Hurricanes junior prospect update

By Glen Jackson

OHL

Bobby Hughes, C – Kingston Frontenacs
4th round, 123rd overall, 2006 NHL Entry Draft

Some regarded the Carolina Hurricanes’ selection of Hughes in the fourth round a Titanic-sized steal, and so far in 2006-07 that’s looking like it might just be the case. Hughes has been scoring in bunches and is currently third in OHL scoring with 16 goals and 23 assists in just 19 games. He had nine points in just the first three games of the season, and overall he has three four-point games, and four three-point games. Of his 16 tallies for the season, seven were on the power play and one was shorthanded.

Heading into the 2006 Entry Draft, many felt that Hughes’ success last season was mostly attributable to playing with Cory Emmerton (DET) and Chris Stewart (COL). Stewart went in the first round to the Avalanche and Emmerton in the second to the Red Wings, however, currently Hughes is holding his own and leads the Frontenacs (including Stewart and Emmerton) in scoring. As a result of his strong play early this season, Hughes was also named to the Team OHL roster for the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge Nov. 23 game in Sarnia.

Harrison Reed, RW – Sarnia Sting
3rd round, 93rd overall, 2006 NHL Entry Draft

Reed doesn’t share the strong supporting cast of fellow ‘Canes prospect Hughes, however he’s still showcased his ability and playmaking ability again this season, scoring five goals and adding 18 assists in 19 games played.

Beginning his OHL career with the London Knights powerhouse squad of 2004-05, he only got to play 10 total regular season and playoff games, but the following season he moved on to Sarnia and has had his opportunity to shine even while under increased scrutiny from opposing teams as one of the Sting’s few offensive threats. Reed is fifth in Sting scoring and is one of the team leaders in plus/minus with a rating of +5. Reed will also play in the Nov. 23 match between Russia and Team OHL.

Jakub Vojta, D – Ottawa 67’s
4th round, 94th overall, 2005 NHL Entry Draft

Vojta was the first overall selection in the 2005 CHL Import Draft. Known as a two-way defender who played a physical game, the 67’s, and soon after the Hurricanes, decided that the Czech Republic native had good potential. Last season Vojta finished with 24 points (two goals) in 65 games and a +12 rating along with 114 penalty minutes, near the team leads in the latter two categories.

This season Vojta continues to bring that style of play, although with a slightly slower pace of offensive production. He has two goals and an assist in 17 games, he has a +4 rating (on a squad that has only six players who aren’t minus) and 28 penalty minutes.

QMJHL

Nicolas Blanchard, C/LW – Chicoutimi Saugueneens
6th round, 192nd overall, 2005 NHL Entry Draft

Blanchard is coming off a 44-point season while grabbing what ice time he could with the likes of Stanislav Lascek and Maxime Boisclair leading the team in 2005-06. Prior to the start of this season, Blanchard went to Hurricanes camp and had a positive experience, and so far this season he has seven goals and six assists in 18 games. One of his goals came on the power play.

Overall though this would be considered a somewhat slow start production-wise for Blanchard, and his -7 plus/minus rating also begs improvement, however, the Saugueneens have surrendered 32 more goals than they have scored this season.

Stefan Chaput, C – Lewiston MAINEiacs
5th round, 153rd overall, 2006 NHL Entry Draft

Although not projected to one day be a scoring sensation, Chaput was still a draw for the ‘Canes in the fifth round of last year’s entry draft because of his ability to help change the momentum of the game. Chaput is an energy player who can chip in with some offense along the way, and this season he has five goals and nine assists in 22 games played. He’s also performed his role well again for the MAINEiacs, who are 15-5-0-2 on the season. Chaput is also a +8 so far this year, fifth-best on the team.

Copyright 2006 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.