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…
Well folks – the season for everyone with the Blue Jackets has come to an end when the Memorial Cup Final was played on Sunday. The CBJ had two prospects playing in the event – Josh Anderson played for the host London Knights and Kerby Rychel played for the OHL Champions Guelph Storm.
Josh Anderson-London Knights (Host)
Memorial Cup Stats 3GP 1-0-1 -2 6PIM
Josh and the Knights had been off since they were eliminated in the second round of the OHL playoffs by Guelph. Unfortunately, this section of the review is really one of those “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” moments. The Knights were a disappointment including being named the “worst on-ice Memorial Cup host ever”. They were only the second host to not win a game – but at least they did better than the other team winning that honor. The 03 Quebec Remparts scored 8 and allowed 12 where the Knights scored only four goals allowing 13.
In their three games, the Knights were shutout in a 1-0 loss to Val-d’Or despite taking 51 shots; then they lost 5-2 to Edmonton setting up a win or go home game against Guelph. In the 7-2 Guelph win, Josh picked up his only point of the tournament. In the second period with London trailing 3-1 Josh drove to the net and shot. Justin Nichols stopped it and Max Domi missed the rebound allowing the puck going to Brady Austin. Austin’s shot seems to have been tipped by Mitchell Marner. Nichols stopped this shot as well but the rebound got to Josh allowing him to snap a backhand to make it 3-2. This game ended Josh’s OHL career as he is more than likely headed to Springfield, Massachusetts next year (even though I think the RJ Umberger trade would open a Josh sized hole in the CBJ lineup – just throwing it out there).
In his OHL career Josh scored 122 points in 191 games after walking on with the Knights. Josh is only the second Jackets draft pick ever to play in three Memorial Cups joining Phillipe Dupuis who played in 03,04 and 06.
Kerby Rychel-Guelph Storm (OHL Champions)
Memorial Cup Stats 4GP 3-4-7 +2 0PIM
Kerby and the Storm had the longest layoff of the three league champs and opened against Edmonton Saturday night in London. Kerby started the scoring with just five seconds remaining in the first period, when he picked up the rebound of a Zach Leslie point shot to make it 1-0. In the second, after the Oil Kings scored two goals in 27 seconds, Kerby scored a goofy one. On a dump in, Kings goalie Tristan Jarry played the puck and got it to a dman who cleared it…right into Kerby bouncing off him into the net to tie it at two (watch the highlights you see Kerby give kind of a “I don’t know what happened” gesture). Kerby would be named first star in the 5-2 win, here’s his post game comments.
Up next was a game against the 1-0 Foreurs. Just a minute in the Storm’s top line worked its magic when Zack Mitchell went to the corner and found Robby Fabbri (please Jarmo I don’t ask for much) in the slot who had the attention of every one in green – even the mascot and he wasn’t even in London – sliding a perfect pass to Kerby who had a wide open net to tap the puck in to. In the second, after the Foreurs score two in 56 seconds, the Storm’s top line was at it again with Mitchell, Fabbri and Rychel. The goal came with Fabbri finishing off a pretty passing sequence. The Storm won the game 6-3.
Up next was a game against the host London Knights with the Storm picking up a 7-2 win ending the Knights tournament and clinching the Storm a spot in Sunday’s Cup Final. Kerby picked up an assist on Scott Kosmachuk’s hat trick goal when, on a three on two, Kerby got the puck from Fabbri and sent it to Kosmachuk (even though it looks like he didn’t even touch it) who slid it past Jake Patterson.
With some help from a twitter follower, I was able to attend the Championship game and make my first trip to London. Of the three OHL rinks I’ve been to it was the nicest. In the Final, a matchup between Guelph and the WHL Champ Edmonton Oil Kings, the outcome marked the first time since 2010 a non QMJHL team won the Cup. Kerby picked up another point in the first minute when Zack Mitchell stole a clearing attempt and started a three on two. He passed the puck to Kerby who passed to Fabbri who had a wide open net allowing him to make it 1-0 Storm. Early in the third, with Guelph trailing 4-2, Kerby came screaming off the bench and gathered a loose puck from a board battle. He then went behind the net and found Mitchell in front to make it 4-3. Sadly it wasn’t enough and the Storm would fall 6-3.
Kerby finished tied for second in tournament scoring and was named to the all star team. Kerby took the loss in his final junior game hard sitting on the bench (shown crying on the scoreboard way too long London or Sportsnet camera guy) with his linemates while his teammates waited for the Oil Kings to line up for the handshakes. Kerby, like Josh, is off to Springfield even though he’ll probably get a long look in training camp (again Umberger trade=Rychel size hole but that’s me). Kerby ends his junior career with 272 points in 256 games played including two 40 goal seasons.
There you have it folks, another season of my ramblings. I’ll be back soon with my CBJ prospect awards and we are a little less than a month away from the NHL draft so soon I’ll have a new batch of guys to keep track of.
I had the great fortune of attending the first four games of this year Memorial Cup in London, Ontario. This tournament pitted the host London Knights against the WHL Champion Edmonton Oil Kings, OHL Champion Guelph Storm, and QMJHL Champ Val D’Oor Foreurs. Unfortunately the Portland Winterhawks (and Jackets prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand) lost to Edmonton in game seven of the WHL finals, so the CBJ prospect contingent consisted of 2013 1st round pick Kerby Rychel (19th overall) of the Storm, and 2012 4th round pick Josh Anderson (95th overall) of the host Knights. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the performance/future of the two Jackets prospects and a few other noteworthy players.
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.
Hello all – time to recap how our CHL prospects did last round. Overall we had five prospects playing in the conference semifinals with three moving on which will provide another prospect matchup in the OHL Western Conference Final.
Oscar Dansk didn’t play in any game of the Otters four game sweep of Sault Ste. Marie and, unless Devin Williams falters, I didn’t see Oscar making an appearance in the Western Conference Finals against Guelph (Editor’s note: Oscar did start the game last night with not so great results – we’ll have more on that in our next update)
Kerby Rychel-Guelph Storm (OHL Western Conference)-Won Series 4-1
Round Stats 5GP 1-5-6 +4 2PIM
Playoff Stats 10GP 2-11-13 +7 8PIM
Kerby and the Storm faced off against the London Knights and picked up a 4-1 series win. In game one Kerby put the icing on the cake of a 6-4 win when he scored an empty net goal with only 10 seconds remaining. The goal came when London’s mammoth Russian Nikita Zadorov played the puck and cleared it…right to Storm forward Jason Dickinson who skated in drawing the attention of two Knights. This allowed him to find a wide open Kerby who scored for his second of the playoffs. Kerby was held scoreless in game two – a 7-2 Storm loss. The Storm is 1-2 in the playoffs when Kerby is held off the scoresheet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.