2015 CBJ Prospect Awards

Posted by CBJProspects on May 22, 2015
Prospects / 1 Comment

Greetings all! As usual, the end of the prospects’ season means its time to put on your best tuxedo hockey jersey and settle in for our fifth annual CBJ Prospect Awards. Here we go!

PROSPECT LEADING SCORER
Oliver Bjorkstrand-Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
59GP 63-55-118 +60 35PIM

TOP PROSPECT/TOP FORWARD PROSPECT
Oliver Bjorkstrand-Portland Winterhawks (stats above)
“The Great Dane” (nickname registered trademark, CBJProspects industries LLC RSVP DVD) earned this award with Falcons leading scorer TJ Tynan as his closest competition. Oliver led all CHL skaters in goals and was the only 60-goal scorer in the entire CHL.

Continue reading…

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WHL Final CBJ Prospect Recap

Posted by CBJProspects on May 15, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Well folks this is it for our prospect week in reviews for the 2015-16 season (chokes up) as the final baby Jacket was eliminated from his respective post-season this week.

Peter Quenneville-Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL-Lost Series 4-0)
Series Stats 4GP 3-1-4 -2 0PIM
Final Playoff stats 19GP 10-10-20 +5 4PIM
Peter and the Wheat Kings faced off against the Kelowna Rockets in what was a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Hockey League. Quickly, before the series started, Peter and brother John were part of a feature on the fan support in Brandon during the season/playoffs. Continue reading…

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2015 Draft Discussion: Q&A with Mark Seidel

Posted by CBJProspects on May 14, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Draft, Prospects / 1 Comment

Hello all! I’m trying something a little different that was inspired by a post over at Leafs Hub. I got in touch with Mark Seidel who is the Chief Scout for North American Central Scouting (an independent scouting service since 1993) and has a vast history of experience including:

  • Former NHL Scout; Minnesota Wild (NHL)
  • Former Assistant GM; Erie Otters (OHL)
  • Former OHL Head Scout; Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
  • Former Commissioner; NOJHL
  • Former NHL Draft Insider; Hockey Night in Canada
  • Former NHL Draft Specialist; The Hockey News
  • Former NHL Draft Insider; ESPN
  • Former National Radio Co-Host with Jeff Marek; HNIC Radio on Sirius & Leafs Lunch
  • Chief Scout; North American Central Scouting (NACS)
  • Various National Media appearances including Off the Record on TSN, Sun Newspapers, The National Post &The Globe & Mail
  • Former Junior A General Manager; Espanola & Sudbury (NOJHL)

I sent Mark some questions about the pending draft for the Blue Jackets and here are his thoughts. Enjoy!

The CBJ seemingly need to restock their depth at defense. Of the top two dmen that they could choose at 8, (Provorov/Werenski) who would you choose if you were the GM?

I would take Werenski. I think he has a chance to be a franchise defender. He has a very complete game and showed this year that he can play against men in all 3 zones. A lot of guys in my business LOVE Provorov but I’m slightly concerned about his ability to defend and although he has elite skills, I’m not sure I’d take him in the Top 10 in this VERY good Draft. Continue reading…

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CBJ Prospect CHL Conference Finals Recap

Posted by CBJProspects on May 08, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Sorry for the delay folks, it’s been a busy week but we’re back with a look at where the Blue Jackets’ prospects are in the CHL playoffs. We started off the year keeping tabs on 16 prospects across the world, the Falcons (R.I.P. affiliation) and K Wings, and now we’re down to the final lone player competing for a chance at the Memorial Cup. Let’s take a look at the way the last few weeks treated the baby Blue jackets.

Peter Quenneville-Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL-Won Series 4-1)
Series Stats 5GP 3-3-6 +5 0PIM
Playoff Stats 15GP 7-9-16 +7 4PIM

Peter and the Kings faced off against the Calgary Hitmen in the Eastern Conference Final and the Wheat Kings won the series 4-1. The series opened up in a game one goalfest that the Kings won by a score of 9-4. Peter picked up a goal and assist in the win. The first action for Pete came with the game tied at two when Ivan Provorov dropped a pass back to Tim McGauley (two guys on my CBJ Draft wishlist) who, with three Hitmen focusing on him, found Peter in the slot. Quenneville nailed one home to make it 3-2. In the third, with the Kings leading 8-3, Peter took a pass from brother John and then found a streaking McGauley to make it 8-4 in the 9-4 win.

In game two, Peter kept his goal scoring streak alive. In the first, on a five on three, Peter scored from his normal spot on a cross-crease pass from Morgan Klimchuk to make it 2-0 in what would be a 3-2 overtime win.

Peter did have his five game goal scoring streak snapped in game three – a 2-1 Hitmen overtime loss, But he bounced back in a big way in game four that was another Wheat Kings blowout win. Peter’s big night began late in the second when, after a rebound save by Brendan Burke (Sean not Brian’s son), Peter gathered the puck and sent it down low to Tim McGauley who passed to a streaking Morgan Klimchuk to make it 5-1 Wheat Kings. Just under a minute (58 seconds to be exact) later, Peter started a rush in the Kings’ zone and passed to Klimchuk who skated in and attempted the wrap around against WHL Rookie of the Year Nolan Patrick. The shot was stopped but Peter cleaned up the garbage for a goal as part of five straight Wheat Kings points. Late in the third with the Kings leading 6-3, Peter scored again from his usual spot off a pretty passing play. For his three point game, Peter was named first star in the 8-3 win.

Peter was held pointless in a 8-2 game five win that clinched the Eastern Conference Championship Trophy for Brandon. This is the first time the Kings have made the WHL Finals since the 2004-05 season. That season, the team included Jackets’ draft pick/team captain Tim Konsorada and they faced off against this year’s opponents, The Kelowna Rockets. The Rockets won that series 4-1. This is also the first time in 12 years that the top two teams in the WHL meet in the WHL Final.

Quickly, at the WHL Awards, Peter was the Eastern Conference’s representative for the Brad Hornung Trophy for Most Sportsmanlike Player but he lost the award to Kelowna’s Rourke Chartier (revenge in the Final is coming Rourke).

Nick Moutrey-North Bay Battalion (OHL-Lost Series 4-2)
Series Stats 6GP 3-1-4 -2 6PIM
Final Playoff Stats 15GP 7-6-13

Nick and the Battalion took on the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Oshawa Generals, and ended up falling in the series 4-2. Nick was the star of a 6-1 game one and was the only Battalion player with multiple points. In the third period with the Battalion leading 4-1, Brendan Miller skated in on a two-on-one. Nick was the trailer. Moutrey got the puck and scored to make it 5-2. 10 minutes later, Ryan Kujawinski skated in and passed to Nick who hammered a shot home to make it 6-1. Nick was named first star in the 6-1 game one win.

Nick was held pointless in a 1-0 game two loss before doing pretty much all of the work on the game winner in game three. The game was tied at one after the first period but that was all the regulation scoring we’d see. The matchup went to overtime and that was when Nick took a pass from Alex Henriksson and skated down the wall. Moutrey absorbed a hit and went to the net, sending a pass to Kujawinski who got the game winning goal, his sixth of the playoffs.

Nick was held pointless in games four and five – both Battalion losses. In game six, Nick scored what would be the final goal of the Battalion’s season. In the third, with the Battalion trailing 2-0, Nick Paul shot the puck and Jeremy Brodeur stopped it but let up the rebound for Kyle Wood to get a whack at it before Nick put the puck in the net to make it 2-1.

Nick tied for the team lead for goals in the playoffs. This game more than likely ends Nick’s OHL career meaning he’ll be in Lake Erie next season.

Oliver Bjorkstrand-Portland Winterhawks (WHL-Lost Series 4-2)
Series Stats 6GP 3-4-7 -1 6PIM
Final Playoff Stats 17GP 13-12-25 +8 10PIM

Oliver and the Winterhawks were off to the WHL Western Conference Final for the fifth straight season where they faced the Kelowna Rockets and Oliver was his normal self. Oliver again scored another goal when most fans were probably still sitting down from the National Anthem. Oliver gathered a loose puck at the blueline and skated into the circle snapping a shot to make it 1-0 in a 3-2 game one loss. The goal was Oliver’s 35th playoff goal which puts him second all time for the Winterhawks.

In game two, Oliver picked up an assist on Nic Petan’s very late second period goal that was the game winner in a 3-2 Portland win (you don’t see the assist in the highlights).

In game three, the Great Dane was unleashed starting in the second period when, with the Hawks holding a 2-0 lead, a faceoff resulted in Nic Petan getting the puck. Petan took a shot that was tipped in by Chase De Leo. Early in the third with the Hawks leading 4-1, on the power play Oliver took a pass from Alex Henry with Oliver slammand slammed a shot home – the puck hit the post and bounced off the goalie’s skate to go in and make it 5-1. Four minutes later, two Rockets players misplayed the puck and Nic Petan sent Oliver off to the races on the breakaway. His initial attempt was stopped but he picked up his own rebound for his 13th goal of the playoffs (little wonky on the celebration though boys). Later in the third, Oliver picked up another assist when he sent a shot in front with the rebound going to Paul Bittner who made it 7-2 in a 7-3 game three win.

In game five Oliver picked up an assist on a late third period, game tying goal to tie when he got the puck at the point from Nic Petan and sent it back to Petan who fired a shot to make it 1-1 in what ended as a 2-1 overtime loss.

In what would be Oliver’s last junior game, Bjorkstrand was held pointless in a 8-4 game six loss.

Oliver finishes his career tied for sixth all-time in goals for Portland and 13th all-time in total points. After the season, Oliver was off to Czech Republic to join Team Denmark (and his brother Patrick) in the World Championships. The day Oliver left for Czech Republic was the day of the WHL Awards and boy, did Oliver clean up there. Oliver had already clinched the Bob Clarke Trophy as the League’s top scorer which also made him the WHL’s representative for the CHL’s Top Scorer award but he lost out as Dylan Strome of the Erie Otter (OHL) and Connor Garland of the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) each had 129 points. Oliver also won the league’s plus/minus award being a plus 60. The big award though for the WHL is the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy for “player of the year”. Oliver was the Western Conference’s representative. Oliver, to the shock of only a few won the award making him the second Blue Jackets draft pick to win the award since Kris Russell after the 06-07 season. You can see Oliver’s pre-taped speech here. Oliver, like Nick, is off to Lake Erie next year and is likely to be one of their go-to offensive weapons.

That’s it folks, we’re coming to the end of the line. Our next wrap up will be either a final recap for Peter or a Memorial Cup primer. The QMJHL teams for the tournament are already set as the host, Quebec Remparts, are in the finals and they are playing Rimouski Oceanic.

After the CHL season is officially over, we’ll have our annual prospect awards then we get to the fun part of the year – the draft.

 

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Meet Your Monsters (The CBJ Perspective)

Posted by CBJProspects on April 29, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / 1 Comment

Hello, all! I was getting my offseason workload sorted out (the offseason is my busy season) and I thought “hey! why not introduce the CBJ and Monsters fan bases to each other along with giving some education on the respective teams to one another.

This is the first post of a two part series that will info from the Monsters fan perspective and the CBJ fan perspective (I know there is already some fan bleed over, but work with me here people). This first one will be for the Jackets fans. The Monsters fans will be later and they get to hear about all the new toys coming to the Q this fall.

Let’s start with a history lesson shall we?

To understand where the team came from you have to go back to the 2004-05 season, when the Utah Grizzlies of the AHL folded and returned the next season as a ECHL team. Then, in the 2005-06 season, the team that was in Cleveland, the Cleveland Barons (still one of my favorite logos ever) were moved by owner Gordon Gund to Worcester, Massachusetts to become the Sharks (what is it with owners moving teams from Cleveland to the Northeast?…too soon?). So, on May 16, 2006 Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert bought the Grizzlies AHL franchise and renamed them the Monsters starting in 2007. The Monsters are named in reference to Bessie – Lake Erie’s version of the Loch Ness Monster.

Looking at the numbers (I swear, the fun stuff is coming), The Monsters play in Quicken Loans Arena and are one of the best teams in terms of attendance in the AHL. They have finished third in attendance in three of the last five seasons and top five in another. Now, due to the logisitical demands of four AHL teams sharing arenas with NBA teams, their schedule doesn’t come out till much later this year (the ECHL schedule is already out for next year). But somehow, the Monsters have already announced six dates: the home opener which is October 16th and games on November 13 and 27; January 22 and 30; and February 5.

2014-15 will be the ninth season for the Monsters in the AHL. In those seasons they’ve made the playoffs once when they lost to a Claude Noel-coached Manitoba Moose team in seven games. The team’s all-time leading scorer is Andrew Agozzino (I’ll wait for you to say “who?!” Google him – he’s an Avs player) who scored 30 goals last year and set a franchise record putting up 165 points in 225 career games. Cal Pickard is one of the team’s top goalies. He tied the team record for wins with 23 last season and he also holds the all-times win mark with 60.

I compared Springfield and Lake Erie’s three seasons before they affiliated with the CBJ and, well, the Monsters were a much better team winning 102 of 228 games with a .521 point percentage. Looking at the  Falcons, those three years were at the end of the Edmonton Oilers’ dark days and the team won only 84 of 240 games (they played 80 games instead of the 76 they play now) with a .427 point percentage.

We know the NHL plays games against teams from both conferences but that won’t be the case with the Monsters. First things first, the Monsters are in the AHL’s Western Conference and they play in the Midwest Division. In other words, get ready to hear a lot about the Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit), Rockford IceHogs (Chicago), Chicago Wolves (St Louis), Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville)…the old Central Division lives. Those four teams make up 36 of the Monsters 76 games.

Ok now for the fun stuff. First up, the Monsters mascot is Sullivan C. Goal (aka Sully) a Seagull. The Monsters also have the Monster Hockey Girls, and where the CBJ have the Scioto Downs Ice Crew, the Monsters have The Mullet Brothers. These Hanson Brother lookalikes (if you thought mmbop before Slap Shot go to your room) who clean up the ice during breaks. The Monsters also come onto the ice through a giant blow up version of their logo (and for the record, I still think the Jackets need a cannon to skate out through). Doug Plagens is both the TV and radio voice of the Monsters. Plagens began his play-by-play career while a student at Syracuse and filled in for Jackets radio guy Bob McElligott. To close out the in-game entertainment, from looking at the Monsters’ site and from what I hear they put on a great show (I’ll admit it folks, the last time I went to a Monsters game they were playing the then CBJ affiliate Syracuse Crunch in a fight fest).

Three jerseys hang from the rafters in Cleveland but none are Monsters players. The three are Johnny Bower who won 229 games for the Barons and 250 games in the NHL. The second belongs to Fred Glover who, in fifteen seasons with Cleveland, won four Calder Cups and three MVP awards. Glover also scored a career high 107 points in 1960 and retired in 1968 as the AHL’s career leader in games played (1,201), goals (520), assists (814), points (1,334) and penalty minutes (2,402). The final jersey belongs to Jock Callander who played the last seven years of his career with the Lumberjacks and served as a TV analyst/assistant coach (he was busy during games) for the Monsters last season.

Now, for long time followers, you know that jerseys are another thing I love to comment on (owning 117 of them helps). I thought the Avalanche’s maroon would be gone from the current design but, considering how fast this affiliation came together making major changes tough and also since maroon is a Cavs color(they call it wine though) it looks to be staying. Here are the Monsters home jerseys, away jerseys and the jersey it seems most people I talk to like (even if it goes against my stance of hating numbers on the front of jerseys) the team’s jerseys from the Frozen Frontier game against Rochester in 2013, (a game the Monsters won in a shootout). It’s been said a jersey collaboration between the two teams will be happening so we have that to look forward to. The Monsters also have numerous specialty jerseys worn and auctioned every year for various charities including one normally based on either the Browns or Cavaliers.

There you have it CBJ fans, a little lesson on the Jackets new affiliate. Monsters fans you’ll have to wait for a little for your version when we have a better idea of who will be playing in the Q this fall.

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CBJ CHL 2nd Round Playoff Recap

Posted by CBJProspects on April 24, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Four posts in two weeks? I’m a wild man. Hello all, we’re getting to the end of the line as only three of the four prospects are moving on to their conference finals.

Peter Quenneville-Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL-Won Series 4-1) S
eries Stats 5GP 3-3-6 +5 2PIM

Playoff Stats 10GP 4-6-10 +2 4PIM

Peter and the Wheat Kings took on the Regina Pats in the WHL’s Eastern Conference Final and won the series in six games. Peter was held pointless in the first two games -both of which were Wheat Kings victories. In game three, when the series switched to Regina, Peter scored his second of the playoffs and first since game one against Edmonton. The Kings were trailing 3-1 late in the second when Peter worked from his usual spot and finished off a one timer to make it 3-2. In game four, Peter helped open the scoring when he sent a cross rink pass to Kale Clague whose shot was tipped by Nolan Patrick to make it 1-0. After two Pats goals, Peter scored when Ivan Provorov carried the puck in and dropped it to Eric Roy. Roy passed to Peter who had an almost empty net to shoot into to make it 2-2 in a 3-2 overtime win.

Continue reading…

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Final Falcons Recap

Posted by CBJProspects on April 20, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Hello all. It’s been a bit since we talked AHL hockey and there’s no real reason for the delay other than the recaps would be Falcons only and would be kinda short. So, without further ado, let’s get going with the final four regular season games of the Falcons/CBJ Affiliation.

The Falcons opened this stretch of road games with a stop in Hartford and laid an absolute clunker falling by a score of 5-0. Scott Munroe took the loss despite barely making it halfway through the first period. He stopped only eight of 11 shots before giving way to Joonas Korpisalo who stopped 21 of 23 in his final action of the season.

Next up was a trip to Syracuse for Superhero night so, of course, the Crunch started the kid with Iron Man on his mask, Adam Wilcox. In Wilcox’s first game the Falcons allowed a first period goal before scoring three straight including two by TJ Tynan for his first pro multi-goal game. Josh Anderson scored the other with Sonny Milano picking up his first multi-point game with an assist on a Tynan goal and on the Anderson goal. Scott Munroe had 28 saves in the win.

Continue reading…

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Jackets to Select 8th in 2015 NHL Entry Draft

Posted by CBJProspects on April 19, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Well, the NHL Draft Lottery was last night and the Edmonton Oilers won the (Yosemite Sam style cursing)…I’m sorry lets start this over.

Greetings all. The NHL Draft Lottery was last night and the Jackets stayed put meaning they’ll select eighth in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. This will be the fourth time the Jackets will pick eighth – the first came back in their inaugural season when they selected Pascal Leclaire. The second time due to a (more Yosemite Sam Cursing) trade by Doug MacLean, I wanted us to stay put at four and select Andrew Ladd but we got Alexandre Picard. The third was traded to Philly in a trade for some jerk.

Now the eighth overall pick hasn’t had many home run hits lately. The last probably was Sean Couturier (who Philly selected with that traded pick). Not counting some of the younger guys just drafted, the last player to go at eight that people have heard of is Devin Setoguchi, and you probably heard of him before his career took a nosedive. I’ve written on what the CBJ should focus on in the draft and confirming their selection order doesn’t change that.

Here are a few options I believe will be available at 8:

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AHL Affiliate (Finally) Coming to Cleveland 

Posted by CBJProspects on April 16, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

All the talk started on March 18th when Rochester Americans radio play by play man Rob Sanderson tweeted about a four-way swap of AHL affiliates of the Avalanche, Coyotes, Jackets and Panthers…and then it all went away with occasional updates from Aaron Portzline to stoke the fire.

The idea went from rumor to likelihood yesterday afternoon with the Falcons announcing they’ll have a press conference today for a major announcement and then Portzline reported that the Dispatch learned that it will be made official that the Lake Erie Monsters will become the Jackets third AHL Affiliate in franchise history.

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CBJ Prospect CHL Playoff 1st Round Recap

Posted by CBJProspects on April 10, 2015
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Hello all! Time for the first full-on recap of the Jackets prospects taking part in the various leagues of the CHL’s playoffs.

Peter Quenneville-Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL-won series 4-1)
Series/Playoff Stats 5GP 1-3-4 -3 2PIM

Brandon opened the playoffs as the top seed in the WHL’s Eastern Conference and faced three-time defending champs: the Edmonton Oil Kings. In the second period trailing 2-0, Peter scored off a feed from Morgan Klimchuk from below the goal line to make it 2-1 in the 4-1 game one loss.

In game two, Peter helped his little brother John score his first of the playoffs when, with the Kings…uh Wheat Kings leading 6-1, John skated in and passed the puck to Peter who passed back and shot to make it 7-1 in a 8-1 win. The series then switched to Edmonton for games three through five (2-3-2 series).

Continue reading…

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