Currently ranked number 4 on the CHL Top 10 list the Belleville Bulls, with a record of 11-5, are showing that they will once again be a top contender for the OHL title. The name of the game so far this year has been explosive offense. The Bulls can currently boast 3 of the top 5 scorers in the OHL, #1 Mike Renzi (32), #2 Nathan Robinson (31) and #5 Kyle Wellwood (25).
The Bulls however have had trouble controlling opposing forwards in their own end mainly due to the lack of size on the blue-line. Captain Matt Coughlin is the biggest Bulls defenseman at 6’3” 200lbs and he is the only one over 200lbs. This has made the transition game more difficult resulting in more work for goalies Jan Chovan and Paulo Colaiacovo who have been up to the task in most games. The defense are talented and above average skaters but have seemed reluctant to jump into the offense with the exception of Malcolm Hutt who is having an excellent season so far with 2 goals and 9 assists. Coughlin has vastly improved his skating from last season but has not been utilizing his newfound skills as of yet.
The Bulls just came off of a shootout win against the Mississauga Ice Dogs (9-6) and a hard luck loss to the Erie Otters (3-2) where all 3 of Erie’s goals were weak. The Otters defense was very impressive, led by Maple Leaf draft pick Carlo Colaiacovo who had a very strong game. The Erie – Belleville game boasted 4 Maple Leaf Draft picks: Colaiacovo, Brad Boyes, Kyle Wellwood and Jan Chovan. Chovan however did not play in favour of Paulo Colaiacovo, Carlo’s twin brother.
– Andrew Brown has finally figured out that he is not a finesse player and has started using his size to bang bodies around. He made some huge hits against Erie and was the most effective on the ice to date.
– Mike Knight is improving every game and looks to be a solid OHL d-man now.
-Kyle Wellwood is not dominating games like last year and appears to have lost some of his drive.
-Matt Coughlin is not stepping up to fill the offensive void left by the trade of Michael Jacobsen and is not punishing opposing forwards as he did last year.
MILESTONES THIS SEASON
Nate Robinson scored his 150th career point, currently 26th on career list.
Kyle Wellwood scored his 50th career goal, currently 30th on career list.
Malcolm Hutt scored his 50th career point, currently 103rd on list.
Branko Radivojevic – Springfield Falcons (AHL), GP-8 G-1 A-3 PM-17
Randy Rowe – Peoria Rivermen (ECHL), GP-2 G-0 A-0 PM-0
David Cornacchia – New Mexico Scorpions (CHL), GP-5 G-2 A-1 PM-8
Mark Chaplin – St. Francis Xavier University, GP-0 G-0 A-0 PM-0
Ryan Ready – Manitoba Moose (AHL), GP-8 G-3 A-3 PM-11
Daniel Cleary – Edmonton Oilers (NHL), GP-12 G-3 A-4 PM-17
Kory Cooper – Fort Worth Brahmas (CHL), GP-2 W-1 GAA-3.00 SP-.919 S0-0
Marc Dupuis – Knoxville Speed (UHL), GP-5 G-1 A-1 PM-2
Doug Doull – St. John’s Maple Leafs (AHL), GP-6 G-1 A-0 PM-29
DRAFTED PLAYERS SCOUTING REPORT
Cody McCormick RW 6’2” 210lbs (Belleville Bulls) – Continues hard-hitting and hard work. Skating is average, needs to improve puck control and offensive positioning.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Jan Chovan G 6’0” 190lbs (Belleville Bulls) – Currently splitting time. Good reflexes and rebound control. Hasn’t been consistent and therefore hasn’t taken #1 job as expected.
Kyle Wellwood C 5’11” 185lbs (Belleville Bulls) – Hasn’t found a definite pair of wingers to play with yet. Great skills and puck sense and has improved speed and agility. Try’s to do too much sometimes.
Carlo Colaiacovo D 6’1” 185 lbs (Erie Otters) – Good skater and excellent defensive anticipation. Didn’t appear to be much of an offensive threat.
Brad Boyes C 6’0” 168lbs (Erie Otters) – Excellent skater and a very good shot. Was kept in check by the Bulls. Wasn’t allowed to control play.
Chris Berti C 6’5” 212lbs (Erie Otters) – Big man uses his size well. Average skater and stick-handler. Not a factor in game.
Lukas Krajicek D 6’1” 183lbs (Peterborough Petes) – A very impressive all around player. Excellent skater and puck handler, Krajicek is a potent offensive threat and looks to be a sure NHL’r.