Thrashers Prospect Update — December

By Holly Gunning



Untitled Document

The following is a general update on what’s happening with prospects across the system.

Rookies

A total of five rookies have played with the club so far this season. Below is a chart with their
stats, in order by number of games played
with the club in 2002-03. Those currently with the club are in blue.

Pos.
GP
G
A
Pts
+/-
PIMs
Shots
Butsayev
LW
idth=”14%”>

16
2
0
2
-5
8
21
Weaver
D
14
0
2
2
-1
8
7
Lessard
RW
11
0
1
1
1
44
4
Snyder
C
7
1
0
1
-1
13
6
Safronov
D
5
1
0
1
-4
4
4
Hartigan
C
2
1
0
1
0
0
3

Only Lessard and Safronov began the year on the Thrashers roster. Weaver was called up on October 31st,
and Hartigan on November 26th. Safronov was send down October 26th, Snyder on October 31st, and
Butsayev on November 22nd.
Butsayev has a clause in his contract that stipulates that he can return to
Russia if he is sent to the minors for more than 21 days at a time. He has been
in Chicago 13 days so far. Lessard is currently sidelined with back trouble, although hasn’t
been put on the IR. Hartigan is filling in for the injured Marc Savard and will likely be sent
down when Savard returns. Mike Weaver has been solid for the Thrashers
and appears to have won a regular job on the roster.

Three of the rookies have experienced “firsts” already this season. Lessard had his first NHL assist and point on 10-19-02 against the Islanders, and Safronov had his first NHL goal and point in that same game against goaltender Chris Osgood. Mark Hartigan scored his first NHL goal and point on 12-1-02 versus Washington on goaltender Olaf Kolzig.

Trades involving prospects

In the past few weeks, two prospects were traded out of the system and one was
gained. Levokari, a defensemen, was traded to Columbus, and Zainullin, a right
wing, to Calgary. Nielsen, a checking center, was gained from Calgary. The system
is now a little lighter on large defensive defensemen, but bursting at the seams with defensive centermen.

Oddly, the trade with Columbus means that there are two Nielsens now in the
system, Chris and Evan. They join two Dwyers (Pat and Jeff, no relation), two McRaes (Matt
and Mark, twins) and a Stuart and a Stewart.

Wolves struggling

The Chicago Wolves (AHL affiliate) suffered a bit of a Calder Cup hangover this season, but
are coming alive of late. They are 7-9-1-2 on the season, but 6-3-0-1 in their
last ten, and are currently on a three game winning streak. They are last in
the Western Conference, but have also played fewer games, only 19, compared
to the league average of 22.4. The
Wolves scoring is much more balanced this year: seven players have ten points or more after 19 games. Five of the top seven scorers
are property of the Thrashers, although only two are true prospects using HF’s definition: Foster
and Gamache. Last year’s leading prospect scorer, Kamil Piros, is struggling,
with only 5 points in 19 games.

They’re currently in the midst of a roster shuffle, bringing back veteran Bob
Nardella, adding winger Ryan Tobler, newly acquired winger prospect Chris Nielsen, as well as
adding Thrasher goalie Milan Hnilicka to the line-up. Hnilicka was sent down December 4th after the Thrashers
were unable to trade him. The Wolves roster currently includes three goalies: Hnilicka, Maracle and Cassivi.

Stats

Players are grouped
by level for easy comparison, except for goalies who are listed together at
the bottom. Within each level they are listed by point totals.

College prospects

Team
Pos
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
Shots
Slater, JimMSUC
13
5
7
12
+3
10
34
Baby, StephenCornellRW
9
2
9
11
16
Stuart, ColinColorado CollegeF
14
6
5
11
18
McRae, MarkCornellD
9
4
5
9
4
Dwyer, PatWMURW
14
3
6
9
+2
8
32
Nielsen, EvanNotre DameD
13
0
7
7
+5
18
15
Gajic, MilanMichiganC 12
3
3
6
+1
12
25
Dwyer, JeffYaleD
9
1
4
5
12
McRae, MattCornellC
9
1
4
5
18
Oystrick, NathanNMUD
6
1
3
4
+5
4
11
Fitzrandolph, ColinSt. LawrenceC
11
1
2
3
4
Fretter, ColtonMSURW
9
0
1
1
-1
6
9
Sipotz, BrianMiamiD
16
0
0
0
+9
22
9

Juniors

Team
Pos
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
StewartPlymouth OHLLW
30
13
24
37
+18
40
BoldtKamloops WHLD 30
5
6
11
+3
56
SchellSpokane WHLC 10
2
4 6
+1
10
SudermanSaskatoon WHLD
30
0
5
5
+6
79
MansonMoose Jaw WHLD
28
0
1
1
-14
757

Europe

Position
Team
League
GP
G
A
PTS

+/-

PIM
NikulinDMoscow DynamoRussia10134 8
SantalaC/LWHPKFinland1331013639
DobryshkinLWSeverstal Cherepovets Russia1810515 24
IsosaloRWLukko RaumaFinland17112-2 2
CartelliDKladnoCzech 13 0 4 4 12

ECHL Greenville Grrrowl

Pos
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
Shots
FlacheD
13
1
0
1
-7
14
22
KaczowkaLW
11
0
0
0
-3
57
5

AHL Chicago Wolves

PosGPGAPTS+/-PIMSHOTS
VigierRW198917-21848
KarlssonC155712-6426
GamacheLW1746104838
DiPentaD19268-64832
MacKenzieC1934761831
SafronovD14257-81729
BlatnyLW183364628
SimonLW1924653426
Hartigan (now in ATL)C13066-6737
ButsayevC44150018
FosterD10145-122545
PirosC19325-81031
TapperRW731421625
SnyderC12224-62115
ExelbyD19123105715
SellarsD10112-7509
EakinsD1201121617
UstrnulD80001284
NielsenC0

Goalies — various levels

GP
Min
W
L
T
GAA
SPCT
Lehtonen Jokerit, Finland
17
1020
13
2
2
1.46

.946
MaracleChicago, AHL 13
696
5
6
1
2.67
.903
Garnett Greenville, ECHL
10
560
6
4
0
3.54
.880
Cassivi Chicago, AHL
7
444
2
5
0
3.91
.873
SmidHameenlinna, Finland 2 1 0 0 4.32
HnilickaChicago, AHL 0

Of note

  • Simon Gamache is currently enjoying a scoring streak: in the first seven
    games of the season had one point, in the
    next 10 he had 9 points. Due to injuries, he was moved from fourth line to the top line and is seeing time
    on the power play. His ten points tie him with Kurtis Foster as the highest scoring Thrasher
    prospect in the minors.
  • Off to a shaky start at first, rookie goaltender Michael Garnett has won his last three starts for the
    Greenville Grrrowl (ECHL affiliate)

Comments and questions are welcomed on the HF
Thrashers Board
.