It’s hockey time so let’s get right to checking out what’s going on with some of the Blue Jackets prospects. Europe gets an earlier start than North America with all three of the Jacket’s European getting started this week. The Jackets have three prospects playing overseas: Daniel Zaar in Sweden, Joonas Korpisalo in Finland and Elvis Merzlikins in Switzerland. Since it’s hard to see these players live, like I normally do with the CHL and NCAA, I’ve asked for some help from reporters who have seen these players live.
Greetings all after a bit of summer break I’m back with my take on the Jackets Top 20 prospects. First here are my last top 20 from January.
1. Alexander Wennberg
2. Kerby Rychel
3. Oscar Dansk
4. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault
5. Marko Dano
6. Anton Forsberg
7. Cody Goloubef
8. Oliver Bjorkstrand
9. Mike Reilly
10. Michael Chaput
11. Daniel Zaar
12. Dillon Heatherington
13. Sean Collins
14. Josh Anderson
15. Lukas Sedlak
16. Peter Quenneville
17. Gianluca Curcuruto
18. Seth Ambroz
19. Markus Soberg
Incomplete Joonas Korpisalo
When we look at the list for this year, two prospects from this list have moved on with J_M being traded to Tampa Bay and Gianluca Curcuruto not being signed after an injury filled/down year in Plymouth. There has also been some normal movement due to last season’s performances. So let’s take a look at my list of the top 20:
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.
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.
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.
Back again with the week in review starting off in Springfield like we always do! The Falcons got back on track going 2-0 the same week that the team celebrated its 20th anniversary. First off was a trip to Portland (Lewiston) for a game against the Pirates. In the 4-3 shootout win the Falcons took an early lead when Cody Bass deflected a Blake Parlett point shot for his second of the season. After a Pirates goal, Spencer Machacek got his seventh goal from Michael Chaput and Dalton Smith. The Birds would allow two more goals before Cody Goloubef was able to tie it up. The game went to a shootout with Goloubef winning it in the fifth round. Mike McKenna made 31 saves in the victory, stopping four of five in the shootout.
Up next was a game against Providence. Andrew Joudrey opened the scoring when he tapped in the rebound of a Tim Erixon point shot. The Falcons allowed three straight goals before they scored early in the third. Spencer Machacek got on the scoreboard 36 seconds into the period when he crashed the net to make it 3-2. 12 minutes later Ryan Craig tipped in a Jonathan Marchessault shot to tie it at three. 30 seconds later, Tim Erixon gathered a loose puck and found Sean Collins who deflected the puck past the Bruins goalie. Andrew Joudrey finished the game with an empty net goal launching the puck from before his own blueline to ice the 5-3 win. Jeremy Smith made 22 saves in the victory including this highlight glove save.
Oscar Dansk-Erie Otters (OHL)
Season Stats 26GP 20-4-1 1.97GAA .927Sv % 6SO
First some awards. With his 3-0 record last week that included two shutouts Oscar was named CHL VAUGHN Goaltender of the week for the second time this season. As for his week in Erie it started off with a game against Kingston. Oscar had his shutout streak snapped at the 13:35 of the first period ending his streak at 157:53 which is the third longest in franchise history. In the 6-3 victory Oscar had 26 saves for his 20th win of the season. To close out the week the Guelph Storm came to town in a matchup of the Midwest Division’s top two teams. In the 1-0 loss Oscar would make 18 saves.
Greetings all! With the calendar flipping and the World Junior Championships finished I thought it was time to update my Top 20 list from before the season started. First things first, here’s the previous top 20.
1. Ryan Murray
2. Boone Jenner
3. Alexander Wennberg
4. Kerby Rychel
5. Oscar Dansk
6. Marko Dano
7. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault
8. Anton Forsberg
9. Cody Goloubef
10. Joonas Korpisalo
11. Mike Reilly
12. Micheal Chaput
13. David Savard
14. Daniel Zaar
15. Dillon Heatherington
16. Oliver Bjorkstrand
17. Sean Collins
18. Lukas Sedlak
19. Gianluca Curcuruto
20. Josh Anderson
Three players from this list will be graduating as they have spent all season with the Jackets. Those three are obviously Ryan Murray, Boone Jenner and David Savard (who I no longer have to be talked into putting in my top 20). Other than those three, there will be some movement and one prospect is dropping off due to injuries. I’ve also had a heck of a time getting info from Finland this season. So without further ado – let’s go. Season stats are as of 1/15/14.
Hilsner og glade feriedage blå jakke blæsere (“Greetings and Happy Holidays Blue Jackets fans” in Danish…I hope) I’m back again with a week in review that is heavy on the international flavor.
Starting off in Springfield as we usually do, the Falcons finished up their six game road trip and finished off the first half of the season. The Falcons went 2-0 last week which gives them a seven game point streak. Starting off on Friday in Providence, the Falcons picked up a shootout win over the Baby Bruins. All the offense for this game would happen in the second. After the Bruins took a 2-0 lead, Andrew Joudrey scored his 4th of the season to make it 2-1. Frederic St. Denis then tied the game with his sixth of the season with just over a minute remaining in the period. The resulting shootout took seven rounds – Sean Collins scored in the third round and Joudrey notched the final goal to clinch the win. Jeremy Smith made 20 saves for his 12th win of the season.
Friday night it was off to Hartford for a game against the reborn Wolfpack. Jonathan Marchessault continued his hot streak of late when he scored his eighth of the season and his fourth in his last six games. Akim Aliu scored midway through the second to tie it up. Like Friday, the game went to a shootout with Andrew Joudrey and Jonathan Marchessault scoring in rounds one and three to clinch it. Jeremy Smith had 27 saves along with four more in the shootout.
Entering the Christmas break the Falcons own the best record in the AHL going 20-4-1-2. The Falcons are using a scoring by committee approach with 13 players already having over 10 points including five defenseman including Tim Erixon.
Hello all, back again with a fairly North American based review as the six European prospects were off for International tournaments, despite all but two taking part and one missing due to injury.
Starting off in Springfield as usual where the Falcons went 1-1 last week, starting of with a 3-0 loss to Adirondack. Mike McKenna made 16 saves in the loss. Sunday the Falcons would face off against the Baby Penguins with Jeremy Smith getting the start. The Falcons would bounce back picking up a 4-3 win. Late in the first period, a Penguins player would send the puck out but Tim Erixon would fire a slapshot for his third of the season. Three minutes later after some pretty passing Alex Aleardi would find Frederic St. Denis who’d fire a blast with Spencer Machacek deflecting it (even if you don’t see it in the highlight). After a Penguins goal, Aleardi would give the Pens fits in the zone with a Pens dman trying to clear it out but St. Denis blasting a shot to make it 3-1. After a kerfuffle and another two Penguin goals to tie the game at three, Tim Erixon would keep the puck in and get it to Darryl Boyce who got a whack at it with Ryan Craig getting two whacks at it to score the game winner, with less than three minutes left. Jeremy Smith would make 19 saves in the win, his fifth of the season. Continue reading…
Welcome back to our weekly recap of the goings on in Blue Jackets Prospects land.
It was a busy week in Springfield as the Falcons played three games and brought home a tally of 2-1 with one win being by shootout. First on Thursday, the Falcons would be off to Glen Falls, New York for a game against the Phantoms. In the 2-1 loss, Lukas Sedlak scored his third goal of the season. Jeremy Smith came up with 28 saves in the game.
On Friday, the Hartford Wolfpack would come to town (so glad the Connecticut FailWhale is gone) and the Falcons snapped a three game losing streak with a 3-2 shootout win. At first, the Falcons trailed 1-0 off a Dylan McIlrath goal. Just under two minutes later, Lukas Sedlak struck again when Oscar Lindberg tried to get fancy and Lukas stole the puck going off on a two on one and snapping a shot over the goalie’s shoulder. Midway through the second, Andrew Joudrey would start and finish a play getting the puck to Frederic St Denis who got the puck to Alex Aleardi who drove to the net. Aleardi passed over to Joudrey who finished the play for his first of the season. Andrew Rowe would score late in the second to tie it. The game would go to a shootout with Ilari Melart shooting first (yes, you read that right) and missing. Sean Collins would shoot second, also missing. In the third round, Alex Aleardi, who had multiple chances all night, scored on a backhand but Andrew Rowe would answer to tie it. Jonathan Marchessault shot next, snapping a shot over the goalie’s shoulder to make it 2-1 in the shootout. Mike McKenna stopped the final shot bringing his tally to turning away four of five in the shootout and stopping 22 of 24 in the game.