Columbus Blue Jacket Prospect Report II: Syracuse Crunch Players

By Jeff Parzych

It’s that time again, time to take a look at the Blue Jacket prospects currently skating with the Syracuse Crunch. It is our second of eight installments that we will present throughout the course of the season. This edition covers the last twelve contests, from game 11 to game 22. Over that time frame, the Crunch have struggled, going 5-6-1 and after this past weekend, reside in the basement of the Central Division.

Goaltending:

Pascal Leclaire:

On the season, Leclaire is 2-8-1 with a goals against of 4.15. He has started five of the last twelve for Syracuse with a 0-4-1 record. The only start he did not lose over that stretch was a 2-2 tie in Bridgeport where he recorded 35 saves.

Inside the Numbers:Leclaire hasn’t performed up to expectations, at least the fans expectations, so far this season. So much so that undrafted free agent Karl Goehring has all but wrestled the starting job away from him. Everyone must still remember that his is a twenty-year old goaltender adjusting to the pro game.

Karl Goehring:

Goehring is 6-4-0 with a 1.59 goals against so far this season. Over the last twelve games he has started eight, going 5-3 over that time with three shutouts.

Inside the Numbers:Goehring as emerged as the fan favorite in the goaltending derby. He was recently named Sher-Wood AHL player of the week for the period ending Sunday, November 24, 2002 and also set the franchise mark for consecutive minutes played, 197:04, without allowing a goal. His play has recently cooled as he has lost his last three starts.

Defensemen:

Paul Manning:

Manning has appeared in 17 games on the season, recording one goal and is a -1. He has missed the last five games with a injured groin.

Inside the Numbers:Manning continues to struggle with injuries, just when he seems to be entering a comfort zone, he goes down with some malady. Overall, Manning hasn’t progressed as rapidly as one might expect.

Dan Watson:

Watson has recorded three points (2g,1a), 10 penalty minutes to go along with being a -2 in 21 games this season. Over the last twelve, he has recorded one goal, one assist, and is even.

Inside the Numbers:Watson has surprisingly been one of the steadier performers on a decimated Crunch blue line. He has been more physical and is displaying the confidence of a veteran.

Tyler Sloan:

Sloan has played in 12 games this season, recording one goal, 16 penalty minutes and is a -3. Sloan has dressed in 10 of the last 12 Crunch contests.

Inside the Numbers:The rookie from Calgary has held his own so far this season after being recalled to fill holes on Crunch defense. Seems to be getting more comfortable and is looking to jump into the play more often. He still lends a definite physical element to the Crunch defense.

Forwards:

Brad Moran:

Moran has played in 13 games this season recording seven points (2g,5a) and is a -1. He has missed eight of the last twelve games with an abdominal stain and is expected to be out of the lineup until after Christmas.

Inside the Numbers:Brad was slumping somewhat prior to the injury, but his presence is definitely missed in the Syracuse lineup. It was no coincidence that after his injury, Crunch had difficulty scoring goals.

Andrej Nedorost:

Nedorost is third on the Crunch in scoring with seven goals and seven assists in 16 games. He has played in nine of the last twelve after a brief stint in C-bus for three games.

Inside the Numbers:He has displayed the potential that has made scouts drool, having recorded points in five of his last six. Right now, one of the top offensive threats on the Crunch.

Kent McDonell:

In 21 games on the year, Kent has recorded four goals and five assists to go along with 31 penalty minutes. Over the last twelve he has four points (2g,2a) and is a -3.

Inside the Numbers:McDonell has started to turn things around after a great finish to 2001-02. He has registers points in each of his last three games and his continued success will help the Crunch turn things around.

Jeremy Reich:

Reich has dressed in 20 games this season, registering two goals, two assists, 49 penalty minutes, and is a -4. Over his last twelve he has one assist and is a -2.

Inside the Numbers:Jeremy has done what is expected of him throughout the season. He will not pile up the points, but adds energy and a physical presence to the lineup. He comes to play every night.

Blake Bellefeuille:

Bellefeuille has appeared in 17 games, recording three goals, three assists, 20 penalty minutes, and is a -8. Three of his last twelve games were spent on recall to Columbus. In his other nine, he has three goals and two assists, and is a -5.

Inside the Numbers:Bellefeuille’s call-up was indicative of his whole season. He hasn’t been spectacular, but does a lot of the little things that makes a team successful. He has started to play better with points in five of his last eight games.

Tim Jackman:

Jackman has four goals, two assists, eight penalty minutes, and is a -3 in 20 games this season. He has four goals, one assist over his last twelve.

Inside the Numbers:Jackman continues to improve as the season progresses. He is now skating on the power play and is one of the few players who gives the Crunch lineup a consistent slot area presence. Jackman is starting to display the potential that warranted a six-figure signing bonus.

Mike Pandolfo:

Pandolfo has appeared in all 22 Crunch games this season, registering four assists, six penalty minutes and is a -2. He has three of his four assists over his last 12 games.

Inside the Numbers:As Pandolfo’s ice time increases so does his production. He looks more and more comfortable every day and is progressing nicely. I still believe he needs to utilize his size a little bit more.

Jonathon Schill:

Schill has shed his street clothes of late, having appeared in 10 of the last twelve, this after being a scratch in seven of the first nine contests. He has yet to record a point and has registered 13 penalty minutes. On the season he is a -1.

Inside the Numbers:Just to get on the ice and contribute has to feel good for Schill. He has yet to score, but does a relatively good job of grinding every night. He has shown in the past that he can put the puck in the net, maybe his confidence will increase with greater ice time and his scoring touch will resurface.

Martin Paroulek:

Paroulek has been a scratch in eleven of the last twelve games with nine of those eleven considered a healthy scratch. On the season he has one assist, five penalty minutes in nine games.

Inside the Numbers:Paroulek’s stay in Syracuse appears to be coming to an end. He would like to return to play in the Czech Republic, but the team with his rights does not appear to want him back. Remains in a state of limbo and his attitude throughout the whole process has not endeared himself to the Jacket brass.

Matt Dzieduszycki:

Matt was recalled from Dayton seven games into the season and since that time has found a home with the Crunch. On the season he has appeared in 14 games, recording four goals, one assist, and 14 penalty minutes. He is a -3 over that period.

Inside the Numbers:What a find for the Columbus scouting department. Signed by the Jackets after spending a season with the University of Western Ontario in the CIAU, Dzieduszycki has been invaluable to the Crunch, especially with the shortage of centers on the roster. Speed is his greatest asset and he has a real nose for the net.

Trevor Ettinger:

“Etti” was recalled from Dayton prior to the 11/29 contest against the Binghamton Senators. Since that time he has appeared in five games with the Crunch, recording one assist and 12 penalty minutes.

Inside the Numbers:No secret why Ettinger is around. He patrols the ice and ensures that his teammates have room to maneuver on the ice. He also chipped in with an assist recently, his first point in the AHL.

Editor’s Update:While preparing this report, the Crunch embarked on a two-game road trip to the state of Ohio for a pair of games versus the Cleveland Barons and the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. On Tuesday, the Crunch would overcome a three-goal deficit to come from behind and down the Barons 5-4. Kent McDonell would add a pair of goals to pace the Crunch and Tim Jackman would continue his hot play of late by tallying his fifth of the season.

On Wednesday, Syracuse headed to Cincinnati to take on the Mighty Ducks. The Crunch would be victorious in this game as well as they would top the Ducks 2-1 behind 29 saves from Pascal Leclaire.