Jackets CHL Prospect Update

By Aaron Vickers


Western Hockey League

Shane Bendera – G – Kelowna Rockets
Bendera’s play has not affected his play since moving to Kelowna from Red Deer earlier in the season. In 27 games with the Rockets, Bendera has posted a 2.64 GAA and a .906 SV%. In total this season, Bendera’s numbers are slightly better, with a 2.46 GAA and .909 SV% in 47 games. The bad news is that Kelowna still only sits in 4th in the BC Division with a 28-25-10-5 record, and with have to play some better hockey to launch themselves deep into the postseason.

Ben Knopp – RW – Kamloops Blazers
Knopp has finally adjusted to his new Blazer linemates, and I’m positive that the Kamloops coaching staff could not be happier. During my hiatus, Knopp has played 14 games, registering 18 points. He now sits at 40 goals and 77 points (40-37-77) in 73 games. His plus/minus is the stat that impresses me most since last update, where he has improved 13 GF, and now sits at +5, the highest its been all season. Knopp leads the Blazers in goals and points, but sits 3rd in points-per-game. The top two spots for that category go to 2002 draftee Scottie Upshall and LA Kings prospect Jared Aulin

Kiel McLeod – C – Kelowna Rockets
McLeod has finally come of his pulled groin which left him sidelined for longer than Rocket fans would have liked. He’s managed go play in 7 games since the last update, playing in only 41 of 68 games for the Rockets this season. In those 7 games, he’s managed to put the puck in the net on 3 occasions, and tally four helpers. He now has 48 points (17-31-48) in 41 games this season. He leads the Rockets in points-per-game, however, his injury troubles have put a question mark on his durability.

Tyler Sloan – D – Kamloops Blazers
Sloan’s play on defense has been pretty constant, with small contributions on the offensive side of the puck. He sits at 31 points (3-28-31), which is an 8 point improvement over the last 14 games. His strength is in his own end, where his plus/minus jumped from +23 to +29 over that same span. He sits 3rd on the Blazers in that stat, only +4 behind defensive partnerNikita Korovkin.

Ontario Hockey League

Ryan Bowness – RW – Brampton Battalion
Bowness, who has suited up for 61 of the 63 Battalion games this season, has struggled as of late. His role on the team is one mainly of a checking forward, a third liner. His offensive stats aren’t impressive by any means, posting just 16 points (6-10-16), and his plus/minus, usually a good indication of all-round play, is second worst on the team at –21.

Scott Heffernan – D – St Michaels Majors
At least he’s consistent. Scott Heffernan is as reliable on defense as your older brother was at beating you up. In his 63 games (one of only two guys to play in every Majors game this season, knock wood), Heffernan has added a bit of offensive flavor to his strong defensive game, with 4 goals and 29 points (4-25-29), but his strength always has and always will be in his own end. We’ll let teammate Darryl Bootland stick to the offense(92 points in 56 games, +50) and we’ll let Heffernan handle his own end.

Cole Jarrett – D – Plymouth Whalers
Jarrett, who came off his 5-game suspension during the time between last update and this, has managed to get in 8 games. He’s managed one goal in that time, as well as 2 assists. This year he’s averaging 0.77 points-per-game, with 37 points (14-23-37) in 48 games. His plus/minus continues to be impressive, sitting at +30.

Andrew Penner – G – Guelph Storm
Penner has appeared in 33 games this season for the Storm, and continues to put up surprising numbers. His 15-12-5 record has created somewhat of a goaltending controversy with rookie teammate Dwight LaBrosse. Both are putting up very similar numbers, with LaBrosse having a slight edge in GAA, and Penner a slight advantage in SV%. This season Penner has put up a 3.24 GAA with a .894 SV%.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Aaron Johnson – D – Rimouski Oceanic
Johnson continues his point-per-game pace, an excellent mark for a defenseman. He has fallen slightly off the pace, but it seems so insignificant that one shouldn’t have even noticed. Since last update, he’s participated in 9 games, registering one goal and adding 6 helpers to push his season totals to 62 points (14-48-62) in 63 games. His most impressive stat may very well be plus/minus (I’m a big booster on plus/minus if you’ve noticed by now). Johnson sits at +23 on a team where there is only one other player in the top 7 in scoring who is on the positive side. Johnson sits at +23, while the next closest teammate, Thatcher Bell sits at +9. Johnson is continuing another great campaign.

Pascal Leclaire – G – Montreal Rocket

What is there left to say about Leclaire? This is most definitely a season he wants to put behind him. This could be because of his 3.35 GAA, his .890 SV%, his 14-22-3 record, or the fact that goaltending partner Jonathan Cayer is putting up much better numbers in GAA with a 3.13 and SV% with a .905. Granted, Cayer has played nearly 600 minutes less, but I think its time that Cayer began to see more and more action. Leclaire needs to get back on track, and hopefully he can do so next season, because this one is all but over for him.

Louis Mandeville – D – Halifax Mooseheads
The 2000 Entry Draft saw Rick Dipietro selected first, and Mandeville selected second last. Mandeville should be considered the Jackets most well-rounded defenseman in the CHL, and the best steal of the 2000 Entry Draft. His play has been stellar, both on the offensive end and defensive end of the ice. This year he’s managed to put up 7 goals and 48 points (7-41-48) in 66 games. Mandeville leads all QMJHL defensemen in plus/minus with a +32 rating. Mandeville is definitely getting it done at both ends of the ice in his first full season with the Mooseheads.

See anyone missing? Let me know either following the conclusion of this article, or on the Jackets Team Message Board.