Greetings, all, time for the CBJ prospects week in review. This week is a little different as we have a new prospect debut, but more on that later.
Starting off in Cleveland, or Tucson as is the case this weekend. The Monsters were off to the ACME Corporation Arena (may be made up) for a pair of games with the Roadrunners. Starting off on Friday, the Roadrunners took an early lead before Brady Austin scored his first of the season just four minutes later to tie it. Play continued back and forth until Carter Camper scored the game winner to give the Monsters and Matiss Kivlenieks the win. The game was Kivlenieks’ first pro victory. He had 20 saves.
In the rematch, the Monsters turned to Brad Thiessen in net and the Runners would again build an early lead of 1-0 after the first. Early in the second, Miles Koules scored his second of the season with Calvin Thurkauf picking up the first assist of his pro career on the goal. Just under two minutes later, Calvin’s old partner in crime, Nick Merkley, scored his fifth of the season. Just over a minute after Merkley’s goal, Sam Vigneault scored his first goal of the season when he appeared (Tucson highlights leave a lot to be desired) to tip in a Dean Kukan shot to tie it. The game went to overtime and Merkley scored early in the bonus period to give the Roadrunners a 3-2 win. Thiessen made 23 saves in the loss.
Kole Sherwood-Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
Season Stats 6GP 2-3-5 E 8PIM
Kole and the Rangers opened the week with something I would hate as a hockey player, a 10 a.m. faceoff with a crowd full of screaming school kids…but at least Kole gave them a show. As part of a wild first five minutes of the game, Kole intercepted a pass and was off to the races. He scored off of a backhand for his first goal of the season. Early in the second, Kole got the puck at the wall before finding Connor Bunnaman down low who powered his way to the net to make it 4-2 Rangers. Midway through the third, Kole took a drop pass before passing to Adam Mascherin who fired a shot to make it 6-2 Rangers. Kole finished his big night when the Rangers’ top line skated in and Kole finished a bang bang passing play to make it 7-2 in a 7-3 Rangers win. Sherwood’s four-point night earned him first star honors.
In the Rangers only other game last week, Kole was held without a point in a 4-1 win over Guelph.
Vitaly Abramov-Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
Season Stats 14GP 10-11-21 +1 21PIM
Last week was a big and busy week for Vitaly as the Meteor Man rocketed himself into the QMJHL’s top 10 in scoring. Starting off against the Moncton Wildcats, late in the third with the Piques leading 2-0, Mitchell Balmas found Abramov behind the defense. Vitaly skated in and fired to make it 3-0 Gatineau. Late in the third, with the goalie pulled, as a defender tried to pass it out of danger, Balmas stole the puck and fired into the empty net sealing a 4-0 win.
Up next in an unexpected prospect match up (more on that later) against the Halifax Mooseheads, Vitaly opened the scoring when the team entered the zone and got the puck before finding Balmas. He would skate in and deke around the goalie to make it 1-0. Almost 10 minutes after his assist, Vitaly added a goal, but it wouldn’t make the highlights. Late in the third, an Abramov faceoff win resulted in a Olympiques goal to make it 6-4 (the hop celebration made me laugh) in a 7-5 loss. Vitaly was named second star of the game.
Up next against the PLD-less Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Abramov had another big night. Early in the first, Gatineau put on a passing clinic with Abramov taking a pass just above the circle before skating in and firing. The puck went off an Armada’s player’s skate to make it 1-0. Exactly 13 minutes later, Abramov struck again when he split the defense and got past the defense. The play probably should have drawn a penalty shot, but Abramov erased the need for a call when he scored his second of the night. The Boats added two third period goals before the Magician finished off his hat trick. Early in overtime, off a missed shot, Alex Breton gathered the puck and skated the length of the ice. From just above the goal line, he dropped a pass to Abramov who completed the hat trick. In the win, Blainville pulled some solid homerism naming Vitaly second star to first star Blainville’s Alexandre Alain whose goal made it 2-1. The hat trick was Vitaly’s seventh, moving him into second place in Gatineau history past some guy named Claude Giroux (never heard of him).
Vitaly and all his teammates were held without a point in a 2-0 loss to Val-d’Or. This snapped a four-game point streak for Vitaly during which he collected nine points. As I said above, this week’s performance propelled Abramov from 49th in Q scoring into the top 10.
Maxime Fortier-Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Season Stats 19GP 13-14-27 +12 10PIM
Yes folks we have a new prospect to talk about and he’s among the top scorers in the Q. I wrote about the signing of Maxime Fortier here. Ironically, Fortier’s first game as a Jackets prospect was against Vitaly Abramov and the Gatineau Olympiques. Just over a minute after Abramov’s goal, Maxime scored his first of the night when Jockton Chainey fired a shot that was stopped. Maxime picked up the rebound for his 12th goal of the season. Just 44 seconds after a Mooseheads goal, Maxime would strike again when he won a footrace and skated in before backhanding a shot to make it 4-2. Maxime added a third point with an assist on Otto Somppi’s empty net goal to make it 7-4 in a 7-5 Mooseheads win. In the win, Maxime was named third star.
In the Moosehead’s final game, Maxime started the game but did not finish. He played in only the first period of a 2-1 overtime loss to Drummondville.
Kale Howarth-Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL-Committed to UConn)
Season Stats 19GP 13-17-30 20PIM
Kale kept on piling up the points this weekend. Starting off against Wenatchee, Kale had his fourth three point game of the season when he picked up a goal and two assists in the 7-5 win.
Up next, in a 4-3 shootout win over Nanaimo, Kale picked up an assist.
Saturday night, the mighty Smoke Eaters took on the lowly Cowichan Valley Capitals with Kale picking up a goal and an assist. He was named third star in the 7-4 win.
Kale had his five game point streak snapped in a 4-3 overtime win. During the five game streak, Kale collected nine points.
Peter Thome-North Dakota Fighting Sioux (NCHC)
Season Stats 2GP 1-0-1 1.92GAA .935Sv%
North Dakota was off to Madison, Wisconsin for a weekend series with the Badgers. Friday morning was probably normal for Peter. He was expecting to backup Cam Johnson seeing as he’s started 75 of North Dakota’s last 78 games, but after morning skate, Peter found out he’d be starting that night and he did what all of us would…he watched The Office. As for the game, it started off a bit ugly. Peter was beat on two of the first four shots he faced but then he settled down and made 36 saves in the 3-2 North Dakota win. According to North Dakota Media Relations Director Jayson Hajdu, the 36 saves is the most by a goalie making his debut since the 2000-01 season (as far back as he went).
In the rematch, Peter again got the start and again was solid with only a Sean Dhooghe penalty shot beating him in the first two periods. Four minutes after a Sioux goal, Sean’s older brother Jason also scored to make it 2-1. The Sioux scored the game tying goal late in the third and the game would end in a tie with the teams doing a shootout just for fun. In the shootout, Peter was beat twice by the Badgers shooters. In the tie, Peter made 22 saves. As for next week, we could have our first goalie prospect/forward prospect matchup as Carson Meyer and the Redhawks will travel to the Ralph next weekend.
Andrew Peeke-Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Big 10)
Season Stats 10GP 1-6-7 +6 4PIM
The Fighting Irish were in Columbus last week for their first ever Big 10 series against the Buckeyes. I was at the Friday night game it seemed almost like Andrew was the seventh dman barely playing…then CBJ development camp invite Justin Wade got tossed due to a checking from behind penalty six minutes into the game. Andrew picked up an assist on the Irish’s goal to make it 3-1 when he fired a shot that was stopped but Cam Morrison was there to pick up the rebound. The Irish scored an empty net goal to make it a 4-1 win. In the game, Andrew played a solid defensive game along with supporting the rush up the ice multiple times.
In the rematch, the Irish dressed seven dmen again but Andrew put on a show. In the win, Andrew picked up his second multi point game of the season and sixth of his career. In the second, with the Irish leading 1-0, Andrew fired a shot that was tipped by Dylan Malmquist for his second of the season/series. Just 34 seconds later, Andrew fired another shot that was stopped. But Jake Evans picked up the rebound to make it 3-0 Irish in a 3-2 Irish win.
Jonathan Davidsson-Djurgarden IF (SHL)
Season Stats 16GP 4-3-7 +2 8PIM
It’s the last week before European hockey takes a break for international tournaments. In one of only two games last week, Jonathan would put on a show. Starting off in the first period with DIF leading 1-0, Jonathan’s little brother Marcus got the puck just before the blueline. He took off on a 3 on 1 before going wide and finding a wide-open Jonathan who fired a shot over the goalie’s shoulder to make it 2-0. In the third, an FBK player mishandled a clear and Patrik Lundh sent it down the ice. Jonathan outraced a defender and skated in to score his second of the night while sending the defender into the net in the process. In the 3-1 win, Jonathan was named player of the game meaning a 5000 Kronor donation to a local cancer foundation.
Jonathan was held without a point in Djurgarden’s other game last week.
Kevin Stenlund-HV71 (SHL)
Season Stats 9GP 3-0-3 +3 10PIM
Since returning to the Chainsaws lineup, Stenlund has been the team’s top line center. After going without a point against Lulea, Kevin scored one late against Frolunda. Late in the game, Mattias Tedenby got the puck and skated around the defense before throwing the puck out in front to find Kevin for his third of the season.
Emil Bemstrom-Leksands IF (Allsvenskan)
Season Stats 6GP 3-0-3 +2 0PIM
I’d say Emil Bemstrom’s days with the J20 team might be over as he spent all last week with the main club. After going without a point in a shootout win over Sodertalje SK, Emil opened the scoring midway through the second period of a 2-1 shootout win.
As for next week, Emil will be with Team Sweden for a Four Nations Tournament in Russia. During the tournament, they’ll play against the Czech Republic, Finland and Russia.
Alexandre Texier-KalPa (Liiga)
Season Stats 21GP 5-1-6 -6 18PIM
It appears it only took two months for KalPa’s coach to put a little trust in Alexandre Texier. He played more in the two games this week than he had in any other pair of games so far this season. Opening the week against JYP, something got into Alexandre because he was a dangling machine showing the skill that made him the Jackets top pick this year. In the second period, with KalPa trailing 2-1, Janne Tavi skated in and dropped a pass to Alexandre who kicked the puck to his skate and snapped a shot for his fifth goal of the season in a 3-2 KalPa win. The score tied Texier for team lead.
Up next for the Roosters (it’s the team mascot) was a game against Tappara. Late in the third, with KalPa trailing 2-1, Janne Tavi pressured a Tappara player and forced him to lose the puck before Alexandre gathered it and found Mikko Nuutinen in the slot. Nuutinen hammered a shot to tie the game at two with just over two minutes left in the third. KalPa ultimately fell in a shootout.
As for next week, Alexandre will be with another group of Roosters (French National Teams usually have a Rooster on their jerseys) as the French host a Four Nations Tournament in Cergy which is a suburb of Paris. They’ll play against Belarus, Latvia and Slovenia.
There you have it folks, another week in review for Jackets prospects. As for next week, we’ll have international hockey to talk about along with a potential prospect matchup.