Archive for the Prospects Category

March 31st-April 13 AHL/European Prospect Review

Greetings all! Back again with the week in review for the Blue Jackets prospects, ok two weeks but the CBJ were so busy last week and it would have been a light update from me so my superiors said I could take some time off.

Starting off in Springfield, two weeks ago the AHL decided to make it “lets screw with the Falcons normal routine” week as the team opened with an 11AM game followed by a trip into THE FUTURE… or St John’s Newfoundland where it’s an hour and a half ahead of Eastern Standard Time. We begin in Bridgeport, CT for a game against the Sound Tigers. Anton Forsberg made his North American debut in net. In the first, the Tigers’ goalie tried to play the puck but he fired it right into Dana Tyrell who found Jake Hansen who beat Poulin back to the crease to make it 1-0. Three minutes later, Marko Dano struck for his first North American goal when he took a pass from Cody Goloubef and snapped off a shot to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead. Late in the third, the Sound Tigers spoiled Anton’s shutout bid before Cody Bass scored an empty netter. In the 3-1 win Anton Forsberg made 25 saves and was named second star with Dano being named first star.

Continue reading March 31st-April 13 AHL/European Prospect Review

CHL Playoff 1st Round Recap

Hello all! With the CHL playoffs second round getting under way this weekend it’s time to recap how our eight CHL prospects did in the first round.

Oscar Dansk-Erie Otters (OHL Western Conference)-Won Series 4-1
Series Stats 1GP 0-0 .800Sv% 6.56GAA
Oscar and the Otters opened the playoffs against the Saginaw Spirit in a 3-6 matchup. Otters coach Kris Knoblauch decided to go with backup (1B?) Devin Williams who is a native of Saginaw but you hope a coach wouldn’t start the local boy for that reason only in the playoffs. Luckily, the move worked. The Otters got off to a 2-0 lead before letting Oscar start game three. Oscar got that start and, well, it wasn’t his best night. He was pulled for the third time in four games after allowing five goals on 25 shots. Williams entered the game but unlike the other times, the Otters couldn’t come back and lost game three 7-6 in overtime. Here are coach Knoblauch’s postgame comments on Oscar along with a quick comment from Oscar on his recent struggles. The Otters won games four and five and advanced to face the West Division champs – the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds. These teams have met twice in the regular season with Erie winning 3-0 with Williams in net and then getting blown out later in the season.

Kerby Rychel-Guelph Storm (OHL Western Conference)-Won Series 4-1
Series Stats 5GP 1-6-7 +3 6PIM
Kerby and the Storm faced off against the Plymouth Whalers and fellow CBJ prospect Gianluca Curcuruto in the 1-8 matchup. Kerby didn’t earn any points in the game one win but collected his first career playoff multi-point game in game two – a 3-0 victory. In the first, Kerby took a pass from Zack Mitchell to start a bang bang passing play with Matt Finn finishing the play. Kerby’s second point was an odd one as a Guelph player kept the puck in, Kerby stopped it allowing Nick Ebert to pick it up and fire a shot that went off a Whalers skate to make it 2-0. After being held scoreless in a game three loss, Kerby got back on the scoresheet in game four. In the second, Kerby  started a rush up ice getting the puck to Justin Auger with Auger finishing it in a 7-2 win. Game five was a big one for Kerby – he pretty much put the team on his back and collected four points in a 8-3 win. Kerby’s first point came late in the first. It’s hard to tell if he was trying to do the between the leg shot or a pass but whatever it was, he got the puck to Ebert who banged a shot past the Whalers goalie. Kerby’s three point third period started when after a board battle the puck went to Kerby who tapped it to Zac Leslie. Leslie passed it back to Kerby who unleashed a howitzer to make it 5-2. 1:31 later, Kerby worked a give and go with Ryan Horvat that Horvat finished. Later in the third Kerby curled to the point and made a pass to Scott Kosmachuk who seny a crosscrease pass to Nick Ebert whose slapshot made it 8-3. Up next for the Storm is a matchup with the London Knights. The teams met six times in the regular season splitting the series.

Continue reading CHL Playoff 1st Round Recap

March 17-23 AHL Week in Review/NCAA & European Playoff Review

Starting off in Springfield, this week, the Falcons traveled to Worchester for a game with the baby Sharks. Andrew Joudrey opened the scoring with his 11th goal of the season 3:27 into the first. He tipped in a Carter Camper pass to make it 1-0. The Falcons allowed two second period goals before Dana Tyrell struck 22 seconds into the third period to tie it when he gathered a loose puck and snapped a shot past the Sharks goalie. Four minutes later, the Falcons scored on kind of a goofy play when Cody Goloubef passed to Michael Chaput who couldn’t corral the puck but Sean Collins did. He then passed to Jean Francois Jacques who sent a cross-crease pass to Matt Taormina who made it 3-1. Later in the period, Sean Collins scored when he got the puck from a board battle before making it 4-2 on his 13th goal of the season. Mike McKenna made 30 saves in the win for his 20th of the season.

Up next was a big one as the Falcons faced off against the Manchester Monarchs in a battle of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. In the second period, with the Falcons trailing 1-0, Denny Urban sent a shot through a screen to make it 1-1. Late in the third, with the Falcons trailing 4-1, Andrew Joudrey won a faceoff and Dana Tyrell drove to the net to score his 13th of the season. Mike McKenna made 18 saves in the 4-2 loss with the team allowing an empty net goal.

To close out the weekend, the Falcons welcomed the St. John’s IceCaps. It was a wild one, with the Caps taking a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. But then early in the second period, Patrick McNeill scored his first goal of the game to make it 3-1. 1:10 later St. John’s struck again to make it 4-1. Later in the second Michael Chaput scored his 18th goal of the season to make it 4-2. Early in the third Patrick McNeill potted his second of the game on the power play, and Ryan Craig scored his 15th goal to tie the game at four. Sadly, the Falcons allowed the IceCaps to score with only 1:19 remaining to lose by a score of 5-4. Jeremy Smith made 19 saves in the loss.

Continue reading March 17-23 AHL Week in Review/NCAA & European Playoff Review

CBJ Goalie Depth could be a focus this offseason

Late last week the Jackets announced the signing of 2012 3rd round draft pick Joonas Korpisalo. This is a bit of a surprise as Korpisalo had a up and down season that included missing time with injury. This signing also got the little hamster wheel in my head spinning because the Jackets goalie depth will be an interesting development this summer. I say this because after the top cop in Columbus, the Jackets only have two goalies under contract for next season whose only experience on North American size rinks is in international competition. Those two are Anton Forsberg who could see a game in Springfield before the playoffs and the just signed Korpisalo. Columbus backup Curtis McElhinney and Springfield 20 game winner (so far) Mike McKenna are unrestricted free agents while Jeremy Smith is a restricted free agent.

I and others originally thought Smith would push McKenna and earn an extension to serve as a mentor to either Forsberg or Oscar Dansk who, as of this writing, is still unsigned. I was surprised that Korpisalo was signed before Dansk but Korpisalo’s season ended before Oscar’s. I don’t see McElhinney being brought back and that means the CBJ will be going after a backup either by trade or signing a UFA.

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Marko Dano signed to Entry-Level Contract

After Marko tweeted that he had signed with the club last Thursday, it was finally announced today that the signing was official. The Blue Jackets have signed the 19 year old to a three year entry level contract. Dano is the third 2013 draft pick joining Oliver Bjorkstrand (still don’t understand that signing) and Kerby Rychel. Once his immigration paperwork is finalized he will head to Springfield to join the Falcons (if you think he’s heading to Columbus you stop that right now).

After a practice or two, Marko will probably start in the team’s bottom six (that’s the type of minutes he’s used to…sorry) and then hopefully he will move into the team’s top six or top nine as his game is gritty enough to play there. After finishing the regular season in Springfield, he can play in the playoffs no matter when he gets to Springfield as there are no longer clear dates defining when a player needs to be there to be eligible.

This summer Marko will take part in his second CBJ prospect camp and hopefully take part in the Traverse City Prospect Tournament next fall. As for next season, he can play in Springfield despite being 19 until late November since he was drafted from Europe. More than likely he’ll be joining Kerby Rychel and Josh Anderson as rookies next season.

March 5-9 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Hello all! Back again with another week in the world of Blue Jackets prospects. Was an interesting week that included the trade deadline and three prospects’ regular seasons coming to an end along with another young Jacket appearing to be on his way to Springfield.

As we normally do we start off in Springfield which was affected by the NHL trade deadline with the trade of Dalton Smith and Jonathan Marchessault to Tampa Bay for forward Dana Tyrell and defenseman Matt Taormina.  Trading Smith somewhat surprised me because he seemed to fit the team’s style as “Boll 2.0”, whereas Marchessault wasn’t as much of a match.

Starting off last week against Hartford, the Falcons allowed a goal 1:45 in before Ryan Craig scored nine minutes later, the assist went to Tyrell who picked up his first point with Falcons. The Pack scored again before Craig tied it with only 55 seconds remaining in the period. The Wolfpack scored four more to make it 6-2. Jeremy Smith made 24 saves in the loss.

Up next was a game in Adirondack. Ryan Craig again opened the scoring. 2:06 into the second, Nick Cousins got the Phantoms on the board but Nate Thompson scored 30 seconds later to make it 3-2 and then Cody Bass made it 4-2 later. Cody Bass notched a shorthanded goal 7:12 into the third to make it 5-2 with the Phantoms scoring with 1:11 remaining to make it 5-3. Mike McKenna made 26 saves in the win. To close out the weekend, the Falcons took on the Portland Pirates and hoo boy it would be ugly – for the Pirates at least. The Falcons had a 3-0 lead before the 10 minute mark of the first period when Patrick McNeill and Sean Collins scored 32 seconds apart – Matt Taormina picked up his first point with the Falcons with an assist on Collins goal. Dana Tyrell scored his first with Springfield three minutes later. Darryl Boyce made it 4-0 with just a little over three minutes left in the first. In the second period, with the Pirates changing goalies, the Pirates potted one three minutes in before the Falcons would again score two quick goals with Michael Chaput scoring his team leading 16th goal and Andrew Joudrey scoring his franchise record fifth shorthanded goal just 36 seconds later. Four and a half minutes later Austin Madaisky scored his fourth goal of the season to make it 7-1 Falcons. Jack Skille scored two goals in 26 seconds early in the third to end Louis Domingue’s night meaning the Pirates went back to starter Mark Visentin who would finish the game. In the 9-3 win Mike McKenna made 27 saves for his 17th win of the season.

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February 24-March 2 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

We’re coming to the end of the road for some teams so without further ado, let’s get going.

Last week was a very light week for the Falcons as they only played two games. Starting off against Providence on Saturday, after the Bruins scored early to make it 1-0, Ryan Craig scored off a deflection in front to make it 1-1. In the second, the baby Bruins scored again before Sean Collins notched the tying goal off a deflection in the third forcing overtime and then a shootout. In the eight round shootout, Carter Camper scored in the second round of his debut to keep the game alive, though the Falcons would ultimately lose in the eighth round. Mike McKenna made 27 saves and stopped six of eight in the loss.

The next night against Worchester all the scoring happened in the second period. Jack Skille started it off 3:29 into the period. Five minutes after the Sharks tied it, Jean-Francois Jacques scored the game winner and Skille picked up an assist. Jeremy Smith made 28 saves for his 18th win of the season – the Falcons only took 11 shots in the game.

Continue reading February 24-March 2 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

February 10-23 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Greetings all – This post covers the past TWO weeks for our prospects. I’m sorry for the delay – it just means there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get rolling.

Starting off in Springfi…wait no we don’t, we’re going for a change in venue as we start in St John’s Newfoundland at Mile One Centre. We head there for the AHL All Star Game. Unlike normal years, where it’s either the standard East-West or the older Canada-PlanetUSA format, this year the All Star Game was a team of AHL All Stars versus Farjestads of the Swedish Hockey League. Jackets Dmen Frederic St. Denis and Cody Goloubef represented the Falcons in the game with St. Denis serving as an alternate captain.

Starting on Tuesday with the Skills Competition, Cody and Frederic took part in the first event – the puck control relay – with both skating second of their trios. Brett Connolly gave the AHL a slight lead that Frederic then lost with Cody also finishing behind the Swedish skater. St. Denis’ group would lose but local boy Brenden Kichton, with the help of the Farjestads player falling, led to the AHL winning Cody’s heat. Cody and Frederic got the next four events off before taking part in the “Pass and Score” teaming up with Cam Atkinson’s college linemate, and current Albany forward, Joe Whitney. The group faced off against goaltender Frederik Pettersson-Wentzel. In the event all three players have to touch the puck before shooting within 30 seconds. Cody scored on the first attempt with a snapshot from the slot and St. Denis scored on the third when Wentzel went for the double pad stack but he didn’t leave them on the ice allowing the puck to trickle past. In the final event, “the breakaway relay,” every player took part in a group of five. Cody was part of the second AHL group, shooting fourth. He fired a shot into Pekka Tuokkola’s glove. St. Denis was part of the third AHL group, shooting third on Frederik Pettersson-Wentzel. He tried some fancy stickhandling but was stopped. The score was tied after all four groups so the competition went to a sudden death shootout with IceCaps captain Jason Jaffrey clinching the victory in the third round thus giving the AHL a 17-18 victory in the Skills Competition.

Continue reading February 10-23 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

February 3-9 CBJ Prospects Week in Review

Happy Olympic Break all! Back again with another light week in the CBJ prospect world. The Falcons were the busiest team last week with four games, a front office shake up and two roster moves before the Olympic roster freeze.

Before the team’s game on Tuesday against Albany, it was announced that President and Part owner Bruce Landon would be stepping down but will remain as Director of Hockey Operations. As for the game against the little Devils the Falcons picked up a 4-0 victory with Mike McKennna making 25 saves in the win for his third shutout of the season. In the win Alex Aleardi, Spencer Machacek, Frederic St Denis and Jonathan Marchessault scored with Marchessault also adding an assist.

On Thursday the team would trade forward Spencer Machacek for forward Paul Thompson. Thompson had a Cy Young season last year scoring 20 goals and adding nine assists in 58 games played. This year he only has seven points in 39 games before the trade. Before Friday night’s game/the Olympic Roster Freeze the Falcons swung a deal with Providence acquiring former Miami RedHawks star Carter Camper for defenseman Blake Parlett. Camper is a tiny offensive star who picked  up 47 and 48 points in his first two full AHL seasons with at least 30 assists. In 41 games played this season Camper has 31 points with 23 being assists. Unfortunately, Camper has been out of the lineup since January 19th with a toe injury.

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January 27-February 2 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Greetings all! Back again with the week in review. It seems like a light week in prospect land but anyhoo away we go!

Starting off in Springfield as we usually do – the Falcons recent struggles continue as the team went  0-2. Starting off in a game against Worchester – after allowing the Sharks a 2-0 lead the Falcons worked a three on two with Michael Chaput firing on net and Sean Collins putting in the rebound for his eighth goal of the season. After another Sharks goal and a Dalton Smith fight, the Energizer Bunny Alex Aleardi skated in and found Lukas Sedlak who scored his seventh of the season to make it 3-2. The Falcons would allow two late second period goals to make it 5-2(can’t get direct link to highlights but the game date was 1/31 if you’re searching for them) with Mike McKenna making 35 saves in the loss.

Up next was a game against Bridgeport – a game the Falcons lost 3-0 marking their second shutout loss in the month. Jeremy Smith had 20 saves in the loss. To add insult to injury, Sean Collins left the game after a check to the head from Sound Tigers defenseman Mike Cantin which earned him a match penalty and a (later announced) four game suspension.

Oscar Dansk-Erie Otters (OHL)
Season Stats 30GP 22-6-1 2.15GAA .919Sv% 6SO

Oscar played in two of the Otters’ three games last week missing out on a blowout win over Niagara. Oscar played in the Otters two games against Owen Sound and in the 4-3 win Oscar made 24 saves marking his 22nd win of the season (after winning only 11 last season). After getting the night off against Niagara, Oscar was back in the Otters crease in a 2-1 loss to Owen Sound with Oscar making 23 saves.

Continue reading January 27-February 2 CBJ Prospect Week in Review