HF Prospect of the Month for January, 2014

By Ian Altenbaugh

Eric Comrie - Winnipeg Jets

Photo: Goaltender Eric Comrie is the Hockey’s Future Prospect of the Month for January after posting an 8-2-0-1 record and 1.35 goals against average. Comrie was selected in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft by the Winnipeg Jets. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Tri-City Americans goaltender and Winnipeg Jets prospect Eric Comrie is the Hockey's Future Prospect of the Month for January. Comrie is coming off a dominant month of hockey in January, where he went 8-2-0-1 in 11 appearances while allowing only 15 goals.

Perhaps it was the confidence of signing an NHL entry-level contract on December 24th, but Comrie went on a tear through January, posting a 1.35 goals-against average and a .962 save percentage, despite seeing an average of over 35 shots a night. He faced 40 or more shots on two occasions, including a 43-save shutout against the Vancouver Giants on January 19th.

He currently ranks third in the league with a 2.29 goals against average and second in the league with a .932 save percentage. For his efforts, he was recently named the Vaughn WHL Goaltender of the Month.

Honorable Mentions

Anthony Duclair (NYR)
Quebec Remparts – QMJHL

Remparts forward Anthony Duclair was another player who really elevated his profile over the month of January. Duclair came into the new year brimming with confidence, as he managed 22 points in 10 games in December and recently signed an NHL entry-level contract with the New York Rangers. He managed to have an even stronger month of January, posting 14 goals and 14 assists in 12 games, including a seven-point romp against Halifax on January 30th.

Duclair was recognized as the Telus First Star of the Month for January and was also named first star of the week twice, first for January 20th-26th, and later for January 27th-February 2nd. He currently leads the QMJHL with 46 goals and his 87 points ranks him second behind Anthony Mantha (DET).

Brenden Kichton (WPG)
St. John's IceCaps – AHL

A first-year pro with the Winnipeg Jets organization, Kichton has been steady all season, but he took his game to another level in January. The puck-moving defenseman managed three goals and 11 assists through 12 January games. He helped the IceCaps to a 9-3 record over that span and for his efforts was recently named the CCM AHL Rookie of the Month for January.

Kitchon was also recently added to the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic, which is scheduled to take place February 12th at Mile One Centre in St. John. For the season, Kitchon has nine goals and 29 assists through 47 AHL games, which ranks him second among defensemen in points and third among rookies.

Johnny Gaudreau (CAL)
Boston College – Hockey East

Johnny Gaudreau has arguably been the top player in the nation all season, but that should not take away from a stellar eight-game, 18-point effort he put together in January. Gaudreau started the month with back-to-back two goal efforts and Notre Dame and Providence and managed another three multi-point games, including a five assist effort against Maine on January 18th.

The 20-year-old forward has been a model of consistency all season, managing a point in 26 of his 27 games this year and leading the nation with 24 goals and 53 points. He was recently named a semifinalist for the 62nd Walter Brown Award, which is presented annually to the best American-born D1 men's college hockey player in New England.

Follow Ian Altenbaugh on Twitter: @IanAltenbaugh