Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lee Baldwin To The Rangers

University of Alaska Anchorage defenseman Lee Baldwin (6'4" 203lbs) has apparently signed (I've got no link to any announcement) with the New York Rangers after just one season with the Seawolves.  The 21 year old (April '88) Baldwin came to the Seawolves after a BCHL All-Star/Team MVP season with the Victoria Grizzlies in 2008-2009.  This past season, he finished the season with UAA amassing 1 goal and 9 assists in 32 games.

Baldwin showed all the right potential to progress his hockey career to the next level and had been garnering attention from NHL scouts since his final year of junior hockey.  Lee looked well-suited to the college game when he hit the ice here and progressed throughout the season.  He has some development to attend to before we see him skate in the big show, but hopefully for  him that will be sooner rather than later.

You can never blame a young man for getting a payday while continuing his hockey development.  In Lee's case, I personally think it's "six of one and half a dozen of the other "with regard to whether he can accomplish that goal best from the WCHA or the AHL.  So it's understandable to pursue the NHL dream while getting paid versus toiling in college for a schollie.

Congratulations to Lee and best of luck to him in the future.  With a stable of 5/6 defensemen (Leinweber being a swing player) plus 2 listed defensive recruits for next season, I'd have to say it's an open question whether the Seawolves will be looking to recruit another blueliner for next season.  They may, they may not.

13 comments:

UAAalumni09 said...

looks like uaf is in the ncaa's

Anonymous said...

Whatever, when will UAA ever figure it out.

Donald Dunlop said...

So I just thought I'd further examine the possibility of replacing Baldwin here.

If you don't replace him ...
You've got 7/8 Dmen next season ... Lafranchise, Vidmar, Darwitz, Gorham, Warner, (Leinweber), Sproule, McLeod.

Is that enough? Depends, to me it's all about where Shyiak sees Leinweber playing. UAA has typically had 8/9 rostered Dmen. If Shyiak sees Leinweber as primarily a forward next season then he might be looking for a Baldwin replacement.

If you are looking then here's a list of uncommitteds that may or may not be possibilities:
USHL (from the leading scorers table):
Austin Coldwell - Des Moines - Vancouver kid ... currently 6th in USHL D scoring (12g-21a)... 91 birthdate.
Daniel Furlong - Sioux Falls - 19 year old ... 9g-8a ... Matt Bailey teammate.
Blake Thompson -Waterloo- Minny kid ... July 91 bday ... 6'3" 210lbs ... 1g-5a
Daniel Albers -Green Bay- Mich kid ... May 91 bday ... 2g-2a

Based on regionalism and nothing else, I'd guess the best shot might be Coldwell. BUT, being it's so late and he's uncommitted could very well be a sign that he's just waiting for the right offer from a "big" school. Coldwell and Furlong both have existing good reputations. There could be other good USHL candidates as well.

BCHL:
Steve Koshey - Trail - 5'8" 175lbs 7g-29a ... turns 19 next week ... Mellor teammate
Derek Hills - Merritt - 6'3" 210 - 18g-30a ... 19 year old ...
Wade Bennett -Trail - 5'8" 170lbs - 3g-19a ... Beau Bennett's brother .. 19yo ... Mellor teammate

All seem to be reasonable options to me. Hills has size. Koshey and Bennett are obviously both "undersized" puck movers.

AJHL:
D'Lane Sather - Sherwood Park - 5'9" 190lbs ... 9g-42a ... 21yo ...
Kodie Curran -Spruce Grove - 6'2" 210lbs ...10g-38a ... 20yo ...
Adam Young - Grand Prairie - 5'9" 170lbs ... 7g-34a ... 21yo ...
Josh Lee - Sherwood Park - 6'1" 195lbs ... 10g-25a ... 20yo

All of those might be reasonable choices as well.

I can't know for sure about any of these guys and/or if Shyiak is even going to decide to bring another kid in.

There is always the option of course of bringing in Derek Docken a year earlier than originally planned. Just based on reputation I'd bet he'd could make the step even if he is coming from the NAHL. But I thought Jeff Carlson would be a good player for us and he didn't pan out for whatever reason.

If I was coaching and there was any chance to get Coldwell, I'd hit that hard and often. Second choice would be Furlong. Third would be Koshey as I suspect he is underrated. Then Hills and Sather next and if none of that turned out I'd go for Bennett.

Obviously the coaches have scouting info on all these guys and have probably seen them play. So my imaginings could be off base as to the best of them. Maybe if you can't get Coldwell or Furlong you just batten down the hatches and wait?

Should be interesting to see what they decide. Maybe a name pops up that isn't listed here?

Jimjamesak said...

Article from the Winnipeg Free Press on Kevin Clark: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/his-size-doesnt-matter-88717487.html

Basically, he's a pest :D

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

If we do get a another D recruit we need a smaller guy who can handle the puck well. ex. Trevor Hunt

Good luck Lee Baldwin, I understand what your doing though I'd like to have see at the very least two seasons of you at UAA.

This well help out with recruiting in future years because yet another UAAer has gone to the AHL and in the future NHL.

Next year if the stars align; Paul Crowder will suit up for the Rangers(like I stated previously he's gonna spend his first full year of pro hockey in the "A"), Nathan Lawson could also get called up if the Islanders work out there goalie situatuion, Chad Anderson/Luke Beaverson/Mat Robinson could get there call if somebody gets injuried, Kevin Clark well need to rip the "A" up to crack Vancouver's lineup, Jay Beagle well again see some action for the Capitals, Curtis Glencross will get spot duty on the Calgary's top line but will mostly play 3rd line and PK, Eric Walsky might also get called up to play in Vancouver, John Decaro might finally get his call to the show as well.

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

And others, but those are the most likely though you could make a good argument for Charlie Kronschnabel, and Lunden.

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

From nhl.com

Lee Baldwin, Alaska-Anchorage -- At 6-3 and 203 pounds, NHL scouts are drooling over the potential of this freshman defenseman. There is room for him to grow physically and in terms of his on-ice game, but if Baldwin, who had 9 points this season, wants to forgo his final three seasons, the option will be there. He has the potential to become a great puck-moving defenseman, and with his size, that's a rare combination all NHL teams desire.

Anonymous said...

In winnipeg this afternoon the ahl moose beat the griffins 4 to 0, kevin clark scored his first ahl goal early in the first period.
Jordan schreoder had 2 power play goals. Kevin received the 3rd star of the game. Great start Kevin, all the best in the ahl. The two rookies played well, clark started on the fourth line, but quickly got in to the game. The moose received 9 penalies, and clark did not get one.
great start for Kevin, all the best down the stretch.
fan

UAAalumni09 said...

There we go Clarkie! 1 g, 1 game
Didn't see Lunden or Baldwin on any boxscore today.
Hunt had a helper, 2a, 4 games

Anonymous said...

Way to go Hunt and Clark!!

Anonymous said...

JJ, thanks for the link to the article on Clark. Too bad they listed his goals at 19 instead of 23 though.

Anonymous said...

Austin Coldwell is very good however I am just happy with him staying in Des Moines for another year :P


-GoBucs

Anonymous said...

Congrats Lee on the fast promotion. All the best to you and we would have loved to have had you in a Seawolf uniform for a couple of more years!

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