Still playing a bit of catch up folks so today we’ll be seeing how the Jackets three prospects playing across the pond are doing.
Greetings all – with the NHL getting going and most prospects (the healthy ones at least) having played a few games, I thought it was time to get going. First in Springfield, the Falcons played their three preseason games but due to the AHL not keeping track/someone asleep at the switch in Springfield, I can barely tell you who played, let alone scored. The team went 1-2 with the win coming in a shootout.
Let’s look at the rest of the boys playing in the CHL:
After spending the past week or so in Traverse watching the Blue Jackets battle to win the championship, I wanted to take a few moments and offer my summary thoughts on each of the players. So here we go:
41 Alexander Wennberg 4GP 1-2-3 +4 2PIM
Despite battling a head cold, Alexander sill impressed despite not putting up big numbers. The smooth skating Swede played in all situations and was very impressive handling the puck. He was given a leadership role as an alternate captain throughout the tournament.
45 Lukas Sedlak 3GP 0-0-0 +1 2PIM 45
Lukas was the only Jacket draft pick to get scratched but was his usual strong two way presence when he did play. Lukas’ game is one of those when you don’t notice him its a good thing.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are the 2014 Traverse City NHL Prospect Tournament champs after defeating the Dallas Stars 3-2 in overtime. The Jackets did something they hadn’t done all tournament and that is score first. Kerby Rychel took a pass from TJ Tynan in front to make it 1-0 4:48 in. Later in the first, Dallas would score when Radek Faksa took a pass in the slot to tie it at 1.
The Jackets team of prospects took on the St. Louis Blues prospects today in the their final game of the round robin tournament with their spot in the championship game Tuesday already clinched. The CBJ continued the trend of giving up an early goal when the Blues top line got on the board with Ty Rattie and Robby Fabbri working together down low and then finding Yannick Villeux in the slot to make it 1-0.
Six minutes later Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his second of the tournament when he picked up the rebound of an Austin Madaisky point shot on the power play. Two minutes later Jake Chelios scored on the power play to give the Blues their final lead of the game. Mike DiPaolo did what he does best – getting into a marathon (lasted at least a minute) of a bout with the Blues Justin Gutierrez. After that, for some reason, Mike left the game and was in street clothes. I didn’t notice until the second intermission and I don’t remember if I saw him play in the second period.
The Jackets took on the host Detroit Red Wings in front of a packed house last night and pulled out a 5-3 win. The game started out ugly with the Red Wings taking a 2-0 lead into the first intermission including the first goal 35 seconds into the game. The lone CBJ highlight came when tough guy Mike DiPaolo sent a Red Wing into the Jackets bench and then answered the call from Richard Nedomlel with Mike earning the decision.
The Jackets opened the 2014 Traverse City Prospect Tournament with a 7-4 win over the Minnesota Wild. The game wasn’t the prettiest but the Jackets will take the victory. The Wild took the first lead 7:49 into the first when Nick Walters and Brady Brassart had a 2-1 with Walters finishing.
In the second, Oliver Bjorkstrand found Kerby Rychel in front to tie it at one. 56 seconds lasted Walters would strike again to make it 2-1. Later in the second the CBJ had a scare when 2014 first round pick Sonny Milano fell face first into the boards and needed help off the ice – he would not return to the game. Later in the period, TJ Tynan would get credit for a goal that would bounce over the Wild goaltender’s shoulder.
It’s hockey time so let’s get right to checking out what’s going on with some of the Blue Jackets prospects. Europe gets an earlier start than North America with all three of the Jacket’s European getting started this week. The Jackets have three prospects playing overseas: Daniel Zaar in Sweden, Joonas Korpisalo in Finland and Elvis Merzlikins in Switzerland. Since it’s hard to see these players live, like I normally do with the CHL and NCAA, I’ve asked for some help from reporters who have seen these players live.
With a few of the Jackets CHL prospects being sent back in the first round of cuts, I though it was time for my preview of the Jackets 9 CHL prospects and again, I’ve got some help from my various sources around the leagues.
Blake Siebenaler-Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
2014-15 Stats 68GP 6-24-30 -16 24PIM
Blake was one of the top rookie dmen in the OHL last season finishing three points behind teammate Vince Dunn. For insight on Blake, I’ll turn things over to The Voice of the IceDogs Rob Mawhood:
“When you think of Blue Jackets prospects no one might be more intriguing then 18-year old Blake Siebenaler.
Hockey season is right around the bend. The boards are going in at Nationwide and the Jackets prospects, along with your friendly neighborhood prospect geek, are off to Traverse City, Michigan for the annual NHL Prospects Tournament at the Centre Ice Arena.
Starting off with the how the tournament is set up, the eight teams are split into two divisions named after Red Wings legends Ted Lindsay and Gordie Howe. The Jackets will be in the Howe Division with the Minnesota Wild, St Louis Blues and the host/defending champs Detroit Red Wings. The Lindsay Division features Jackets division rivals the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers along with the Dallas Stars and the Buffalo Sabres who should boast the highest pick playing in the draft in 2nd overall pick Sam Reinhart (Buffalo hasn’t released it’s roster as of this writing).
Each team will play the three teams in its division in a round robin and then face off against the team that finished in the same spot in the other division.
The Jackets are bringing probably their best roster ever and hope to improve on back to back second place finishes in their division (4th overall in the tournament both times). The team’s forward and goalies are probably the best in the tournament. I know I’m biased and our roster is loaded but I think this team will do well this year and it’s mainly because no other team in the tournament’s roster really impresses me. Let’s take a look: