Jackets CHL Prospect Update: Playoff Edition

By Aaron Vickers

Jackets CHL Prospect Playoff Update

Western Hockey League

Shane Bendera – Goal – Kelowna Rockets
What can you say about the performances of Shane Bendera when something is on the line. Last year he lead the Red Deer Rebels to the Memorial Cup, and this year he’s leading the Kelowna Rockets through the WHL Playoffs. Bendera lead the Rockets to a sweep of the much hated Kamloops Blazers. Bendera came out of that series with a 1.00 GAA and a .960 SV%. The Rockets have continued to the next round, where they have played the Spokane Chiefs once, with Bendera stopping 21 of 24 shots to take his first loss of the 2002 WHL Playoffs.

Kiel McLeod – Forward – Kelowna Rockets
McLeod has finally made his return to the Rockets after an injury plagued regular season which saw him play only 41 games. McLeod has continued his production by chipping in 6 points (1-5-6) for the Rockets. McLeod’s return to the lineup has added more balanced scoring upfront, which is certainly welcomed by his teammates and coach. He sits at +4 for the playoffs in the 5 games that Kelowna has played.

Ben Knopp – Forward – Kamloops Blazers
Not much to report on Knopp, who apparently forgot to show up for the playoffs. As you already know, Kelowna bounced the Blazers in four straight, in which Knopp contributed one assist, and was –2. In interesting Knopp news, a few days ago he was signed to an A.T.O(Amateur Try-Out) by the Syracuse Crunch, only to be released from it yesterday.

Tyler Sloan – Defense – Kamloops Blazers
Look down….way down, and you’ll find Tyler Sloan on the scoresheet. Really, the only place you would have found Sloan was in the penalty box, who managed to register 15 PIM in the 4 games Kamloops played. In interesting Sloan news, he joined the Syracuse Crunch in their bid for an AHL Title. Look for the Syracuse Crunch update later in the week for an update on Sloan.

Ontario Hockey League

Andrew Penner – Goal – Guelph Storm
Penner has found a lot of success in the OHL Playoffs, registering a 4-1 record thus far. He has played in 299 of 300 possible minutes for the team, registering a .914 SV% and a 2.81 GAA. The success of the Storm lies solely on the shoulders of Penner, who shouldered the majority of the load for the Storm this season, which was mediocre, but has really picked it up when it matters most. In the first round, the Storm managed to break out the brooms on Kitchener Rangers.

Cole Jarrett – Defense – Plymouth Whalers
Jarrett has played solid thus far in the post-season. He has tallied a goal and an assist in 6 games for the Whalers. He currently sits at 0 in terms of plus/minus, but has racked up an impressive 18 PIM, which is somewhat uncharacteristic of Jarrett. Unfortunately Jarrett will not get a chance to improve upon his numbers, as the Whalers were bounced in 6 games by the London Knights.

Scott Heffernan – Defense – St Michaels Majors
Heffernan has been Heffernan in the 2002 OHL Playoffs. He has contributed his usual amount offensively, and continues to play a decent defensive game. He has 3 points (1-2-3) in 6 games for the Majors, and sits at +1. His only goal has come on the powerplay. Look for St Michaels to go deep into the OHL Playoffs, and Scott Heffernan will play a supporting role in that. The Majors managed to end their series short and sweet with a 4-0 bouncing of North Bay.

Quebec Major Junior

Pascal Leclaire – Goal – Montreal Rocket
Geez louise…put Pascal Leclaire in the playoffs and suddenly statistical-wise he becomes an entirely different goalie. After winning the Player of the Week award prior to the beginning of the playoffs, Leclaire has been on a tear. Compared to the regular season, Leclaire’s SV% has jumped significantly, as he has posted a .933 SV% and a 2.04 GAA. Unfortunately, Leclaire’s performance was not enough as the Rocket were bounced by the Hull Olympiques in 7 games.

Aaron Johnson – Defense – Rimouski Oceanic
While the offensive end of Aaron Johnson’s game hasn’t been in the post-season what it was in the regular season, and it is one of the reasons why the Halifax Mooseheads were able to bounce the Oceanic out of the playoffs in the first round, going to 7 games to do so. In those 7 games, Johnson managed only 3 points, a goal and two assists. He was even in terms of plus/minus.

Louis Mandeville – Defense – Halifax Mooseheads
Louis will live to play another game in the 2002 QMJHL Playoffs, after the Mooseheads, as previously stated, bounced the Oceanic from any shot at the league title. Despite being –4, which is a sharp contrast from his plus/minus in the regular season, Louis still has put up 5 points, with a goal and four assists. In a very spirited and physical series, Louis also managed 18 minutes in penalties. The Mooseheads are currently tied with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at 1-1 in their best of 7 series, with both games going to overtime.