Gianluca Curcuruto

Why I think the CBJ should focus on Defense at the NHL Entry Draft

Posted by CBJProspects on June 13, 2014
Draft, Prospects / No Comments

How do, all! As you know, I’ve been saying that the CBJ should focus on their defensive prospect depth in this year’s draft despite the fact that, from what I’ve gathered, the best player available in the first round will more than likely be a forward. As I pointed out in my preview, the CBJ have used 16 of their last 19 picks on forwards or goalies including six of last year’s seven picks (all six being forwards) with four of those picks being among the teams top prospects. But more importantly, I say this because of the organization’s overall lack of depth at the position.

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2014 CBJ Prospect Awards

Posted by CBJProspects on June 02, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Greeting all! Live from your phone or PC, the entertainment capital of your office, it’s time for my fourth annual edition of The Prospect Awards so put on your best tuxedo shirt and let’s get going. Continue reading…

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OHL/WHL Finals CBJ Prospect Recap

Posted by CBJProspects on May 18, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

Greetings all – we’re coming to the end of hockey season (looks at NHL playoff schedule…) well for my area of expertise at least. The Jackets had two prospects competing for a spot in the Memorial Cup with one making it the other’s season coming to an end with another starting back up but more on that later.

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CBJ to select 16th in 1st Round of NHL Draft

Posted by CBJProspects on May 07, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Draft / 1 Comment

When Aaron Portzline tweeted where the Jackets would pick in the first round of the NHL draft he thought it would bum out CBJ fans because it made them face the reality that it’s now officially the off-season. To me it said “well better get to work prospect boy”. As I said in my state of the prospect pool post, my knowledge is limited right now (the troubles of following a play-off team) but that’s nothing a few hours with my hockeyprospect.com blackbook can’t fix. The Jackets will pick 16th in the NHL Draft which ties their lowest original pick. (The team was supposed to pick 16th in 2009 but traded down twice to eventually pick John Moore at 21.)

To recap the picks currently available to the Jackets:

2014
1st Round 16th
2nd Round 47th
Could Get Toronto’s 2nd Round Pick (Anaheim’s Choice) 14 or 15
3rd Round 77th
3rd Round Edmonton Pick From LA(Scrivens trade)
4th Round 107th
5th lost in Schultz Trade
6th lost in Gaborik NYR deal – pick later traded to Minnesota
7th Round 197th

2015(<-I gotta be me ;) )
1st
2nd
2nd Toronto’s from LA if not used in 14
3rd
3rd(PHI-Mason Deal)
4th
5th
6th
7th

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CHL Playoff 1st Round Recap

Posted by CBJProspects on April 03, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

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.

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March 10-17 AHL Review/CHL Season Review/Playoff Preview

Posted by CBJProspects on March 19, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets / No Comments
20140319-122653.jpg

Oliver Bjorkstrand

Hello all! Back again with the week in review – with a bit of delay as a team had a game rescheduled due to the Terry Trafford tragedy. Let’s look at how our players finished up the regular season after visiting the baby birds in the AHL.

Starting off in Springfield as we usually do, the Falcons had another light week going 2-0 with both games requiring third period comebacks. On Friday night against Albany, the Falcons opened the scoring when Jean Francois Jacques sent a backhand shot past the Devils goalie after  intercepting  a pass. The Falcons allowed two goals in 2:37 to close out the period, but then 2:56 into the second period, Matt Taormina scored his first with the team when he potted one off the rebound of Ryan Craig‘s shot. Midway through the second well…the Devils would again score two goals again in a little under five minutes to make it 4-2 Devils. The Falcons rallied in the third thankfully when Patrick McNeill opened the scoring on a power play when, after some passing, he fired a shot. It appeared Sean Collins scored but McNeill got credit for his seventh of the season. Five minutes later, Trent Vogelhuber scored his first of the season when he deflected a Denny Urban point shot to tie it at four. A few minutes later the Falcons scored for the third time on the power play (team went 3 for 3 in this game) when Carter Camper got the puck down low and sent a cross crease pass to Jean Francois Jacques who had a wide open net to shoot into for his second of the night. Patrick McNeill picked up his third point of the night sending Michael Chaput and Ryan Craig off on a two on one with Craig finishing it for his 13th of the season. Mike McKenna made 19 saves for his 18th win of the season.

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March 5-9 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on March 10, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

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

Posted by CBJProspects on March 03, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

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.

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February 10-23 CBJ Prospect Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on February 24, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

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.

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February 3-9 CBJ Prospects Week in Review

Posted by CBJProspects on February 10, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets, Prospects / No Comments

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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