I had the majority of a post put together for an offseason game plan post featuring all the moves I wanted to see the Jackets make. I’d figured out reasonable cap hits for the guys I wanted to be signed, figured out a nice trade or two that made sense, and wrote a nice long paragraph about how no one in their right mind would deal anything of value for RJ Umberger. Then it all got blown to hell. It came out that Jason Spezza had Columbus on his no trade list (I had him as a trade target), Nikita Nikitin was dealt to the Oilers, and Umberger was somehow traded for Scott Hartnell. In my opinion, those moves took care of a lot of what the Jackets needed to do this offseason. So instead of a post detailing everything I wanted to see, I figured I’d hit everything that has happened so far, and what I want to see happen the rest of the offseason. Continue reading…
The Falcons faced off against the Providence Bruins in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. Unforunately, the Bruins earned the 3-2 series win. Let’s take a look back at the one playoff series the baby Jackets played in this season.
Starting off in game one, with the Falcons trailing 1-0 in the second Michael Chaput, Marko Dano and JF Jacques had a three on two with Dano sending a cross rink pass to Jacques (even tho it looked like he didn’t put much on it) to get a shot past Svedberg to make it 1-1. Later in the second period, Ryan Craig tipped in a Patrick McNeill shot to make it 2-1. The Bruins tied the game just before the midway point of the third and thus sent the game to overtime. Andrew Joudrey started and finished the rush when he passed the puck and then received it back to snap a shot just above the circle to win the game. Mike McKenna made 35 saves in the win.
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.
We’re back with our weekly prospects review. Here’s all that’s going on with the Jackets’ assets this past week.
Starting off as usual in Springfield, the Falcons went 2-0 last week including one game that went to a shootout to clinch it. Friday night it was the Bridgeport Sound Tigers coming to town and the Falcons picked up a 3-2 win. Late in the second period, Jack Skille found Tim Erixon at the point. Tim’s shot was deflected by Blake Parlett for his first of the season. Two minutes later the Falcons would strike again when Frederic St. Denis fired a shot and Jack Skille would get the rebound – flipping a backhand in for his second of the season. Five minutes into the third period, Blake Parlett struck again. After some pretty passing by the Falcons power play, Blake snapped his shot over the goalie’s shoulder. The Sound Tigers scored two goals in a two minute span to make it 3-2. Jeremy Smith would make 21 saves in the win.
With the Memorial Cup Final being played Sunday night the NHL is now the only level of hockey still playing. Let’s look at a final wrap up of what happened with CBJ prospects that finished out their season recently.
Starting off in Springfield as always, the juggernaut Syracuse Crunch made quick work of the Falcons sweeping them in four games. Game one would be a 5-2 loss with Nick Drazenovic and Ryan Craig picking up the Birds’ goals. Drazenovic would strike first on the power play when the Falcons were trailing 2-0. Nick would take a pass from Nick Holden just above the faceoff circle with his shot looking like Boone Jenner tipped it but Drazenovic was given credit for it. Ryan Craig would score with only two seconds left when he’d deflect a Nick Holden point shot. Curtis McEllhinney would take the loss stopping only four of nine in just over 30 minutes of action. Allen York would stop all 11 shots he faced.
Like last year, The Hockey News Future Watch issue is out and that means its time for me to go over what the Jackets have coming down the pipeline. Last year’s issue gave the Jackets prospects a C+ (the grades are decided by a panel of NHL scouts – 14 last year, 15 this year) placing the CBJ 24th. I’ll be honest with you, I figured the CBJ would either stay about the same, or even drop, but I was wrong. The Jackets group of prospects jumped up seven spots to 17th earning a grade of B. I’m guessing the drafting of Ryan Murray second overall and two of the top draft European goalie prospects helped this grade. The last two top 10s feature six players that appear in both.
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We’ve got two weeks to cover so let’s skip the formalities and just get on to the review.
The Falcons have played five games since our last update going 3-1-1. Starting off against Bridgeport, the Falcons won 5-4 with Curtis McElhinney making 16 saves in the win. Michael Chaput would open the scoring when he took a pass from Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and snapped a wrist shot over Kevin Poulin’s shoulder for his third of the season. JAM would pick up another point by scoring his eighth of the season when Tim Erixon would fire a blast from the point and the puck would bounce right to Marchessault who had a wide open net on which to shoot. El Nino would strike just 28 seconds later to tie the game at two. Still in the first period, Michael Chaput would set Ryan Russell and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault on a two on one and Russell would take it the whole way snapping it over Poulin’s shoulder. Ryan Craig would score to make it 4-2 after a pretty passing play by Cam Atkinson and Tim Erixon where Craig would bang home a rebound. To close out the game with a 4-3 score, Nick Drazenovic would score on a bit of a knucklepuck shot for his 10th of the season. Continue reading…
Fresh from a road trip to Erie, I’m back with your weekly update on the Jackets prospects.
Last weekend was one of two goal games and shutouts in Springfield as the Falcons continued to hold onto the best record in the Eastern Conference. Starting off on Friday, it was the Tim Erixon show guest starring the puck stopping antics of Curtis McElhinney. In the 2-0 win over the Whale, Erixon would score both goals off blasts from the slot or point giving him three goals in his last two games after scoring three in 52 games last season. Curtis McElhinney made 20 saves in the shutout for his third of the season. After a day off, the Falcons would take on the Calder Cup champion the Norfolk Admirals. In the 5-0 win, the majority of the goals were scored off rebounds allowed by both Admiral goalies. Nick Drazenovic scored the first of his two goals just 41 seconds into the game when he tapped in a Cam Atkinson shot. Nick’s second goal would again come off a Atkinson shot when Cam had a breakaway. Igor Bobkov made the save, but Drazenovic would have a wide open net for his team leading sixth goal. Matt Calvert’s goals were almost identical as he scored off rebounds within inches of the crease. JAM would add his fifth off a rebound. Curtis McElhinney made 35 shots in the win for his second of the weekend giving the Falcons back to back shutouts for the first time since having three straight in 1996. Cam Atkinson would lead the Falcons in scoring with five assists, Nick Drazenovic had two goals and two assists with Matt Calvert and Tim Erixon’s two-goal games being the only other Falcons with multiple points. McElhinney would be named AHL/CCM player of the week with his two shutouts. Starting next week, the Falcons will be road warriors after having nine of their first 11 being at the nest with 12 of its next 16 on the road. Continue reading…
Since this is the first week with a full slate of prospects playing, let’s get going.
Starting off in Springfield, the Falcons opened the season 2-0 for the first time since 2005-06 with Curtis McElhinney winning both games including a Sunday shutout against Adirondack. On Saturday night, the Falcons opened against the St John’s IceCaps winning 4-2. Leading the way was Tomas Kubalik and Matt Calvert, each having a goal and an assist; and, Tim Erixon having two assists both appearing to be on shots from the point. Picking up their first pro points were Michael Chaput and Dalton Smith with Chaput assisting on Smith’s goal. On Sunday, it was all birds as Springfield won 4-0, with McElhinney making 31 saves facing off against former OSU goalie Cal Heeter. Cal was making his pro debut for Adirondack. Scoring for the Falcons were Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and Ryan Craig, each with a goal and an assist and Cam Atkinson and Cody Bass with two assists. Ryan Johansen would score the game winner and Dalton Prout would add a early second period goal just 30 seconds in. Jonthan Audy-Marchessault is currently tied for third in AHL scoring (with a goal and two assists) with Ryan Craig, who is only signed on a AHL deal. McElhinney is top three in GAA and save percentage after this weekend. Continue reading…
Hey everybody it’s time for our weekly prospect review!
We’ll start with the Jackets minor league affiliate, the Springfield Falcons who got underway with preseason action over the last week. Unfortunately, the AHL doesn’t do anything stat-wise for the preseason, so for our this week I’m basing this update on more disparate information, including a lot of updates I’ve gathered via Twitter accounts.
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault led the way with five goals and an assist with all his points coming in Friday and Saturday’s wins over Worchester and Providence. The only other Jackets prospects with multiple points were Ryan Johansen and John Moore each having a goal and three assists. One other player came away with two points: the Springfield-signed Ryan Craig who picked up a goal and assist. Some players that didn’t play in any of the three Springfield preseason games were Cam Atkinson, David Savard and Tim Erixon. As of this writing, we were made aware that Cam suffered a random eye injury, but there was no other bad news as to why Savard nor Erixon didn’t play. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Allen York who is currently nursing a minor injury.
Springfield played a third preseason game on Wednesday but only players signed by Evansville factored in on the lone goal. Next update, I’ll have more on Springfield as the AHL site will have full stats and hopefully Springfield will also be posting game highlights.
Looking to the ECHL, the Evansville IceMen played its first game as a Jackets affiliate, splitting a preseason back-to-back with Fort Wayne, but no Jackets prospects played in either game. As of this writing, the IceMen have two prospects with forward Oliver Gabriel and defenseman Anton Blomqvist being sent down after Springfield’s Saturday win.
As for our NCAA prospects, most only played preseason games against Canadian colleges or the US Under 18 team. Thomas Larkin and Colgate faced off against Queen’s University, with Larkin going scoreless in a 1-0 victory. Martin Ouelette and Maine were the only NCAA team to play a game that counted taking a 2-1 loss against Quinnipiac, although Ouelette did not play. Ouelette did get to play in a exhibition the next night against the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds and starting goaltender Dan LaCosta, a former Blue Jacket. In 30 minutes of action, Martin stopped 14 of 15 earning a no decision. TJ Tynan and Notre Dame faced off against the US U18 team winning 2-1 in a shootout with Tynan going scoreless in regulation, but scoring in the shootout. In Minnesota’s 7-0 win over Lethbridge, both Jackets prospects picked up two points (highlights Reilly#5 Ambroz#17), Mike Reilly had 2 assists including one on Seth Ambroz’s goal. Seth Ambroz had a goal and an assist. Ambroz’s goal was how I’m guessing most of his goals will be this season with the big guy camped out in front tapping in a rebound.
Quickly, lets go over the Jackets CHL prospects that didn’t score any points last week. Ryan Murray and the Silvertips went 0-3 last week with Ryan having no points and being a -2. Daniel Zaar had his season-opening point streak snapped as he went scoreless in the Rogle BK’s 1-0-0-1 weekend. Zaar got some good news today as my Rogle source, Jonas Lindeblad, told me: Zaar (interview with Daniel) will make his Elitserien debut playing on a line with Rogle’s top two scorers against Brynas IF on Tuesday.
Oscar Dansk-Erie Otters(OHL)
Season Stats 6GP 2-3-0-1 .888Sv% 4.18GAA
Oscar went 1-0-0-1 last week and I was in attendance for the win this past Friday. It was the Otter’s home opener and Oscar didn’t disappoint – stopping 34 of 35 with the only goal being early in the third period on a shot from the slot. Oscar was solid except for a few “ahh don’t do that” moments when he played the puck with one misplay leading to a power play for Brampton. The next night, the London Knights came to town with the Otters keeping it close losing 4-3 in a shootout. Oscar made 19 saves in regulation play and went on to stop eight of nine in the shootout.
Boone Jenner-Oshawa Generals(OHL)
Season Stats 6GP 7-8-15 +15 6PIM
Boone and the Generals had a short week last week only playing one game but Boone still decided to put on a show by adding three assists in the Generals 6-4 win over Kingston. Jenner’s first assist was a beauty as he waited for the Fronts goalie to commit to him before he passed in front to Michael Dal Colle. The second and third ones weren’t as pretty, but hey, they can’t all be beautiful. Though highlight videos didn’t show the entire play develop, for the second assist, I’m guessing Boone won a faceoff and sent the puck out to the point so Cole Cassels and Scott Laughton could do some nifty passing before Laughton could blast it. On the third one, Boone started the rush – getting it to Lucas Lessio who shot it before Brian Hughes could tip it into the wide open net.
Josh Anderson-London Knights(OHL)
Season Stats 6GP 1-4-5 +3 4PIM
Josh and the Knights went 2-0 last week beating Windsor 8-2 (the Knights 3rd 8-2 victory of the season) and the aforementioned defeat of Erie in a shootout. In the Knights’ win, Josh had his second multi-point game of the season scoring a goal and two assists (#77). Josh opened the scoring with a nasty wrist shot just over the Windsor goalie’s shoulder after a taking a pass from Max Domi. For the assists, Josh started the rush into Windsor’s end before passing it to Brett Welychka who then tapped it over to Domi to finish it. Josh’s second assist came on the power play when he passed it over to Bo Horvat who let loose a shot that a Rupert twin tipped in after a rebound.
Gianluca Curcuruto-Plymouth Whalers(OHL)
Season Stats 5GP 1-4-5 +2 4PIM
Gianluca and the Whalers went 1-1 last week with Gianluca scoring his first goal with the Whalers. In the Whalers 5-4 loss to Guelph, Plymouth was up 2-1 going into the third but ended up losing 5-4 after allowing the Storm to score four in the third period including the winner with five seconds left. Gianluca would open the scoring with a blast from the point (start of the video) on the power play. In the Whalers’ win over Niagara, Gianluca would be held scoreless but was +1. On the weekend, Gianluca had the one goal and was even on the weekend.
Lukas Sedlak-Chicoutimi Sagueneens(QMJHL)
Season Stats 8GP 3-2-5 +2 6PIM, 65% on faceoffs
Lukas helped the Sags go 1-2 last week, his only point came from an assist in the loss to Quebec. While not scoring much last week, Lukas showed he might have learned some tricks from Michael Chaput. In the three games, Lukas won 53 of 83 draws or 64%. Sedlak currently leads the Q in faceoff wins winning 145 of 224 or 65%. As I’ve said before, I think its dumb that the Q does it by wins and not winning percentage.
Anton Forsberg-Sodertalje SK(HockeyAllsvenskan)
Season Stats 6GP 2-0-4 .921Sv% 2.50GAA
SSK started the week off with a game against Karlskrona. Anton made 23 saves in the win and added an assist on Jesper Thornburg’s first of two goals. It was first reported that Anton had two assists, but the final score sheet gave him only one. The team’s next game was against Asploven HC. Sodertalje led most of the game with Asploven tying it with 30 seconds left which led to a 4-3 loss in a shootout. Forsberg made 23 saves in the loss, stopping three of four in the shootout.
Season Stats 5GP 2-2-1 .902Sv% 2.77GAA
Korpisalo spent the whole week with the Fish, but the team went 0-2-1 with Korpisalo taking a loss and an overtime loss. Starting the week against Vaasan Sport, the game went to overtime with Sport winning it with only 45 seconds left. Korpisalo would make 28 saves in the loss. In the team’s next game against Jokipojat, Korpisalo stopped 22 of 25 with Jokipojat adding a empty net goal in the 4-2 victory. Korpisalo would get the night off against SaPKo – another KV loss.
There you have it folks. I’ll be posting my NCAA preview later this week before the season really gets going on Friday. See you next week for the next prospect review.