Chicago has six prospects currently playing in the junior ranks, including top prospects Kyle Beach and Shawn Lalonde. Lalonde and Everett center Byron Froese are suiting up for each of their leagues in the upcoming Canada-Russia Subway Super Series.
After three consistent and productive WHL seasons, Beach has developed well. Now with his third WHL club, Beach is a primary option for the Chiefs offense. The power forward has a team-leading 19 goals and eight assists through 21 games. The notorious pest has continued to rack up the PIMs with 69 on the year, sustaining his career average of over three PIMs per game. His 27 points rank second on the Chiefs, who have had some success lately thanks to a potent top-line combo of Beach and center Mitch Wahl (CAL), leading the team with 28 points. Though Spokane is currently fourth in the US Division, they remain just seven points behind first place Tri-City.
Byron Froese, C – Everett Silvertips (WHL)
2009, 4th round, 119th overall
Froese centers the Silvertips top line with Tyler Maxwell and Kellen Tochkin on the wings. Froese is currently fourth on the team in points with eight goals and 12 assists through 22 games. The 6’0 176 lbs pivot has also maintained a +7 rating, which ranks fifth on the team. He can play both ends of the ice well and is already logging major minutes for Everett at just 18 years old. Additionally, he will suit up for the WHL team at the Canada-Russia Subway Super Series. The ‘Tips are tied with Spokane in points in the US Division and sit one spot ahead in third, having played fewer games.
The Blackhawks last pick in the 2009 class, Gilbert is in his second full year with Patrick Roy’s Quebec squad. The center has just five goals and eight assists through his first 21 games. He has been solid in the face-off dot with a 55 percent success rate. Gilbert possesses a ton of offensive talent, but the 18-year-old is still catching up on the experience front. The Remparts are currently fourth in the QMJHL with a 15-8-5 record.
Lalonde has worked his way into a leadership role on the Belleville blue line this season. One of the team’s alternate captains, Lalonde has scored at a point-per-game pace with six goals and 12 assists in 18 games. Those 18 points have the 19-year-old Lalonde tied for the team lead despite missing several games with a shoulder injury. With the Bulls near the bottom of the OHL standings, the team has already traded away their leading scorer Matt Tipoff to Kitchener. Lalonde could also be a potential trade chip as the deadline nears if the team continues to struggle. He suited up for the OHL squad at the Canada-Russia Subway Super Series.
After leaving Providence College over winter break last season, Lavin is riding out his one year of NCAA ineligibility in Omaha. Now 17 games into the season, he has the most points of any blueliner on the team with 14, including four goals. Lavin’s offensive abilities are a big part of Omaha’s success thus far. The Lancers have the best record in the league at 15-2-0 and the league’s second-best power-play unit, currently operating above 24 percent. Lavin is committed to Notre Dame and the puck-mover is able to join the Irish as soon as January.
Teigan Zahn, D – Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
2008, 5th round, 132nd overall
The 6’2 222 lbs blueliner is in his fourth season with the Blades and is again one of the team’s alternate captains. The defensive-minded Zahn has two assists to go along with a +6 rating through Saskatoon’s first 25 games. He has also recorded 52 PIMs, including six fighting majors. While the 19-year-old’s defensive contributions may not always show up on the scoresheet, his aggressive play in his own zone and willingness to drop the gloves has certainly made an impact in Saskatoon. The Blades are among the top teams in the entire CHL this year with a 19-3-3 record.