Jacketes CHL Prospects Update

By Aaron Vickers


Jackets CHL PROSPECT UPDATE

Western Hockey League

Shane Bendera – G – Kelowna Rockets
Bendera has not been busy in the last week or so, only getting one start since the last update, currently sidelined with what is being described as a knee sprain(day-to-day). He won his start, and managed to drop his GAA to 2.27 from his previous 2.29. His SV% increased from a .919 last update to a .920 this time around. Needless to say, there isn’t much to report on in the life of Shane Bendera.

Ben Knopp – RW – Kamloops Blazers
Knopp has exploded, and Kamloops couldn’t be happier. Finally, Knopp has begun to produce as expected in his new surrounding. Last we left, Knopp had 47 pts. He’s tallied 5 goals and 7 assists since then, running his totals to 59 points(30-29-59) in 59 games. His plus/minus has also seen decent improvement, and now only sits at –8. Knopp owns second place in team scoring on Kamloops, being Jared Aulin and slightly ahead of Scottie Upshall, both of which have played at least 15 fewer games.

Kiel McLeod – C – Kelowna Rockets
Nothing new to report on Kiel McLeod, considering he hasn’t suited up for the Rockets since the last update. He was, however, slated to play for the WHL Western All-Stars in the Hershey Cup, before being replaced by Tim Krymusa of the Spokane Chiefs. His totals on the season still sit at 14 goals and 41 points(14-27-41) in 34 games. McLeod is said to be suffering from a groin pull and is day-to-day.

Tyler Sloan – D – Kamloops Blazers
Sloans production on the blueline has tapered off somewhat, and now has 23 points(3-20-23) in 51 games this season. His plus/minus dropped 2 points, and now sits at +23. His play in Kamloops has been somewhat overshadowed by the other members on his team, like Knopp, Upshall and Aulin.

Ontario Hockey League

Ryan Bowness – RW – Brampton Battalion
Bowness hasn’t improved upon his point totals in the last 6 games, still sitting at 5 goals and 8 assists (5-8-13). He has, however, seen his plus/minus slip to a dismall –12, which looks solid compared to teammates like Brent Hughes(-28) or Corey LeClair(-19).

Scott Heffernan – D – St Michaels Majors
Heffernan continues his solid play for the Majors, but the truth be told he sits back on the depth chart for prospect defensemen in the Columbus organization. His stats remain the mark of consistency across the board, whether its his appearance in all Major games, or his offensive totals. He has registered 22 assists and 25 points(3-22-25) and sits at +13, not an overwhelmingly high number, considering teammate Darryl Bootland sits at +39.

Cole Jarrett – D – Plymouth Whalers
Jarrett, in two games since the previous update, registered one goal and one assist, pushing his totals to 21 assists and 34 points(13-21-34) in 40 games. The reason he has only participated in two games since the previous update, is that he’s nearing the end of a 5 game suspension, and is inelligable to return until the 10th. I was hoping to see more of an offensive output from Jarrett this season, who’s shows a lot of promise in the offensive end. By no means has he been a slouch at either end of the ice, but I hoped to see him register more points per game.

Andrew Penner – G – Guelph Storm
Penner, and the Guelph Storm, have seem to caught fire recently. Last update Penner was splitting the time between the pipes, and had a record of 8-6-5. His record now stands at 12-7-5, boasting a .896 SV% and 3.29 GAA. Both stats are improved upon from the previous update. While Penner has not taken the starting role from rookie teammate Dwight LaBrosse, Penners stats are almost seemingly identical, with the edge in save percentage and winning percentage.
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Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Aaron Johnson – D – Rimouski Oceanic
Johnson stays slightly above his one point per game average with 42 assists and 55 points(13-42-55) in 54 games. He continues to lead his team in plus/minus at +20, on a team that has only a handful of guys on the good-side of that stat. Johnson continues his bid to be recognized as arguably the best all-round defenseman in the Q.


Pascal Leclaire – G – Montreal Rocket

I wonder if there are red flags going up in the scouting department for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Leclaire continues his woefull season with the Rocket. This last stretch in particular saw Leclaire’s 3.33 GAA skyrocket to 3.50 in a matter of starts. His 9-18-3 record is not something to be proud of, even on a weak Rocket team. Leclaire’s GAA wasn’t the only thing to take a dive, as his SV% continues to be less than impressive with an .886 mark. His teammate and partner in crime, Jonathan Cayer posts better stats across the board, discounting minutes played(300 fewer) and games played(5 fewer). I’ve constantly compared Shane Bendera and Leclaire, something difficult to do considering the differences in the leagues they play in, but you can get your thoughts on the Jackets Message Board on the following link:

http://hfboards.com/cgi-bin/bluejackets.pl

Louis Mandeville – D – Halifax Mooseheads
Mandeville continues to be the most underrated defenseman in the Jackets system, and I can see GM Doug MacLean salivating over this 9th round pick. Mandeville saw his plus/minus drop to +23, which is still very respectable. His offensive production has picked up though, registering 3 points in his last 5 games and pushing his point total to 40 (7-33-40) on the season in 50 games.