Hello, all, it’s time for the Blue Jackets prospect week in review. We have a lot to talk about this week, including more prospect movement and some international play so without further ado, let’s hit it.
After skipping them last week, we’re back to starting off in Cleveland. The Monsters had a weekend series with The Good Land Admirals. Starting off on Friday night, the Ads took an early lead before Calvin Thurkauf scored his fifth goal (tying him for the team lead). Paul Bittner added his second goal of the season to give the Monsters a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission. Midway through the second, the Admirals scored to tie it, but the Monsters erupted for three straight goals in response. Carter Camper struck first just 1:04 after the Admirals goal. Later in the second, Hayden Hodgson and Justin Scott scored just 29 seconds apart to make it 5-2 Monsters. Hodgson’s goal was the first of his pro career. The Admirals added a third period goal to make it 5-3 Monsters, and that is the score that held through the balance of the game. Matiss Kivlenieks picked up his second win of the season. He made 21 saves.
Saturday night, the Blue Jackets used the old Flyers trick of “hey, our minor league team is across the street, here’s three top players since we’re off for three days”(Flyers usually used it more for salary cap issues, but potato tomato). The Monsters would receive Sonny Milano, Gabriel Carlsson and Joonas Korpisalo from the NHL club, and promptly gave Korpisalo the start. Early in the second, Miles Koules opened the scoring when he took a pass from Sam Vigneault behind the net to make it 1-0. Early in the third, with the Monsters on the power play, Bittner took a pass from Dean Kukan, skated to the circle and snapped a shot top corner to make it 2-0. The Admirals scored a late third period goal before Joe Pendenza scored an empty net goal just 12 seconds later. Korpisalo made 32 saves in the win (the highlights are backwards for some reason) before being called back up by the Jackets.
Kole Sherwood-Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
Season Stats 12GP 8-6-14 +4 10PIM
It was a busy week for Kole and the Rangers last week and the Ohio native started it off strong. The week began with a game against one of Kole’s former teams, the London Knights. In the first, Adam Mascherin got the puck behind the net and sent a no-look pass to Kole. He manuevered through the defense before putting the puck past the goalie to make it 1-0. In the third with the game tied at two, Mascherin fired a shot that missed but the puck bounced off the boards and Kole was there. He gathered the puck and, with an empty net to fire into, made it 3-2. Just over 10 minutes later, Kole and Mascherin skated in on a two-on-one with Kole finishing it and getting the hat trick to make it 4-2. It was the Ranger’s first hat trick against the Knights since Matt Halischuk’s in 2006. The win snapped a 14-game losing streak to London. In the win, Kole was named first star.
Up next against Guelph, Kole opened the scoring when he took a pass from Logan Stanley and skated into the zone. He probably thought about splitting the defense but he snapped a shot just above the slot to make it 1-0. Kole picked up his second point of the game with an assist on Connor Bunnaman’s goal to make it 3-0 in a 7-5 Rangers win.
Up next was a nationally televised game against Barrie. Late in the third with the Rangers on a five-on-three and leading 2-1, Kole kept the puck in and swapped spots with dman Logan Stanley before snapping a shot to make it 3-1.
Closing out the week against Peterborough Kole would have his five game point streak snapped being held without a point in the Rangers 4-1 win, during the streak Kole picked up nine points.
Maxime Fortier-Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Season Stats 22GP 14-15-29 +10 14PIM
It was a light week for Maxime and the Herd. Starting off against Saint John in what turned out to be an ugly one. The Sea Dogs took a 7-2 win and held Maxime off the scoresheet in the process.
Up next in a game against Cape Breton, the teams went into the locker room with Halifax trailing 3-2. In the second, the Eagles tried to skate it out of the zone but Jared McIsaac chipped the puck away and Maxime gathered it, and skated in before going wide and sliding a shot past the Eagles goalie to make it 3-3 in what would end a 6-5 shootout win.
Vitaly Abramov-Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
Season Stats 17GP 12-15-27 +7 21PIM
Yes, folks, as you can see we have some big news to talk about involving The Magician but first things first. Vitaly suited up for Team Russia in the team’s two games against Team QMJHL in the CIBC Canada/Russia Series. In the first game, Vitaly was held without a point in a 3-1 loss to Team QMJHL.
Meanwhile, as I reported last week, the rumor mill around Vitaly was spinning fast. And ultimately, the transaction was announced mid-game that Vitaly had been traded to the Victoriaville Tigres for four draft picks in the next three QMJHL drafts. More on the deal later.
As for the game it was 1-1 after one and stayed that way until late in the third when Abramov performed some magic. After a blocked shot, Vitaly and fellow Q Russian German Rubtsov skated in on a two-on-one. Rubtsov appeared to shoot but he instead passed to Abramov who slid the puck past the Q’s goalie to make it 2-1 Russia. This tied the series meaning it would go to a shootout. Vitaly was stopped in the skills competition. The Q ultimately won the shootout to give the CHL the win in the series.
Now to the trade. When it was made, the Tigres were behind the Olympiques in the standings so it made little sense to me. For Abramov, Gatineau received a fourth-round pick in 2018, a first and a second round pick in 2019 and a second-round pick in 2020. One person I follow seems like he, along with most Gatineau fans, thought they would get more for Abramov. You should understand this deal is rare because Abramov is an import player and they can be traded at any time, not just during the Q’s usual trading periods. In the CHL teams are only allowed two import players meaning the team’s that could acquire Abramov were already few plus, there were reports that Vitaly had a list.
When Abramov met up with the Tigres, he posed for a photo op with the GM and Head Coach. It was originally announced Abramov would wear 71 with Victoriaville, but with the player who wears Abramov’s number 11 being injured, the Russian got to wear his normal number. As for his debut on the ice, Abramov was inserted onto the Cats top line and it wouldn’t take long for him to make an impact. In the first, Vitaly started off in his own zone and skated through the defense before dropping a pass to a Maxime Comtois. Comtois fired a shot that was tipped into an almost empty net by Ivan Kosorenkov. Later in the first, Abramov picked up an another assist on Maxime Comtois’ second goal to make it 2-0 which would hold as the final score. In his debut, Vitaly was named third star.
Robbie Stucker-Chicago Steel (USHL-Committed to Colorado College)
Season Stats 13GP 2-7-9 +2 16PIM
Starting off against Team USA, Robbie was held without a point in a 6-2 win.
Up next against Youngstown, Robbie scored his first goal since October 7th when his second period score made it 3-2 in a 4-3 overtime loss.
Kale Howarth-Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL-Committed to UConn)
Season Stats 23GP 15-24-39 24PIM
Another big week for Kale and the league leading Smoke Eaters. Starting off against Alberni Valley, Kale picked up a goal and an assist in a 6-4 victory.
In their next game against Salmon Arm, Kale had his sixth game of the season with at least two assists in a 4-3 win. Kale is still tied with Ross Armour as the BCHL league points leader with 39 points. Kale is holding down ranking number one as he leads by one more goal.
Carson Meyer-Miami RedHawks (NCHC)
Season Stats 12GP 3-2-5 -5 19PIM
The Hawks welcomed the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs to the Goggin last week. In the second period of the first game, with the Hawks trailing 1-0, Carson took a pass in the slot and hammered a shot to make it 1-1 in what would end a 3-1 RedHawks loss.
In the rematch, the Bulldogs opened the scoring before the Hawks got on the board to tie it. Then, late in the second Carson scored his third of the season on his second whack at the puck to make it 2-1 in what would be a 3-2 Miami win. Here are Carson and Coach Blasi’s postgame comments.
Peter Thome-North Dakota (NCHC)
Season Stats 6GP 3-1-2 .911Sv% 2.60GAA
Peter took on the number one Denver Pioneers this weekend and it would start ugly for Peter. The team allowed Denver to take a 3-0 before North Dakota scored four straight goals to take a 4-3 lead. US shootout hero Troy Terry scored to tie it at four before Johnny Simonson notched the game winning goal late in the third. The game was the first time this century North Dakota has won a road game when trailing by three or more goals. In the win, Peter made 30 saves for his third win of the season.
In the rematch, it probably went more like Friday night was expected to go. North Dakota took a 1-0 lead before the Pioneers scored four straight goals to hand Peter his first career loss. Peter made 28 saves in the game.
Andrew Peeke-Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Big 10)
Season Stats 14GP 1-7-8 +6 6PIM
The Irish were off to New York last week for a game against RPI. Friday night Andrew was held without a point in a 4-1 victory.
Saturday night, Andrew would be part of the only, and game-winning, goal.
In the rematch, the game was a scoreless affair all the way into overtime before national assists leader Jake Evans entered the zone and found Andrew at the point. He fired a shot that was tipped by Cam Morrison to give the Irish a 1-0 victory.
Vladislav Gavrikov-SKA St Petersburg (KHL)
Season Stats 31GP 1-7-8 +9 6PIM
Vladislav Gavrikov snapped a four-game pointless streak when he scored his first goal of the season in an 8-1 blowout win over Kunlun Redstar in Shanghai. Late in the third, with the Horses leading 6-1, Gavrikov scored while taking a slash. That led to a Bobby Orr impression. The game ended with an Ilya Kovalchuk hat trick and an 8-1 score. The goal gives Gavrikov eight points this season which is a new career high for the big Russian.
Quickly, in World Junior Championship news ,Team France announced its roster for the World Junior Championships Division 1 Group A tournament that will take part in France from December 10-16. Alexandre and the French will play Austria, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Latvia for a chance to move up to the main tournament next year around Christmas.
Other WJC hopefuls include Andrew Peeke for Team USA and Vitaly Abramov for Team Russia.
There you have it folks, our usual week in review .