Monday, November 1, 2010
The Blue Jackets have 3 prospects playing in the OHL this season. Brandon Archibald is a defenseman playing with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Archibald and the Hounds got off to a good start going 3-0 with Archibald picking up 2 assists and being a +3. But then October happened the Soo lost 7 straight while Archibald missed 2 games serving a suspension. Then after a small 2 game winning streak the Greyhounds ended the month on a 4 game losing streak. To find a positive of the 4 game streak Brandon is on a 2 game point streak going into November. Archibald was named a assistant captain for the Greyhounds this season. The other 2 players in the OHL are the Dalton boys in the form of Barrie Colts defenseman Dalton Prout and Ottawa 67's forward Dalton Smith (no relation). Dalton Smith was a 20 goal and 20 assist guy last season but has gotten off to a slow start picking his only 3 points this season in 2 games but when all the scouts said Smith was a tough customer they werent kidding Smith has picked up 46 penalty minutes in 13 games only missing 2 games due to a suspension earned during the season opener against Archibald's Greyhounds.
wait until the end.
1-15-16 that was Dalton Prout's career scoring before last season but then something clicked and Prout decided to become a offensive juggernaut exploding for 7 goals and 14 assists likely leading to the Jackets selecting him. The only 2010 draft pick that lasted at Blue Jacket's training camp longer than Prout was 1st round pick Ryan Johansen. Had it not been for all the rookies making there professional debuts with the Falcons Prout might have been in Springfield at the moment instead of being the Captain of the Colts. Prout has continued his strong offensive play picking up points in 7 of the 9 games hes played in including 4 multi-points games.
Petr Straka got off to probably the best start of all the Blue Jackets prospects picking up points in 9 of his first 10 games including a 9 game point streak. The last game that Straka earned a point was his best game of the season a game in which he scored a hat trick plus an assist. But that was 6 games ago and that was also the last time the Oceanic won a game. Mathieu Corbeil is the No. 1 goalie for the Halifax Mooseheads a team that hasnt had much sucess since a certain blonde haired Czech left the team for a city in Ohio. Going back to my prospect camp preview it seems that if Corbeil doesnt win the Herd doesnt win picking up 5 of the team's 6 wins.
The Jackets have 3 players in the Western Hockey League, 2 on the juggernaut known as the Portland Winterhawks and 1 on the Kamloops Blazers. The Winterhawks feature 2010 1st round pick Ryan Johansen and prospect camp invitee turned actual prospect Oliver Gabriel earning a contract with his strong prospect and training camps. When Johansen got back to Portland he went on a 3 game point streak earning 1 point in his season debut, 2 in his second and 3 in his third I was hoping he would keep up this pace but no. Johansen has scored in all but 4 games this season. The Islanders returning sniper Nino Niederreiter to the Hawks should help Johansen's points totals. Oliver Gabriel earned an entry-level contract after impressing the Blue Jackets brass at camp. Gabriel has picked up 9 points so far this season including matching Johansen in the duo's third game back both scoring a goal and 2 assists. Austin Madaisky is a defenseman with the Kamloops Blazers scoring 4 goals and 5 assists this season including 2 multi-point games. Madaisky was just named to an all star team of WHL players who will take on a Russian all star team.
There appears to be no rhyme or reason to the way the NCAA schedules hockey with some prospects teams have already played 8 games while Sean Collins and the Cornell Big Red have only just played their first 2 games that matter so ill cover the NCAA prospects in a few weeks.
14 GP 1-5-6 -4 24PIM
13 GP 2-1-3 +3 46PIM
9 GP 3-8-11 -5 19PIM
12 GP 5-6-0-1 .862 SV% 3.84GAA
16 GP 6-7-13 -2 14PIM
12 GP 4-9-13 +6 16PIM
12 GP 1-8-9 -2 19PIM
16 GP 4-5-9 -6 24PIM
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
For the first time I can think of in this tournament you knew the 4th overall pick in the 2010 draft was out there, I talked about Ryan Johansen's goal but also today we saw the guy isnt afraid to throw his weight around with big hit in the first period. Petr Straka continued to showcase his skill but you caan tell he's probably used to playing with players with a bit more skill than his linemates up here. Anyone from Springfield who reads this should be happy to know that future Falcon Chris Francis led the team in scoring with 3 goals and 1 asssist.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Now so far in these I've mentioned players that impressed me but i'm scratching my head trying to think of anyone, the only ones I can think of are the Portland duo of Chris Francis and Oliver Gabriel. Francis for the second game was part of the Jacket's only goal scoring it after picking up an assist the other night.
Tomorrow is the final day of the tournament the Blue Jackets will be battling for 7th or 8th place tomorrow at 2pm against the Dallas Stars hopefully getting my first look at 2010 1st round pick Jack Campbell of the Stars(possibly the future of USA Hockey). The rest of the day looks like this the 5th place will between the Rangers and Blues at 2:30. The 3rd place game will be between the Hurricanes and Lightning and the host Red Wings taking on the Houston Aeros oh I mean the Minnesota Wild team of "prospects"
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The Blue Jackets will not win the Traverse City Prospect Tournament this year, now before you call for my head on a hockey stick hear me out. The Blue Jackets are the only team that brought a team of actual prospects, I say this because during the second intermission me and my Dad starting looking at the Wild's roster and where it said what league the player played in last season we saw NHL not once not twice but a whopping three times. That got us looking through the rest of the tournament's rosters, now the Wild is the only team we did the actual math for the Wild brought a team that played a combined 280 NHL,AHL or ECHL games last season. The Blue Jackets total in those leagues 4, 3 of those by today's starting goaltender Riley Gill with the ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings. Now I can't think of a good defintion of a player that qualifies them as a prospect but playing in a professional league has to change that status a little. Sorry for my ranting on to the actual game recap.
For the second game in a row the Jackets got off to a fast start scoring within the first two minutes with Oliver Gabriel scoring off a Chris Francis shot to take a 1-0 lead. After the Wild tied it at 1-1 a few minutes later is when the rough stuff started, the referees called 7 penalties for either fighting or coincidental minors for roughing. Now the NHL must be using this tournament to try a new officiating system, the system will use 24 referees 20 were wearing red shirts that looked a lot like Minnesota Wild jerseys and 4 wearing the normal black and white striped shirt. The system appeared to work ok because everytime the refs in red shirts yelled out a penalty the refs in black would call it leading to the Wild having 6 power plays. Columbus's power play went 0 for 8 including at least a minute of 5 on 3(i forget how long sorry). I'm not putting all the blame on goalie Riley Gill, Gill stood on his head a few times and made some spectacular saves when the game was already out of reach.
This is a hard game to tell you who impressed me because you really only noticed the guys throwing there weight around. Dalton Prout and Michael Kantor continued to impress, but it wasnt for the passes like I commented about Kantor yesterday it was for his fists. But theres a negative Kantor was called for 3 minors and a 5 minute major for fighting. Prout was solid again in the losing effort, Petr Straka was the only non tough guy to impress in his tournament debut picking up an assist. Tomorrow is a practice only day with the tournament picking up on Wednesday with the Jackets(0-2) playing Carolina(1-1) at 6:30
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Some of the players that impressed me were Dalton Prout, the 2010 draft pick was noticeable all game long with big hits and strong defensive play. I tought Michael Kantor was a goon but he used those hands to make some nice passes out of the zone.
Friday, September 3, 2010
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Sorry for the break, anyway the Red Wings feature Ray Ferraro's son Landon a second round pick of the team in 09. Top prospect Brendan Smith is another defenseman leaving Wisconsin early to begin his pro career
Top 10 prospects playing in tournament
#1 Brendan Smith-Improvement has been impressive and steady in three college seasons. A fabulous skater who loves to rush the puck, Smith has little to prove in a fourth season an would do well with a year in the AHL
#2 Tomas Tatar-Speedy Winger has good instincts, needs defensive refinement
#5 Tomas McCollum-Big, Square goalie had challenging introduction to pro level
#7 Landon Ferraro-Production dropped drastically, but improved two-way game
As I said earlier the Wild lost last year's tournament in the championship game. The Wild is the only team with only one first round pick on it's team every other team has at least 2. Wild forward Casey Wellman is one of the few players in the tournament to play in the NHL getting into 12 games last year, making his debut against the Blue Jackets. The Wild have the smallest defenseman in the tournament 5'8" Jared Spurgeon. Defenseman Bjorn Krupp is the son of the only German to win a Stanley Cup Uwe Krupp.
Top 10 Prospects playing in tournament
#2 Marco Scandella-Late bloomer plays with terrific poise, strength and smarts
#3 Matt Hackett-Tall skinny stopper posts great numbers, but must get stronger (Jeff's Nephew)
#4 Tyler Cuma-Development slower than expected, pro seasoning required
#5 Brett Buler-Undersized but competitive winger a draft-day chart mover
#8 Cody Almond-Junior scoring whiz struggled during pro indoctrination
NEW YORK RANGERS
Rangers 2010 1st round pick Dylan McIlrath was named top fighter by The Hockey News in their draft preview edition. I feel bad for Wisconsin fans next year they lost a ton of talent after losing the National Championship game, Ranger's top prospect Derek Stephan is leaving after two seasons. Continuing with the famous father theme Ray Bourque's son Ryan was a third round pick of the Rangers.
Top 10 prospects playing in tournament
#1 Derek Stephan-The captain and leading scorer for the U.S. junior team is turning pro after just two seasons in Wisconsin. His maturity and skill with the puck will pay rewards at the pro level. He's a quick and creative thinker on the ice.
#2 Evgeny Grachev-Big-time junior sniper struggled to find mark as a rookie pro
#4 Dylan McIlrath-Known as 'The Undertaker' for his imposing, tough style
#7 Ethan Werek-Offensive number flatlined, so OHL breakout imperative
#8 Christian Thomas-Junior scoring phenom was a late riser up the 2010 draft charts.
#9 Scott Stajcer-Was a workhorse for a defensively weak OHL team
ST. LOUIS BLUES
2008 1st round pick Alex Pietrangelo is almost a point per game in the OHL. The defenseman has played in at least eight games for the Blues since being selected 4th overall before being sent back to juniors. Blues Defenseman Brett Ponich is the biggest skater in the tournament, Ponich is a teammate of Ryan Johansen and the other Portland Winterhawks
Top 10 Prospects playing in tournament
#1 Alex Pietrangelo-A big two way defenseman with mentall prowess and the ability to make the right decision at the right time. Has an offensive upside and uses his big frame to his advantage. Just needs to ramp up his intensity
#3 Jake Allen-Calm netminder with great rebound control and puck playing ability
#5 Ian Cole-Bulky D-man clears space around the net; turned pro early
#6 Brett Ponich-Giant stay at home blueliner has long learning curve
#10 Philip McRae-Power forward roughs it up, but production has levelled off
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
The Lightning return to Traverse City after skipping last year's tournament and it might have been a good thing going 0-3-1 in the 2008. The Lightning have two players with famous fathers, Carter Ashton's dad was a journeyman that played for eight franchise. Brock Beukeboom is a teammate of the Jacket's Brandon Archibald and from the sound of it he plays the same physical game his father Jeff was famous for. Now most of us know a junior player can play nine or less NHL games and there NHL contract won't kick in and you can send them back to juniors, well Tampa let center James Wright play 48 games before being sent back to Vancouver of the WHL.(i dont know why they did this seems like a stupid move to me)
Top 10 prospects playing in tournament
#1 Brett Connolly=A premier goal-scorer with exceptional skills and on-ice intelligence. Connolly would have challenged for first pick overall if not for hip flexor injuries. He's a goal scoring threat whenever he touches the puck
#2 Carter Ashton-Power forward with size and skill; scoring total levelled off
#4 Richard Panik- Skilled and powerful winger takes on big d-men and gets to the net.
#5 Dustin Koharski-Technically sound goalie makes up for small size with quickness
#6 Alex Hutchings-Pure scorer is small and must maximize physical strength
#7 Jaroslav Janus-Smallish goalie makes up for size with Hasek like acrobatics
#8 Brock Beukeboom-Two-Way defender takes care of his own zone, can dish out pain
#10 Dana Tyrell-Workhorse forward plays the game with intensity and heart
There you have it folks a little preview about the teams the Jackets will be facing off against next week in Traverse City.