Friday, May 4, 2012

Moving Forward..

The writers at Carry the Flag have moved to a new home.  This collective effort will hopefully provide a better, more effective way to bring information to the Blue Jackets fan base, and work towards building a smarter and more vocal community.

Please join us at in the future and thank you for taking the time to read CTF.

-The Carry the Flag Team.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

CBJ Prospect CHL Playoffs/Doyle Cup Recap

Hello all back again to keep you up to date on the Jackets prospects two more prospects had there seasons ended in the last round one possibly playing his last CHL game.

Dalton Smith-Ottawa(OHL)
Final playoff stats 18GP 4-4-8 -7 46PIM
In a battle of the top two teams in the OHL's Eastern Conference the Otrawa 67s losing in five games. Before I get going on the recap I found this interesting after the two division champs(Niagara and Ottawa) seeded one and two, seeds three through six were in the Central Division(Niagara) and seeds seven through 10 were in the East Division(Ottawa). As for the series Dalton probably played some of his best hockey scoring four points in five games. Dalton was held scoreless in game one then putting together a three game point streak that included a shorthanded goal in each game. In game two Dalton had a goal (20 seconds in) then added a assist(2:08 in same video) on Jake Cardwell's third period goal.Then in game three Dalton scored probably the easiest goal(40 seconds in) of his career when Ice Dogs goalie Mark Visentin went out to play the puck and he tried to pass it to a teammate and what you'd probably call a miscommunication happened when not one not two but three dogs missed it leaving Dalton a tap in from just above the blueline, Visentin would get the last laugh when he'd score a goal late in the third(or pretty much the only time goalies score goals). In game four about eight minutes in Tyler Graovac had a breakaway which was broken up by the Dogs' big d pair Jamie Olesniak(6'7") and Dougie Hamilton(6'4") tipping the puck out to Smith in the slot to go three for three. Dalton would go scoreless as the 67s were eliminated in game five. This was Dalton's best postseason scoring eight points in 13 games after having 10 points in 16 games the last two seasons. This will be kind of a big summer for Dalton as he was signed by the Jackets before last season and will either play in Springfield or be sent back to Ottawa to play as one of the 67s three 20 year olds. Quickly with the IceDogs win they'll take on the London Knights for a chance to play in the Memorial Cup, The Jackets havent had a prospect on the OHL representative team since 2007.

Lukas Sedlak-Chicoutimi(QMJHL)
Final playoff stats 18GP 5-3-8 -2 18PIM
Lukas and the Sagueneens had the task of trying to defeat the mighty Saint John Sea Dogs for a chance to play for the President's Cup. The Sagueneens lost the series in five games with the last three going to overtime. Lukas Sedlak was held off the scoresheet in most games picking up a assist in game four. While he didn't score much in the series he did get to work on his Michael Chaput impression winning 66% of his draws losing no more than seven faceoffs until game five when he still won 50% winning 13 of 26. Next year Lukas will return to Chicoutimi and could be more of a featured part of the Sags offense as it looks like two of the teams top 10 scorers will be graduating from the CHL, plus hes already playing on the team's top line. On a quick side note I think that everyone should see Lukas' teammate Etienne Broduer's celebration when the team won game three in overtime.

Petr Straka-Rimouski(QMJHL)
Playoff stats 17GP 7-12-19 +6 6PIM
I'm not sure what got into Petr before this round but whatever it was he'll have to keep it up in the next round as the Oceanic will take on the Saint John Sea Dogs. Petr was Rimouski's best player in the last round picking up 11 points in the six games series. In games one and two in Halifax Straka had a goal and three assists in the two Oceanic wins. In game three a game that Rimouski lost Petr had his sixth goal(1:05 into the video) of the playoffs when(going off the video) after a save Straka took off like he'd been shot out of a cannon roaring down the left side before firing a laser at the left faceoff dot. In game four Straka had a nice assist(right at the start) on the Oceanic's only goal in a 3-1 loss to tie the series at two. In game five in front of a national TV audience Petr had one of his best games of the season scoring a goal and adding three assists(#23 in the highlights) and was named first star(duh!), in game six Petr added a assist on the game tying goal in the series clinching overtime win. Now it's off to face the Saint John Sea Dogs for a spot in the Memorial Cup tournament, the last time the Oceanic were in the Finals it was 2005 and they were led by some kid named Sidney Crosby(probably amounted to nothing). The Dogs and Oceanic played twice this season with the teams splitting the season series with Straka scoring a goal and adding a assist. Also on the way back to Rimouski the boys on the team got Petr to join twitter you can follow him @PStrax23.

Mathieu Corbeil-Saint John(QMJHL)
Playoff stats 13GP 12-1 .914Sv% 2.31GAA
Mathieu and the Sea Dogs took on Chicoutimi in the last round winning in five games. Mathieu played in all five games and at least according to my Saint John source's tweets Mathieu played his best game of the playoffs in game one when he stopped 24 of 25 also picking up a assist on Stanislav Galiev's third period goal and was named first star. Sea Dogs coach Gerard Gallant even stated that "Corbeil was the difference"(highlights/Gallant & Corbeil post game quotes) also saying he kept them in it when the team wasn't playing real well. Game two was another strong performance for Mathieu stopping 27 of 29, game three was the Sea Dogs one loss in the series when he stopped 28 of 33. In games four and five were two more solid performances stopping 66 of 71 in the two overtime victories. With the series win the Sea Dogs are in the President's Cup Final for the third straight seasons winning it last year. As I said before the Dogs and Oceanic split the season series with Mathieu playing in both games stopping 19 of 21 in the win but allowed four in the loss in a game that was between two shutouts.

Quickly some contract updates Michael Chaput career year earned him a three year Entry Level contract whilst he could go back to Shawinigan next season I bet he's in Springfield joining a strong rookie class that already includes Sean Collins, Jake Hansen, Will Weber and Dalton Smith plus Oliver Gabriel who played games there last season. Last week the Kamloops Blazers play by play man/WHL blogger Jon Keen tweeted that Blazers Dman Austin Madaisky was close to signing with the Jackets, but I don't have a update on this.

Oliver Gabriel-Portland(WHL)
Playoff stats 10GP 2-2-4 +4 8PIM
Oliver finally got to play in every game of a Portland playoff series after missing a combined five games between two suspensions in the first two rounds. In a four game sweep of division rival Tri-City Oliver only had a assist in a game one victory when he dug the puck out from along the boards and out to Sven Bartschi. This was a fairly tight series with games one and two going to overtime but with games three and four being a bit more decisive with the Hawks winning 3-1 and 4-1.The Winterhawks are now off to the WHL Finals for the second straight year where they will face off against the good team from Edmonton, the Edmonton Oil Kings who were the top team in the WHL with 107 points. The Winterhawks were third overall with 102 points, the teams only faced off once in the regular season with the Kings winning 8-4 in October.

Mike Reilly-Penticton(BCHL)
Doyle Cup Stats 5GP 1-4-5 2PIM
Mike and the BCHL champ Vees took on the AJHL champ the Brooks Bandits in the Doyle Cup Final for a spot in the RBC Cup. Mike was held scoreless in the first three games, the Vees won games one and two letting them host games three through seven if it would've gone that far. Mike found his way back to the scoresheet with a goal and two assists and was named second star in a 6-1 victory. Mike's first assist was when his point shot went wide but Joey Benik tipped it in to make it 1-0. His second was a lot like the first when his point shot went wide and then off a nice passing play Wild draft pick Mario Lucia(I love those old video games...I had to sorry) scored. Mike's goal made it 5-1 Vees when after a bit of nice passing and taking a shot earlier on the shift Mike drilled it for his first(game highlights-Mike's goal at 6:05) of the series and first since the BCHL playoffs opening round. In the 6-1 game five victory Mike picked up assists on two of the Vees four power play goals, of Mike's five points in the finals all five were on the power play. With the 4-1 series win the Vees claimed its first Doyle Cup(celebration highlights Mike is #5) in 26 years(heres Vees play by play man Fraser Rodgers call of the end of the game). Mike and the Vees are now off to the RBC Cup which is the National Championship for Jr. A hockey(think of it like the Jr. A's Memorial Cup-same format). The Vees will serve as the Pacific representative as they take on the Humbolt Broncos(host), Portage Terriers(West), Soo Thunderbirds(Central) and the Woodstock Slammer(East-best logo IMO sorry Vees).

There you have it folks the latest update on the remaining prospects next update will also be a Memorial Cup preview, so far we know the Jackets will have Michael Chaput on the host Cataractes and a prospect on the QMJHL representative whoever that may be. As always even thought its been awhile since I did it I thank you for reading my nonsense.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mock Draft v1.0

1EdmontonNail YakupovRWAll Star winger, deadly shooter, good playmaker, has a physical edgeSize and injuries are a concern5'10, 189
2ColumbusAlex GalchenyukCTop line center with good two way playMay not have elite offensive skills, knee injury6'0, 198
3MontrealMikhail GrigorenkoCAll Star center with good scoring and playmaking skillsEffort and consistency have been a problem, huge upside but huge risk6'3, 200
4NY IslandersMathew DumbaDTop powerplay defenseman with a physical edgeDecision making needs work6'0, 183
5TorontoRyan MurrayDSmooth skating top pairing defensemanHas limited offensive upside and not very physical6'0, 201
6AnaheimFilip ForsbergLWTop line power forwardSkating needs a lot of work to play first line minutes6'2, 181
7MinnesotaRadek FaksaCSecond line power forwardLike Forsberg, his skating needs work6'3, 202
8CarolinaJacob TroubaDExcellent two way second pairing defensemanDecision making and discipline are a concern6'2, 198
9WinnipegTeuvo TeravainenLWFirst line playmaking wingerNeeds to get significantly bigger to handle the NHL5'11, 165
10Tampa BayMorgan RiellyDTop pp defenseman, second pair at even strengthDefensive play is suspect, missed most of season with a knee injury6'0, 190
11Washington*Griffin ReinhartDPhysical shutdown defenseman, second pair at even strengthConsistency is an issue, limited offensive upside6'4, 207
12BuffaloZemgus GirgensonsCPhysical second line centerOffensive ability may be limited6'2, 198
13DallasCody CeciDSolid two way second pair defensemanDoesn't have high end offensive or defensive ability, not very physical6'2, 207
14CalgarySebastien CollbergRWSkilled second line winger with playmaking abilityNeeds to improve strength, consistency and defensive zone play5'11, 176
15WashingtonBrendan GaunceCSecond or third line center, with good size and good all around gameCould improve physicality, skating needs work, can improve puck skills6'2, 215
16OttawaMatt FinnDHard working second pair, two way defensemanCould get bigger, skating needs to get better, puck skills need work6'0, 195
17Columbus**Pontus AbergLWCreative, two way second liner with a good shotNeeds to get bigger, passing needs work5'11, 194
18San JoseDerrick PouliotDSecond pairing puck moving defensemanUndersized, suspect defensively, and can be careless with the puck5'11, 186
19ChicagoOlli MaataDStay at home second pair defenseman with a good first passSkating needs improvement and has limited offensive skills6'2, 202
20New JerseyHampus LindholmDGreat skating, two way defenderOffensive and defensive upside are question marks, needs to bulk up6'2, 196
21Tampa Bay***Malcolm SubbanGStarting goalie, quick pads and glove, solid rebound controlInconsistency and injury concerns6'1, 188
22PhiladelphiaTom WilsonRWBruising power forward, probably on the 3rd line, chance of 2ndSkating needs a lot of work, puck skills are limited6'4, 203
23Buffalo****Tomas HertlCOffensively skilled second liner with decent gritA poor skater and questionable defensively 6'2, 198
24PittsburghBrady SkjeiDGood skating, two way second pair defensemanIs inconsistent, not physical, and may be limited offensively6'3, 200
25FloridaStefan MatteauCHard working, intelligent two way second/third linerMay not have the offensive skill to play top six6'2, 210
26PhoenixVille PokkaDDefensive oriented second pair defenseman, with a chance of offensive upsideOffensive ability is debatable, skating needs work6'0, 196
27BostonScott KosmachukRWHard working, physical second liner with some offensive punchMay not have top six skill, size may decrease impact of physical play6'0, 185
28St. LouisMike MathesonDGood skater, offensive minded second pair defensemanNeeds to add size and improve skill to be an NHLer6'1, 178
29NY RangersLudvik BystromDIntelligent, mobile, second pair defensemanNot physical, offensive skills need improvement6'1, 208
30VancouverScott LaughtonCStrong, gritty two way center with a little offensive punchProbably not a top six player, needs to bulk up6'0, 177

Honorable mention
Andrei Vasilevski, G, 6'3, 204
Colton Sissons, C, 6'1, 189
Anton Slepyshev, LW, 6'2, 187
Martin Frk, RW, 6'0, 204
Slater Koekkek, D, 6'2, 184
Dalton Thrower, D, 5'11, 189
Phil Giuseppe, LW, 6'0, 176
Damon Severson, D, 6'2, 200
Tanner Pearson, LW, 6'0, 198
Mike Winther, C, 5'11, 175
Nic Kerdiles, LW, 6'2, 201
Chandler Stephenson, LW, 5'10, 192
Erik Karlsson, C, 6'0, 162
Nikolai Prokhorkin, LW, 6'2, 191

* via Colorado
**via Los Angeles
*** via Detroit
**** via Nashville

Note: The draft order reflects the first round seeding. A new version will be posted at the end of each round reflecting the updated draft order.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

CBJ Prospect CHL 2nd Rd/BCHL Finals Recap

Hello all back again to recap the only players in the Blue Jackets organization still playing. With all five remaining series being played last night I'm running late so let's get going.

Dalton Smith-Ottawa 67s(OHL)
Playoff Stats 13GP 1-3-4 -3 40PIM
Dalton and the 67s took on the Barrie Colts in the Eastern Conference semifinal winning it in seven games after trailing in the series 3-1. Dalton was quiet through games 1-5 picking up only a assist in game two. But in games six and seven Dalton came to life. In game six Dalton had 2/3rds of a Gordie Howe hat trick picking up a assist and laying a beating on Bulls forward Anthony Camara. Camara came down the wing battling with 67s Dman Jake Cardwell who after his shot brought Camara down, when Camara got up he gave Cardwell a stare down that's when Dalton stepped in earning the decision with two big rights. In game seven with the Colts leading 1-0 Dalton scored his first of the playoffs when he went to the front of the net and banged home a rebound from a scrum in front. Now it's onto the Eastern Conference finals to play the top seed Niagara IceDogs. The Dogs road to the finals has been a little easier than Ottawa's first beating Oshawa in six games then dispatching the Brampton Battalion in four games. The teams faced off four times in the regular season with Dalton missing one because of his early season suspension. Dalton didn't have any points in the three games he played in, the Ice Dogs won the season series 3-1.

Brandon Archibald-Saginaw Spirit(OHL)
Final Playoff Stats 12GP 3-4-7 E 14PIM
Brandon and the Spirit took on the mighty Lindon Knights in the OHL Western Conference Final losing the series 4-2 which is probably two more games than most people thought it would last. Brandon Archibald had a strong series finishing with two Goals and a assist, the assist came in a game one loss then in game two Brandon scored probably one of the prettier goals of his career. With the game tied at two the Spirt had a two on one break and Garrett Ross just caught a glimpse of a trailing Archibald who fired a wristshot past Knights goalie Michael Houser. Games three and four Brandon was held off the scoresheet before scoring off s blast from the point in game five overtime loss then not earning a point in game six. Brandon is among the prospects the CBJ must decide on or he'll reenter the draft pool and as I said in my prospect pool piece I just don't see it happening.

Lukas Sedlák-Chicoutimi Sagueneens(QMJHL)
Playoff Stats 13GP 5-2-7 -2 10PIM
Lukas and the Sagueneens were probably big underdogs going into its second round series with Memorial Cup host Shawinigan but that's why the playoffs are the best time of the year. It took them awhile but the eight seed Sags knocked off the second seed Cats in seven games forcing them to sit for a month before the Cup starts. Lukas scored his fourth goal in a game one victory then going scoreless and being a -4 in two straight Cataractes victories. I. Game four Lukas scored again when he was right on the doorstop and scored into a pretty much empty net as Shawinigan's goalie was down and tangled up when the Sags scored something set off a bit of a scrum, Lukas added a assist in a game five loss before winning in games six and seven. Lukas won 58% of his faceoffs in the series and is currently winning 57% of his faceoffs in the playoffs. Again you gotta love the playoffs "oh you knocked off the 2nd best team in the league good job now go play the best team and you only have two days off!"(wonder if they even got to go home?) Thats right folks for the second straight round we have a prospect matchup as the Sagueneens will play the Saint John Juggern... I mean Sea Dogs. Now this could be a good series as the Sags won the season series 2-1 with one win being a shootout game that Lukas missed. The one win was one of only three times Sea Dogs goalie and CBJ prospect Mathieu Corbeil was pulled it was also one of Lukas' best games as he had a goal and three assists.

Petr Straka-Rimouski Océanic(QMJHL)
Stats 11GP 4-4-8 +2 4PIM
Petr and the Oceanic also pulled off a stunner beating the third best team in the Q the Blainville-Brosiand Armada in seven games. Pete had one of his best games of the season in game one scoring a goal and two assists and was named first star. In games two through five Petr was held scoreles with three of those games being losses. Then in game six with the Nics trailing 1-0 Petr got the puck behind his own net and raced up the rink before unleashing a laser just above the faceoff circle, game seven Petr was scoreless again. In the next round Rimouski will take on the Halifax Mooseheads, the two teams played three times in the regular season with Halifax with the Herd winning two with Petr having two assists and was a -3.

Mathieu Corbeil-Saint John Sea Dogs(QMJHL)
Playoff stats 8GP 8-0 .911Sv% 2.25GAA
The Sea Dogs took on the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the second round after the Drakkar shocked the fourth seed Victoriaville Tigres. The Dogs sent them back to Earth sweeping them and outscoring them 29-10. Mathieu Corbeil started all four games stopping at least 20 shots in each game. Corbeil stopped 20 of 23 in games one and four and stopped 24 of 26 in game two. The most shots he faced in the series was game three when he stopped 29 of 31. In the next round Saint John will play Chicoutimi in the next and as I said above the Sagueneens had Corbeil's number. After Corbeil earned his third shutout of the season in the teams first game this season making 14 saves, in the next game Corbeil only made it into the second period when he allowed four goals on 17 shots. The next game was a 4-3 shootout loss in which Corbeil made 25 saves but allowed two goals on three attempts.

Michael Chaput-Shawinigan Cataractes(QMJHL)
Final Playoffs Stats 11GP 4-8-12 +9 2PIM
Michael and the Cataractes took on the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the second round losing in seven games. Michael got off to a great start picking up four assists in a game one overtime loss before going scoreless in game two. The next game started a three game point streak when he had a goal and two assists two being Cat wins. Michael was then held scoreless in games six and seven both Shawiningan losses. Michael had a rough go at the faceoff dot in the faceoff dot winning only 46% of his draws way down from regular season numbers when he won 62% of his draws. Unlike most of the prospects when theyre eliminated they get to hit the pool or the links for Shawinigan its a week off then back to practice as they host the Memorial Cup earning a automatic bid.

Austin Madaisky-Kamloops Blazers(WHL)
Final Playoff Stats 11GP 0-7-7 +2 12PIM
In probably the most exciting series of all the playoffs involving a Jacket's prospect the Kamloops Blazers and Portland Winterhawks faced off in the Western Conference semifinals. The Blazers were let the Hawks get off to a 3-0 series lead before roaring back and making it a seven game series. Austin was held off the scoresheet in the three losses before picking up a assist in game four the Blazers first win on Bronson Maschmeyer's first of the playoffs, the Winterhawks were up 4-1 after one before giving up four straight goals for a 5-4 win. Game five was the only win that was all Blazers winning 7-2 with Madaisky having his second career three point playoff game earning three assists(#23 in the highlights). Game six sounds like a hell of a hockey game the Winterhawks looking like they'd be moving on when they led 5-2 after two, well nobody told the Blazers as they scored 5 straight third period goals to win the game 7-6. Austin was held scoreless in games six and seven both Blazer losses. Here's Austin's comments a few days after game seven loss including a update on if he's had any talks with the CBJ about the contract, if you follow me on twitter you know I've been saying we should for awhile we should sign Austin because eventually he'll help the power play with 11 of his 13 goals being on the power play.

Oliver Gabriel-Portland Winterhawks(WHL)
Playoff Stats 6GP 2-1-3 +1 8PIM
This will be a fairly short post as Oliver was suspended for games 2-5 when he ran over(only video that had audio and video) Kamloops goalie Cole Cheveldave in game one. When Oliver returned in game six Oliver scored his second(1:15 in) of the playoffs when he and his linemates started a three on two with Gabriel finihsing it when his shot trickled past Cam Lanigan. With a game seven victory for the Winterhawks its off to the WHL Western Conference Finals to take on division rivals the Tri-City Americans. The Americans better keep a close eye on Oliver as he had four goals and five assists including a hat trick in the team's six regular season matchups that Oliver played in scoring in the Hawks four wins but being held scoreless in the two losses earning a game misconduct in the last game.

Mike Reilly-Penticton Vees(BCHL)
Final BCHL Playoff Stats 15GP 1-8-9 10PIM
Mike and the Vees took on the Interior Conference Champion Powell River Kings for a chance to win the BCHL's Fred Page Cup. After taking six games in the first round, five in the semifinals finally earning a sweep against the Kings meaning the next round will take three games...oh wait. The series was pretty tight with each game being a one goal affair including one going to overtime. Mike had three assists in the series picking them up in games one, three and four. Heres a celebration video that includes the trophy ceremony, Mike is number 5 on the Vees. Now that they've won the league title its on to another cup final as the Vees will now try to win the Doyle Cup, the Doyle Cup is a matchup between the BCHL champs and the Champions of the AJHL for a spot in the RBC Cup(sounds like a Junior A Memorial Cup. The AJHL champion is the Brooks Bandits, the Doyle Cup could have the wackiest series set up ever as games 3-7's host wont be set until after games one and two. Brooks hosts games one and two, now if a team goes 2-0 the next five will be in Penticton while if the teams split game three will still be n Brooks then with games 4-7 taking part back in B.C.

Well there you have it folks how the second round worked out for the Jackets prospects. On a side note Hockey's future released its Blue Jacket's prospect Awards now I agree with most of these the only one I disagree with is the Kevin Lynch having a breakout year, prove me wrong Kevin.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

AHL Season Recap/NCAA Recap

Back again all for a final recap of the Blue Jacket's NCAA and AHL prospects. I decided to take last week off so I wouldn't be talking about two games each week and I could put a bow on these two groups.

Two weeks ago the Falcons loaded up there Delorean bus and were off to Canada and into THE FUTURE!!! All right I kid but the Falcons were off to pretty much as far East as you can get on Canada and a hour and a HALF ahead of Springfield. The Birds were off to take on the Ice Caps for two of the teams three meetings in the Falcons last four games. On Friday night it was a 6-3 Falcons with Andrew Joudrey and Nathan Longpre scoring two goals. Cody Goloubef scored his first goal of the season late in the third period, Nicholas Drazenovic had three assists with Paul Dainton making 26 saves in the win. On Saturday in the rematch it was a 4-3 Ice Caps win Sean Collins had his first pro multi point game with a goal and a assist. Collins' goal was a give and go with Ryan Garlock and then picked up his own rebound to score his first pro goal. Ryan Garlock also had a goal and assist with Paul Dainton making 31 saves in the loss.

Midway through last week the Falcons got some bad news that a Portland Pirates win eliminated the Falcons playoff contention meaning the weekend would only be for pride and getting some young guys in the lineup. On Friday night the Adirondack Phantoms came to town in a must win and well they didn't(haha) losing 4-2. Coach Rob Riley(more on him later) rested a lot of his regulars with four players making their pro debuts. Two of the four were fresh from the NCAA with Will Weber and Jake Hansen making their pro debuts after signing entry level contracts, with fellow Jackets prospect Trent Vogelhuber playing his first game after signing a amateur tryout deal and Cam Atkinson's buddy Daniel New also playing on a tryout. New was the only one of the four to pick up a point when he had a assist on David Savard's third period goal in a 4-2 win. Nicholas Drazenovic had another three assist game with AHL signed only Wade MacLeod scoring two third period goals. MacLeod led the players only signed by the Falcons in scoring with 29 points in 66 games. Game 76 started with the old but ended with the new Falcons veteran Alexandre Giroux scored his 368th AHL goal in his 771st game. I point out those HUGE numbers because the next two goal scorers only had a assist and five AHL games going into Saturday night. Daniel New followed up his first career assist with his first career goal also adding a assist on Giroux's goal. The next goal scorer was the youngest guy in the locker room as 19 year old Boone Jenner(teehee sorry Boone) scored his first pro goal when "the kid line"(Hansen-Collins-Jenner I'm guessing) combined on a goal(30 seconds in but all the goals from the game) after Collins got it out of the corner and Hansen caused it to go along the front of the net so Boone could bang it home. Falcons all time wins leader Manny Legace got the start but being the classy guy he is(we forgive you for those Red Wings years) decided to give the game over to rookie netminder Mike Clemente for the second half of the game.

As I said the Falcons missed the playoffs for the 9th straight year but this is probably the closest they've been in awhile as this was the first time the Birds have been over .500 since 1998 with a record of 36-34-3-3. It was a rough year with so many players spending time in Columbus and like the Jackets having many injuries, the Falcons had 45 skaters and seven goalies play for the team. Of the 45 17 were CBJ draft picks with Cam Atkinson leading the way with 44 points in 51 games(29-15-44). The team's leading scorer was UFA to be Martin St. Pierre with 64 points in 73 games scoring 11 goals and adding 53 assists the fourth highest total ever for the Falcons the 53 assists were third in the league. As I said earlier I have to touch on head coach Rob Riley as on Tuesday it was announced his contract would not be renewed. Now it only says as head coach of the Falcons, Riley could stay on as a scout which is what he did before going behind the bench. Now I have no problem with this because if it probably wasn't for Riley's scouting report the Jackets may have never drafted a lil fella from Greenwich, CT who ll hopefully be scoring a lot of goals for us in the future(with all that do I really have to say who it is??) As for next year other than the few that signed ELCs I mentioned above(Collins, Weber and Hansen) there are not many players signed for next season. The only players under contract for next year are Cody Bass, Anton Blomqvist, Matt Calvert, Oliver Gabriel(rookie I think), Tomas Kubalik(could make CBJ), Dalton Smith(AHL rookie or OHL), Steven Delisle, Cody Goloubef, Dalton Prout, David Savard, Allen York and Andrew Joudrey. Now the Jackets do have quite a few RFAs that could also be brought back fairly easily.

Seth Ambroz, Jake Hansen-Minnesota(WCHA)
Final Season Stats SA-41GP 5-3-8 E 53PIM JH-43GP 16-22-38 +19 58PIM
Two weeks ago was the Frozen Four held in beautiful Tampa Bay, Florida hosted by the University Alabama Huntsville who almost folded there program(Awkward!). The Gophers made its first trip to the Frozen Four since 2005 and well it was a short stay. The Gophers ran into the buzzsaw that is the eventual champs the Boston College Eagles losing 6-1 with Jackets prospect Jake Hansen scoring the team's only goal(i cant find video of the goal anywhere, here's the press conference). This was the last game for Jake at Minnesota ending his career with him scoring 77 points in 149 games(36-41-77) the leading scorer among the current roster. This was a career year for Jake which as I said numerous times this season led to Jake earning a pro contract(see above). As for Seth Ambroz he'll be returning to Minnesota next season as a sophomore, the Gophers are losing seven seniors and as of this writing it looks like no one is leaving school early to join the NHL. Now in a quick human interest style story Seth got to take part in a home run competition against the Minnesota Twin's Mascot T.C. and he kicked that Bear's butt knocking three home runs into Target Fields bleachers.

As for the Jackets NCAA prospects seven will be back on campus with another joining the college ranks not counting whatever may happen at the draft. Seth Ambroz as I said will be one of seven sophomores to be counted on with the team only having one senior next year that being Dman Seth Helgeson. Joining Ambroz will be BCHL star Dman Mike Reilly who's still playing in Penticton with the Doyle Cup starting Friday. Kevin Lynch will be one of five seniors at Michigan next season who'll have to pull a Jake Hansen/Sean Collins(Career year) to earn a contract after be the normal second round draft pick(draft pick graveyard). TJ Tynan will head back to Notre Dame(probably for the final season just saying) as one of 12 juniors and will remain part of the Irish's dynamic duo combining with Anders Lee. Tynan won the Irish's MVP(acceptance speech watch it the guy is loud on the mic) award this season and will only need five points to reach 100 career points,so probably within the first two weeks of the season. Thomas Larkin will play his senior year at Colgate probably serving as a captain after sharing with two other players this year. Drew Olson will be one of six seniors on the Bulldogs going for one last chance to win a second national title. Now to Martin Ouelette I don't know what to say about Martin other than... have you thought about transferring cause kid I don't see you getting on the ice much unless you have a real good summer. I say this because Martin served as fellow sophomore Dan Sullivan's back up most of the year only playing in nine games starting five and winning only one.

So there you have it folks the final season recap of the Jacket's AHL and NCAA prospects, I should be able to get to work on the second round recap fairly soon with three game sevens going on tonight and another tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

CBJ CHL Prospect 1st Round Playoff Review

With the Canadian Hockey League's three leagues finishing up there first rounds on Monday it's time to see how the Jacket's prospects did. Overall of the nine teams with a prospect eight moved on with only Boone Jenner and the Oshawa Generals being eliminated. As for the next round we have two matchups in which both teams have a Blue Jackets prospect including the WHL Western Conference Semifinal.

Boone Jenner-Oshawa(OHL)
Final Playoff Stats 6GP 4-7-11 +2 10PIM
Boone and the Generals had to take on the best team in the OHL Eastern Conference the Niagara Ice Dogs, the Gens gave the Dogs a scare when they won games three and four but ended up losing the series 4-2. Games one and two were all Ice Dogs outscoring Oshawa 14-3. Game three became the Boone Jenner show(game highlights from Niagara site) with him being part of five of the Generals six goals. Boone had a hat trick and two assists and was named third star in the win. Game four was another good night for Boone with him collecting a goal and two assists in the game four victory tying the series at 2. In game five Boone added three assists to his total with the secondary assists on all three General's goals, Boone would be held scoreless in the game six loss ending the Gens season. Boone's 11 points in this years playoff almost matched his 12 he had last year in 10 games. Boone is now finishing the season with the Springfield Falcons on a amateur tryout for the teams last five games.

Dalton Smith-Ottawa 67s(OHL)
Playoff Stats 6GP 0-1-1 -2 23PIM
I thought Dalton would have a big series against Belleville because of his regular season success but as usual I was wrong. In the six game series with the Bulls Dalton only had a assist in a game two victory. Dalton was back to his old physical self picking up his first major penalties since December when he fought Traverse City teammate Adam Payerl(who I think we should've signed) then in game five Dalton got in a little trouble. In the first period Dalton checked Bulls forward Daniil Zharkov(wasn't he the villain in Flash Gordon?) and I mean he drilled him, Zharkov would lay on the ice for a bit while Dalton mopped the floor with Luke Judson who stepped in after the hit earning a instigator. Now Dalton did receive a checking to the head penalty and the game misconduct that went with it but luckily he escaped suspension which was the right call. Dalton played in the game six victory helping the 67s advance, now they will face off with the Barrie Colts who made a massive turnaround this season going from 34 points last year to 85 this season. The Colts had the 67s number this season winning the season series 3-1 with two wins coming in a shootout and in overtime. Dalton played in all four games having two goals and two assists.

Brandon Archibald-Saginaw Spirit(OHL)
Playoff Stats 6GP 1-3-4 -1 10PIM
Brandon and the Spirit took on the Sarnia Sting and top draft prospect Nail Yakupov in the first round winning the series in six games. Brandon matched what he scored in most months in the regular season in the six game series. Starting off with a goal in game one when he scored on the power play. After being held scoreless in games two and three both Spirit overtime losses Brandon bounced back with two assists in game four including one on the game winner. In game six Brandon had another assist on the game's opening goal. Up next for the Spirit is the top team in the Western Conference the London Knights, London swept the season series winning all four games one by a shootout. Brandon only had a assist and was a -4.

Lukas Sedlák-Chicoutimi Sagueneens
Playoff Stats 6GP 3-1-4 +3 6PIM
Lukas and the Sags were a oddity in the QMJHL playoffs winning the only series that wasn't a sweep winning in six games. Lukas scored his first career playoff goal early in game two when he drove to the net and put it around the diving Titan goalie. Through games one and two Lukas was good at the faceoff dot winning two thirds of his draws then something happened in games three and four when he won only eleven of thirty four. He still found his way to the scoresheet having two goals in the teams game three overtime loss then adding a assist in a game four win. In games five and six Lukas was scoreless but started winning faceoffs winning 62%. In the next round the Sagueneens will faceoff against Shawinigan and fellow CBJ prospect Michael Chaput. In the regular season Chicoutimi lost six of the seven losing one each in overtime and a shootout. Lukas played in five of them missing the two because of Blue Jackets training camp and the World Juniors. Lukas had a goal and a assist in the regular season against Shawinigan.

Petr Sraka-Rimouski Oceanic(QMJHL)
Playoff Stats 4GP 2-2-4 +2 2PIM
The Oceanic swept the Foreurs in the first round, games one and two were identical 8-5 wins with Pete having a goal and a assist in game two. When the series switched to Val-d' Or the series got close. In game three after spotting the Foreurs a 2-0 lead the Oceanic came back with two second period goals. Petr had a assist on the tying goal then in the overtime Petr got past the defense and scored on a breakaway(3:35) to win it in OT. Petr would be held off the scoresheet in game four. In the next round the Oceanic will play the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and there exciting as a piece of blank paper color scheme. The teams played four times in the regular season with the series being a split one of Rimouski's wins being in a shootout. Petr played in three of the four games missing a early season game at Blue Jackets training camp. In the three games Petr had a goal and a assist being named third star in the game he scored a goal.
Mathieu Corbeil-Saint John Sea Dogs(QMJHL)
Playoff Stats 4GP 4-0 .918 SV% 2.00GAA
You gotta love the QMJHL playoffs the top 16 teams make it and its set up like a NCAA basketball region one plays sixteen and so on. So the one seed Saint John took on the 16 seed Cape Breton Screaming Eagles a team that was 54 points behind them in the standings. Game one the Birds might have startled the Dogs with the game being tied at two after the first. Whatever Gerard Gallant said at intermission worked because the Sea Dogs broke a 25 year old record by scoring eight goals in the second(yes you read that right), the game ended up being pretty close at 13-4. Games two through four Mathieu was back to his regular self allowing only a goal in games two and four but allowed two in game three. As for the next round the Sea Dogs will face off against the surprising Baie-Comeau Drakkar, I say surprising because the Drakkar finished in 13th playing the fourth place Victoriaville Tigres most predicted this as a sweep for the Tigres but they'd be wrong as Baie Comeau swept them. Quick note in that Baie-Comeau Victoriaville series you got to see this. The Sea Dogs and Drakkar played three times in a 10 day period with Corbeil posting a 30 save shutout in the only game he played in.
Michael Chaput-Shawinigan Cataractes(QMJHL)
Playoff Stats 4GP 3-2-5 +5 PIM
The Cataractes got the 15th place team Rouyn-Noranda and gave them just as quick a exit as Saint John gave Cape Breton. Michael was scoreless in game one but then was one of there best players scoring a goal and two assists with the assists coming on the last two goals of the game. Michael had a goal in games three and four and won 64% of his faceoffs winning 30 of 47. Michael is currently tied for second on the Cats in playoff scoring tied with three other players. Chaput and Shawinigan will play Chicoutimi in the next round, Sedlak played in five of the seven games the team played missing one at training camp and another because of a injury. In the five games Michael had two goals and four assists.
Austin Madaisky-Kamloops Blazers(WHL)
Playoff Stats 2GP 0-3-3 +3 4PIM
Austin only got to play in the Blazer's first two playoff games due to a suspension after taking a checking to the head penalty in game two. Now he did make his presence known on the scoresheet scoring three points in the first two games. In game one Austin had two assists (1:04 in both assists) in the Blazers 4-1 win, the next night just a minute twenty eight in is when he took the penalty I mentioned above. Now he was able to finish the game adding a assist in the third period. In the next round its the Portland Winterhawks and fellow CBJ prospect Oliver Gabriel in four games in the regular season the two team split the series with Madaisky having two assists in a overtime win.
Oliver Gabriel-Portland Winterhawks(WHL)
Playoff Stats 3GP 1-1-2 +2 4PIM
Oliver and the Hawks swept the Rockets with Oliver like Austin missing a game because of a suspension. Oliver scored (1:20) in the teams first game when after Penguins first round pick Joe Morrow followed his own rebound and centered it to Gabriel. Game two got a little heated with 91 penalty minutes getting handed out including two game misconducts and four 10 minute misconducts being given. After taking a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty earlier in the game Gabriel was called for slashing and was given a game misconduct. Now according to a writer I follow in Portland this was more for something Oliver said to a player not a official, whatever Gabriel said someone heard it and that earned Oliver a one game suspension. When Oliver returned for game four he added another point (4:45) when he got the puck to Morrow again who's blast was deflected by Taylor Leier. Next Round its like I said above its the Blazers and the Winterhawks for a spot in the Western Conference Final, because of getting to Portland late Oliver only played in two of the four regular season games playing in a split. Oliver had two goals in the Winterhawks victory being named first star.
Mike Reilly-Penticton Vees(BCHL)
Playoff Stats 11GP 1-5-6 8PIM
It was BCHL Coastal Conference Final for the Vees with them taking on the Merritt Centennials, in the five game series the Vees ended up on top by winning it 4-1. Mike only had two assists picking up one each in games two and five with both being on the power play. With the win that gives the Vees a spot in the Fred Page Cup championship(who??), Penticton will face off against the Powell River Kings the teams only met once in the regular season(being in different conferences and all). In the one game against the Kings Mike had a big game scoring a goal and adding three assists and was named second star in the 7-4 victory.
Well thats it for the first round folks the next round kicks off tonight with every prospect being in action. Ill be back after round two with updates on all the prospects with as many a five possibly moving barring upsets.

Monday, April 2, 2012

March 26-April 1 AHL/ECHL Review

Back again folks and with another small change of schedule with Penticton's Conference Semifinal starting this week Im gonna inlcude the Vees with the CHL when I do the first round update which should be out later this week.

Starting off in the AHL it was the Falcon's final three in three of the season with a home game eing sandwiched between two road games. Starting off on Friday in Bridgeport it was a rough one with the Falcons losing 6-2. Falcons goalie Paul Dainton got the start and didnt even make it 10 minutes in allowing three goals on 10 shots in only 6:58 of action. Mike Clemente came in and faired a little better stopping 23 of 26. Matt Calvert continued his strong play of late scoring his 17th goal of the season with Ryan Garlock scoring the other goal. Saturday it was back to the nest and the return of a old familiar face as Manny Legace made his first start since March 10th earning his 12th win of the season making 22 saves. Nick Drazenovic had his first two goal game of the season and has 10 points in his last 10 games with seven goals and three assists. Maksim Mayorov scored the other goal in a 3-1 win over Providence with Dane Byers having two assists. Sunday afternoon it was off to Worchesster to take on the Sharks with Legace getting the call again and again winning with the help of a AHL veteran picking up his first two goal game of the season. This game it was Andrew Joudrey picking up his first two goal game to give him 11 on the year. Joudrey's first goal of the night was a little bit special for one Falcon as just signed Sean Collins picked up his first professional point when he had a assist (start of the highlight...I have no idea why theres no sound) on Joudrey's first goal when Sharks goalie Harri Sateri let out a rebound that Joudrey just tapped in. Alexandre Giroux added his 25th goal of the season and the 365th of his career. Joudrey would add another goal late in the third to seal the deal. Seven Falcons had multiple points last week with Dane Byers, Nick Drazenovic and David Savard having three points with Savard and Byers having three assists while Drazenovic added a assist to go with his two goals. Joudrey was the only other mutliple goal score while Brent Regner and Martin St Pierre had two assists. Matt Calvert is on a eight game point streak with a goal and a assist before missing Sunday's game with a injury. Just announced today(4/2) the Falcons offense could be recieving a boost as 2011 second round pick Boone Jenner will be joining the team on a Amateur Tryout for the rest of the season.

In the ECHL it was the final week of the regular season for the Express and even if they went 3-0 they would need a bit of help to make the playoffs. The Express went 2-1 last week which wasnt quite enough as they only missed making the playoffs in its inagural season by losing a tiebreaker for wins in the season. Steven Delisle was the only player to score last week scoring his first pro goal of his career also adding a assist in a 4-2 win over Cincinnati for his first career multi point game. Steven Delisle was the only Jacket prospect that spent the majority of the season in Chicago with Taylor Ellington coming over at the trade deadline and Allen "The World Traveler" York being all over the place. In 38 games Delisle had a goal and three assists for four points on the season with three coming in the last two weeks. Ellington had 11 points in 17 games and was second among Express defenseman with 33 points in 72 games splitting the season with Chicago and Kalamazoo. York went 4-4-1 in 11 appearences in Chicago with a 3.28 GAA and a .928 save percentage.

Anton Forsberg-MODO(Sweden)
Forsberg and the MODO U20 team played in a semifinal game last weeka against Linkopings HC losign 5-4 in overtime. Forsberg got the start and made 37 saves in the loss, in the third place game against Rogle losing 4-2 with backup Linus Ullmark starting that game. As for next season Im not sure what will happen with Anton theres not a capgeek for Swedish hockey(as far as I know not that I could read it) I dont know if hes signed for next season or if a CHL team could draft him in the Import Draft and maybe get him some playing time. If hes stuck behind Tellqvist again itll probably a lot like this year serving as his backup but he could play for the Sweden in the World Juniors when they are played in Russia next year.

Well this was a quick one later this week I should have the First Round wrap up of the CHL playoffs as most have moved on also including the Vees. As for next week the NCAA prospects will be finishing up as the Frozen Four gets underway with CBJ prospects Seth Ambroz and Jake Hansen playing for Minnesota. They play Boston College on Thursday in the late game, shocker folks the game with the two heavy hitters getting primetime while the two nobodies(Union and Ferris State being the early game.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 19-25 Minor League/NCAA Prospect Week in Review

The Springfield Falcons continue to fight for there playoff lives sitting only three points out of eight place with eight games remaining. Any more weekends like last week will probably doom the Falcons. Springfield went 0-2-1 last week losing to Adirondack on Saturday and Sunday after losing to Bridgeport in a shootout on Friday. Leading the way was Matt Calvert who had a goal and three assists adding to his current six game point streak in which he has three goals and five assists. Nicholas Drazenovic had his five game goal/point streak snapped in Sunday's loss. The only other players with multiple points were Dane Byers who's goal was the 100th of his professional career(99 AHL 1 NHL) and Maksim Mayorov who had two assists.
Another busy week for the Express with the team playing four games winning three of four. Taylor Ellington continued his strong play since being acquired picking up goals in the three wins. Ellington has 10 points in 14 games with the Express after having 22 in 55 games with the Wings...The Kalamazoo Wings that is. Steven Delisle found his way back onto the scoresheet for the first time since November when he assisted on Ellington's 10 of the season. Somehow I missed the fact that after last week the ECHL regular season is over and the Express are in a dogfight for eighth in the Eastern Conference tied with three other teams and only two points out of seventh. One of the games is against a team its tied with playing Cincinnati on Tuesday then playing the third place team the Kalamazoo Wings who sit in third right now.
As I said last week a slight change in schedule as this post is just about the NCAA kids plus Mike Reilly and Anton Forsberg who I found out has been playing with the MODO under 20 team so ill have a bit more on him since I have to catch up. Im gonna keep this ouick on Martin Ouelette since his stats havent changed since his last appearance in February when he got a whole whopping 5:49 of action in a 7-3 smashing of UMass. Ouelette sat on the bench in the Black Bears loss to Minnesota-Dulth in the Regional Semifinal, Ouelette played in nine games going 1-3-0 with a 3.42 GAA and a .871 save percentage. I dont see things getting better as Dan Sullivan appears to have the number one job locked in and he'll be a junior like Ouelette next season.
Sean Collins-Cornell(ECAC)
Stats 35GP 13-13-26 +3 12PIM
Collins and Cornell was the only team with a Jackets prospect to win on Friday. In the win over Michigan Collins had 2 assists(#12 in the highlights) in the win over the one seed Wolverines. Then in Saturday's loss to the surprising Ferris St Bulldogs Collins was held scoreless. In his senior year Sean had a career year setting highs in goals, assists and points. In his four years at Cornell Sean had 57 points(30-27-57) in 136 games.
Trent Vogelhuber, Will Weber-Miami(CCHA)
Stats TV-39Gp 4-10-14 +7 55PIM WW- 40GP 0-4-4 +3 69PIM
Both Trent and Will's collegiate careers came to a end on Friday in the Redhawks 4-3 overtime loss to UMass-Lowell. Vogelhuber had the only point for the Jacket prospects scoring the goal that began Miami's comeback with his fourth of the season. In four years Trent had 51 points(21-30-51) in 149 games which is sixth among players on this year's team. Will had 30 points(5-25-30) in 154 games also collecting 263 which is sixth all time.
Kevin Lynch-Michigan(CCHA)
Stats 39G 8-5-13 -3 30PIM
Lynch's trip to the NCAA tournament didnt last as long as last year's run to the title game after losing to Cornell in the opening round. Lynch had a goal called back in the first period but got redemption because he ending up scoring with 4:01 left in the third to send the game into overtime which the Wolverines ended up losing in overtime.(the goal is in the highlight above in Collins review about 2:30 in). Lynch ended up finishing tied for ninth on Michigan in scoring with 13 points in 39 games down from 16 his first two years at Ann Arbor.
Seth Ambroz, Jake Hansen-Minnesota(WCHA)
Stats SA-40GP 5-3-8 E 53PIM JH-42GP 15-22-37 +18 56PIM
On to the only NCAA prospects ill be writing about next week as the Gophers are the only team with Jacket's prospects that won its regional championship. In the Gophers two wins Seth was held off the scoresheet but was even. Jake Hansen on the other hand was a star in the game, Jake scored two goals(1:07 first goal 2:00 second goal) including the game winner. Jake scored his first goal in his usual fashion on the power play by a tip in on the power play while the second was probably the hardest empty net goal of his career. The next day it was a rematch of WCHA Final Five semifinals against North Dakota in the win Jake added to his point streak with a assist giving him seven in the last six games. Next weekend the Gophers will face off against the Boston College Eagles in one of the two Frozen Four finals.
Drew Olson-Minnesota-Duluth(WCHA)
Stats 41GP 1-7-8 +7 51PIM
Drew had his usual weekend going scoreless in the weekend split at the NCAA Regional. In the Bulldogs win over Maine Drew was a +1. The next day in a 4-0 loss to Boston College in the Regional Final Drew was even. Drew had a career highs in assists and points this season and will be one of the seven seniors returning only two being on defense.
Mike Reilly-Penticton(BCHL)
Playoff Stats 6GP 1-3-4 8PIM
The Vees played games four, five and six last week winning games five and six by a combined score of 8-2 including a 4-0 win in game six. In the game five victory Mike had two assists in the victory for his only points last week. Mike and the Vees move onto the Interior Conference final against the Merritt Centennials, in six games against the Centennials this season Mike had four goals and nine assists for 13 points.
Anton Forsberg-MODO(Sweden)
As I said above I missed something with MODO(sue me for missing something in a foreign language) while the big club was still in the playoffs Forsberg played with the U20 team on the 17th in there playoffs Forsberg started against Timra losing in overtime stopping 26 of 29 in the loss. On the 22nd MODO faced off with Farjestads Anton loss again stopping 23 of 28 in a 5-3 loss, Forsberg was given a night off with backup or starter(I have no idea) Linus Ullmark won 2-0 thus following hockey rules you give him the start and Ullmark lasted all of 2:19 before turning it over to Forsberg when Linus and his Blanket(I had to) stopped one of three shots. Coming on in relief Anton stopped 26 of 27 in a 4-3 overtime win helping MODO advance to the next round where they will face off against Linkopings HC.
There you have it folks this week's prospect week in review my next post will probably be my CHL 1st round review and it should be really positive as most have a 2-0 lead.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Stop It Right Here: The Anatomy of a Goal

In the Blue Jackets victory over the Hurricanes last night, R.J. Umberger scored his first hat trick in three years, Derick Brassard was fantastic, and Jack Johnson contributed two assists, including the 100th of his career. However, I would like to take a look at the lone goal allowed by Steve Mason during his 39 save game. Before I get into the breakdown, let's take a look:

This goal was a typical hockey goal. That may sound reductive, but most goals are not the result of one great play by the offensive player or one terrible miscue by a defensive player. Instead, they come from one breakdown leading to another, then to another, with the cascade of mistakes leading to a goal. In my estimation, this goal includes eight miscues by seven different players. Let's review them in reverse order:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

CBJ CHL Prospect Season Review/Playoff Preview

Hello all back again yes two posts in one week I'm a wild man. This will be one part week in review one part season review and finally one part playoff preview as all our CHL prospects made the playoffs.

Boone Jenner
Regular Season Stats 43GP 22-27-49 +12 59PIM
Boone and the Generals had four games last week going 1-2-1. Boone had a goal and 3 assists last week including a goal and a assist in a win over Peterborough. Boone ended the year with nine points in eight games in March after missing all of February with a concussion. Jenner finished fifth on the Generals with 49 points in 43 games played(22-27-49). Boone missed 25 games overall either because of injury or because of playing in the World Juniors. Jenner was named the OHL Eastern Conference's Hardest Working Player and finished second for the Best on Faceoffs award in a coach's poll. Boone and the Generals made the OHL playoffs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference they'll now faceoff against the Niagara IceDogs. The IceDogs scored the most goals in the OHL and feature three of the top 15 picks in this years draft. Boone and then Generals only played the Dogs twice in the regular season splitting the series with Boone having a goal and a assist in the win and missing the loss due to his concussion.

Dalton Smith
Regular Season Stats 53GP 15-10-25 -8 65PIM
Dalton went scoreless in the 67s three games last week(he went scoreless in his last 12 technically but details details). It was another down year for Dalton but he was signed by the Jackets before the year so he's set for next season. The 67s won the OHL's East Division for the second year in a row and hope to last longer in the playoffs then they did last year when they were swept by the Sudbury Wolves. This years opponents are the seven seed Belleville Bulls who the 67s dominated in the regular season going 7-0-1 against the Bulls. The Bulls better watch out for Dalton on multiple fronts both physically and on the scoresheet. In the team's season opener Dalton plowed/launched a flying elbow into Belleville goalie and top draft prospect Malcolm Subban(who I think the Jackets should draft with the LA pick if we have) earning Dalton a game misconduct and a 10 game suspension. In the other five games Dalton had five goals and five assists including his first OHL hat trick.

Brandon Archibald
Regular Season Stats 67GP 1-15-16 +8 65PIM
Brandon went scoreless in the Spirit's three wins last week but showed maybe he is more of a shutdown D as he was a +5 all in a 7-1 win over first round opponent the Sarnia Sting. Im not sure what I can say about Brandon for this year again as I said maybe I shouldn't worry about points amd how he is defensively because since February Brandon was a +14(and I know a lot of you don't like +/- leave me alone it's all I've got). The Spirit enter the playoffs as the five seed which has to be impressive seeing as they only won 2 of there first 10(sound familiar) and being sellers at the deadline dealing among others 6'7 defenseman Jamie Olesniak. So the Spirt get to face off with the four see the Sarnia Sting that have(when healthy) two of the top NHL draft prospects the possible Jacket(I want us to draft him but that's me)Nail Yakupov and Alec Galchenyuk. In six games against the Sting the Spirit went 2-4 winning the last two. In the six games Brandon had 3 assists and was a +7 being a +9 in the two wins.

Lukas Sedlák
Regular Season Stats 50GP 17-28-45 +24 57PIM
Lukas returned from a shoulder injury last week and went scoreless to finish the season. Sedlák like Jenner also missed time with injuries and playing in the World Junior tournament. Sedlák was the Sagueneens leading rookie scorer and was sixth on the team and 12th in the league. Sedlák went on tear from November to January scoring 31 points in 23 games also scoring his first hat trick. According to the teams announcer that I follow Sedlák played on Chicoutimi's top line all year. In the playoffs Chicoutimi will play Acadie-Bathurst in the 8-9 matchup. The teams played twice in the regular season earning a split with the Titan winning in overtime, Lukas had a goal and a assist in the series.

Petr Straka
Regular Season Stats 54GP 18-19-37 -9 41PIM
Straka and the Oceanic went 1-1 last week withe Petr earning a assist in a win over Chicoutimi. Straka bounced back from a bad second season scoring 12 more points in 13 more games but still down from his 64 point rookie season. The Oceanic will face the Val-d'Or Foreurs in the 7-10 matchup, the Foreurs won the season series going 3-1 with one win coming in overtime. Straka missed the first two games while he was at Jackets training camp both losses. In the other two games Petr had two goals and a assist.

Mathieu Corbeil
Regular Season Stats 48GP 37-10-1 .910Sv% 3.28GAA 6SO 2 assists
The Sea Dogs closed the season out with a three game win streak with Mathieu Corbeil winning two of them. Against his old team Halifax Mathieu came within 17 minutes of tying the QMJHL shutout record. Then after a night off in which his backup had a shutout setting a new Q record for shutouts by a team then in a rematch the next night against first round punching bag uhh I mean opponent Cape Breton, despite starting out slow the Dogs hung on to win 6-3. Corbeil was pulled in the third period stopping 16 of 19 but still earned the win. Mathieu made the Sea Dogs rewrite its record book setting new season records for wins(37), shutouts(6) and career wins(50). Mathieu also won the QMJHL's Jacques Plante Memorial Trophy for lowest GAA(2.38), Corbeil was among the league leaders in every star including leading the league in wins, shutouts and GAA. Mathieu helped the Sea Dogs become the first Q team to win 50 games, the regular season title and have 100 points three years in a row. The Sea Dogs and Screaming Eagles have played each other in the first round in three of the last four years. I said punching bag earlier because last year the Dogs out scored the Eagles 26-2 in of course a four game sweep. The Q does it's playoffs like a NCAA bracket with 1 playing 16 and so on with only one team not making the playoffs. They played each other 6 times with Corbeil winning 4 of them with a 2.83GAA and a .896 save percentage. The Eagles won one game in the series and that's when Saint John was decimated by NHL training camps early in the year.

Michael Chaput
Regular Season Stats 57GP 21-42-63 +39 47PIM
Chaput and the Cataractes finished the season with a weekend split with Michael having a assist in each game to give him 42 on the season adding to his career high. Chaput set new highs in assists and points in helping Shawinigan win the Telus East Dividion after coming to the team in the Lewiston dispersal draft, Chaput led the Cats in assists playing on a line with 40 goal scorer Anton Zlobin(who I think we should sign) and MAINEiacs teammate Kirill Kabanov. Michael won 62% of the faceoffs he took this season including one three game set that he only lost 12 of 63 draws or 81%. Shawinigan will play Rouyn-Noranda in the 2-15 matchup the teams split the regular season with Michael having a goal and two assists missing one of the losses at Jackets camp.

Austin Madaisky
Regular Season Stats 70GP 13-37-50 +21 85PIM
Austin and the Blazers went 1-2 last week with Austin having a assist in the win. Austin finished the season with career highs in goals(13), assists(37) and points(50) with his previous high in points being 27. Madaisky led the Blazers D in scoring and finished among the leaders in the WHL. 11 of Austin's 13 goals were on the power play. Austin came the closest of all the CHL prospects to play in every game missing only two because of a suspension in February. Austin helped the Blazers win it's first BC Division title in 10 years, the Blazers will play the Victoria Royals in the 2-7 matchup of the Western Conference. In eight games this year the Blazers won seven of them, Austin played in seven missing the last because of the suspension. In the seven games Austin had three assists and was a +6.

Oliver Gabriel
Regular Season Stats 39GP 20-22-42 +15 32
Oliver had the best week of the prospects last week scoring four goals and a assist. Starting off on Wednesday Oliver scored his 17th goal of the year in a 4-3 loss to Victoria and was held off the scoresheet in the rematch on Friday. Sunday would be the last regular season game of Oliver's WHL career as he's one of the Hawks three 20 year olds and he decided to go out in style. In the game that Seattle had to win to make the playoffs the Winterhawks of course had other ideas handing the Thunderbirds a 8-2 loss. In the win Oliver became the only Jacket's prospect with multiple hat tricks this season going with his one in January also adding a assist and was named first star. Oliver started the year out in Springfield with the Falcons but was sent back in late November to get some playing time and boy did he playing a pivotal role on the third line scoring career highs in goals, assists and points for the second year in a row. In his WHL career Oliver played in 171 games scoring 109 points including 74 over the last two years. Oliver and the WInterhawks will now play the Kelowna Rockets and there little green lizard logo(its something to do with like a local loch nessesque legend). The Winterhawks swept the Rockets in the regular season with Oliver playing in two of the four games scoring a goal.

Well there you have it folks a week in review, a season review and a playoff preview all in one big post. As I said in my earlier post the schedule will change for these posts as I'm going to start waiting until each round is over before doing a write up so to keep up to date follow @CBJprospects and as always thanks for reading my nonsense.

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 12-18 Prospect Week in Review Part 1

Hello all first things first a small change of schedule, starting next week ill have the review for the two pro development leagues(AHL, ECHL)then a update on players in the NCAA tournament and finishing with how Mike Reilly and Anton Forsberg are doing in there playoffs.

Starting off in Springfield another weekend of three in three for the Falcons and with Allen York traveling with the Blue Jackets and Paul Dainton dealing with family issues the Falcons needed a goalie they signed Brown University goalie Mike Clemente who went 2-0 including picking up his first career shutout in a win over Connecticut. The Falcons went 2-1 last week with the loss coming to Providence on Sunday. Nick Drazenovic led the Falcons in scoring last week with goal in each game also adding two assists. Matt Calvert also had four points including a goal and a assist against Providence and has six points in his last five games. The only other players with multiple points were Martin St. Pierre with two assists against Portland and Dalton Prout had a goal and a assits and Brent Regner had two assists to continue to lead Falcons Dmen in scoring. As of this writing the Falcons were only a point out of eight place somehow being in 10th place despite having more wins than 9th.

Onto Chicago heres Jacket's defenseman prospects Steven Delisle wearing the Express' St Patrick's Day jersey. In four games last week the Express went 1-2-1 with Delisle being held off the scoresheet and Taylor Ellington adding to his season high five game point streak. Ellington had his first multi point game when he had two assists in a overtime loss to Trenton.

Quickly for the non scoring prospects sorry folks I had this all written out then out of nowhere I lost pretty much the whole thing. Thomas Larkin was scoreless in the Raiders two losses ending his season with 14 points in 37 games. Thomas was named third team all league during the leagues award banquet. Martin Ouelette did his usual in the Black Bears win against Boston University then a loss to Boston College. Maine will play Minnesota-Duluth in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Both Trent Vogelhuber and Will Weber went scoreless as the Redhawks lost to eventual champion Western Michigan then beating the suprising Bowling Green in the CCHA tournament. Miami will play UMass-Lowell in the NCAA Tournament. Kevin Lynch went scoreless in a opposite weekend of the Hawks beating the Falcons then losing to the Broncos. Lynch and the Wolverines are the top seed of the Midwest regional and will play Cornell. Seth Ambroz was scoreless in the Gopher's loss to North Dakota he and Jake Hansen will play Boston University in the first round. TJ Tynan was named first team all CCHA at the leagues award banquet. Tynan will enter needing five points to break the 100 point barrier.

Sean Collins-Cornell
Cornell had a little better weekend than Colgate losing to Harvard in a semifinal then winning the consolation game against Colgate. Collins had a point in each game picking up a assist(5:00 in) in the loss. Then in the consolation game Collins scored his 13th goal of the season late in the first period. Collins will face the top seed Michigan in the first round of the tournament in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Jake Hansen-Minnesota
Hansen and the Gophers got off to a hot start leading 3-1 before losing the game 6-3. Hansen scored his 13th goal of the season just five seconds into a power play when he tipped a Erik Huala point shot. Minnesota will be the home team for the West Regional as its being held in St Paul at the Xcel Enery Center.

Drew Olson-Minnesota Duluth
Drew and the Bulldogs lasted a bit longer than the Gophers but only because he played in the longest Final Five game ever losing to Denver in double overtime. Olson had two assists one on a Bulldogs goal the other on a Pioneers goal. Olson was trying to ring the puck around when it bounced off the ref and it was off to the races for a Denver goal. But Olson did have a assist on Jack Connolly's third period goal. Drew and the Bulldogs will play Maine in the first round of the playoffs in Worcester.

Mike Reilly-Penticton
Mike and the Vees started the playoffs last week, and after winning 54 of 60 games people probably thought this would be a quick series and it could still be one but itll at least take 5 games. Friday night went as expected with the Vees winning 6-1 with Mike picking up a assist on Steven Fogarty's first period goal. Saturday night the Vees came back from being down 2-0 to tie the game but lost in overtime to make it a 1-1 series.

Anton Forsberg-MODO
Anton hasnt made it into any of the five MODO playoff games and I dont see him making it into any of the few that may remain. MODO was down 2-0 then won the next two to make it 2-2 before losing game 5.
As I always say I thank you for reading my nonsense and again apologize for being so quick. Next ill have to work on the CHL prospects season review/playoff review as all nine made the playoffs four as division champs.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The State of the Blue Jackets Prospect Pool

The Hockey News Future Watch issue came out recently and with me being the CBJ fanbase's resident prospect guru(geek if you wanna be a jerk bout it) it got the little hamster wheel in my head spinning about what we have coming down the pipeline. The farthest I could go back in past Future Watch issues is 2009 when the Jackets had a A- which put the Jackets among the top 7 teams. In 2010 the team dropped to 10th with a B grade keeping that grade also in 2011. This years issue is when it gets ugly dropping to 24th with a C+. After this season the Blue Jackets prospect pool takes a beating with nine of the 21 prospects Ive been keeping track of all season needing to be signed or they become a free agent or reenter the draft. Now of course the team cant sign all nine that would put the team way over the 50 contract limit and lets face it most haven't done enough to earn a contract with the team. The nine are made up of players picked in the 2010 draft or are from other drafts and are seniors finishing there college careers.

D-Brandon Archibald(10 Draft)
C-Michael Chaput(10 Draft Philadelphia pick)
C-Sean Collins(08 Draft NCAA SR)
G-Mathieu Corbeil(10 Draft)
RW-Jake Hansen(07 Draft NCAA SR)
D-Austin Madaisky(10 Draft)
RW-Petr Straka(10 Draft)
RW-Trent Vogelhuber(07 Draft NCAA SR)
D-Will Weber(07 Draft NCAA SR)

Now of course this is me just throwing out my opinion(but isn't that what blogging is all about?) of who should and shouldn't be signed. Of the nine I think five should be signed, those five are Michael Chaput, Mathieu Corbeil, Jake Hansen, Austin Madaisky and Will Weber. I say these five because they do what prospects should do fill a need. Remember what Antoine Vermette and Sammy Pahlsson did well? Win faceoffs and that's one of the things Michael Chaput does best finishing in the top 10 in the Q in faceoffs win(they do wins instead of by percentage..that make no sense to anyone else?). Chaput won 62 percent of the faceoffs he took this season and set a career high with 63 points in 57 games. Given some time in the AHL which he could play in next season or go back to Shawinigan to count as one of the team's three 20 year olds I see Michael as a third line center with skill As for Mathieu Corbeil my main and only reason is...HES A GOALIE AND WE HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN TERMS OF GOALIE DEPTH NEXT SEASON!!!! Sorry for shouting but for next season the Jackets have Steve Mason and Allen York under contract and that's it, now I've thrown out the idea of resigning Mark Dekanich on a two way deal and people didn't disagree with as much as I thought they would and now the possible resigning of Shawn Hunwick throws a small monkey wrench into this line of thinking. Corbeil is 6'6 and is among the QMJHL leaders including winning the QMJHL award for lowest GAA now I know Corbeil has played for a juggernaut in Saint John but we all know the NHL is going bigger in net and 6'6 is exactly that. Now for Jake Hansen if you wouldve asked me before the season if the CBJ were gonna sign Hansen before the season i would've laughed in your face but as the old cliche goes "that's why you play the games". Going into his senior year Hansen had 39 points in 106 career games but like most athletes when they need a contract they have a career year. In 40 games this year Jake has almost matched his career total with 34 points and he still has to play in the NCAA tournament. Hansen could help the always anemic Jackets power play since almost half of his career goals are on the power play, it seems like most of the goal highlights of Hansen are him putting his 6'2 frame in front of the crease and scoring on a tip in. Austin Madaisky was amongst the WHL leading D scorers all season finishing with career highs in goals, assists and points almost doubling his previous high of 27 with a 50 point season. Now could his success be because the Blazers were one of the best teams in the WHL well its possible but Austin had 27 points the previous two season one that included being traded midseason and suffering a spinal injury last season. Austin will also help the Jackets power play with 11 of his 13 goals being scored on the power play. Austin could also go back to the WHL and play as a 20 year old. Last but not least is Will Weber, Weber is a rarity among the Jackets defensive prospects as in he's a true defensive defensemen. Weber will not score much but if you want to score Will's gonna make you pay for it. Only scoring 30 points in 154 games he's put up 263 penalty minutes which is sixth among RedHawks all time. After some time in the AHL Will could be a physical presence on the Jackets blueline.

For the four I don't think will get signed I'm not gonna bash them it just didn't work out, two of them are seventh round picks where the odds of picking a NHL player are slim to none...unless you're the Detroit Red Wings(author curses quietly and weeps). Recently the Jackets/Falcons have shown why I should stick to playing GM on Xbox 360 as two of the four I didn't think should be signed(I've been working on this a few days) have been signed by the teams. Both Sean Collins and Trent Vogelhuber the two seventh round picks were signed to ATOs with Collins also signing a two year entry level contract. Another is a second round pick or the round I call(cue horror music) the draft pick graveyard. In two years since being drafted he hasn't scored as many points as he had his draft year. As for Brandon Archibald I kinda feel bad writing this, the couple times ive talked to him seems like a nice kid but his stats won't wow you even though he has almost as many points after being drafted as before. It's just I don't see him better than any of the prospects we have.

As for next season starting off in Springfield and going off capgeek's contract years of the players currently on Springfield only three forwards, four defensemen(one in Chicago)and a goalie are signed for next season. Those players are Matt Calvert, Andrew Joudrey and Tomas Kubalik at Forward, Anton Blomqvist, Steven Delisle Cody Goloubef and Dalton Prout on defense and Allen York as I said above. Now seven players on Springfield are RFAs so most of those could be brought back. Three of those seven have played some with the Jackets this season those being Dane Byers, Maksim Mayorov and the fanbase's early season fan favorite Cody Bass. As for rookies other than the ones we need to sign above Oliver Gabriel will be back after starting the year in Springfield before being sent back to Portland and Dalton Smith who could play in Springfield or go back to the 67s. Now with Boone Jenner signing lately he'll be in the same boat as Ryan Johansen this season having to either play in Columbus or going back to Oshawa probably serving as captain for the second straight season.

As for the unsigned prospects the Jackets will have 9 also adding at least 8 new prospects barring any trades. Those 9 are Seth Ambroz, Kevin Lynch, Lukas Sedlák and TJ Tynan at forward. Thomas Larkin, Drew Olson and Mike Reilly on defense and Martin Ouelette in goal. Most of these guys are in the CHL the exceptions are Larkin and Lynch who will be seniors while Tynan and Ouelette will be juniors and Forsberg will still be in Sweden unless goalie coach Ian Clarke has his way. Another thing about next year is ill finally be able to compare Mike Reilly with the other prospects, Ive had a hard time this season since the BCHL is a step below the WHL and most players are playing there to keep there NCAA eligibilty. So scoring a lot in the BCHL might not equal success, heard of Kyle Turris playing in the BCHL made him the third overall pick but id say he's still trying to realize that potential if he ever does. Ambroz could see a bump in ice time as Minnesota is losing five senior forwards including Jake Hansen who normally was a line above Ambroz when they post the line sheet. Ambroz and Reilly will be teammates at Minnesota next season.

As for what we need to look for in the draft I think we need a little bit of everything and if you follow me on twitter you know my take on this trading the 1st or 2nd pick nonsense. But if you want to put a priority on things I'd say we need to add at least three defensemen of varying playing styles, a goalie in rounds two through four no more seventh round picks like the last two years in fact maybe two goalies. Last but not least and I harped on this earlier this season a true goal scorer I mean outside of Cam Atkinson and possibly Matt Calvert the Jackets don't have a true goal scoring threat. Now if the Jackets draft who I want them to pick if we pick first that'll help fill this need and will more than likely play in Columbus next year. I say this because you have to go back to when Erik Johnson was selected that the 1st pick didn't play after being drafted.

So like I said this is just my take on the Jackets prospect pool. I plan on attending the NHL draft in Pittsburgh so I'll have on the spot updates and I'll probably see some of you at the Draft Lottery Tweetup at BW3 on April 10th.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 5-11 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Sorry for the delay folks lets get on it, oh those wacky Springfield Falcons first they go 3-0 dominatating weekend then a 0-3 getting smacked around weekend and last week...a little of both. Starting off in ManchVegas(Manchester no idea why its called that) it was a 3-0 loss for the birds. Saturday's game was a little wacky almost doing a Blue Jackets impression. After roaring(squawking? nevermind)to a 4-1 first period lead the Crunch then came back to make it 5-4 ill goaltender Manny Legace pulled himself turning things over to Paul Dainton. With 1:53 left in the second the Falcons were awarded a penalty shot and it was Cody Bass that got to take the shot...wait a minute CODY BASS??? the same Cody Bass that was here earlier this year? Well the Crunch's goalie mustve fell asleep cause Bass converted the chance to give the Falcons a 6-4 lead. The Crunch scored later but that was it as Springfield won 6-5(goals from the game). Next night it was time for some bird on bird violence as the baby Penguins came to town. It was a back and forth affair ending in a shootout loss for the Falcons. But in the second period when ex NHL goon Steve MacIntyre decided to lose his damn mind attacking anything wearing white including the six inches shorter and 65 pounds lighter Falcon's goalie Paul Dainton. MacIntyre earned a match penalty and a four game suspension for the incident.

Onto Chicago seems like every team in the Blue Jackets organization can find a free agent goalie...except the Blue Jackets that is. With Allen York recalled the Express signed Vermont goalie Rob Madore who won 41 games for the Catamounts(only 13 his JR,SR years though). Madore set a Express record for most saves in a game when he made 41 saves in a 5-2 loss then stopping all 26 in his second career start in a 2-0 win. Taylor Ellington played in both games picking up a assist in the win giving him two points in six games, Steven Delisle only played in the shutout win.

In the CHL it was either score a point or nothing at all, Lukas Sedlak missed all three of the Sagueneens games dealing with his shoulder injury from last week. Brandon Archibald and the Spirit split its two games last week with Archibald having no points and was a +1. Dalton Smith and the 67s went 1-2 with Smith being held off the scoresheet and was a -3.

The Potential Trading of the Number One Pick

There has been plenty of discussion (or from what I have seen, more so dispair) regarding the reports that the Blue Jackets are shopping their potential first overall pick in the upcoming draft.  With thirteen regular season games remaining, Columbus sits eight points back of 29th Edmonton, and thirteen points back of 28th place Montreal.  While nothing is impossible, I am reasonably confident at this point that Columbus will finish 30th, and pending a disaster at the lottery, will own the 1st pick in the upcoming draft.

So why trade it? What real value does that pick hold for a team like Columbus, primed to 'rebuild' or 'reshape' this year?  I think there are a couple very good reasons;

First, the Russian factor.  Admittedly both Yakupov and Grigorenko are very different scenarios from former first round picks Zherdev and Filatov, but it doesn't open the door for comfort, at least from where I am standing.  Yakupov is a great interview and has been suggested to have a tremendous work ethic, but recently suffered his second concussion of the season.  He has also had his knee surgically repaired.  Both of these injuries cause reason to be concerned about his long term health, and while they aren't going to plummet his draft value too much, will probably bring him a bit closer to the pack.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Johansen Needs to Earn His Spot

A lot has been made of Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Ryan Johansen being benched for a handful of games down the stretch.  Much has also been made of him playing on the bottom six of the roster while he is in the lineup.  A quick comparison could easily be made for Johansen and Richards versus Derick Brassard under former coach Scott Arniel.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to really consider what factors are coming into play.

To begin, let me point out that I was strongly against the under utilization of Brassard early in the season.  While Brass was left gasping for air on the fourth line, the playmaking center made good use of his time there learning to play a more physical role and becoming a more complete player.  Despite countless games full of effort, he was left watching from the press box.  This is where I believe he and Johansen stand apart.

The Johan does not appear to be pouring out effort during his games on the ice.  When I think about the top rookies in the league, or even watch the play of a rookie like Cam Atkinson, I watch a feverish style of hockey with great speed and effort.  I recognize that Johansen and Atkinson have different traits, with Atkinson being the smaller, speedier of the two, but that should not justify the level of difference as I have seen.  In fact, there have been a number of games this year where Johansen has played with a great deal of tenacity and speed, only to seemingly fall back on a similarly sluggish style of play games later.  I can also cite his time with Team Canada in the U20 World Junior Championship or a number of his highlights from his junior days with Portland, where he shows a great deal of speed and tenacity on and off the puck.