Blue Jackets CHL Season In Review

By Aaron Vickers

Three CHL Blue Jacket prospects have parted ways with the club this offseason:
Kiel McLeod, Ryan Bowness and Cole Jarrett. McLeod signed with Phoenix; Bowness and Jarrett were not tendered an offers. The 2003 Entry Draft brought CHL additions such as Phillipe Dupuis, Dan Fritsche, Trevor Hendrikx,
Gravel and Marc Method. A glimpse into the 2002-03 CHL season may also allow a glimpse into the future for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Western Hockey League

Steven Goertzen – Forward – Seattle
Thunderbirds –
Selected in the Seventh Round (225th Overall) in 2002

Steven Goertzen, the pride of Stony Plain,
Alberta, completed his second Western Hockey League season with the
Seattle Thunderbirds. While his play wouldn’t be described as
spectacular, his steady contribution from the third line allowed others
on the club, like Brooks Laich
to focus solely on the offensive chores of the club. Finishing with 31
points (12-19-31) in 71 games, Goertzen set career marks in
every category.

Season Team League GP G A P PIM GPG A P PIM
2001-02 Seattle Thunderbirds WHL 66 6 9 15 45 11 2 0 2 4
2002-03 Seattle Thunderbirds WHL 71 12 19 31 95 14 4 3 7 9

Tim Konsorada –
Forward – Brandon Wheat Kings –
Selected in the Sixth Round (168th Overall) in 2002

Tim Konsorada had his most successful season in
the Western Hockey League in 2002-03. Simply put, Konsorada established
himself as a force with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Adding secondary
scoring including Jordin Tootoo,
Ryan Craig and 2003 first round
selection Eric Fehr
established the Wheat Kings as a club to watch in 2003-04. Konsorada
himself received recognition for his abilities as well, and was named
to the 2003 Canadian Junior Developmental Summer Camp. Among Jacket
prospects, Konsorada elevated his play like no other, and increased his
stock within the organization.

Season Team League GP G A P PIM GP G A P PIM
2000-01 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 4 0 0 0 0
2001-02 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 63 11 16 27 29 12 1 1 2 0
2002-03 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 70 26 29 55 76 17 4 8 12 2

Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
– Defense – Brandon Wheat
Kings – Selected in the Third Round (65th Overall) in 2002

To say the least, the first season of North
American hockey was trying for Ole-Kristian Tollefsen. A season riddled with injuries marked Tollefsen’s adjustment to junior hockey in
Western Canada. Tollefsen suffered from at least a half-dozen
different injuries this season, including a concussion, whiplash, a
shoulder injury and laceration to his forearm. Despite this,
Tollefsen’s play seemed to rebound after each injury, and was a solid
contributor for the Wheat Kings.

Season Team League GP G A P PIM GP G A P PIM
2002-03 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 43 6 14 20 73 17 0 2 2 38

Ontario Hockey League

Andrew Penner –
Goaltender – Guelph Storm – Signed
As A Free Agent (Sept 17th, 2001)

Andrew Penner was the only survivor of Columbus
Blue Jacket prospects in the Ontario Hockey League. Offered a contract
nearly two years ago, Penner finished up his junior career with the
Guelph Storm after starting with the North Bay Centennials. In fact, it
appears as though Penner saved the best for last, finally emerging as a
true no. 1 goaltender in the Ontario Hockey League. Setting career marks
in games and minutes played, Penner also set career marks in goals
against average, wins and save percentage. Penner will experience life in
professional hockey next season, likely with the Dayton Bombers of the

Season Team League W L T SO EN GA GAA SV SV% MIN
1999-00 North Bay Centennials OHL 3 12 0 0 1 79 4.43 544 .873 1070
2000-01 North Bay Centennials OHL 10 19 1 1 3 117 3.93 763 .867 1787
2001-02 North Bay Centennials OHL 4 8 4 1 1 52 3.40 437 .894 917
2001-02 Guelph Storm OHL 18 12 5 0 3 107 3.11 939 .898 2066
2002-03 Guelph Storm OHL 21 21 7 0 0 137 2.76 1298 .905 2975

Ryan Bowness – Forward – Brampton Battalion –
Selected in the 8th Round (236th Overall) in 2001

Ryan Bowness was a victim of the contract game, as
he was not tendered an offer from the Columbus organization. The
interesting aspect of this is that the now unrestricted free agent had
attended the Columbus Blue Jackets Developmental Camp, which concluded
July 5th. The Halifax, Nova Scotia native significantly improved his
offensive numbers in 2002-03, which may be why the Columbus Blue
Jackets are considering giving the Battalion forward another look.

Season Team League GP G A P PIM GP G A P PIM
2000-01 Brampton Battalion OHL 52 5 10 15 51 9 0 2 2 9
2001-02 Brampton Battalion OHL 66 7 10 17 104
2002-03 Brampton Battalion OHL 55 15 17 32 70 3 0 0 0 9

Dan Fritsche – Centre – Sarnia Sting –
Selected in the Second Round (46th Overall) in 2003

When Dan Fritsche was still on the board when the Columbus Blue Jackets
selected in the second round, 46th overall, there was no hesitation in
selecting Dan Fritsche. It is interesting to consider that, with the
departure of the 6’5″ Kiel McLeod, General Manager Doug MacLean would
use a high draft selection to take the 6’1″ Fritsche, ranked 10th among
North American Skaters entering the draft. While there may be concern
with his shoulders, an injury sustained in the 2001-02 season, Fritsche
showed little to no effect of the injuries in 2002-03.

Season Team League GP G A P PIM GP G A P PIM
2001-02 Sarnia Sting OHL 17 5 13 18 20
2002-03 Sarnia Sting OHL 61 32 39 71 19 5 2 2 4 4

Marc Methot – Defense – London Knights
– Selected in the Sixth Round (168th Overall) in 2003

It is very likely that Marc Methot was selected to add some size to the Columbus Blue Jackets defensive core. Standing at
6’3″, Methot’s role would simply be that of a stay at home defenseman,
similar to the role he plays with the OHL’s London Knights. Methot, the
youngest defenseman in the Jackets organization, certainly wasn’t
considered an offensive threat, nor will he be mistaken for one in the
future, however he can chip in with some points from time to time.
Methot certainly had an impressive rookie campaign in 2002-03 with the
Knights, and Columbus management hopes he can replicate that success
next season, hoping he can raise his game to another level now that
he’s accustomed to Major Junior hockey.

Season Team League GP G A P PIM GP G A P PIM
2002-03 London Knights OHL 68 2 13 15 46 14 2 4 6 6

Trevor Hendrikx – Defense – Peterborough Petes – Selected in the Ninth
Round (283rd Overall) in 2003

Trevor Hendrikx, much like Marc Methot, was selected in the
ninth round of the 2003 Entry Draft, simply to add some depth to the
pool of talent the Columbus Blue Jackets may be able to dip into in the
distant future. No one will mistake Hendrikx’s offensive flair (or
lackthereof) with that of a Derrick
however it is Hendrikx’s ability to clear the crease
that makes him attractive and valuable to the Columbus Blue Jackets. It
will be his crease clearing ability and defensive zone coverage that
will decide how far Hendrikx can go with his hockey career.

Season Team League GP G A P PIM GP G A P PIM
2001-02 Peterborough Petes OHL 46 1 3 4 37 5 0 0 0 4
2002-03 Peterborough Petes OHL 56 1 8 9 128 7 0 0 0 4

Quebec Major Junior
Hockey League

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

Aaron Johnson remains the best defensive prospect
in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. His season with the Rimouski
Oceanic and later with the Quebec Remparts in 2002-03 was his best
season on record, and the first time in his QMJHL career where he
averaged over a point-per-game. The trade which sent him to Quebec 25
games into the season also gave Johnson the opportunity to compete for
the Memorial Cup, and went up against former Jackets prospect Kiel
McLeod and his Kelowna Rockets. Aaron was recently signed by the
organization, and will likely begin play with the Syracuse Crunch of
the American Hockey League.

Season Team League GP G A P PIM GP G A P PIM
1999-00 Rimouski Oceanic QMJHL 63 1 14 15 57 8 0 0 0 0
2000-01 Rimouski Oceanic QMJHL 64 12 41 53 128 11 2 4 6 35
2001-02 Rimouski Oceanic QMJHL 68 17 49 66 172 7 1 2 3 12
2002-03 Rimouski Oceanic QMJHL 25 4 20 24 41
2002-03 Quebec Remparts QMJHL 32 6 31 37 41 11 4 4 8 25

Phillipe Dupuis – Centre – Hull Olympiques – Selected in the Forth
Round (104th Overall) in 2003

In a draft that was North American dominated, the
2003 Entry Draft saw Hull Olympiques centre Phillipe Dupuis fall into
the hands of the Columubs Blue Jackets. Originally ranked 56th in the
final installment of the Central Scouting Bureau North American rankings, Dupuis
was selected 104th overall. At that placement, Dupuis may very well
develop into a steal. Phillipe managed to have a very strong 2002-03
campaign, which saw him tally a total of 56 points (22-34-56) in 68
games, an improvement of 35 points over his previous season. The
offensively dominaged QMJHL may very well be a good breeding ground for
the Laval, Quebec native to develop his offensive skills, while
worrying about developing his two-way game at a later date.

Season Team League GP G A P PIM GP G A P PIM
2001-02 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 67 7 14 21 59 12 6 5 11 14
2002-03 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 68 22 34 56 89 20 2 4 6 22

Mathieu Gravel – Left Wing – Shawinigan Cataractes – Selected in the
Eighth Round (233rd Overall) in 2003

Mathieu Gravel was added  to the Columubs organization for two
reasons. Gravel has an offensive flair when he gets around the net. As
well, Gravel stands at a reported 6’3.5″. An imposing frame is
something the Columbus Blue Jackets are lacking, both in their
prospects as well as with the main club. Gravel could be one of the
more interesting prospects that Jacket fans should watch out for.

Season Team League GP G A P PIM GP G A P PIM
2001-02 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 71 16 15 31 87 10 1 2 3 0
2002-03 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 72 24 26 50 60 6 2 2 4 2