Jackets CHL Player Update

By Aaron Vickers

Jackets CHL Prospect Update

Western Hockey League

Shane Bendera – G – Kelowna Rockets
Shane’s numbers have come back down to earth somewhat after posting insane numbers in his first 5 games with the Rockets. His 1.38 GAA with the Rockets has dropped to 2.29 GAA, which would still be good enough for third in the WHL. His SV% is now a tidy .919, also good for 3rd in the Western League. However, his play in net has yet to translate into a big winstreak for Kelowna. Bendera has posted a 5-4-3 record with his new club. Bendera also had the distinction of being named to the WHL Western All-Stars for the Hershey Cup.

Ben Knopp – RW – Kamloops Blazers
Ben has got rolling somewhat as of late with his new mates. On the season he now has 25 goals and 47 points (25-22-47) which places him 2nd in team scoring. However, Knopp has played more games than anyone on the Blazers team, and has played 15 more than Scottie Upshall who also has 47 points, on 22 goals. Knopp still sits in the negatives in regards to plus/minus, with a –12. He continues to adjust with his new linemates.

Kiel McLeod – C – Kelowna Rockets
McLeod, like teammates Shane Bendera and Chuck Kobasew, was also named to the WHL Western All-Stars for the Hershey Cup. There is an interesting piece up at the Rockets Official Website in regards to McLeod, which you can check out here: http://www.kelownarockets.com/newsletter/jan/index.html
McLeod currently sits 5th in team scoring, but has played 14 fewer games than that of the team leader Nick Marach, who has tallied 48 points. McLeod, to date, has registered 14 goals and 41 points(14-27-41) in 34 games.

Tyler Sloan – D – Kamloops Blazers
Last we left Sloan, he was hot(for Sloan). Some things haven’t changed. Sloan has played 9 games since the last update, and has registered 5 assists over that span. For a defensive defenseman, any offensive contribution is welcome. Sloan has been very steady at both ends, and has pushed his plus/minus to +25, placing him tops in the Western League.

Ontario Hockey League

Ryan Bowness – RW – Brampton Battalion
I’ve never known what to say about Ryan Bowness, as you know if you’ve followed the Jackets CHL Update, and that trend wants to continue. He has pushed his totals to 5 goals and 13 points(5-8-13) in 44 games. His –8 rating continues to stay consistant, as does the rest of his game.

Scott Heffernan – D – St Michaels Majors
Heffernan has been the mark of durability, appearing in all 43 games for Toronto’s ST Michaels Majors. And his play has been well documented. His defensive play continues to be solid, though his offense has tapered off a bit. He still sits at 2 goals and 23 points(2-21-23) in 43 games this season.

Cole Jarrett – D – Plymouth Whalers
After starting off the season hot in the oppositions end, Jarrett has cooled off. A month and a half ago he was a PPG defenseman. Now he sits at 12 goals and 32 points(12-20-32) in 38 games. Not to worry though Jarrett fans, as Cole has still been able to take care of his own end. He still sits an impressive +24, which puts him 6th on his team, a very deep team as you can tell.

Andrew Penner – G – Guelph Storm
It seems as though Penner may have inherited the starting role in Guelph. Him and rookie Dwight LaBrosse seem to be splitting the minutes right now. Penner has posted an 8-6-5 record with a 3.30 GAA and a .891 SV%, definitely respectable marks.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Aaron Johnson – D – Rimouski Oceanic
On a team that has players mostly in the red in regards to plus/minus, Johnson sits at +18, to lead his team. However, the impressive statistics only begin there. Johnson has moved into second in QMJHL scoring among defensemen, although there will be no closing in on Danny Groulx, who has 78 points. Johnson’s 50 points (11-39-50) in 49 is quite impressive, and his plus/minus looks even more impressive when compared to Groulx’s +8. Johnson could be the best all-round defenseman in the Q.

Pascal Leclaire – G – Montreal Rocket

Since returning to the Rocket after his stint as Canada’s starting goalie in the World Juniors, Leclaire has also returned to inconsistent play. His 9-15-2 record may reflect better the team that plays infront of him, however his .887 SV% weighs almost directly on Leclaire’s play. Pascal needs to be weary of his starting position, with Jonathan Cayer playing only 260 less minutes than Leclaire, and posting a better GAA(3.17 to Leclaire’s 3.33) and SV%(.905 to Leclaire’s .887)

Louis Mandeville – D – Halifax Mooseheads
Mandeville is content with just playing hockey. At least it seems that is the attitude he could have, considering the lack of spotlight he has received. He plays as well in his own zone as anyone in the CHL, and his +28 will testify to that. His offense is none too shabby as well, with 37 points (6-31-37) in 50 games this season. Mandeville, selected in the 9th round of the 2000 draft has got to be considered an amazing steal if he continues to develop at the pace he has set for himself.