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.