Four Arizona Coyotes prospects are in competition this weekend, starting with Ryan MacInnis and Kyle Capobianco, who lock horns in Northern Ontario. Dysin Mayo takes on a potential rival, and Jens Looke rounds out the Coyotes’ entrants in this week’s Prospect Faceoff.
In the QMJHL, two players with decidedly different approaches to the game will go one-on-one, so too will a pair of young American prospects competing in the USHL this season before heading off to college hockey.
Ryan MacInnis (Kitchener) vs. Kyle Capobianco (Sudbury) – OHL
This time of year is a tough one for junior hockey teams, as their best players are typically with NHL organizations trying to earn a contract or make a professional team. In the case of Ryan MacInnis, another year in the OHL awaits him as the Arizona Coyotes prospect will make his season debut this weekend. MacInnis, a capable, two-way pivot, embarks on a critical season as he is now the go-to guy on offense for the Kitchener Rangers.
The Sudbury Wolves, under new management, are hoping for a renaissance this season with the addition of first overall pick David Levin. The team is relying upon veteran influences to help improve from a 54-loss regular season in 2014-15. Part of that resurgence is up to another Coyotes prospect, Kyle Capobianco, who enjoyed a 10-goal, 30-assist campaign last season. Capobianco is a capable puck-mover and is being deployed in a variety of assignments, and figures to improve on those numbers as the club works their way up the standings.
Rourke Chartier (Kelowna) vs. Dysin Mayo (Edmonton) – WHL
The Kelowna Rockets look a little different this season, as the team is moving forward without Leon Draisaitl (EDM), Madison Bowey (WSH), and Josh Morrissey (WPG). Left behind from the team’s championship run is overage center Tyson Baillie, and partner in crime Rourke Chartier, who is one of the newest San Jose Sharks prospects. Chartier is off to a tough start this season, with just one goal in three games, but the fiery competitor won’t be held down for long as the Rockets offense is starting to come together as a whole.
In Edmonton, early season competition has the Oil Kings held without a win, but Arizona Coyotes prospect Dysin Mayo is hoping to break his own scoreless streak. Mayo contributed 51 points towards the cause last season, and will have every opportunity to improve those numbers in 2015-16. Mayo isn’t just an offensive defenseman as he also has an edge to his game that helps him contain the opponent in many different situations.
Nicolas Roy (Chicoutimi) vs. Nicolas Aube-Kubel (Val-d’Or) – QMJHL
Expectations have been high for Chicoutimi Sagueneens forward Nicolas Roy ever since he was selected first overall in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft. The 6’4” power forward has been a steady and reliable influence, but has yet to score in the volume that is generally expected of the first overall pick. Roy finished with 50 points last season, and will need to put his size and advanced physical prowess to his favor against younger competition. The Carolina Hurricanes took Roy in the fourth round, so the current season will be critical if Roy wants to earn an entry-level contract.
Where Roy has been deficient, Nicolas Aube-Kubel has a distinctly different style and offensive acumen. Aube-Kubel registered 38 goals and 42 assists last season, and the Philadelphia Flyers prospect is already off to a hot start this season with three goals and two assists in three games. The Sorel, Quebec native is a nifty playmaker that has a polished track record and appears ready to finish his QMJHL career with a breakout campaign.
John Marino (Tri-City) vs. Tanner Laczynski (Chicago) – USHL
One name to keep an eye on this season in USHL competition is John Marino, who enters his first year in the United States’ most prestigious junior league. Marino slipped down from where most projected he would be drafted all the way to the sixth round of the 2015 NHL Draft. The Edmonton Oilers were the beneficiary, adding a talented and deceptively skilled defenseman to their ranks. Marino has not been challenged with South Shore in the USPHL, so his transition to USHL competition will be interesting to follow.
Chicago Steel center Tanner Laczynski has his sights set on playing college hockey for Ohio State University, and by the time he steps on campus next year, the Buckeyes may have one of the brightest young stars to come out of the USHL in recent memory. Laczynski was among the Steel’s most consistent performers last season, finishing with 18 goals and 28 assists. The Shorewood, Illinois native participated in the 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and was recently listed as a “C-rated” skater on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary list.
Oscar Dansk (Rogle BK) vs. Jens Looke (Brynas IF) – SHL
Most teams in the SHL have at least one older, veteran goaltender able to suit up when needed. For Rogle BK, they boast two of the youngest netminders in the league, and perhaps the most talented as well. Oscar Dansk is on loan with Rogle after washing out within the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. He has been fantastic so far, posting a 1.33 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage. He supplanted former starter Lars Volden early on this season, a former Boston Bruins prospect who, like Dansk, is trying to reinvigorate his career.
The final Arizona Coyotes prospect featured this week is Jens Looke, who the organization recently added in the third round of the 2015 NHL Draft. Looke has been with Brynas throughout his career, and is starting to display why he is worthy of more time in the SHL this season. He has been a point-per-game producer in the SuperElit League, and looks to have added an extra gear to his already rambunctious style.
Andrew Mangiapane (Barrie) vs. Travis Konecny (Ottawa) – OHL
Mackenzie Blackwood stopped all 44 shots he faced, including one penalty shot, in Barrie’s 4-0 win over the Ottawa 67’s this weekend. Andrew Mangiapane scored twice and added an assist during the contest, and San Jose Sharks prospect Kevin Labanc added two points. Travis Konecny’s line struggled to generate offense, and the 67’s captain finished -2 on the night.
Luke Philp (Kootenay) vs. Travis Sanheim (Calgary) – WHL
The Kootenay Ice and Calgary Hitmen combined for 59 shots, and only one of them went in. The goal belonged to Loch Morrisson, an even strength goal halfway through the second period. From there, Calgary’s defense stood firm, led by Sanheim, who finished with an even rating, and goaltender Brendan Burke, who stopped all 21 shots against to earn the shutout. Luke Philp was on the ice for the only goal against, finishing without a point and a -1 rating.
Nicolas Meloche (Baie-Comeau) vs. Dmytro Timashov (Quebec) – QMJHL
The Quebec Remparts rushed out to a 2-0 lead, only to squander it in the third period as Baie-Comeau registered three third period goals to finish off a 3-2 comeback victory. Nicolas Meloche found the scoresheet with one goal, finishing with a +1 rating. Dmytro Timashov created a few chances during the game, but was otherwise quiet, finishing without a point and a +1 rating of his own.
Kris Oldham (Omaha) vs. Nikita Pavlychev (Des Moines) – USHL
After giving up three goals on just 11 shots the night before, the Omaha Lancers gave Oldham the night off and turned to backup goaltender Zack Skog. He stopped 28 of 29 shots in Omaha’s 2-1 win over Des Moines. The Buccaneers struggled to generate offense at even strength, Pavlychev included, as he finished without hitting the scoresheet except for two minor penalties.
Emil Pettersson (MODO) vs. Gustav Forsling (Linkoping) – SHL
Linkoping defenseman Gustav Forsling started the game on the team’s top pair, and it took just 58 seconds for him to tally an assist on the opening goal of the game by Broc Little. Linkoping added another goal just a few minutes later and a shorthanded tally late in the third period to finish off a 3-2 lead. Emil Pettersson was held without a point, but centered a high-flying line that looked dangerous with Buffalo Sabres prospect Gustav Possler.
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