Ducks junior prospects 2008-09 review

By Joseph Cassidy

In 2008-09, the Anaheim Ducks had 10 prospects spread throughout the junior hockey leagues of North America. Five forwards, two goalies and three defensemen played in the OHL (1), WHL (2), QMJHL (5), USHL (1) and BCHL (1).

QMJHL


Logan MacMillan, LW – Rimouski Oceanic

6’1, 205 lbs. DOB: July 5, 1989
1st round, 19th overall, 2007

After 15 games in the 2008-09 season, the 19-year-old was traded to the Rimouski Oceanic, the host team of the CHL’s 2009 Memorial Cup.

In 28 games in Rimouski, he scored five goals, with 16 assists for 21 points.  If you add his four goals and six assists for Halifax, his regular season totals were 31 points in 43 regular-season games.

After his third year in a row as a league all-star, for the second straight year he was a member of the QMJHL’s team in the ADT Russia-Canada Challenge.

MacMillan missed 25 games this season and has rebounded well from this setback.

He has added almost 20 pounds in weight this year and is showing that the strength and conditioning plan is a program that benefits him.

Rimouski was eliminated by the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the conference finals of the playoffs. MacMillan had three goals and three assists in 13 games.

It probably won’t be long before McMillan cracks an NHL line-up. He comes from NHL pedigree; his father, Bob was drafted by the New York Rangers in the first round, 15th overall, and, his uncle Bill started career for Toronto, then drafted 10th by Atlanta in the 1972 expansion draft.

Nicolas Deschamps, C – Chicoutimi Sagueneens
6’2, 186 lbs. DOB: Jan. 1, 1990
2nd round, 35th overall, 2008

In 2009-09, Deschamps tallied 65 points in 65 games – 24 goals and 41 assists. A setback this season was his -7 rating compared to a +12 in 2007-08. The QMJHL picked Deschamps for its squad for the ADT Russia-Canada Challenge in mid-November of 2008.

Deschamps is a big forward and can execute a tenacious forecheck.

Chicoutimi was knocked out of the playoffs in a four-game sweep by Rimouski. Deschamps scored three goals and an assist.

Maxime Macenauer, C – Shawinigan Cataractes
6’0, 203 lbs DOB: Jan. 4, 1989   
3rd round, 63rd overall, 2007

After 35 games with 15 goals and nine assists for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, Macenauer was traded to Shawinigan and helped his new team compile a 51-14-3 regular-season record. In 19 games for the Cataractes, he scored seven goals and nine assists.

He put on 15 pounds this year and has become even stronger on the puck. Power plays and penalty kills are where Macenauer excels. The playmaker is a great passer, can win important faceoffs and has incredible skating skills. He is not physical but is very capable of creating offense.

“Maxime gets it done with speed and strength,” said Cataractes head coach Eric Veilleux. “He skates like the wind.”

The QMJHL picked Macenauer for the ADT Russia-Canada Challenge.

In 13 games in the 2009 playoffs, he has been a steady contributor by scoring four goals and six assists. Shawinigan is playing Drummondville in the QMJHL finals.

Timo Pielmeier, G – Shawinigan Cataractes
6’0, 170 lbs. DOB: July 7, 1989
3rd round, 83rd overall, 2007
Acquired in 2009 trade with San Jose

During the 2008-09, Pielmeier – who is from Germany – compiled a 30-9-2 regular-season record with a 2.67 GAA.

He was the QMJHL defensive player of the week in the first week of November 2009 after going 2-0 with a 1.00 GAA.

“Timo has some of everything in his goaltending skills and is agile with good reflexes,” said Cataractes head coach Veilleux. “He can make big saves.”

Pielmeier has average height and needs to add some bulk to his frame.

Currently, he is 10-2 in this year’s playoffs with a 2.54 GAA. His consistent goaltending has his team fighting for a QMJHL title and a Memorial Cup berth.

Marco Cousineau, G – Drummondville Voltigeurs

6’0, 200 lbs. DOB: Nov. 9, 1989
3rd round, 83rd overall, 2008

A change of scenery near the trade deadline really did the trick for this backstopper’s season. He posted a 9-25 record for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar before his January 7th move to the Drummondville Voltigeurs. Since then, he has gone 12-4 in regular-season play and 9-0 in the 2009 playoffs with a 2.20 GAA.

The 19-year-old is very athletic with good reflexes for a big goalie. He uses the butterfly style 90 percent of the time and with good lateral movement, he is always well positioned. He has the ability to make the big save when his team needs it most.

“[Marco] is a fun kid to coach, who smiles all the time and is a very competitive goalie,” said Drummondville goaltender coach Fred Malette. “He works really hard during practices and in off-ice training.”

The Voltigeurs are steamrolling through the 2009 playoffs with a 12-0 record with Cousineau and Antoine Tardif (3-0) sharing the goaltending duties. They are playing Shawinigan in the QMJHL finals.

WHL


Brandon McMillan, LW – Kelowna Rockets

5’11, 185 lbs. DOB: March 3, 1990
3rd round, 85th overall, 2008

Fourteen goals and 35 assists in 70 games this season for this third-year forward is a slight improvement from 2007-08 when he had 15 goals and 26 assists in 71 games.

A big improvement was his +23 rating which jumped up from a -5 in his sophomore season. The reason McMillan is an interchangeable player and should one day skate in the NHL is his ability to play many different roles for the team. Power play, penalty kill or, in fact, defense.

“We were unable to acquire anyone at the trade deadline so we got Brandon playing defense because of his skating ability,” said Kelowna associate coach Jeff Finley. “Brandon has played tremendously for us the last two months and it’s unbelievable. There are not many guys that can do what he’s done.

“McMillan is a great skater and can handle any forward in his new role because he has the ability to skate himself out of trouble with his intelligence. He is an excellent two-way centerman.”

In 13 games in the 2009 playoffs he has three assists, but is still looking for his first junior career playoff goal. He is a +9 in the playoffs, and his team is playing the Vancouver Giants in the conference finals.


Stefan Warg, D – Seattle Thunderbirds

6’3, 206 lbs. DOB: Feb. 2, 1990
5th round, 143rd overall, 2008

In 70 games this season, he had one goal and 16 assists. His rating was +1, which is good for a first-year defenseman in the fast-paced WHL.

Warg, who hails from Sweden, is a stay-at-home defenseman who takes care of his own end. He is a physical player with 80 penalty minutes.

The Thunderbirds were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Warg had no points in five games played.

OHL

Josh Brittain, LW – Barrie Colts
6’4, 217 lbs. DOB: Jan. 3, 1990
3rd round, 71st overall, 2008

It was a two-team season for this large-framed forward. After playing 27 games in Kingston for the Frontenacs, Brittain was moved to the Barrie Colts for the final 41 games of the season.

He had 17 goals and 7 assists in Kingston and 15 goals with 13 assists in Barrie. This 52-point total bettered last year’s by one. The 19-year-old hasn’t missed a game in the last two seasons and he’s a guy with a lot of tools; he has size, he can skate, he handles the puck well and he can score points.

“As Josh gets older and matures, he has the potential to be a good pro,” said Colts assistant general manager Jason Ford. “He has a real good stride and the ability to use his body to get around defensemen. He crashes the net and is real effective down low.”

Brittain got a taste of Russia’s top-talent players when he played for the OHL team in the ADT Russia-Canada Challenge in mid-November of 2008.

Barrie was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors. Brittain had one goal and two assists in five games.

BCHL


Justin Schultz, D – Westside Warriors

6’2, 170 lbs. DOB: July 6, 1990
2nd round, 43rd overall, 2008

With 15 goals and 35 assists in 49 games, the offensive-minded defenseman averaged slightly over a point per game in 2008-09. A nice increase from his rookie season totals of nine goals and 31 assists in 57 games.

For the second year in a row, the 18-year-old was the BCHL Defenseman of the Year and a league all-star. He is also nominated for the Junior A Player of the Year award.

“Justin is one of the best skating defenseman, I have seen in a long time,” said Warriors coach and general manager Mark Howell. “He is an explosive skater, who can accelerate a game or slow it down.”

In November 2008, Schultz played for Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge and he had two assists in four games.

Schultz is committed to play for the NCAA’s Wisconsin Badgers in the fall of 2009. His next objective, is adding some mass to his 170-pound frame. The athletic Schultz is also a scratch golfer.

USHL

Nick Pryor, D – Waterloo Black Hawks
5’11, 184 lbs. DOB: Sept. 9, 1990
7th round, 208th overall, 2008

The 18-year-old defenseman played for two teams in 2008-09. His first 31 games were for the Des Moines Buccaneers and he had six goals and 12 assists. He was then traded to Waterloo where he played 12 games and contributed five assists and one goal. A negative in the young defenseman’s role was his -26 rating, but of course his 14 power-play points are not included in that rating.

His season shot total of 50 is low for an offensive-minded playmaker who must learn to shoot before that second or third opponent stops him.

Pryor is a great skater with the offensive ability to score and set up teammates and is also a tremendous power-play asset. He forces turnovers with his skating ability and a good, quick stick. He needs to work on his one-on-one play along the wall but can make up for this minor weakness with his ability to skate.

“I traded for [Nick] and wish we had him here in Waterloo for a long time,” said head coach P.K. O’Handley. “He is a great kid -— mature beyond his years. His professionalism and work habits are very good and he is very coachable. He wants, and more importantly tries, to get better every day.”

Pryor is attending the University of Maine this fall.

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