Prospect of the Month, November 2009

By Chris Roberts

It’s hard to overlook a player who bettered his own stats a month after he was named Hockey’s Future Prospect of the Month, and for that reason Jordan Eberle reclaims his spot as Prospect of the Month for the month of November.

Eberle’s 21 points in 11 games last month earned him the honor for October. His ability to not only keep up but better the pace he set last month is a testament to his consistency.

In 12 games, Eberle recorded 25 points – 12 goals and 13 assists. He leads the WHL in scoring per game averaging over two points per game this season, all while playing on a very mediocre team. He will likely lose pace in the WHL scoring race over the next month or so, but for the opportunity to further grow his own legend. He made his name known across Canada last year at the World Junior Championships by scoring the goal that saved Canada’s streak of gold medals as they eventually extended it to five years, and he will certainly be a central force in their offense this year as they look for a sixth straight gold medal.

Eberle’s ability to convert on the power play has been a key to his rising numbers this month as the Oilers first rounder registered seven of his 11 goals this month with the man advantage. Eberle is on his way to easily shattering his personal bests at the junior level, and if he paces himself like he has thus far this season, he’ll be a sure candidate for Hockey’s Future Prospect of the Year.

Honorable Mention

Dustin Jeffrey

A standout scorer in his last two OHL seasons, Dustin Jeffrey is hitting his stride in his second full AHL season. He capped off last season with ten points in 12 playoff games, including five goals. He has yet to amount a goal total of five this season, but a sophomore slump has certainly not hit as Jeffrey has amassed 19 assists in 18 games. He had a mediocre month of October, but has since found an extra gear that has led him to settle in as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s number one centre. He currently leads the team in points as the month of November has been very kind to him. In 10 games, the center has 15 points, highlighted by a six-game point streak that was snapped on the 14th. After being held pointless, however, Jeffrey followed up with seven points in the next three games. He also has a plus/minus of +7 this season and has been quite stingy in taking penalties, posting only six penalty minutes all season.

Anton Khudobin

It appears the seventh round selection in 2004 has finally arrived after spending much of the last few seasons in the ECHL. Khudobin had a sub-par stint in ten games for the Houston Aeros last season, posting a 3-6-1 record. He entered training camp with the Aeros this season hoping to emerge as a solid goalie and earn his share of games next to veteran Wade Dubielewicz, but his play has exceeded expectations. Heading into December, Khudobin has started the majority of the games for the Aeros and it is well earned. He has appeared in nine games in November and has a 5-2-1 record. He sports a .931 save percentage to go along with a 1.46 GAA. His achievements throughout the month are highlighted by his three shutouts in which he amassed a total of 59 saves. Khudobin is slowly making his way through the ranks of Minnesota’s system.

Back on the honourable mention list for the second consecutive month, Luke Adam continues to impress. His size and skill make him arguably the most dominant forward in the QMJHL, and people are beginning to take notice, namely, Hockey Canada. Adam’s great start to the season, including another torrid month in November, has garnered him a spot on team Canada’s 36-man selection camp. He may have been a long shot to make the team a few months ago, but his play this season suggests otherwise. Like Eberle, Adam hasn’t slowed down as he capped off November with 18 points in just 11 games. Consistency is one of the most important aspects to any player’s game, and Adam has showed plenty of it this month, being held pointless in only one game. Even more impressive, after being held pointless, Adam took to the ice against Drummondville and recorded a four-point night which included his first hat trick of the season. He was also named player of the game in the second game of the Canada-Russia challenge.

Adam Henrique

Though he is part of a team that boasts one of the deepest forward groups in the OHL which includes potential first overall pick in the next NHL draft, Taylor Hall, Henrique is not to be overlooked. The New Jersey Devils’ third round pick has been filling the net at a career pace this season, perhaps with help from his talented teammates, but none the less, his numbers are hard to overlook. Like Adam, Henrique only missed the score sheet once this month, registering 19 points in just 11 games. It’s his ability to finish that has him being honoured however, as he eclipsed a goal a game this month with 12. His 25 goals on the year lead the entire OHL and have put his name into the mix for a spot on the Canadian World Junior team. If Canada hopes instant chemistry will lead them to a sixth straight tournament championship, look no further than Henrique alongside Windsor teammate Hall.