Coyotes juniors prospects update

By Jeff Dahlia






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The Phoenix Coyotes currently have nine prospects currently playing in junior organizations in North America. The Coyotes have a tendency to draft
more players out of the WHL than all the other junior leagues and six of the nine prospects are currently playing
in that league. Phoenix recently signed their sole OHL prospect, Jakub Koreis, which currently leaves them with no prospects in the league for the 2004-05 season. Finally, Phoenix added two prospects from the QMJHL and
one south of the border in the USHL to round out the group. Statistics are current as of October 31st, 2004.


USHL

Blake Wheeler, RW
– Green Bay Gamblers – Drafted 2004, 1st
round, 5th overall

After a slow start, Blake Wheeler turned it up and ended his first month in American junior hockey as the top point producer for the
Green Bay Gamblers. For his effort, he was named the USHL Offensive Player of the Week on October 25, 2004 and currently ranks
eighth overall in scoring in the league. During the stretch, he notched a lone assist in a 5-3 loss to Indiana Ice on October 22nd and turned in a four-point effort
against the Ice, the following night in a 5-4 win.

Many were skeptical after the club selected Wheeler, but he seems to be silencing some of his critics.
Wheeler is not quite out of the woods yet. He will have to continue putting up points at this pace and continually control and play solid games. Only then will reveal that “tremendous upside” Wayne Gretzky and the organization recognized in him.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2004-05

10

6

6

12

0



QMJHL

Olivier Latendresse, C – Val-d’Or Foreurs – Signed as free agent September 2004

Things continue to go well for Olivier Latendresse, even well after signing with the Coyotes. He seems to be starting off on the right foot and is currently ranked second in overall points for Val-d’Or, right behind center Mark Hurtubise.

Overall, Val-d’Or is currently 15th out of the 16 teams in the QMJHL. A large part of the
team’s performance has to due with the influx of inexperienced youth.

For Latendresse, he started off the season hot and has seen his point production
slip a little as of late. It would be safe to say that the Foreurs aren’t going to see the postseason, so it will be
a time to overcome adversity.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2004-05

19

7

9

16

4


Kevin Cormier, LW – Halifax Mooseheads – Drafted 2004, 6th round, 168th
overall

The QMJHL has generally been a hotbed for enforcers and Kevin Cormier is keeping that tradition in fine order.
Don’t look for him to be a point contributor as he quickly becomes one of the top fighters in the league. To date, Cormier currently stands undefeated in 14 scrums and shows no sign of backing down. He has amazed just about every fan, opponent, and staff member alike with his booming left hand.
Rimouski Oceanic forward Eric Neilson (LA) is one of the bigger names to top his fast growing
list of victories.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2004-05

16

0

0

0

92






WHL

Aaron Gagnon, C – Seattle Thunderbirds – Drafted 2004, 8th round, 240th
overall

Aaron Gagnon ended the month of October on a tear. A change behind the bench and new systems in place for the Thunderbirds seems to be the difference for Seattle’s fourth-year center.

Gagnon has been playing on a line with junior rookie Ladislav Scurko (PHI) and Derek Couture that has produced 34 of the
team’s 97 total points to date. After 14 contests, he currently leads the team in goals, assists and points. Gagnon has also registered at least one point in eight games and has four
multi-point games, which includes a hat trick against Kelowna on October 15th.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2004-05

14

9

6

15

8


Ryan Gibbons, RW – Seattle Thunderbirds – Drafted 2003, 6th round, 178th
overall

Ryan Gibbons has also seen some success early in the season, but his production fell off a bit towards the end of the month.
He is currently on pace to surpass his offensive output from the 2003-04 season where he had 12 goals and 5 assists for a total of 17 points in 44 games played.

Also playing his fourth season for the Thunderbirds, the veteran is the eldest forward on a line with Denis Tolpeko (2005 draft eligible) and Mitch Fadden (2006 draft eligible). He has done a good job of working hard
down low, creating space for his linemates and setting up in front of the net for opportunities. 


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2004-05

14

3

3

6

23



Tyler Redenbach, C
– Swift Current Broncos – Drafted 2003, 3rd round, 77th
overall

Before the newly appointed team captain had a chance to step on the ice to start the season, many changes had already been made in the Swift Current organization. Head Coach Dean Chynoweth left the Seattle Thunderbirds club and took over as the Broncos General Manager/Head Coach. On the ice, Tyler Redenbach returned this year without his favorite linemate, Jeremy Williams (TOR), who is playing with the St. John’s Maple Leafs in the AHL.

Redenbach is taking everything one day at a time and knows that this year is a rebuilding year for the Broncos. The team is relatively young and untested. As its lone superstar from last season, Redenbach is back atop the points list for Swift Current, leading the team in goals, assists and points.

The Broncos have gotten off to a slow start and sit at the bottom of the standings in the WHL‘s central division.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2004-05

16

7

9

16

17


Roman Tomanek, LW – Calgary Hitman – Drafted 2004, 4th round, 103rd
overall

Roman Tomanek’s journey began when he left his native Slovakia this summer. In September it was all about the Rookie Tournament in Anaheim, Disneyland and Mickey Mouse. Now, he has settled down in the comfy confines of Calgary playing for the Hitmen.

On a team loaded with stars like Ryan Getzlaf (ANA), Andrew Ladd (CAR), Konstantin Pushkarev (LA), and Shaun Landolt (TOR), Tomanek is making the most of his adjustment to the
North American game, the WHL, and Canada. Some of his teammates have already noticed his ability and skill. He has been shuffled on a couple lines which saw him with Pushkarev and Getzlaf.
 

Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2004-05

15

2

4

6

12


Lance Monych, RW – Brandon Wheat Kings – Drafted 2002, 4th round, 97th
overall

After staying through all of training camp with the Coyotes AHL and ECHL affiliates, Lance Monych must of thought he was home
free.  But with the trickle-down effect of talent, he ended up being the
odd man out. Sent back to Brandon, it distorted the overage player situation
there and Monych obviously had to try to assimilate himself with the team and the pace. All was settled when the Wheat Kings traded 20-year-old defensemen Andre Blanchette to the Prince George Cougars to make room for him.

Monych has been playing some tough hockey even though he has only seen action in
five games with the Kings.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2004-05

5

1

3

4

8


Logan Stephenson, D – Tri-City Americans – Drafted 2004, 2nd round, 35th
overall

During the last game of the Second Annual Rookie Tournament in Anaheim this past September, Stephenson separated his shoulder while dishing out a grueling check. He started the season the injured reverse list and spent the majority of his time rehabbing with fellow Americans teammate and defenseman, Clayton Stoner.

Stephenson received his clearance during the last week of October and saw action in two games. He has a lot to look forward
to and the remaining part of the season could prove to be very fruitful for the defenseman. Not only
does he have a lot to accomplish with Tri-City, but he has been selected to represent
Team WHL in the 2004 CHL Canada/Russia series. Stephenson also participated in the Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team summer development camp in August. There is a good chance that he will be asked back to the selection camp being held from December 10-15, 2004 in Winnipeg.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

2004-05

2

0

0

0

2

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