Sabres Report: Around the CHL

By Ken McKenna
The Canadian Hockey League, which consists of the Ontario, Western and Quebec leagues, is still the predominate supplier of
talent to the NHL. The Buffalo Sabres have in recent seasons taken full advantage of the talent supply available in the CHL by
drafting players such as Curtis Brown, Jay McKee, Brian Campbell and Martin Biron, to name a few.

While some of Buffalo’s best junior talent has graduated to the pros, it does not mean that the talent pool has gone dry. The
Sabres, in fact, have a handful of average-to-above-average prospects currently playing in the three leagues, with the WHL
housing some of the more promising youngsters.

With the CHL now in full swing, this article represents the first of periodic (“periodic” being defined as when I feel like writing
them) articles updating the play of Buffalo’s junior contingent. I’ll highlight the hot Buffalo prospect in each league, as well as
point out the player(s) not living up to expectations, however low those expectations might be. In addition, I’ll make brief
mentions of some of the other junior prospects whose performances fall in between the “hot” and “not” categories.

Western Hockey League

HOT! Barrett Heisten of the Seattle Thunderbirds, who is so far succeeding in his quest to land a fat free agent contract. Heisten
has picked up 15 points (3G, 12A) in just 8 games, a pace that, were he to keep it up throughout the season, would put him
amongst the top scorers in the WHL. Barrett has so far put together a 4 game point-scoring streak, as he looks to develop the
offensive consistency that has to this point been missing from his game. Heisten has managed to keep his penalty minutes down,
which is no doubt a contributing factor to his current offensive success.

NOT! Milan Bartovic of the Brandon Wheat Kings, due mostly to the fact that he has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since
early October. The injury is serious enough that it will keep Milan out of the lineup another 4-6 weeks.

Other WHL Notables- D Gerard Dicaire (Seattle) has scored 5 goals in 10 games, all of them coming on the power play. This
total leaves Gerard tied for 8th in PPGs in the WHL…LW Karel Mosovsky (Regina) put together a 6 game point-scoring
streak after returning from an injury…D Matt Kinch (Calgary) is amongst the top offensive defensemen in the WHL, having
tallied 4 goals and 10 assists since returning to the Hitmen…C Paul Gaustad (Portland) has missed some playing time due to an
injury.

Ontario Hockey League

HOT! Mike Zigomanis of the Kingston Frontenacs, although hot may not be the correct term to describe Mike’s play so far this
season. Mike is Kingston’s leading scorer after 15 games (8G, 7A), but his scoring pace is off from his torrid pace of 99-00.
While Ziggy scored his points in bunches last season, he has produced points more steadily this season, which is no doubt a
product of the more balanced attack put forth by Kingston. Mike has put together one 3-game point streak, as well as three
2-game point streaks, which is indicative of his steady play so far in 00-01.

NOT! Sean MacMorrow of the Mississauga Ice Dogs, who is rounding his game into shape after serving a lengthy suspension to
start the 00-01 season. Sean is not noted for his scoring, so his total of zero points is not a surprise, but his lack of penalty
minutes is somewhat surprising. Sean was brought in to provide some toughness to the Ice Dogs lineup, but that toughness is so
far not showing in MacMorrow’s penalty stats (4PIM). In addition, Sean is a –4, which is not surprising since Mississauga is the
worst team in the OHL.

Other OHL Notables- After a tentative start to his season, LW Vasily Bizyayev (Kitchener) appears to have adjusted to his
new environment, as he recently notched his first 2 goals in consecutive games. Vasily is currently 2nd in scoring for the Rangers
(3G, 7A)…C Brad Self (Peterborough), a player not known for his offensive prowess, has gotten off to a good start for the 1st
place Petes. Brad is currently 2nd in scoring for Peterborough (4G, 11A), a total that includes two 4 game point streaks…C
Ryan Courtney (Windsor) has missed 4 games due to injury, posting a modest 7 points (2G, 5A) in 10 games.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

HOT! Seneque Hyacinthe of the Val d’Or Foreurs, who has matched the fast start offensively that he had in the 99-00 season.
In 19 games, Seneque has totaled 27 points (7G, 20A), which places him 3rd in scoring for the Foreurs. Hyacinthe is playing on
a line with speedster Brandon Reid, as he plays setup man to Reid’s goal scorer’s role. Seneque is not just about offense,
however, as he is also an effective penalty-killer who plays on Val d’Or’s first PK unit.

NOT! Ghyslain Rousseau of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, who is currently the backup goaltender for the Drakkar. David St.
Germain has wrested the starting job away from Ghyslain, as Rousseau has played in just 8 of Baie-Comeau’s 23 games.
Rousseau struggled in his appearances in the Sabres’ rookie games, with his problems apparently carrying over into his junior
league games. Ghyslain has won just 1 game this season, which can’t be helping his confidence any. After a string of good
goaltending draft picks, Buffalo may have finally turned up a dud.