.5M Free Agent Defence Player Rating GP G A PTS CF% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Brenden Dillon 64.03 78 3 17 20 50.9% RFA $900K It hasnt been the easiest ride for Alex Goligoski in Dallas, as hes so frequently compared to the package (James Neal and Matt Niskanen) sent to Pittsburgh to acquire him, but Goligoski is coming off a season in which he played a career-high 24:19 per game, finishing with his second-highest point total (42) and favourable possession stats despite facing quality opposition. Trevor Daley was handling a reduced workload for the first three quarters of the season, before he ended up playing top pair minutes down the stretch. Thats a bit of a step up from what Daley has provided normally, thoughout his career, but the 30-year-old held his own, so its not unreasonable to expect that, next season, he could pick up where he left off. While it would be easy to pin a nepotism label on Jordie Benn holding a spot with the Stars, since his brother is a franchise player, but Jordie has earned his own place, making steady improvement and he averaged more than 20 minutes of ice time per game after the Olympic break last season. On the Stars, only Brenden Dillon has more hits and blocked shots combined than Benns 240 last season. 24-year-old Kevin Connauton was a part-time player in his first NHL season and while he didnt play a big role, or stand out especially, he was effective at getting pucks to the net. There appears to be competition available for the 5-6-7 spots on the Stars blueline, so Connauton might have a chance to earn more minutes. Veteran Sergei Gonchar was something of a free agent bust, with diminishing ice time, and just four points in his last 35 (regular season plus playoff) games. He still has a year left on his contract, but it would come as no surprise if the Stars sought a team to take the 40-year-old off their hands. At his salary, it may not be easy. Aaron Rome has played 52 games for the Stars, since signing as a free agent a couple of summers ago, and he hasnt done anything to suggest hes worthy of more than a part-time role. A rising young shutdown defender, Brenden Dillon has size, toughness and improved his skating enough to get signed as a free agent out of junior. Hes come a long way since scraping into the league as an undrafted free agent and, as a restricted free agent this summer, is likely due for a health pay raise. Dillon has been among the most effective Stars defencemen over the past couple seasons and, at 23, he should continue to get better. If the Stars are going to take a step forward, they could use another top-four defenceman, effectively to make up for the departure of Stephane Robidas, who was traded to Anaheim last season. Maybe thats prospect Jamie Oleksiak, or maybe it comes via free agency, where Matt Niskanen, Anton Stralman, Tom Gilbert or Andrei Markov would be among the potential free agent upgrades. Returning Goaltender Player Rating GP W L OTL GAA SV% Cap Hit Kari Lehtonen 70.61 65 33 20 10 2.41 .919 $4.0M Free Agent Goaltender Player Rating GP W L OTL GAA SV% Class 13-14 Cap Hit Tim Thomas 61.96 48 18 24 4 2.88 .908 UFA $3.75M Over the past three seasons, Kari Lehtonen has been one of the games better starting goaltenders, with a .919 save percentage in 160 games, and a .926 5-on-5 save percentage. Just as importantly, given the injuries in his past, Lehtonen has appeared in 160 games over that span. If Tim Thomas is prepared to handle a backup role, he might be good for the Stars to re-sign but, if not, they can seek out inexpensive free agent options. Top Prospects Player Pos. Team/League Stats Jamie Oleksiak D Texas (AHL) 5-18, 23, +8, 69 GP Brett Ritchie RW Texas (AHL) 22-26-48,+14, 68 GP Jack Campbell G Texas (AHL) 1.49 GAA, .942 SV%, 16 GP Colton Sceviour RW Texas (AHL) 32-31-63, +11, 54 GP Devin Shore C Maine (HE) 14-29-43, +13, 35 GP John Klingberg D Frolunda (SHL) 11-17-28, +8, 50 GP Jason Dickinson LW Guelph (OHL) 26-52-78, +42, 68 GP Radek Faksa C Sudbury (OHL) 21-27-48, -9, 59 GP Patrik Nemeth D Texas (AHL) 3-7-10, +19, 37 GP Alexander Guptill LW Michigan (Big 10) 12-13-25, +5, 31 GP Philippe Desrosiers G Rimouski (QMJHL) 2.65 GAA, .907 SV%, 52 GP Curtis McKenzie LW Texas (AHL) 27-38-65, +7, 75 GP The 14th pick in 2011, 6-foot-7 Jamie Oleksiak should have a chance to crack the Dallas lineup next year. Even with outstanding size, hes not very physical and has been relatively mediocre in 23 career NHL games, but a 21-year-old with his size and mobility should have a good chance at success. A 6-foot-4 power forward Brett Ritchie finished the regular season strong, with 16 points in his last 16 games before suffering a lower-body injury. Hes recently returned to the lineup for the AHL playoffs, and while Ritchie could start in the AHL next season, his upward trajectory should have him knocking on the door. Overhyped since he was picked 11th overall in 2010, Jack Campbell has struggled to perform at a high level consistently enough to know if hes going to make it to the NHL. While he missed a bunch of time with injuries this year, it is promising that he had a .942 save percentage in 16 AHL games. The 22-year-old could likely use another year of seasoning to show that he is ready. Drafted in the fourth round in 2007, Colton Sceviour has steadily improved to the point that hes on the cusp of the Dallas roster. He scored nine goals and 15 points in in 32 (regular season plsu playoff) games with Dallas, performing effectively in his first legitimate NHL look. A second-round pick in 2012, Devin Shore had a terrific sophomore season at Maine and his offensive upside puts him above some of the other Stars prospects. If Shore has a big junior season, as the Black Bears captain, he may be ready to turn pro. Picked in the fifth round in 2010, John Klingberg is a smooth-skating offensive defenceman who is coming off a strong season in the Swedish Hockey League. The 21-year-old should be ready to challenge for an NHL job quickly. Jason Dickinson is a skileld centre who was the 29th pick in last summers draft. Hes enjoyed a strong season on powerhouse Guelph team, scoring 102 points in 88 (regular season plus playoff) games. Hell need time to fill out, and get stronger, but he will be intriguing a couple years down the road. The 13th pick in 2012, Radek Faksa hasnt put up big scoring numbers, which limits his upside, but he has the size and conscientious play to make it in a checking role. Taken in the second round in 2010, Patrik Nemeth is a big, stay-at-home defenceman, and while he battled injuries last season, he struggled in eight games with Dallas; perhaps an indication that more time on the farm is needed. A third-round pick in 2010, Alex Guptill had 94 points in 110 games over three seasons athe University of Michigan, and now embarks on his pro career. He has size and offensive ability, but will need some time in the AHL as he gets accustomed to a pro schedule. Drafted in the second round last summer, Philippe Desrosiers is a promising, athletic goalie, but its goign to be years before its reasonable to have any expectations on his pro prospects. So far, so good. Curtis McKenzie was a sixth-round pick in 2009 and had four unremarkable seasons at Miami-Ohio, but had a superb first pro campaign, finishing second on the Stars AHL team in scoring. Stars advanced stats and player usage chart from Extra Skater DRAFT14th - Kevin Fiala, Alex Tuch, Dylan Larkin. FREE AGENCYAccording to www.capgeek.com, the Stars have approximately $50.2M committed to the 2014-2015 salary cap for 16 players. Check out my possible Stars lineup for next season on Cap Geek here. Needs: Two top six forwards, depth forwards, one top four defenceman, backup goaltender.What I said the Stars needed last year: Two top six forwards, one top four defenceman.They added: Tyler Seguin, Alex Chiasson, Valeri Nichushkin, Rich Peverley, Shawn Horcoff, Sergei Gonchar TRADE MARKETErik Cole, Alex Chiasson, Sergei Gonchar, Aaron Rome, prospects. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. ' ' '

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