Jackets CHL Prospect Update

By Aaron Vickers

This week’s MVP is Brandon Wheat King defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, simply for his uncanny ability to rebound from injury.
Western Hockey League

Kiel McLeod – Forward – Kelowna Rockets – Selected in the 2nd Round (53 Overall) in 2001
Kiel McLeod, the new man Jacket fans are beginning to love to hate, has certainly not been discouraged on the ice. His contract situation seems to only serve as motivation. He has simply been tearing up the ‘Dub’. His slow start to the season offensively has all but been a memory. In McLeod’s last 10 games, he has registered 16 points (5-11-16). His season totals have been pushed to 45 points (17-28-45) points in 40 games this season. On the contract front, no news is bad news as McLeod and the Jackets are no closer to reaching a deal, at least of what the media knows.

Interesting Stat: Number 17 is top 4 on Kelowna in all offensive categories.

Steven Goertzen – Forward – Seattle Thunderbirds – Selected in the 7th Round (225th Overall) in 2002
At the beginning of the season, Steve Goertzen probably envisioned his 2002-2003 season as a season of growth, both offensively and defensively, both personally and for the Seattle Thunderbirds. Last season Goertzen registered 15 points(6-9-15) in 66 games, with a discouraging minus 14 rating. This season Goertzen has seen the growth he had hoped for. Through 41 games with the Thunderbirds, Steven has a plus 8 rating, kilometres (or miles for our American friends) better than last season. On top of that, Goertzen has set career high’s through the 41 games this season. Goertzen boasts 10 goals, 4 more than that of the entire 2001-2002 season. His point totals so far this season exceed his previous high of 15, with 18 points (10-8-18) so far. With a pair of assists, he will also surpass his mark of 9 set in his rookie season.

Interesting Stat: Number 26 is tied for 4th in plus/minus with a plus 8 rating.

Tim Konsorada – Forward – Brandon Wheat Kings – Selected in the 6th Round (168th Overall) in 2002
Tim Konsorada continues to be a reliable contributor for the Wheat Kings offense. Despite only having 13 tallies, Konsorada has consistently been 2nd in Wheat King scoring for the majority of the season. He has registered 6 points (2-4-6) in his last 5 games, pushing his season totals to 45 points (13-32-45) in 44 games this season, while seeing time on both special teams, and regular duty on the Wheat Kings second line.

Interesting Stat: Number 19 leads the Wheat Kings in assists, with 32 on the campaign.

Ole-Kristian Tollefsen – Defense – Brandon Wheat Kings – Selected in the 3rd Round (65th Overall) in 2002
Tollefsen saw his first action since returning from the World Junior “B” Championships since the last update, and subsequently injuring himself in a car accident on his way back. Since then, Tollefsen has come back to play with a new level of confidence, solidifying the Wheat Kings back end. Since returning, Tollefen has since doubled his point totals, and now sits at 14 points (5-9-14) in an injury plagued 24 games this season.

Interesting Stat: Number 27 leads all Wheat King rookies in points, with 14.

Ontario Hockey League

Andrew Penner – Goaltender – Guelph Storm – Signed As A Free Agent (Sept 17th, 2001)
Penner has received some support from the Guelph team in front of him in recent weeks. Penner’s losing streak was snapped, and his record has been upped from 6-11-5 as it was last season to 9-13-6. His GAA dropped ever so slightly to 2.63, and his save percentage has climbed slowly to .910. He continues to see tons of time between the pipes, playing in 30 games this season and 1708 minutes. This trend will continue with Dwight LaBrosse no longer with the organization.

Interesting Stat: Number 1 is 4th in the OHL in GAA (2.63)

Ryan Bowness – Forward – Brampton Battalion – Selected in the 8th Round (236th Overall) in 2001
Ryan Bowness has now set new career high’s in ever facet of his offensive game this season, when he recorded his 11th assist on the year. Since then, Bowness has continued to put points up on the board, and in his last 8 games, Rick has registered 6 points (1-5-6). He now sits at 29 points (14-15-29) on the season, playing in 39 of 41 Brampton Battalion games.

Interesting Stat: #24 is 4th on the club in goals, with his 14 on the year.

Cole Jarrett – Defense – Plymouth Whalers – Selected in the 5th Round (141st Overall) in 2001
Jarrett has consistently been putting up points as well. The Plymouth Whalers have to be happy with his offensive output. In 42 games this season, Jarrett has registered 40 points (10-30-40), good enough for 1st on the club and 3rd in the OHL in points among defensemen. Jarrett’s penalty totals and discipline seem to be somewhat of a concern, however, being 2nd on the team in PIM.

Interesting Stat: 8 of 10 goals have come on the power play for #2.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Aaron Johnson – Defense – Quebec Remparts – Selected in the 3rd Round (85th Overall) in 2001

Aaron Johnson has followed the suit of Cole Jarrett, that is, in terms of putting up consistent offensive numbers. Johnson, who has hovered around a point-per-game pace for the majority of the Quebec Major Junior season, has continued that trend since the last update. Since that update, 8 games have gone by for Johnson, in which 10 points, all assists, have been registered. He now sits with 35 points (4-31-35) on the season.

Interesting Stat: Aaron continues to have the worst plus/minus among the top ten scoring defensemen, with a -2 rating.

Special Update: At a Glimpse…
On January 13th, I was lucky enough to catch an up close glimpse at 4 youngsters getting some time with the Columbus Blue Jackets, as they took to the ice against the Edmonton Oilers.

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