Jackets CHL Prospect Update: 3rd Edition
Welcome to the 3rd edition of the Jackets CHL Prospect Update. This round, we’re giving the honour of Update MVP to Rimouski Oceanic defenseman Aaron Johnson. Read on to find out why. Also, a special look at a player formally known as property of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Western Hockey League
Kiel McLeod – Forward – Kelowna Rockets – Selected in the 2nd Round (53 Overall) in 2001
McLeod has struggled somewhat in the offensive end of the rink this season. After averaging more than a point per game last season with Kelowna, the Rockets assistant captain has only 10 points (4-6-10) in 16 games this season. He also seems grumpier, with more than half a penalty minute per game increase of that from last season. McLeod needs that offence to come around if he’s looking for that big money that kept him unsigned in Columbus after the pre-season.
Steven Goertzen – Forward – Seattle Thunderbirds – Selected in the 7th Round (225th Overall) in 2002
Steven Goertzen has chipped in with another three points in 6 games since the last update on October 25th. Goertzen continues his streak, playing in all 20 games for the Thunderbirds this season, registering 9 points (6-3-9) over that span. Goertzen currently sits tied for 3rd on the team in plus/minus, with a +3 ranking. Goertzen is averaging just under .5 points per game, a considerable increase over his .23 points per game he registered last season, his rookie year.
Tim Konsorada – Forward – Brandon Wheat Kings – Selected in the 6th Round (168th Overall) in 2002
Tim Konsorada got off to a blazing start to the season. Since then, he’s fizzled badly. In his last seven games, Konsorada has managed to put up only one point, a goal. Through his first ten games, Konsorada had 19 points. In his last eleven games, Tim has 4 points. He still has over a point per game average, with 23 points (5-18-23) in 21 games. Konsorada has spent a significant amount of his playing time on special teams, both on the power play and penalty kill, showing he is a two way player, and hopefully Tim will find that touch around the net quickly.
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen – Defense – Brandon Wheat Kings – Selected in the 3rd Round (65th Overall) in 2002
Rookie blue-liner OK Tollefsen has made his return to the Wheat King blueline. He managed to shake off a laceration to his wrist suffered over two weeks ago, and has made his way back into the lineup, providing a physical presence on the back end with some offensive flair. Since the last update, Tollefsen has played in 4 games, both goals, to push his season totals to 8 points (4-4-8) in 11 games so far this season. Here’s hoping Ole-Kristian can stay healthy long enough to contribute consistently on the Wheat Kings blueline.
Ontario Hockey League
Andrew Penner – Goaltender – Guelph Storm – Signed As A Free Agent (Sept 17th, 2001)
Penner has managed to establish himself as the starting goalie for the Guelph Storm, and with his statistics, he is clearly playing better than Dwight LaBrosse, although rookie Adam Dennis may give him a run for his money. Penner has upped his record to 5-3-2 with a 2.90 goals against average and a .911 save percentage this season. Penner sits 12th in goals against in the league among goalies who have played 7 games or more. He sits 8th in the league in save percentage using the same criteria.
Ryan Bowness – Forward – Brampton Battalion – Selected in the 8th Round (236th Overall) in 2001
Ryan Bowness has become a solid offensive contributor upfront for the Battalion after splitting time last season between a forward and defensive position. He’s fifth in team goals, and only one behind his total for all of last season. So far this season, Bowness has put up 13 points (6-7-13) in 18 games this season, or .72 points per game (compared to .25 points per game last season). Here’s hoping that Bowness can continue his strong offensive presence for Brampton.
Cole Jarrett – Defense – Plymouth Whalers – Selected in the 5th Round (141st Overall) in 2001
Cole Jarrett got hot. After a very slow start to the new season, Jarrett is simply on fire. Since our last update, Jarrett has added 9 points in 6 games for the Whalers. He has pushed his season totals to just under a point per game, with 15 points (4-11-15) in 18 games. In those six games, Jarrett also registered 3 goals. He sits fourth on the team in plus/minus as well, with a +7 rating. Jarrett sits 7th in the league in defenseman scoring, and among the top twenty in defenseman scoring, Jarrett has recorded the most penalty minutes.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Aaron Johnson – Defense – Rimouski Oceanic – Selected in the 3rd Round (85th Overall) in 2001
Johnson, like Jarrett, has had a fire lit under his belly. Since the last update, Johnson has played 6 games, but has added 11 points to his totals, running them to 17(3-14-17) points in 18 games. He has shot up to third in the league among defensemen in scoring, behind former Jackets prospect Louis Mandeville by 7 points for the league lead. Despite the offensive flurry, Johnson’s plus/minus hasn’t improved significantly, moving up to a -1 on the season.
Special Update: The Progress of Louis Mandeville
Although Louis Mandeville is no longer property of the Columbus Blue Jackets, I thought he deserved at least a mention for his play as an overager in the QMJHL this season. Mandeville found a new home in Sherbrook after leaving the Halifax Mooseheads. He currently sits first in defensemen scoring in the QMJHL, with 9 goals and 24 points in 22 games this season.
The Jackets chose not to sign Mandeville this summer, opting to offer contracts to Tyler Sloan and Scott Heffernan instead, both of which started their pro careers this season. Mandeville re-entered the draft in 2002, but was not selected. His current status finds him as an unrestricted free agent, one that will almost certainly be picked up with his play in junior this season.
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