Coyotes junior prospects update

By Jeff Dahlia






derccull

While none of the
Phoenix Coyotes junior prospects were selected to participate in the Under 20 World Junior
Championships, they spent the time forging on in their respective leagues.

USHL

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

After securing a spot with the University of Minnesota for next season last month, Wheeler would go onto to start December a bit under the weather. He missed the action during the second week of
play due to the flu. The highly touted right wing would miss only one week, while he continued to lead the Gamblers in scoring. He is continuing to progress, while many felt he would have excelled at a faster pace.

As a team, the Gamblers continue to struggle, going 1-7-0 in the month of December. Due large in part to poor play from goaltenders
Zane Kalembra and Daniel Rosen, Green Bay has been outscored in bunches by their opponents. It is rather troublesome
for a team that boasts a total of ten players who are committed to Division 1
college hockey programs. Currently, the Gamblers are ranked 10th out of an 11-team league and are
fifth in the six-team East Division.


ight=53>

Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

2004-05

26

10

12

22

6

-7



QMJHL

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

Latendresse has jumped out to a sizable lead in his scoring campaign for Val-d’Or. Even though they are showing signs of progression, the club has not been able to make much
headway in the league. The club went 3-5-2 in the month of December and is still lurking around the cellar in the QMJHL.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

2004-05

41

14

25

39

24

-9



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

Returning to action after serving a five-game suspension, the New Brunswick native has continued to maintain his role as lead enforcer in the QMJHL. Cormier has finally
showed his offensive ability during the December 10th contest against the P.E.I Rockets. While logging his first goal and assist of the season against the Rockets, he missed a Gordie Howe hat trick by not managing to engage an opponent in a scrum. Even though he would remain off the
score sheet for the rest of the month, his 5.21 penalty minutes per game average has earned the
third overall ranking in the league.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

2004-05

29

1

1

2

151

-3


WHL

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

As the Thunderbirds fought off the Everett Silvertips to remain the top team in the U.S. Division, Gagnon continued as the
club’s leading scorer. He ended the month on a seven-game point streak, continues to lead the team in goals and is also leading Seattle in the plus/minus category.

December wasn’t an easy month for the Thunderbirds. Before heading out on their eastern swing before Christmas, Gagnon tallied his second hat
trick of the season. Historically, the trip back east hasn’t been that fruitful, but Seattle finished off the month exceptionally well
at 8-3-0-1.

Still young at 18, Gagnon continues to progress and continues to be a very responsible and vital part to the Thunderbirds success.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

2004-05

36

22

19

41

14

26

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

Looking back at the all of Gibbons’ goals during December, it’s obvious that his hard work down low in the offensive zone has been the key. Last month consistency
was the theme regarding the shifty right winger. Coming as no surprise, he seems to be gaining strength and is showing a bit more offensive
flair. With all his tallies last month, he has continued to set new career bests. This season has been the most productive season he has turned in thus
far in junior.

It does help that he is playing with the WHL’s best team to a certain degree, but a lot of his success is the direct result of a player that is continually developing, while tapping his ability and instinct as this season and his career progresses. Gibbons was one of the reasons the Thunderbirds had a successful eastern swing. He really stepped it up against the tougher teams in Brandon and Saskatoon.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

2004-05

35

10

8

18

65

7

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

Another month has gone by and the Broncos are starting to make a some noise. December was by the best month for Swift Current, as they went
5-4-1. They are currently trailing Calgary by 10 points for the final playoff spot. Head Coach Dean Chynoweth made another trade sending a
fifth round Bantam pick to Saskatoon in exchange for right winger Boris Lekovic.

As for Redenbach, he still remains the team’s top scorer, but nothing compared to last
season’s output. He surpassed last month’s output by one, scoring a total of eight
points (5 goals, 3 assists) and was a -1.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

2004-05

37

12

19

31

45

-3

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

As Coyotes prospect Roman Tomanek was well into rehabbing his injured shoulder, the Hitmen
lost a lot of their punch towards the end of the year.

With Tomanek out, Calgary also lost left wing Andrew Ladd (CAR) and center Ryan Getzlaf (ANA) to the U-20 World Junior Championship. Forwards Ryan White and Keegan Dansereau left to play with Team Western (Canada) in the U-17 Hockey Challenge. Goalie Daniel Spence and defensemen Karl Alzner also
left the team to compete in the same the tournament for Team Pacific (Canada).


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

2004-05

17

2

4

6

12

0

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

Monych continues to make up for lost time earlier this season, by coming back very hard and moving towards the top of the Wheat Kings scoring. He had a four point night (2 goals, 2 assists) on December 10th against a tough Medicine Hat team, led by the likes of forwards
Stefan Meyer (FLA), Clarke MacArthur (BUF), defensemen Cam Barker
(CHI) and goalie Kevin Nastiuk (CAR).

He would go on to have a three-point night (2 goals, 1 assist) against the Seattle Thunderbirds two nights later at the Keystone Centre. As it has been the story for Monych, when he scores, he does it in bunches. He has played a total of 27 games for Brandon. Of those games, he has scored in a total of 19 contests and eight of them have been multiple point games. While he boasts respectful 1.07 points per game, he holds a meager
+4 rating.

Monych and the Wheat Kings added another offensive threat when they learned that highly touted Czech centerman Jakub Sindel
(CHI) left his pro team in Sparta Prague to join Brandon. Sindel caught up with the team in the last week of December and should see time on an assortment of different line combos. Early
guesses had him possibly anchoring a line with Monych and Tim Konsorada (CBJ).

Brandon played their best hockey during the month of December, going 8-2-0-0.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

2004-05

27

14

15

29

22

4



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

Stephenson appears to have made a complete recovery from his shoulder injury. Even though he was scratched during the Canada Russian Challenge for an undisclosed injury, he has been doing an excellent job with the Americans. Stephenson and the rest of the Tri-City defense really settled down towards the end of December. They continued to limit their opponents’ offensive opportunities, which has been the difference as of late.

For Stephenson, increased play in his own zone has kept his plus/minus
reasonable. In the offensive zone, he looks to turn in a career best, edging out his 11 point (3 goals, 8 eight assists) in 69 games played in the 2003-04 season for the Pats.

After getting off to a slow start, Tri-City has bounced back to get into the playoff hunt going 3-3-1-1 in December.
They have also played behind a solid goaltender in 2005 draft eligible Carey Price. Price turned in back-to-back-to-back shutouts against Everett, Portland and Vancouver.


Season

GP

G

A

PTS

PIM

+/-

2004-05

24

1

3

4

29

-5

Copyright 2005 Hockey’s Future. Do not
duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.