We’re back at it – yesterday we had our update on Springfield and our European prospects and today we bring you part II – an update on our North American prospects in action – read on!
Oscar Dansk-Erie Otter (OHL)
Season Stats 19GP 13-3-1-0 2.24GAA .917Sv% 4SO
Oscar played in two of the Otters three games this week. Devin Williams started in the team’s opening win over Guelph before turning things over to Oscar in a back to back with Mississauga. In the first game against the Steelheads, Oscar had 26 saves in a 6-0 win – his second shutout against Mississauga. In his three shutouts the Otters have outscored their opponents 17-0. Oscar started again in the rematch on Saturday and stopped 18 of 19 in a 7-1 victory, allowing only one goal midway through the second period. Oscar was given a night off in the Otters game with Peterborough – a 6-2 victory – but was back at it for a 2-0 win over Ottawa. Oscar had 32 saves in his fourth shutout of the season. Dansk finished the weekend with a 7-2 victory making 29 saves for his 13th win of the season. During this stretch it was announced that Oscar will play for Sweden in the World Juniors. Oscar was on the Swedes roster for last year’s tournament serving mostly as the team’s third goalie and not seeing any playing time but you’d hope this season would help earn him some playing time.
Josh Anderson-London Knights (OHL)
Season Stats 30GP 16-14-30 +14 50PIM
Josh opened the week playing in the second game of the SUBWAY Super Series which ended as a 3-2 shootout loss to Team Russia. Josh was held scoreless but continued to impress as he earned an invite to Team Canada’s World Junior Evaluation Camp. Hockey Canada’s Head Scout Ryan Jankowski did a twitter Q and A during the game and was asked “what is the best part of Josh Anderson’s game. Defense accountability, skating or physical presence?” answering “All of the above!” also adding “Anderson has played very well here in his role doing what he does best which is use his size effectively.” During the pregame show, Sportsnet’s John Shannon raved about Josh and I asked if he thought he really had a chance at making Team Canada in which he responded with “He sure does. Hockey Canada has been impressed with his aggressiveness and attitude.”
As for last week, Josh and the Knights would go 3-0 building an eight game winning streak. On Thursday Josh was held scoreless in a win over Niagara. On Friday, in a 4-0 win over North Bay, Josh picked up an assist on Nikita Zadorov’s shorthanded goal to make it 3-0 adding his team leading sixth power play goal of the season. Josh was named third star in the victory. Saturday it was off to Peterborough for a game against the Petes. Josh had a big game – scoring two goals and adding an assist. Josh’s assist came on Alex Basso’s first period goal when he passed it to Basso before setting up shop in front. Later, after a Petes goal, Josh got a big rebound when Bo Horvat drove to the net and got the puck to Josh who fired a blast to make it 2-1. Late in the game with the Petes net empty and the Petes on a power play, Brandon Devin brought the puck up ice and Josh robbed the kid blind skating all the way in to score his first shorthanded goal of the season that was the icing on a 4-2 win.
Josh was held off the scoresheet in a 3-2 win over Sault Ste. Marie but found his way back to the scoresheet in a win over Windsor. Josh opened the scoring with his seventh power play goal when Max Domi passed the puck to Bo Horvat who found Josh in front with an open net to shoot into. Later with the Knights trailing 3-2, Josh brought the puck in battling around the boards with Slater Koekkoek before dropping a pass to Dakota Mermis who found Bo Horvat in front to tie it at three. The Knights would win the game 5-4 in overtime and Josh was named first star.
To close out the week, Josh and the Knights travelled to Owen Sound where Josh set a new career high in points in a game. In the 6-2 victory, Josh picked up four points with two goals and two assists. The scoring began at 8:09 when an Attack player mishandled the puck off the boards. Josh retrieved it , curled into the slot and fired a shot for his 15th of the season. Josh struck again 1:01 into the second when he gathered a loose puck and was off to the races. He split the defense and scored on a shorthanded breakaway for his team leading 16th of the season. Watching the highlights of the game/the statsheet it looks like Josh also got credit for a Chris Tierney assist on Mitchell Marner’s goal – the possible reason for the confusion is that Josh wears 77 and Tierney wears 71. Josh finished his big night with probably the prettiest assist of his career when Alex Basso passed the puck to Josh who completed a partial spin-o-rama to send a cross crease pass to Max Domi with Domi having pretty much a wide open net to shoot at for his 11th goal of the season. The 4(3) point night would earn Josh first star honors again.
Gianluca Curcuruto-Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
Season Stats 21GP 2-6-8 -15 6PIM
A rough week for Gianluca and the Whalers as they went 0-1-0-2. Gianluca was scoreless for the seventh straight game in a 3-1 loss to Owen Sound on Wednesday. In the Whalers next game against Oshawa, Gianluca picked up an assist on Zach Lorentz’s goal. Gianluca fired a shot that bounced off the backwall and then off the net allowing Lorentz to score on a wraparound to make it 3-2. The Generals scored midway through the third and ultimately the Whalers lost 4-3 in a shootout.
On Saturday in a rematch with Owen Sound, Gianluca had his third multi-point game of the season picking up a goal and an assist in a 3-2 shootout loss. 7:13 into the first, with the Whalers on the power play, the Attack goalie made a good save and the puck made its way to Gianluca who scored the only way he know how – with his slapshot. Midway through the second period with the game tied at one, Curcuruto got the puck at the point and passed it to Victor Crus-Rydberg. He fired a blast from above the circle to make it 2-1. Four minutes later, the Attack scored with the Whalers again falling in a shootout by a 3-2 score. Gianluca was held scoreless in a loss to Sault Ste Marie on Friday and a loss to Kerby Rychel and Guelph on Saturday.
Nick Moutrey-Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
Season Stats 31GP 8-10-18 +5 40PIM
Starting off on Wednesday Nick was held scoreless in a 6-2 win over Windsor. In an overtime loss to Sarnia, Nick picked up an assist on Jimmy Lodge’s seventh goal of the season just 29 seconds into the first period. To close out the week Nick was held scoreless in loss to Oshawa. Nick was again scoreless in a loss to Windsor but he did get into a fight with Patrick Sanvido even though fight may be the wrong word for it. Finally, in a loss to Kitchener, Nick would score his eighth goal of the season. In the third period with the Spirit trailing 5-1, Nick picked up a rebound while falling to make it 5-2 in a 5-3 loss. Still no points for Nick would in an overtime loss to Sault Ste. Marie but he again got into a fight with one of the Greyhounds top players that kept him off the ice for five minutes. He took on Edmonton first round pick Darnell Nurse late in the first period and got a few shots in before they went down according to Cory Butzin who covers the Spirit.
Kerby Rychel-Windsor Spitfires/Guelph Storm (OHL)
Season Stats WIN; 27GP 16-23-39 +13 15PIM GUE: 3GP 1-5-6 +3 2PIM
In what turned out to be Kerby’s last week in Windsor he picked up a goal and an assist. Kerby was held off the scoresheet in a 6-2 loss to Nick Moutrey and the Saginaw Spirit, and then, to close out the week the Spitfires would have a home and home with the Sarnia Sting. First, to close out November, Kerby got an assist in a 6-3 victory over Sarnia when he picked up the primary assist on Remy Giftopoulos’ second period goal. In the rematch, that marked Kerby’s last game in Windsor, scored the Spits first goal and also added a goal in the shootout. In the second period, Kerby got a piece of Trevor Murphy’s point shot to tie the game at one. In the fourth round of the shootout, Kerby skated in looking like he was gonna back in but he didn’t finish the transition, caught the goalie off guard, and slipped the puck past him.
As I wrote about here, Kerby was then traded to the Guelph Storm in a blockbuster trade involving three players and eight draft picks. In Kerby’s debut in Guelph that Friday, he picked up two assists. With the Strorm trailing 3-1, Kerby sent a pass to Scott Kosmachuk whose shot was stopped but the rebound went to Kerby’s Windsor teammate Nick Ebert who backhanded a shot in to make it 3-2. Early in the third period Kerby would lead the rush and took a shot that Bobby Fabbri would corral and control around the Attack’s goalie to tie it at three. Guelph ended up losing 5-3.
Kerby picked up two more assists in a 5-2 victory over Plymouth adding assists on the Storm’s fourth and fifth goals. To close out the week Kerby and the Storm headed to Sarnia. In the 7-4 Storm win, Kerby scored his first goal just 59 seconds into the second period. A little over seven minutes later, Kerby made it three straight games with two points when he picked up the primary assist on Zack Mitchell’s 14th goal of the season.
Peter Quenneville-Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Season Stats 14GP 5-6-11 -15 2PIM
Peter was held pointless in a 8-4 Wheat Kings win but then began a three game point streak. Starting off with a game against Prince Albert, Peter picked up an assist on Tim McGauley’s seventh of the season in a 5-4 overtime loss. In a win over Regina, Peter notched his second multi-point game of the season. Peter’s first point came late in the second off a tic-tac-toe play that resulted in Richard Nejezchleb finding the puck in front for his 18th of the season. Then, 44 seconds into the third period with the Wheat Kings on the power play, Nejezchleb passed to a streaking in Peter working a one timer for his fifth of the season. The Wheat Kings won the game 5-4. Next up for the Wheat Kings was a matchup against Swift Current and Dillon Heatherington. Peter picked up an assist when Peter found McGauley in the slot with Nejezchleb picking up the rebound. The Wheat Kings ultimately fell 4-3 to the Broncos. Peter was held scoreless in a 3-1 win over Moose Jaw on Saturday.
Oliver Bjorkstrand-Portland Winterhawks
Season Stats 32GP 25- 31-56 +21 14PIM
Oliver opened the week with a big game against Spokane. He recorded his second hat trick of the season including goals 5 and 6 of a 6-3 victory and was also named first star. In the Hawks next game against Saskatoon, Oliver had another three point game in a 6-5 victory in which Oliver scored the game winner with 20 seconds remaining. Oliver opened the scoring with 23 seconds remaining when he picked up the rebound of a Derrick Pouliot shot. After the Blades scored four straight, the Winterhawks struck back when Brendan Leipsec fired a shot with Bjorkstrand curling around the net and finding Nic Petan for his 16th of the season. The game would go back and forth to be 5-5 until Oliver potted one with 20 seconds remaining. Brendan Leipsec would work a two on one with Oliver finishing it to clinch a 6-5 victory and receiving third star honors.
In a matchup for first place in the US Division, Oliver had another big game – he picked up his third three point effort. Oliver’s first point came with the game tied at one when he found Taylor Leier for his 20th of the season. Later with the Hawks leading 3-1, the Hawks were on the rush when Chase De Leo would shoot and Oliver picked up a rebound to make it 4-1. Less than a minute later, Oliver found Nic Petan who delivered the puck to Chase De Leo in front for his 18th of the season. The Winterhawks would end up allowing two goals to make it 5-3 and would end the game 6-3 with Oliver being named first star.
Oliver would have his eight game point streak snapped in a 5-4 shootout loss to Edmonton. During the streak Oliver picked up 16 points on an even eight goals and eight assists. Oliver hopefully started a new point streak the next night in the Winterhawks first win in Red Deer in 13 seasons (only seven games though). Oliver picked up an assist on the opening goal just NINE seconds into the game. Off the opening faceoff, Oliver chased after the puck and pressured a Rebels Dman to get the puck to Chase De Leo who have a wide open net to shoot into. The Hawks won the game 5-4.
Oliver and the Winterhawks finished out a three in three Alberta road trip losing 4-1 to Calgary. The game ended a 99 game streak of scoring at least two goals. Oliver notched his 24th goal of the season in the loss 9:15 into the first period. Oliver is now off to Sanok, Poland to play in the World Junior Championships Div. 1 Group A, a tournament that will decide who moves up to play in the World Junior Championships that the big hockey countries play in.
Dillon Heatherington-Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
Season Stats 33GP 2-22-24 +16 33PIM
Dillon opened the week playing two games with Team WHL against the Russians in the SUBWAY Super Series. I couldn’t watch these games because they were late, but the WHL would help the CHL clinch the series victory going 1-1 with the CHL winning 10-8 in points. In his games, Dillon was held scoreless being a -1 with four penalty minutes. Also, Dillon was left off Canada’s Evaluation Camp for the World Juniors. While this is disappointing for Dillon, the few people I talked to that cover the WHL think Dillon will have a better chance at next year’s team. As for the Broncos, Dillon was held scoreless in a win over Calgary but would pick up an assist in a 4-3 win over Red Deer. Midway through the third period, Dillon took a pass from Graham Black who fired a shot that started a scrum in front. Black got some whacks at it before Jay Merkley finished with a shot from the slot to clinch the win. Dillon would be held scoreless in the Broncos last two games last week which resulted in two Broncos wins.
Martin Ouellette-Maine Black Bears (Hockey East)
Season Stats 14GP 7-6-1 2.14GAA .928Sv%
A light two weeks for Martin and the Bears as they only played one series and a game over the last two weeks. The weekend series over the 29th and 30th, pitted them against Vermont and they lost both matches. Friday’s score was 3-2 with Martin making 21 saves and Saturday brought a 5-2 result in which Martin made 25 saves. Sunday afternoon the Bears hosted the UMass-Lowell River Hawks and Martin had 26 saves in a 4-2 victory – a game in which he was named third star. The win gives Martin seven wins in 14 games after winning nine in 30 games last season.
Seth Ambroz, Mike Reilly-Minnesota Golden Gophers (Big Ten)
Season Stats SA: 16GP 8-5-13 12PIM MR: 16GP 7-4-11 12PIM
Minnesota opened Big Ten play against rival Wisconsin with the Gophers picking up a sweep. Seth had a big weekend against the Badgers – he was named Big Ten first star for picking up four goals in the sweep including both game winners. First on Friday afternoon, Seth got off to a rough start when he wasdrilled by teammate Tom Serratore but he would return to the game.
Mike Reilly would open the scoring to tie the game at one. Less than four minutes later, Seth struck to take a 2-1 lead. Seth also scored a late empty net goal to make it 4-1 and was named first star in the win. The rematch on Saturday was much closer game. Seth scored for the first time with the Gophers trailing 2-1 when he drove to the net and picked up his own rebound to tie the game at two. Seth was at it again when, with the game tied at three with 26 seconds left, Travis Boyd intercepted a pass and took a shot that was tipped but still ended up on Ambroz’s stick. Seth tapped the puck past the Badger’s goalie to clinch the 4-3 victory and again was named first star. Seth’s four goal weekend led the nation for the weekend. Here are Seth’s postgame comments.
As for the next weekend it was off to East Lansing for a series with the Spartans. In the Friday night shootout loss both Mike and Seth were held pointless. On Saturday an article came out praising how much of a leader/presence Seth has become off the ice in addition to scoring more lately – picking up seven points in his last six games before Saturday’s game. He was also the focus of a pregame feature with ex-NHLer Ben Clymer. On Saturday, both Mike and Seth scored goals in a 4-3 Gophers win with Mike picking up the game winner. Seth opened the scoring when he deflected a Michael Brodzinski point shot to make it 2-0 Gophers. Six minutes into the second period, Mike scored his nation-leading seventh goal of the season when Christian Isackson just threw the puck near the point and Mike streaked in and fired a blast that made it 3-0. Mike participated in an intermission interview and had to avoid getting hit by pucks as the Spartans were doing chuck a puck.
TJ Tynan-Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Hockey East)
Season Stats 18GP 3-12-15 14PIM
TJ and the Irish played in their tournament the Shillelagh Tournament the 29th and 30th. In the tournament opener, TJ picked up three points and moved into 19th place all time in Irish history. Starting off in the first period, TJ got the puck to Robbie Russo whose shot was stopped but Andy Ryan picked up the rebound for his first career goal. Six minutes later, TJ struck when Jeff Costello found TJ in the slot. He then snapped it home to make it 2-0. TJ picked up another assist when he led a shorthanded rush and found Bryan Rust. That shot was tipped by Robbie Russo and gave the Irish a 5-2 win. In the Championship against Northeastern, TJ picked up an assist again on the opening goal. The Irish ultimately fell by a 3-2 score but TJ was named to the All Tournament Team and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Next week brought the UMass Minutemen to South Bend and in that game TJ picked up an assist. In the first period, with the Irish leading 1-0, TJ caused a turnover keeping two Minutemen busy behind the net and was able to find Sam Herr who made it 2-0. The Irish would go on to win 5-3. TJ was held scoreless in the rematch – a 3-2 Minutemen win. The Irish are now off until January fourth when they play Boston College at Fenway Park.
There you have it folks – a full two weeks of Blue Jackets prospects from around the world! See you next week!