The month of January has come to a close, and the mid-way point
of the Canadian Hockey League season is long but forgotten. Taking a
glimpse back at the month of January, the return of two prospects to
their respective junior clubs will serve as a strong punch towards the
The Western Hockey League
The Columbus Blue Jackets have several players spending the 2003-04
season in the Western Hockey League. Brandon Wheat King teammates Tim
Konsorada and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen were selected in the 2002 National
Hockey League Entry Draft, as well as Steven Goertzen of the Seattle
Thunderbirds, also selected in 2002.
– Right Wing/Defense – Seattle Thunderbirds –
Selected in the 7th Round (225th Overall) in 2002
As the season progresses, Thunderbird Steven Goertzen inches closer to
breaking his single season point record, a mark he set last season.
Goertzen, who saw his point totals double from 15 (6-9-15) in 66 games
in 2001-02 to 31 points (12-19-31) in 71 games. Goertzen, who with his
next goal with tie his career best, is on pace to register 37 points
– Right Wing – Brandon Wheat Kings – Selected in the 6th Round (168th
Overall) in 2002
Wheat King Tim Konsorada returned to action for the Brandon
Wheat Kings, for the first time since the 2002-03 season. Konsorada,
who resumes his captaincy with Brandon, has gotten off to a respectable
start considering he’s been absent from Western Hockey League ice for
over four months. Brandon, with the recent acquisitions of goaltender Josh Harding and sniper Erik Christensen, Brandon may be
poised to make a run towards the playoffs.
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Tollefsen – Defense – Brandon Wheat Kings – Selected in the 3rd
Round (65th Overall) in 2002
Konsorada’s teammate, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, has been on an absolute
tear. In the last month, Tollefsen has surpassed his point totals from
last season, and now sits at 26 points (3-23-26) on the year.
Tollefsen, who’s really stepped up his play in hopes of helping Brandon
put together a huge second half with the goal of making the post
season. Tollefsen, who has been nothing more than an offensive
juggernaut from Brandon’s back end, has put up eight points, including
seven helpers, in six games.
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The Ontario Hockey League
The Columbus Blue Jackets have a pair of prospects currently playing in
the Ontario Hockey League. Defensemen Marc Methot of the London Knights
and Trevor Hendrikx of the Peterborough Petes are 2003 National Hockey
League Entry Draft Selections, while Columbus’ second round selection
Dan Fritsche, who may be returned to the Sarnia Sting, continues to
skate with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
– Center – Property of the Sarnia Sting – Selected in the 2nd Round
(46th Overall) in
Former Columbus Blue Jacket Danny Fritsche was returned to his
Ontario Hockey League club, the Sarnia Sting, shortly after winning
gold with Team USA in the 2004 World Junior Championships. Fritsche,
who was named to the OHL All-Star Game with just a handful of games to
his credit, was named most valuable player for Team West. Fritsche, who
has put up a good pace after returning to Sarnia, has yet to really
tear up the score sheet.
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– Defense – Peterborough Petes – Selected in the 9th Round (283th
Overall) in 2003
Trevor Hendrikx continues to put his name on the score sheet in
many fashions. While many that scour the box scores regularly see
Hendrikx name on the penalty sheet and the fight card, he
continues his offensive tear. Last season, Hendrikx registered nine
points in 56 games with Peterborough. In his last 15 games, he’s
registered 7 points, and has nearly tripled his career high in points,
also set last season. If Hendrikx can combine his newly found offensive
touch with his hard-nosed play in his defensive zone, Columbus may have
found a gem.
– Defense – London Knights – Selected in the 6th Round (168th Overall)
Marc Methot, though not flashy or flamboyant, has continued to do his
job, night in and night out, for the London Knights. The defensive
prospect, known mainly for his strong play in his own end, has been a
solid contributor for London, highlighted by his +32 rating. In fact,
Methot’s +32 ranking is good enough for second in the entire Ontario
Hockey League, trailing teammate Dennis
Wideman, who sits at +41.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
The Columbus Blue Jackets have two players currently playing in
the Quebec Major Junior League. Mathieu Gravel, selected in the eighth
round of the 2003 National Hockey League Entry Draft, as well as
Philippe Dupuis of the Gatineau Olympiques, selected four rounds
earlier in the same draft.
Mathieu Gravel – Right Wing – Shawinigan Cataractes – Selected in
the 8th Round (233rd Overall) in 2003
Mathieu Gravel, who had an explosive month of December, cooled off in
January, registering five points (2-3-5) in 14 games this season with
the Shawinigan Cataractes. Shawinigan, hoping to make a push from the
playoffs, will expect more and more out of the large right winger, who
has had somewhat of a disappointing season thus far.
– Center – Gatineau Olympiques – Selected in the 4th Round (104th
Overall) in 2003
In the absence of teammate Maxime
Talbot, who was away much of the month of December due to his
commitments with the Canadian Junior Team, Philippe Dupuis took his
game to another level. Now, with Talbot returning in the month of
January, Dupuis has seen his time on the ice cut, and his production
suffer because of it. Dupuis, who registered five points (1-4-5) in
nine games, will be counted on in the coming weeks as Gatineau hopes to
hold onto their division lead.
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