Canucks AHL prospects update

By HF Staff

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style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>By Paula Cochrane

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style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Ryan Kesler,
C – Aug 31, 1984
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GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

28

10

12

22

+11

34

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At 20 years
old, Ryan Kesler is the youngest player on the Manitoba
Moose roster and Vancouver’s
top prospect. He was the Canucks first choice and 23rd overall in
the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. In his
second professional season, he has 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points in
only 28 games with the Moose. Kesler’s quiet,
calm demeanor allows him to shine under pressure. At the 2004 World Junior
Championship, he scored the tying goal for Team w:st="on">USA in the gold medal game. Having
already played in 28 games for the Canucks, he is poised to continue in the NHL
when it resumes.

 

style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Alex Auld, G – Jan 7, 1981

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GP

MIN

W

L

GAA

SV%

15

866:03

9

4

2.49

.915

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Waiting out
the NHL lockout, Alex Auld shares
the net almost equally with veteran teammate Wade Flaherty, posting consistent
statistics. In 15 games played with Manitoba
this season, he has 9 wins and just 4 losses and 1 shutout loss. This year, his
third pro season, the netminder has honed his skills
to perfection and filled in the gaps. After a remarkable performance with the
Canucks in last year’s NHL
Stanley Cup playoffs, earning a spot with the team won’t be a problem for
Auld.

 

style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Kirill style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Koltsov, D – Feb 1, 1983 style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>

 

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GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

28

3

14

17

+3

42

 

Some might ask
what kind of defenseman does a 5’11, 176-pound Russian make?
His teammates agree that while not the tallest player, Koltsov
has obvious talent and with continued improvement, a successful w:st="on">NHL career will become a reality. Areas of
improvement include his attitude and knowing his place within the team. In
contrast, his greatest asset is his offensive skill. style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 
He has 17 points in 28 games this
season.

 

style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Jason King, LW – Sept 14, 1981 style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>

 

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GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

28

16

11

27

-2

12

 

Tied for
first on the Moose in goals with 16, and second in points with 27, Jason
King’s third pro season is off to an excellent start. King has cited
mental focus and consistency as two aspects of his game he’s
concentrating on this year with no NHL hockey. With 47 games played with the
Canucks, he knows developing these two skills will be key
in earning more NHL action.

 

style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Kevin Bieska,
D – June 16, 1981

 

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GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

28

3

13

16

-1

72

 

Transitioning
to the fast-paced action of the AHL from college hockey is no easy task. This
rookie seems to be handling it well. Bieska is tied for
third in assists with 13, has 1 power play goal and one game winning goal. But
there is still a lot to learn. He will need to improve his skating and agility
to adapt to the faster paced game. One thing that has
remained consistent; his penalty minutes.
He currently leads the Moose
with 72.

 

style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Tomas Mojzis,
D – May 2,
1982

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GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

28

4

7

11

+4

28

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A solid, capable
defenseman, Mojzis continues to improve at the AHL
level. He has strong offensive and defensive skills. Using those skills reliably
will be his biggest obstacle. If he can overcome that, the possibilities are
endless. He needs to concentrate on basics at this point. style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 
He has a solid 11 points and is +4 on
the season.

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style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Brandon Nolan, C – July 18,
1983

 

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GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

26

2

4

6

+5

10

 

In 26 games
played, Nolan has 2 goals, 4 assists and 1 power play goal. With excellent
passing and puck handling, he can and should be scoring more. In 2002-03 with
the Oshawa Generals of the OHL, he posted 36 goals
and 52 assists in just 68 games. If he can bring his scoring up, his future
will be bright.

 

style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Alexandre style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Burrows, RW – April 11, 1981

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GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

20

3

7

10

+4

25

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Confusion
and chaos at the net is Burrows’ style, and it’s worked well for
him. While not posting excessive numbers himself, he creates opportunities for
the team. He has played only 20 of the team’s 28 games.

 

style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Jesse Schultz, RW – Sept 28,
1982

 

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GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

22

1

6

7

-3

2

 

Off to a decent
start, Schultz has 1 goal and 6 assists. Last season, with
the ECHL’s Columbia Inferno he posted 72
penalty minutes in 52 games, whereas this season, he has just two penalty
minutes in his 22 games.
Developing a better defensive game will be class=GramE>key
to his future success. He is currently -3.

 

style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Nathan Smith, C – ls="trans" Month="2" Day="9" Year="1982" w:st="on">Feb 9, 1982

 

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GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

21

2

2

4

-4

9

 

Nathan
Smith has had a poor start to the season on the scoresheet
with just four points. In his best season with Swift Current
of the WHL where he posted 90 points.
In his three years in the AHL, his
point per game scoring has gone from .32, to .26, now to only .19. He currently
has the worst plus/minus among Vancouver
prospects, with -4.

 

style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Tim Smith, C – July 21, 1981

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GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

17

1

0

1

-1

2

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Tim
Smith’s record indicates he has great scoring potential. He had 95 points
last year in the ECHL, the league’s top scorer. However, he has played 17
games with Manitoba
so far this season and only registered 1 goal. At 5’9, he’s the
smallest player on the Moose roster. Perhaps transitioning to right or left
wing will afford him more opportunity to showcase his skill at the AHL level.

 

style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial'>Copyright 2004 Hockey’s
Future.  Do not duplicate without
permission of the editorial staff.