The Blue Jackets prospects team lost 3-2 on Thursday to the defending Traverse City Prospect Tournament champions the Buffalo Sabres (are you still the defending champs if they skip a year?). The Jackets put themselves into a 2-0 hole quickly that they could not dig out of when, at 3:10 in, they were down 2-0 off goals by Nicholas Baptiste and Justin Bailey. To add to the frustration, Bailey’s goal occurred just after a penalty had expired.
The Jackets would get on the board late in the first when 2013 second round pick Dillon Heatherington would fire a blast from the point. Ultimately, however, penalties would kill the Jackets. The team gave the Sabres 1:12 of a five on three when 2013 first round pick Rasmus Ristolainen struck to make it 3-1. Midway through the second period with Buffalo on the power play, free agent invite Alex Aleardi would be off to the races on a breakaway going top shelf on goaltender Nathan Lieuwen. That’s how the game would end – even with the Jackets pulling goaltender Oscar Dansk. Dansk would make 19 saves in the loss. Tomorrow, the Jackets face the Carolina Hurricanes who defeated the New York Rangers 4-3 today at 3:30.
Alex Aleardi was all over the place using his speed to create chances and he not being afraid to go to the net. Oliver Bjorkstrand waimpressive, not only because of his play with the puck but also considering he saw time on – and impressed – on the PK. Ryan Murray was what you’d expect from a player drafted second overall: very composed, solid defensively, and even taking the puck almost the entire length of the ice.
I’m no scout but it looked like Nick Moutrey had an off day. I know I’m judging one game with a group of guys that have hardly skated together so that’s just my opinion. Thomas Larkin deflected a puck into his face but missed no time. A few other players appeared to block shots that I’ll say stunned them (may have caught JD talking with the trainer but I dropped no eaves).
Josh Anderson wanted a piece of someone wearing blue and yellow but found no takers. Invite Dakota Mermis impressed with his play – the kid is an impressive skater and made a few good D plays – I just wish he was a bigger. The Springfield Falcons trio of Michael Chaput, Dalton Smith and Jake Hansen served as the captain and two alternates with Chaput serving as captain.