Bruins CHL prospects update

By Janine Pilkington

Anton Hedman, LW/RW, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
HT: 6’3 WT: 220lbs DOB: 5-15-1986 Draft: 2004 (8th round, 255th overall)

The young Swede has bulked up considerably (from 180 to 220lbs) since he was first picked by the Bruins in the 2004 NHL entry draft. After a 32-game season in 2004-05 with Djurgarden J20 in Sweden, Hedman finished with 23 points (14 goals, 9 assists) and 119 PIM, and was drafted by the Sudbury Wolves in the second round of the 2005 CHL import draft. He attended his first rookie camp with the Bruins in September 2005, before heading off to Sudbury to begin his North American junior career.

The 19-year-old brings a strong physical game and offensive capability, and is quickly becoming known around the CHL for his powerful hits. Hedman has also been a consistent offensive contributor this season, especially on the power play, where he’s scored seven of his eight goals. He currently tops rookie scoring for the Wolves with 15 points, and ranks eighth among all rookies in the OHL.

Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Sudbury Wolves OHL 15 8 6 14 41 “right” > -6

Matt Lashoff, D – Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
HT: 6’2 WT: 205lbs DOB: 9-29-1986 Draft: 2005 (1st round, 22nd overall)

Lashoff attended his first camp with the Boston Bruins this year, and after a taste of the NHL preseason, was returned to his junior team in Kitchener. He started in two regular season games for the Rangers before suffering an injury that caused him to miss eight games. Lashoff has played in a total of six games so far this season, and the Kitchener Rangers are off to slow start at 6-7. Lashoff has tremendous upside and is projected as a top four defenseman, but after missing significant time in the 2004-05 season due to illness and later, a concussion, his success this season will hinge upon how long he can stay healthy.

Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Kitchener Rangers OHL 6 0 4 4 30 -2

Petr Kalus, C – Regina Pats (WHL)
HT: 6’1 WT: 192lbs DOB: 6-29-1987 Draft: 2005 (2nd Round, 39th overall)

Petr Kalus had a strong 2004-05 season with HC Vitkovice of the Czech U20 league with 31 goals in 39 games. He participated in the U-18 WJC for the Czech Republic, earning three assists in seven games before he began his North American hockey career with the Regina Pats. Thus far, Kalus has contributed offensively for a Pats team that continues to hover at or just below first place in the east division of the WHL. Five of his 10 goals have come on the power play, and he’s had three games where he’s scored more than one goal. Kalus currently leads the team in goals, total points and power play goals.

Regina Pats general manager Brent Parker told Hockey’s Future this about Kalus: “He’s played extremely well for us so far. He’s very talented. It shows in his strength, he competes hard, he’s a very good skater, and I think most of all, he loves to be on the rink. He loves to play, and it really shows in game situations. I think that like any other player coming from Europe, they need to learn to play the North American game, and learn to play on the smaller rink. [He’s] a great kid, very coachable, he fit right in with the team. I think there’s no doubt he’s going to be an NHL player.”

Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Regina Pats WHL 16 10 6 16 8 0

Wacey Rabbit, C – Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
HT: 5’10 WT: 180lbs DOB: 11/16/86 Draft: 2005 (5th round, 154th overall)

Rabbit will look to build upon a strong 70-game, 67-point performance from the 2004-05 season with the Blades. The quick and agile center was named captain, and is a scoring threat any time he’s on the ice. He may be small, but he’s a fearless player with excellent maneuverability and puck-handling skills.

Rabbit had an impressive first Bruins camp, and he’s off to a good start this season with 15 points in 16 games. Currently fourth on his team for scoring, he has had five multiple point games, a game-winning goal, and two short-handed goals to date. Rabbit was also one of the players chosen to represent the WHL in the ADT Canada/Russia challenge in Saskatoon which will take place at the end of November.

Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Saskatoon Blades WHL 16 4 11 15 13 +6

Ashton Rome, RW – Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
HT: 6’2 WT: 202lbs DOB: 12/31/1985 Draft: 2004(4th round, 108th overall)

Rome began the 2005-06 season as captain of the Red Deer Rebels. Entering his fourth season in juniors, the overage player was expected to be a key contributor offensively, and was on a good track with 17 points in his first 14 games. He had four multiple point games, including a strong four-point (3 goal, 1 assist) performance on October 1st against Prince Albert, and seven of his 12 goals have come on the power play. On October 27th he was traded to the Kamloops Blazers in exchange for another Boston prospect, Kris Versteeg. He’s played three games with the Blazers, for a total of two points.

Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Red Deer/Kamloops WHL 17 12 7 19 36 -4

Lukas Vantuch, C/LW – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
HT: 6’4 WT: 200lbs DOB: 7/20/87 Draft: 2005(6th round, 172 overall)

Vantuch joins Swede Fredrik Pettersson as one of Calgary’s imports this season, with both players expected to contribute offensively. Of the two, Vantuch has been slower to adjust, but he’s still managed to put up some decent numbers, as the sturdy young Czech has nine points in his first 13 games. While he continues to adjust to the North American game, Vantuch will need to learn to make the most of his size, and will become that much more valuable for his playmaking abilities. Since the season began, only one goal has been scored against the Hitmen while Vantuch was on the ice, and a total of seven were scored by the Hitmen during his shifts. Vantuch is currently ranked 14th among rookies in the WHL for scoring, and is sixth on his team.

Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Calgary Hitmen WHL 16 1 8 9 12 +6

Kris Versteeg, LW – Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
HT: 5’10 WT: 173lbs Draft: 2004 (4th round, 134 overall)

Versteeg is another Boston prospect who is off to a good start. He played three seasons with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, before he was traded to the Kamloops Blazers prior to the 2005-06 season. Versteeg is a speedy and agile forward who distributes the puck and owns a natural scoring ability. Seventeen games into his fourth WHL season, Versteeg has accumulated 14 total points (7 goals, 7 assists). He had three multi-point games right out of the gates, and then saw a slight lull in his production. On October 27th of 2005, he was traded to the Red Deer Rebels in exchange for Boston prospect Ashton Rome. After two pointless games with the Rebels, he scored a goal and an assist in Red Deer’s loss to the Kootenay Ice on October 30th.

Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Kamloops/Red Deer WHL 17 7 7 14 26 +3

Martins Karsums, RW – Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
HT: 5’10 WT: 190 lbs DOB: 02-26-1986 Draft: 2004 (2nd round, 64 overall)

The biggest enemy for Karsums has been injury. After missing the majority of the 2004-05 season and having surgery over the summer, Karsums hoped to get back on track, but the nagging ankle injury limited his participation in his first Bruins camp and he missed a good portion of the beginning of the season with Moncton. When healthy, Karsums is an adept puckhandler with a strong hockey sense and scoring capability, and he plays much bigger than his size.

Karsums returned to the lineup on October 18th, where he recorded an assist in the Wildcats’ shootout loss to Acadie-Bathurst. In the four games following, he wasted little time putting up points. He totaled seven points (4 goals and 3 assists) in that time, including two power play goals. Karsums sat out the Wildcats game on the 31st with a sore ankle, but was expected to return to the lineup in their next game.

Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Moncton Wildcats QMJHL 5 4 4 8 6+6

David Krejci, C – Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
HT: 5’11 WT: 176lbs DOB: 8-24-1986 Draft: 2004 (2nd round, 63 overall)

Krejci averaged a point a game in his first season with the Olympiques, and finished the year with 63 points in 61 games. On track for another strong season with Gatineau, he’s already totaled 16 points in his first 16 games, and has helped power the Olympiques to a strong 16-6 start (second in the QMJHL). He leads the team with power play goals at six, and is currently third on his team in total points. His most productive game came October 21st against the Quebec Remparts, where he scored two goals and an assist. Will Krejci be able to build upon last year’s success?

Unfortunately he’s suffered his first setback of the season, which came during the October 23rd against Acadie-Bathurst when Krejci injured his knee and had to leave the game during the first period. The extent of this injury has not been disclosed, but according to a report in the Ottawa Sun on October 24th, he could be out at least a month.

Team League GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Gatineau Olympiques QMJHL 16 9 7 16 20 -2

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