The Atlanta Thrashers have been one of the worst clubs in the NHL the
last couple of years, and the privilege of this is getting low draft
picks. GM Don Wandell certainly took advantage of this by selecting Dany
Heatley 2nd overall in 2000 and Ilya Kovalchuk in 2001. The future looks
extremely bright for the Thrashers with these two amazing rookies, but
they will certainly not be able to win alone. So here is a list of 7
prospects that should join them in the next couple of years:
Michael Garnett: With no other promising goaltenders in the future for
the Thrashers, Garnett is by far the best goaltending prospect in for
the club. The Saskatoon native, should be able to develop as a number
one goalie in the league one day.
Kamil Piros: This center was acquired for former Thrashers star Donald
Audette from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline in 2001. After
finishing his amazing season with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL, he
should take Ray Ferraro’s place on the roster next year and will stay
there for a long time.
Luke Sellars: The former Ottawa 67’s defenceman has spent the season in
the AHL and has been far from great. Almost re-entered the 2001 entry
draft by signing with the Thrashers on the last possible day. Should
have a couple of more seasons left with the Wolves before graduating
with the big club. He was recently reassigned to the club’s ECHL
affiliate in Greenville.
Zdenek Blatny: Was considered a steal by the Thrashers when they
selected him in 68th overall in the first entry draft in 1 Read more»
Jackets CHL PROSPECT UPDATE
Western Hockey League
Shane Bendera – G – Kelowna Rockets
Bendera has not been busy in the last week or so, only getting one start since the last update, currently sidelined with what is being described as a knee sprain(day-to-day). He won his start, and managed to drop his GAA to 2.27 from his previous 2.29. His SV% increased from a .919 last update to a .920 this time around. Needless to say, there isn’t much to report on in the life of Shane Bendera.
Ben Knopp – RW – Kamloops Blazers
Knopp has exploded, and Kamloops couldn’t be happier. Finally, Knopp has begun to produce as expected in his new surrounding. Last we left, Knopp had 47 pts. He’s tallied 5 goals and 7 assists since then, running his totals to 59 points(30-29-59) in 59 games. His plus/minus has also seen decent improvement, and now only sits at –8. Knopp owns second place in team scoring on Kamloops, being Jared Aulin and slightly ahead of Scottie Upshall, both of which have played at least 15 fewer games.
Kiel McLeod – C – Kelowna Rockets
Nothing new to report on Kiel McLeod, considering he hasn’t suited up for the Rockets since the last update. He was, however, slated to play for the WHL Western All-Stars in the Hershey Cup, before being replaced by Tim Krymusa of the Spokane Chiefs. His totals on the season still sit at 14 goals and 41 points(14-27-41) in 34 games. McLeod is said to be suffering from a groin pul Read more»
Sergio Momesso has returned to Shawinigan and the team he played his entire junior career with in the early 80’s. He was hired as an assistant coach and is replacing Benoit Groulx who was hired as the new head coach of the Hull Olympics. Momesso,who played his first season with the Montreal Canadiens in 1986,was a fan favorite when he played with the Cataractes during his days as a junior.
On the ice, the Cataractes have had some difficulties. After being almost unbeatable on home ice, they’ve only played for .500 since the trades they made at the trade deadline. They had their best showing against Oshawa where they posted a 7-0 win.
The new players have shown good things,especially Charles Gauthier who is playing with the teams top two scorers Pomminville and Bellemare. He’s fast and plays with a lot of heart. Hunter LaHache made his physical presence felt and is playing his style of hockey. J-M Boisvert had a slow start and needs to put more effort into his play. Now that all the players are back from the different all star games and tournaments we’ll now be able to get a good look at the team that can make a run for the President’s Cup.
In the League
Drumondville headcoach Daniel Bissonnette was fired and replaced by Jos Canale. Canale now has a great challenge in front of him with this very hard-headed team.
The Hull Olympics are on a roll. After their last losing streak head coach Guy Lalonde was let go and replaced with Benoit Groulx an assistant coach with the Cataractes. Since the change Hull has been the best team in Read more»
Maxime Ouellet, Goaltender, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 30 GP, 2.65 GAA, .912 SV%
Pavel Brendl, Right Wing, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 37 GP, 10 G, 16 A, 26 P, +1, 10 PIM
Bruno St. Jacques, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 29 GP, 3 G, 8 A, 11 P, +11, 39 PIM
Tomas Divisek, Center, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 48 GP, 10 G, 15 A, 25 P, -9, 32 PIM
Vaclav Pletka, Left Wing, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 45 GP, 17 G, 17 A, 34 P, -4, 33 PIM
Francis Lessard, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 47 GP, 0 G, 5 A, 5 P, -8, 193 PIM
Jim Vandermeer, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 48 GP 1 G, 7 A, 8 P, -10, 52 PIM
Joe DiPenta, Defenseman, Philadelphia(AHL)
Stats: 50 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 P, +10, 65 PIM
Jesse Boulerice, Left Wing, Philadelphia(AHL) Read more»
With all the WHL Western Conference teams having twenty games or less on their schedules, heres some speculation on how the season will finish and playoffs will play out. These are solely the thoughts and ponderings of this writer and may not be accurate, however with the stretch run just underway, thought it would be fun to put my choices out to provoke some debate. Here goes!
While the Cougars will likely play better in the playoffs, I’m not sure Thompson or Stanton are handling the pressure of a stretch run very well. Thompson was great against Kamloops in the recent loss, but I’m not sold. Hamhuis really is the glue that holds the entire Cougar back end together and he at some point this year is going to start slowing down and having some off nights, which appears is beginning to happen. He was brilliant in the first game against Kamloops last weekend, but in the second game was average by his standards, coughing up the puck, not as effective moving the puck and not as physical. When caught out of position didn’t appear to have a lot of gas to get back either IMO. They need scoring and I’m not sure even the addition of Foster will remedy that problem. Likely to finish third in B.C. Division and could slide as low as fourth with a first round exit IMO.
Kelowna will go as far as Bendera can take them and his return to the line up this weekend will be a tonic for a lot the Rockets current ailments. When on his game, Bendera can win games on his own which might be what the Rockets need to gain some confidence. If Shane can backstop the Rockets to a couple wins Read more»