Prospect Impressions: Werenski shines, Mouillierat’s lacrosse goal, Amadio scores 50th shorthanded, WHL goalie scores, plus more

By David Hahn
Zach Werenski - University of Michigan

Photo: University of Michigan defenseman and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Zach Werenski and his Wolverines teammates will take on Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional of the 2016 NCAA Hockey Tournament (courtesy of Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

 

 

The Michigan Wolverines won the Big Ten championship this weekend, and Zach Werenski led the way with an unbelievable performance. Also in this weeks Prospect Impressions, an AHL veteran joins a small group of players to pull off a special goal. Thatcher Demko is in the news again thanks to his desperate save in a clutch situation, and Stuart Skinner is another goaltender in the news but for something you wouldn’t expect. Plenty more highlights are featured, including a 50-goal scorer and a great scrap from the OHL.

With every accolade Zach Werenski adds to his ever-growing collection this season, Columbus Blue Jackets fans are watering at the mouth at the thought of adding him to their blueline. Over the course of this year, Werenski was named the Best Defenseman at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, posted 10 goals and 24 assists in 34 NCAA games, and was recently named to the Big Ten All-Star Team after garnering the Defensive Player of the Year honors. As if all that wasn’t enough, Werenski guided Michigan to a Big Ten championship by playing a role in all four goals, including scoring this game-winner (click link in first tweet).

Some refer to it simply as the “Michigan Goal,” others might call it a lacrosse move, but whatever you want to call it, you will never get tired of seeing it attempted. Famously innovated by Michigan’s Mike Legg, other names such as Niktia Gusev, Mikael Granlund, and Rob Schremp have pulled it off in a game. Is this the goal of the year from Kael Mouillierat?

Two former teammates collided this weekend as Erie Otters center Jake Marchment (LAK) took on Chad Heffernan and the London Knights in a battle for the Western Division crown. The Otters have leaned on Marchment for his abilities on special teams, veteran presence in the locker room, and his penchant for dropping the gloves when it matters most. Once teammates with the now defunct Belleville Bulls, take a look as these two brahma-bulls lock horns in a good old-fashioned hockey fight.

It is safe to say it has been a pretty good week for North Bay Battalion forward Mike Amadio. The Battalion captain burst onto the scene this year, and with just two games remaining in the season, Amadio eyed up a chance to score his 49th and 50th goals of the season. Heading into this past weekend, Amadio had a fresh NHL contract in hand from the Los Angeles Kings and played with confidence this weekend to notch goals number 49 and 50, both while shorthanded.

Boston College goaltender Thatcher Demko once again improved upon his career bests this year in wins, goals-against average, and save percentage and could possibly guide the Eagles to glory. Demko has racked up some serious nominations lately, including the Hockey East Co-Player of the Year, and a spot among the finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. Simply put, he is one of the best young goaltenders on the planet and Demko added yet another highlight-reel quality save to his resume in the Hockey East semi-finals.

Seventeen-year-old goaltender Stuart Skinner was highly touted coming out of the SSAC Lions Bantam program, and for good reason. Selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft by the Lethbridge Hurricanes, he already has over 90 games played in the last two seasons, but it was something he did this weekend that has the junior hockey community talking. Known for his puckhandling skills and interest in helping out his defensemen, Skinner took matters into his own hands and launched one towards the open net.

Playoff success is nothing new to Skelleftea captain Jimmie Ericsson. With two SHL championships, one KHL Gagarin Cup, and numerous international medals, Ericsson knows what it takes to win when the game is on the line. Facing an offensive zone faceoff, Ericsson did something few have accomplished since Mario Lemieux made it famous in the early 90’s, scoring directly off of the faceoff.

 

Last week’s Prospect Impressions feature

Follow Dave Hahn on Twitter via @DHahnHockey