Thrashers Prospects Update — January

By Holly Gunning



Untitled Document

The following is a general update on what’s happening with prospects across
the system. It covers the period since the last update, about six weeks ago.

Thrashers Rookies

A total of five rookies have played with the club so far this season. Below
are their stats, in order by points. The only player currently with the club
is in blue.

Pos.
GP
G
A
Pts
+/-
PIMs
Shots
Weaver
D
34
0
5
5
-7
12
18
Hartigan
C
5
1
1
2
-3
0
5
Snyder
C
7
1
0
1
-1
13
6
Safronov
D
6
1
0
1
-6
6
4
Lessard
RW
11
0
1
1
1
44
4

Mike Weaver was called up to Atlanta on October 31st. Since then he has secured
a spot among the top four defensemen, playing an average of 18:26 a game, and
has been very solid for the team. He is the only rookie currently on the roster.

Mark Hartigan was sent down on December 9th. He has scored 18 of his 24 points,
including all of his goals, since being returned to the Wolves. Francis Lessard
was sent down on December 11th. The effort to both convert him to a wing and
keep his “enthusiasm” in check is ongoing at the AHL level. Kirill
Safronov was sent down to Chicago after five games at the beginning of the season,
then briefly recalled on December 15th, played one game, and was sent back December
19th. Yuri Butsayev exercised a clause in his contract not to spend over 21
days in the minors and returned to play in Russia on December 17th.

Wolves update

The Chicago Wolves (AHL affiliate) are 19-16-2-2 on the season, and 5-4-1-0
in their last ten. If the playoffs started now, they would still have to play
the lightning round, similar to last year. Simon Gamache is the Wolves’ top
scoring prospect, with 29 points in 37 games, including 12 goals, and 7 power
play goals. Goaltender Milan Hnilicka was reassigned to Chicago for a second
time on January 9th, but with the latest groin injury to Dafoe, will likely
be recalled to Atlanta again. Norm Maracle and Frederic Cassivi remain on the
roster in Chicago as well. Defensively the team is stocked as well, with Luke
Sellars and Libor Ustrnul still struggling for ice time.

Other news and notes

  • Goaltender Kari Lehtonen led Team Finland to a second straight bronze medal
    in the World Junior Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lehtonen posted
    a 2.19 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in six games, including
    two shutouts.
  • Wolves defenseman Garnet Exelby was named to 2003 AHL All-Star game, representing
    Canada. The game will be played February 3rd in Portland, Maine. JP Vigier
    represented the Wolves last year.
  • Michigan State freshman winger Colton Fretter was named CCHA rookie of the
    week for the week of December 10th 2002, after posting a 2G, 2A weekend against
    Ferris State. Fretter continues to post solid numbers for the Spartans: 11
    points in 17 games.
  • Wolves defenseman Luke Sellars represented Canada in Spengler Cup in Switzerland.

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, JimMSUC2171522
+7
16
60
Baby, StephenCornellRW1551621
36
Stuart, ColinColorado CollegeF229817
36
Nielsen, EvanNotre DameD2221315
+7
24
29
Fretter, ColtonMSURW174711
+4
16
28
McRae, MarkCornellD155611
6
Dwyer, PatWMURW214711
+1
12
46
Gajic, MilanMichiganC205510
-2
16
36
Dwyer, JeffYaleD16156
14
McRae, MattCornellC15156
22
Oystrick, NathanNMUD13145
0
8
21
Fitzrandolph, ColinSt. LawrenceC17123
4
Sipotz, BrianMiamiD23000
+9
24
15

Juniors

Team
Pos
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
StewartPlymouth OHLLW 42 20 35 55 +23 63
SchellSpokane WHLC 25 6 10 16 0 14
BoldtKamloops WHLD 44 6 7 13 +8 74
SudermanSaskatoon WHLD 32 0 5 5 +7 83
MansonMoose Jaw WHLD 43 0 3 3 -11 123

Europe (through Dec 17th)

Position
Team
League
GP
G
A
PTS
PIM
NummelinDHC LuganoSwitzerland2914193310
SantalaC/LWHPKFinland266232976
DobryshkinLWSeverstal Cherepovets Russia301462048
CartelliDKladnoCzech 25 0 8 8 12
IsosaloRWLukko RaumaFinland27224 2
NikulinDMoscow DynamoRussia1913426

ECHL Greenville Grrrowl

Pos
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
Shots
FlacheD
19
1
0
1
-7
16
23
KaczowkaLW
27
2
3
5
-3
118
21

AHL Chicago Wolves

PosGPGAPTS+/-PIMSHOTS
GamacheLW37121729918100
Hartigan C3161824-11998
FosterD3661622-149497
Vigier (now in ATLRW23101020-61868
SnyderC3210919-13865
MacKenzieC39881673865
Tapper (now in ATL)RW19691562635
SimonLW39691585463
SafronovD32491322559
DiPentaD392101266059
KarlssonC155712-6426
Nielsen (total)C37471111260
PirosC294711-101049
BlatnyLW36641041858
ExelbyD39347119738
EakinsD3714554645
LessardW17112-45912
SellarsD11112-75010
HerpergerC
4
1
1
1
-1
9
6
UstrnulD170003448

Goalies — all levels

Team
GP
Min
W
L
T
GAA
SPCT
Lehtonen Jokerit, Finland
30
18
8
3
1.81
HnilickaChicago, AHL95147202.68.914
SmidPizen, Czech Elite
13
6
6
1
2.74
MaracleChicago, AHL
23
1258
8
11
2
2.77
.907
Cassivi Chicago, AHL
11
564
4
5
0
3.40
.884
Garnett Greenville, ECHL
19
1041
7
11
3.98
.873

Of note

  • Mark Hartigan ranks 15th among AHL rookies with 24 points, despite missing
    8 games for the Wolves. He and Simon Gamache are currently playing on the
    top line together.
  • Stephen Baby has been coming on strong for Cornell in the past few weeks
    and is on pace to easily set career highs.
  • David Kaczowka has already set career high pro numbers with the Grrrowl
    with five points on the year. He’s playing a regular shift on the third line
    and is one of Greenville’s most consistent forwards of late.
  • Paul Flache had tonsil surgery in December, missed 13 games for the Grrrowl,
    and is just now getting back into game shape after dropping 15 pounds.
  • Pat Dwyer of Western Michigan is struggling after a good start to the season.

Comments and questions are welcomed on the HF
Thrashers Board
.