Flyers CHL prospects 2008-09 review

By Joe Scanlon

QMJHL

Kevin Marshall, D – Quebec Remparts
6’0, 200 pounds
2nd round, 41st overall, 2007

After being traded to the Remparts from Lewiston last June, Marshall has continued to grow into an outstanding player. He has emerged as the go-to guy on the Quebec blue line and was named defenseman of the month for March of 2009. He recorded one goal and nine assists with a +6 rating while helping his team to four victories during that stretch. Over the entire year, he had 38 points in 61 games.

Marshall is mostly known for giving opposing players a tough time in the defensive zone, but he has even started to add a bit of an offensive game to his arsenal. He is quickly becoming a consistent threat on the power play, scoring another seven goals this season with the man advantage to go with his seven from last year. Marshall will hit Flyers training camp next season as a well-rounded player and has already been signed to an entry-level deal.

Quebec is currently facing the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the second round of the QMJHL playoffs. Marshall has five points and 14 penalty minutes through seven games.

Marc-Andre Bourdon, D – Rimouski Oceanic
6’0, 206 pounds
3rd round, 67th overall, 2008

The Oceanic got one of the best blueliners in the QMJHL when they acquired Bourdon from the Huskies on Jan. 5. Bourdon possesses all the skills of a talented all-around defenseman. He has been a great addition for Rimouski, scoring seven goals and 15 assists while playing in 17 games. He also has a +12 rating since joining the team. As far as his totals for the season are concerned, his 60 points were good for fourth among defensemen and his 18 goals ranked third. On April 1, Bourdon was named to the league’s first team all-stars. He was also one of the nominees for the Emile Bouchard trophy as best defenseman.

Rimouski swept Chicoutimi in the first round and will now face Moncton in the quarter-final. Bourdon has registered seven points thus far.

WHL

Jacob Deserres, G – Seattle Thunderbirds
6’1, 195 pounds
3rd round, 85th overall, 2008

Deserres split time this season in Seattle with rookie Calvin Pickard. Due to Pickard’s talent and age (soon to be 17), Deserres’s chances of starting down the road for the T-Birds are very slim. Despite having solid numbers last season, in 32 games this year Deserres was 11-16-0 with a 3.41 GAA and .883 save percentage. Injuries have also contributed to a frustrating season. Deserres’ stock has seemingly fallen a bit, but with his 19th birthday just around the corner, anything can happen for this young goaltender. He was once regarded as one of the top goaltenders in his draft class and it’s still early in the process. A trade in the offseason could open new doors.

The T-Birds were defeated by Spokane four games to one in the first round of the WHL playoffs.

OHL

Zac Rinaldo, C – London Knights
5’11, 169 pounds
6th round, 178th overall, 2008

Rinaldo is a smallish yet feisty individual who likes to play the game on the edge. The 5’11 center has been suspended multiple times this year for illegal hits. Rinaldo is currently in the midst of serving a six-game suspension for hitting Erie’s Ryan O’Reilly from behind. Rinaldo will be eligible to return in the second round for London. To his credit, he was selected as the western conference’s best body-checker in the OHL by the league’s coaches. He has the ability to get not only his teammates, but the crowd into the game by delivering a massive hit. Rinaldo was traded to London from Mississauga halfway through the season.  He scored at a much higher rate in London, with 17 points in 22 games compared to 13 points in 34 games with Mississauga.

The Knights have the Saginaw Spirit on the brink of elimination at three games to none and will advance to the conference finals with another win. Rinaldo returned from suspension in game 3 and was able to contribute with his physical play. He will be especially needed now with the status of Dominic DeSando up in the air.