Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Taking part in CBJ chat

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blue Jackets Prospects Sep/Oct Review

Well the calendar has flipped to November and that means hockey has been going for a little over a month (month and a half for the players in the QMJHL). For those of you that don't know not only am I @en4cer45 on twitter but i also handle the @CBJProspects acccount. Being that it's November 1st it's time to see how the future Blue Jackets did in September and October. Now I only keep tabs on the team's prospects playing in the CHL and NCAA cause we only have 1 european prospect and I dont speak Swedish. Overall the Jackets have 10 forwards, 6 defensemen and 3 goalies playing in these leagues.


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.


Brandon Archibald
14 GP 1-5-6 -4 24PIM
Dalton Smith
13 GP 2-1-3 +3 46PIM
Dalton Prout
9 GP 3-8-11 -5 19PIM
Mathieu Corbeil
12 GP 5-6-0-1 .862 SV% 3.84GAA
Petr Straka
16 GP 6-7-13 -2 14PIM
Ryan Johansen
12 GP 4-9-13 +6 16PIM
Oliver Gabriel
12 GP 1-8-9 -2 19PIM
Austin Madaisky
16 GP 4-5-9 -6 24PIM

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jackets finish 8th in Traverse City

The Blue Jackets played their best game of the Traverse City Prospects tournament today, oh wait did I say game I meant period. This was the only the second time the Jackets went into the first intermission either tied or with the lead in the tournament. The game was a rough one but my dad and I could tell this was gonna be this way when Jackets enforcer Kyle Neuber and Blues tough guy Stefan Della Rovere were talking during warm-ups. A total of 26 penalties were called totaling 92 penalty minutes with Neuber and fellow OHL tough guy Dalton Smith getting 29 of those minutes. The game appeared to be a complete loss with the Jackets down 3-0 in the 3rd until former Portland teammates Ryan Johansen and Chris Francis scored back to back goals 46 seconds apart. Cody Goloubef assisted on both goals, the assist on Johansen's goal was a beautiful pass from about the blueline for a wrist shot from Johansen. How many times have we heard this in a Blue Jackets post game article, special teams KILLED the Jackets today with the Blues scoring 5 power play goals in the game. I can only think of two goals I wouldnt blame on starting goaltender Riley Gill one was either a second or third effort and the other was a blast from the top prospect in the NHL Alex Pietrangelo.

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

Jackets blown away by Hurricanes

Sorry about the bad pun for a title folks but I had to, thats what this game looked like the eye of the storm was the first period. The Jackets were outshot 22 to 5 but they skated away trailing 1-0. The second and third period is when the Jackets got hit by everything including the kitchen sink getting outscored 7 to 1 over the final 40 minutes. Canes 2010 1st round pick Jeff Skinner scored 5 points on the Jackets including 1 of the few goals I wont blame on goaltender Jason Missiaen cause it was a laser and a half. Now the other night I wouldnt blame Riley Gill for the Minnesota game, tonight I cant say that I lost track of how many times I tweeted Canes score on a mishandled rebound. I dont know if it would of made much of a difference but the Jackets were without Ryan Johansen and Matt Calvert both as healthy scratches and David Savard was nursing a bruised foot.

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

Jackets fall to Wild

Just a warning Jackets fans this is going to be a very negative post.

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

Jackets fall in tournamnet opener

The Blue Jackets team of prospects fell to the New York Ranger's prospects 5-4 with only 6.1 seconds remaining today at the Huntington Rink at The Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, MI. The Jackets got 3 points from Tomas Kubalik and 2 assists from 2010 1st round pick Ryan Johansen. While the Rangers got 3 point games out of top prospect Derek Stephan and Ryan Bourque. The Jackets started 6'8 monster Jason Missanen while the Rangers countered with Scott Stajcer. Columbus started what i'm guessing is being called the team's first line made up of Kubalik, Johansen and Matt Calvert while the defense was John Moore and Theo Ruth. The game was a physical affair with the Rangers defenseman Jyri Niemi losing his helmet on a hit by Dalton Prout(I believe could be wrong sorry). I'll admit its hard to judge the ref with them being from either the AHL or the QMJHL but as usual with Jackets games a lot of what seemed like non-calls or at least things I thought deserved a penalty. The Jackets who were already a little shorthanded losing 3 players to either injury or not coming over from Europe might have lost another when Steven Delsile suffered a upper-body injury(never too early for playoff speak) in a second period fight with Rangers pick Randy McNaught. Every goal in this game was scored either off a rebound or from about the slot out so I wouldnt put much of the blame on Missiaen. I'll try and take better notes tomorrow when the Jackets travel to the David's Rink as the visiting team against the Minnesota Wild who defeated the Carolina Hurricanes today 2-1.

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

The Jackets Opponents in Traverse City

Now lets meet the teams the Blue Jackets prospects will be playing in Traverse City. Now these will be nothing like my preview of the Jackets these will be semi short just the highlight. I'm using the Hockey News Season Preview when mentioning the team's top 10 and including what it says about them.

The Hurricanes are the defending champions of the Traverse City Prospect tournament beating the Minnesota Wild's team 4-0 in the championship. Zac Dalpe left Ohio State after only his sophomore year to begin his pro career, picking up a hat trick in only his 4th career AHL game. Eric Staal's brother Jared will be on the Cane's team after being acquired in a trade.
Top 10 Prospects playing in Tournament
#2 Jeff Skinner-Accomplished skater has superb goal scoring instincts
#5 Zac Dalpe-Adept finisher almost doubled his production as a sophomore
#10 Riley Nash-A 2007 first-rounder, he has evolved into a two-way checker

Since I forgot in my earlier blogs here's the CBJ's Top 10 Prospects that are playing.
#2 Ryan Johansen-Plays Eric Staal style, but needs to bulk up, play stronger
#3 John Moore-Late 1990 birth date means no more junior; NHL or AHL this year
#7 Theo Ruth-Low risk stay at home needs a healthy senior season. (playing in Springfield)
#8 Cody Goloubef-Spent three years in Madison protecting the home front
#9 Dalton Smith-Gritty winger doesn't hesitate to get his nose dirty

The Dallas Stars have an easy way to get on there Traverse City team, be a player on the Star's brother. Jamie Benn's brother Jordie and the newest Jackets nemesis James Neal's brother Michael will be on the team. Matt Calvert's linemate Scott Glennie is the Star's top prospect. This will be Luke Gazdic's 4th year in the tournament picking up 27 penalty minutes.
Top 10 prospects playing in tournament
#1 Scott Glennie-Smooth-skating scorer had monster offensive season after recovering from injuries, but didn't light it up in the playoffs. He'll never play a power, physical game, but he does need to add grit at the next level.
#2 Jack Campbell-Mentally sound and solid under pressure; Bound for Windsor
#3 Tyler Beskorowany-Got a ton of work last season and earmarked for Texas(AHL)
#4 Philip Larsen-Plays with skill, calm and top-notch hockey sense
#7 Colton Sceviour-Grinding style winger well suited for energy line
#9 Tomas Vincour-Found scoring touch after trade from Edmonton to Vancouver

Darren Archibald's name might seem familiar to hardcore Blue Jackets because if you went to the opening day training camp last year might remember when two players dropped the gloves Archibald was one of those players.

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

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

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

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.