Blue Jackets NCAA prospect season recap

By Michael Simmons





Several Columbus Blue Jackets college prospects have completed their<br />seasons, and in some cases, have seen their college hocke






 

The 2003-2004 college hockey season
marked a significant milestone in Columbus Blue Jackets history. Tyler Kolarik and Peter Zingoni,
the first college players chosen during the Blue Jackets inaugural entry draft
in 2000, played their final season of college hockey and will be evaluated for
contract offers. Another highly rated college prospect, Greg Mauldin,
left school after his junior season and made his NHL debut on an amateur
try-out with the Blue Jackets. All of the other prospects are expected to
return for another season at their respective schools. The following is a review of the college
hockey season.

 

Justin AikinsJunior
–Center –
New Hampshire
Selected in the 6th Round (173rd Overall) in 2001

Aikins
nearly doubled his career high point total this season by posting 41 points in
41 games. He finished the season centering leading scorer Steve Saviano and Colorado Avalanche prospect Sean Collins
to form the Wildcats most dangerous line. Aikins also
contributed in killing penalties and playing the point on the seventh best
power play unit in Division I. His four game winning goals equal his total goal
output in either of the past two years. He led all Wildcats in assists and tied
for sixth most assists among all Division I players. In Hockey East play, Aikins led all players in assists with 20 and tied for fifth
in overall scoring. Aikins also may have silenced
critics who questioned his consistency by recording points in 27 of 41 games
this season.

 

 

Team

League

GM

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

GW

PP

SH

Shots

New Hampshire

Hockey East

41

10

31

41

+2

26

4

3

0

87

 

 

Jeff GenovySophomore – Right Wing / Center – Clarkson
– Selected in the 3rd Round (96th Overall) in 2002

Clarkson forward Jeff Genovy
struggled mightily to create offense this season. This has to come as some
concern to the organization as the 6’3” 200-pound prospect is the highest draft
pick
Columbus
has playing in the college ranks. As a freshman, Genovy
scored five goals, all coming on the power play. This season, Genovy had only one power play point and did not register a
power play goal. He scored only one goal during 29 regular season games. The
Golden Knights, as a whole, had difficulty scoring until the end of the season
when they went on a tear and made a run at the ECAC conference title. To a
limited extent, Genovy shared in the offensive surge
recording one-third of his season’s point total during the seven game
tournament run.

 

Team

League

GM

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

GW

PP

SH

Shots

Clarkson

ECAC

36

2

7

9

42

0

0

0

 

 

Kevin Jarman Freshman
– Left Wing – U Mass – Amherst – Selected in the 4th Round(103rd Overall) in 2003

Kevin Jarman had an up
and down first year for the Minutemen, which was not entirely unexpected. The
speedy left winger had most of his scoring success on the power play, recording
three of his four goals on the man advantage. All of the goals were scored by
November 28th, meaning he didn’t find the back of the net through
the final 21 games of the season. Jarman was strong
in the post season playing on a high energy line with Capitals prospect Steven
Werner
and team captain Mike Warner. He registered four assists in
four games.

 

Team

League

GM

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

GW

PP

SH

Shots

U Mass –Amherst

Hockey East

34

4

6

10

-11

28

1

3

0

53

 

 

Tyler KolarikSenior- Center – Harvard
– Selected in the 5th Round (150th Overall) in 2000

Harvard struggled this season finishing sixth in
the ECAC after being named the preseason favorite to win the conference.
Kolarik
finished the season third on the team in overall scoring, second in both goals
and assists. He led the team with eight multi-point games and eclipsed the
100-point mark for his career.
Kolarik
played a key role in winning the ECAC and securing an automatic berth to the
NCAA Tournament. In Harvard’s first round sweep of
Vermont, Kolarik was named the first star of game one after
collecting a goal and assist. In the six-game run through the ECAC tournament,
the Harvard power play came alive with Kolarik
scoring three power play goals and adding one assist. Harvard lost their
match-up against Hockey East champion,
Maine, in the first round
of the Eastern Regionals played in
Albany, New York on March 26,
closing out Kolarik’s four-year run at Harvard.

 

Team

League

GM

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

GW

PP

SH

Shots

Harvard

ECAC

35

12

18

30

24

0

4

0

 

 

Greg MauldinJunior,
Left Wing / Center – U Mass –
Amherst
Selected in 7th Round (199th Overall) in 2002:

After posting two very solid seasons at U Mass, Mauldin was
expected to make the next step towards becoming one of the elite players in
college hockey. But, like many of the other Blue Jackets prospects, his season
was marred by injury. Mauldin was checked from behind into the boards in the
January 3rd game against Mass-Lowell. He was taken off the ice on a
stretcher and diagnosed with a concussion. As a result, he missed the next
eight games of the season. Despite the injury, Mauldin led all Minutemen
forwards in goals and overall scoring, and finished only behind defenseman Thomas
Pock
in both categories for the team lead. Mauldin scored 15
goals, five coming on the power play, and added 14 assists in only 29 games. He
finished the season strong by recording six goals in his final five games. Upon
the conclusion of the college season, Mauldin made the jump to the NHL playing
six games with the Blue Jackets on an amateur try-out arrangement.

 

Team

League

GM

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

GW

PP

SH

Shots

U Mass –Amherst

Hockey East

29

15

14

29

+12

15

0

5

1

127

 

 

Andrew Murray –Junior –
Center –
Bemidji State- Selected
in the 8th Round (242nd Overall) in 2001:

Prior to the start of the season, Murray was named
by the conference coaches to the preseason All-CHA team.
Murray was well
on his way to living up to the high expectations until he suffered a serious
ankle injury that required surgery.
Murray missed 11
games due to the injury. To his credit, when he returned to the lineup he
stepped right back into his top line center position and averaged nearly a
point per game for the remainder of the season. Murray, a second year assistant
captain, helped lead
Bemidji State to their
first regular season conference championship since it elevated its program to
Division I in 1999.
Murray’s season
ended when the Beavers failed to secure the CHA automatic berth to the NCAA
Tournament losing in to
Niagara in the
CHA Championship game.

 

Team

League

GM

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

GW

PP

SH

Shots

Bemidji State

CHA

24

5

14

19

0

41

1

1

0

82

 

 

Jekabs Redlihs
Sophomore- Defense- Boston University-
Selected in the 4th Round (119th Overall) in 2002:

 

After Jekabs Redlihs
first season at
Boston University, Paul Castron, Director of Player Development, referred to Redlihs as “the nicest surprise in the system.” This year
the surprises have not been so nice. Redlihs missed the
first game of the season for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. He then suffered
a broken collarbone on October 17th during practice and did not see
his first game action until January 2nd against
Minnesota. He
recorded an assist in the game, but was later assessed a major penalty for
hitting from behind and was required to miss the second game of the series. But
by the time Redlihs had returned to the lineup, the
Terriers were struggling to maintain position in an ever increasingly
competitive conference. Redlihs did rebound to play 23 games and the Terriers
improved enough to narrowly earn the final seed to the Hockey East Tournament.
Boston shocked
their cross-town rivals, top rated
Boston College, before
falling to
Maine in the
second round series. Redlihs’ offensive game never
rebounded to last season’s form as he scored only two goals and four assists on
the year. Surprisingly, despite the injury, the big Latvian rearguard added a
physical element to his play. In 23 games he recorded 53 penalty minutes
compared to 14 in 40 games a year ago.

 

 

Team

League

GM

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

GW

PP

SH

Shots

Boston University

Hockey East

23

2

4

6

-6

53

1

0

0

14

 

 

Peter ZingoniSenior- Left Wing- Providence College- Selected
in the 8th Round (231st Overall) in 2000:

 

The Syracuse Crunch signed Zingoni
to an amateur try-out contract days after he completed his college hockey
career at Providence College.The Friars season ended
after a tightly contested Hockey East battle with the New Hampshire Wildcats in
the first round of the conference tournament. As a senior with the Friars, Zingoni had his best offensive output of his college career
scoring a team high 13 goals and 19 assists in 36
games. Zingoni played left wing on the first line and
was a fixture on the power play. For his college career, Zingoni
scored 34 goals and 47 assists in 127 games.

 

Team

League

GM

G

A

Pts

+/-

PIM

GW

PP

SH

Shots

Providence College

Hockey East

36

13

19

32

+9

54

1

2

0

123