AHL Affiliate (Finally) Coming to Cleveland 

Posted by CBJProspects on April 16, 2015
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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
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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).

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CBJ should focus on defense in draft

Posted by CBJProspects on April 07, 2015
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Greetings, all! The draft is nearing and it’s time to start thinking about who are likely targets for the Blue Jackets. If you were to rank the Jackets prospect depth by group it’d be forwards leading the charge followed by goalies and dragging slowly behind is defensemen. At the moment, the Jackets have just three defensemen playing in the CHL (one is signed and off to Springfield next year) and three playing in Springfield. And then there’s the elephant in the room – Mike Reilly.

I’m basing this post on the…sigh, expected result that Reilly won’t sign with the CBJ. I know an article came out with Mike making it sound like he wants to finish school but I don’t believe that, (it’s Minnesota, not Harvard). But no matter what Mike does, my opinion doesn’t change about the draft focus. Let’s take a look at what the Jackets currently have.

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March 30-Apr 5th CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on April 06, 2015
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Greetings, all! Time for another week in the world of Blue Jackets prospects…and by “world” I mean Springfield, Massachusetts as we’ll be focusing on the Falcons with other prospects’ seasons wrapping up.

The Falcons finished off its home schedule but started off the week in Bridgeport in a game I bet some players thought was an April Fool’s joke, “an 11am game on April Fools? Ok, coach you got us.” After a scoreless first, the Tigers scored in the second before Falcons’ captain, Ryan Craig, finally got the team on the board picking up the rebound of a Sean Collins shot. The goal continued Craig’s tear of late – He’s picked up four points in his last five games.

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March 23-29 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on April 02, 2015
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Greetings all! Sorry for the delay, but a weekend trip to St Louis for the CBJ game happened. This is the part of the year when my recaps get smaller as I like to wait until the end of the first round of each playoff round before recapping how our prospects did.

Starting off in Springfield as we do, Monday was moving day – Sonny Milano was assigned to the Falcons and the team also announced moves involving six players either being assigned to the ECHL, being released from their PTO or being signed to one. It was originally announced that Sonny would have to wait a week (injury) before making his debut but fans began tweeting me that that Sonny was in warmups Friday. Turns out that Sonny did play and it wouldn’t take long for him to make an impact. 4:43 into the first, with Sonny behind the net, he found Luke Adam in front for a one timer to make it 1-0. Just under two minutes later, Ryan Craig made some history scoring his 91st goal with the franchise making him the all-time leader, passing Jean-Guy Trudel. The goal came when Craig deflected a Hubert Labrie point shot. After that, the Falcons allowed four straight goals including one in the second. Quickly, if you want to know how bad things have been in Springfield, the two goals in the first was the first time the Falcons had done this since February 28th which marks a streak of nine games. After the four goals, Sean Collins picked up a rebound to make it 4-3. The Falcons allowed two third period goals to fall 5-3.

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March-16-22 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on March 23, 2015
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Greetings all! Time again for the week in review. It was the last week of competition in the CHL’s regular season and a lot of team awards and playoff standings were handed out and announced.

We’ll start off in the AHL first, though. First up for the Springfield Falcons, on Wednesday it was announced that 2012 third round pick Joonas Korpisalo would be joining the Falcons as his season with Ilves having just completed (seems quicker than when they brought Anton Forsberg last season). With that, it was time for another round of Oscar Dansk in the ECHL in Kalamazoo but more on that later.

First up on Friday, the Falcons welcomed the worst team in the East, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Falcons continued what has seemed like a trend lately by allowing the first goal before TJ Tynan scored his ninth of the season off his own rebound to make it 1-1. The Falcons allowed two third period goals and fell by a score of 3-1, Scott Munroe had 26 saves in the loss.

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March 9-15 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on March 19, 2015
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Hello all – sorry or the delay but I’m back again for the usual week in review!

Starting off it was a rough week in Springfield as the Falcons went 1-2 and scored one goal…Im not kidding. First up against Hartford, the Falcons allowed the Pack to take a 1-0 lead late in the first before TJ Tynan scored his eighth goal of the season on a rebound to tie it. The game went to overtime and to the three on three portion of the overtime with Conor Allen winning it. Scott Munroe made 30 saves in the loss.

Let’s keep the next game brief – the Falcons lost 5-0 to Providence and Oscar Dansk made 29 saves. Next up was a game against Albany and it was a goalie duel going all the way to a shootout with no score before TJ Tynan and Sean Collins notched goals in the skills competition while Scott Munroe had 35 saves and stopped both Devil shooters.

The Falcons are hanging onto a playoff spot – they’re only a point behind sixth and seventh place and are up three on ninth place Worchester, but some help for the Falcons could be on the way. More on that later in this recap.

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2015 State of the Blue Jackets Prospect Pool

Posted by CBJProspects on March 13, 2015
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Hello all! As usual, when The Hockey News’ Future Watch Issue hits my mailbox that means it’s time for my annual update on the Jackets prospect pool. After rising from 24th in 2012 to 2nd last year, the CBJ took a small dip dropping to 6th. First up here’s the Blue Jackets top 10 prospects

  1. Sonny Milano
  2. Kerby Rychel
  3. Oliver Bjorkstrand
  4. Anton Forsberg
  5. Josh Anderson
  6. Marko Dano
  7. Mike Reilly
  8. Joonas Korpisalo
  9. Dillon Heatherington
  10. Ryan Collins

Like last year, I only have a few minor issues with the list. I’d have Marko Dano and Mike Reilly ahead of Josh Anderson, and as most of you know, I’ve been in the Josh Anderson fan club since draft day 2012. The Future Watch issue had this to say about Marko:

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March 2-8 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on March 09, 2015
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Hello, all! Time for another CBJ prospect week in review. Quickly, Monday was the trade deadline with top prospect William Karlsson joining the franchise. I put my thoughts on him here.

Moving on to the AHL (where Karlsson was headed) it was a light week this week for the Falcons with only two games on tap. Starting off on Friday, the team was off to Providence for a game with the baby Bears. In the 4-1 loss, Michael Chaput scored his ninth of the season with TJ Tynan picking up his team leading 28th assist on the goal. Anton Forsberg was a late scratch and Scott Munroe made 33 saves in the loss. The Falcons closed out the week with a game against the Baby Pens who have the hottest goalie in the AHL leading the way. Rookie Matt Murray’s last four starts have been shutouts and he’s closing in on the AHL record. The Falcons allowed Murray to go ahead and set that record with the team waiting until 1:11 remaining in the game for their first point when Dana Tyrell scored the Falcons only goal on a shorthanded breakaway in the 4-1 loss. For the curious, the new record for Murray is now 304:11 TOI, during which he’s stopped 130 consecutive shots.

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Meet William Karlsson / Trade Deadline thoughts

Posted by CBJProspects on March 03, 2015
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welcome to a rare non week in review post. For the first time since the Nash deal, the Jackets added a prospect through a trade that I think you need to know about. Meet William “Wild Bill” Karlsson of Märsta, Sweden. Karlsson joins the Jackets along with a second round pick and Rene Bourque from the trade that sent a third round pick and James Wisniewski to Anaheim (yes, I put the draft picks first – would you expect anything less from me?).

Karlsson was Anaheim’s third pick in the 2011 entry draft, selected 53rd overall. In the final draft rankings William was the 21st rated European prospect. Hockey News Future Watch editor Brian Costello tweeted that William was going to be the Ducks third best prospect. It’s also worth noting the Ducks earned the second best organizational grade in the magazine.

William was a teammate of Jackets prospects (at the time) Alexander Wennberg and Oscar Dansk on Sweden’s 2013 silver medal winning team and he was a membe of Sweden’s gold medal team in 2012. In Sweden, while playing for HV71, he was named the 2013 Rookie of the Year and collected 28 points in 50 games backing it up with a 37 point season before joining Anaheim’s AHL affiliate Norfolk last season where he collected nine points in nine games to close out the regular season. William has played 18 games in the NHL this season and has scored 3 points (2-1-3) in 18 games along with the 21 points in 35 games he’s earned with Norfolk. Now, as I like to do, I asked for the opinion of people who have seen him play before. First, I turn things over to the editor in chief of hockeysverige.se, Mr. Uffe Bodin:

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