November 27 2013 03:27PM
Welcome to this week's version of the Canucks Prospect Report. We are a day early this week, but with the Canucks having some time off on their schedule, we figured we'd help fill the time with some prospect talk.
There's lots of good news for the prospects with Utica winning two games this weekend and plenty of positive news out of the NCAA. As always, follow me @nuckprospects on Twitter for the latest in prospect news and feed free to send me any feedback on anything prospect related you wish me to cover.
Let's get to it right past the jump.
The Comets started their week in Rochester with their 79th game (or so it feels like) against the Rochester Americans. By 7 minutes into the first period the Comets were trailing 0-2 and after that Eriksson shut the door and did not let in another goal. The Comets were able to fight back, scoring three goals, one on the power play, and ended up winning 3-2. Goals were scored by Grenier, Mullen and Pelletier. The shots were in favour of the Comets 31-26 with the new offensive addition, O'Reilly, leading the team with 5 SOG who was rewarded with an assist in his first game in Utica. Eriksson had a 92.3% save percentage, stopping 24 of 26 shots. The powerplay went 1 for 3 and the powerkill went 6 for 7.
What do David Booth, Yannick Weber and myself have in common? The Utica Comets have yet to win a game without us being in attendance. On Saturday I travelled down to Utica to see my first Comets game and to do some scouting of some of the young Canuck prospects.
For the 80th time, and with back to back games, the Comets played the Amerks, this time at home. Yannick Weber was in the line up for his first game, squashing the rumours if he would show up or not. He was on the top power play unit and in his first game, on his first power play shift, he put the Comets on the scoreboard netting his first goal. The final score was 2-0 for the Comets earning themselves both their first home win, to a sell out crowd, and Eriksson's first AHL shutout. The other goal was scored by Archibald on the powerplay in the third period with assists on both goals going to Tommernes and Pelletier and Grenier and Andersson. Shots were in favour of the Amerks 33-29 with Weber and Ferriero leading the Comets with 4 SOG each. The powerplay went 1 for 6 while the power kill went 5 for 5.
Without being able to look at actual Fenwick/Corsi statistics for this game it was quite evident by the eye test that the Comets won the first period, the Amerks controlled the second and the third was much more split with the edge going towards Rochester. Eriksson kept the Comets in the game during the second and by the third you could tell he was hungry for the shutout making some impressive saves and celebrating with a dance when they won. These last two games have helped his save percentages which is now over 0.900. The two players I was trying to focus on the most was Lain and Grenier. Lain is quiet on the scoreboard but it is evident that he is the defensive centre that the Canucks signed from the NCAA, he was on the power kill and had good in his defensive positioning. Grenier is also a surprise in his development this year, I'd say he's one of the best forwards the Comets have. Last year in Austria sure helped him.
A few other things I noticed about the Aud, the arena where the Comets play. It sure is small, at most it holds 4,000 people but it still manages to sell out more than, oh say, Abbotsford. The benches are quite small being only able to hold 9 forwards and 4 defencemen shoulder to shoulder with the backup goalies being relegated to the players entrance. Much like the players who are developing so are the UticaGreenMen, the young Green Men prospects to take over for the Green Men in Vancouver. Also there was a small technical glitch, when Weber came out and was named the second star the in-house video was showing Sasha Guimond. Replace in the NHL by a guy off of waivers, he's now being replaced in the AHL by an ECHL defenceman.
Unfortunately the Comets couldn't win all three games this weekend, but two of three ain't bad. The game started off with a pair of quick goals for both Utica and Lake Erie as DeFazio scored only 40 seconds into the game and the Monsters scored 50 seconds later. Ultimately the Comets lost 3-2 and it was clear the Monsters were in control of most of the game. The other goal was scored by Tommernes with assists on the goals going to O'Reilly, Weber and Pelletier. Lake Erie lead in shots, 26-18 with Archibald and Tommernes leading the Comets with 3 SOG. Eriksson made 23 of 26 stops. The PK went 3 for 3 and the PP went 1 for 2.
Nicklas Jensen for VAN also has some good flashes, but clearly needs work at the AHL level. Tommernes stood out tonight among VAN guys.— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) November 27, 2013
Players stats who have played at least one game with the Comets, (X) indicates not currently on the active roster, so far are:
|20||Zac Dalpe (X)||C||23||6||0||3||3||0.50||14||2.33||-6||2||0|
|42||David Booth (X)||L||28||3||0||1||1||0.33||6||2.00||-1||0||0|
|6||Sacha Guimond (X)||R||22||2||0||0||0||0.00||0||0.00||0||0||0|
|22||David Pacan (X)||D||22||2||0||0||0||0.00||0||0.00||-1||0||0|
|2||Adam Polasek (X)||D||22||2||0||0||0||0.00||1||0.50||0||2||0|
|18||Mitch Wahl (X)||C||23||2||0||0||0||0.00||0||0.00||-1||2||0|
|15||Jeremy Welsh (X)||F||25||2||0||0||0||0.00||5||2.50||-2||0||0|
|44||Brayden Irwin (X)||F||26||5||0||0||0||0.00||0||0.00||-2||0||0|
|21||Ludwig Blomstrand (X)||L||20||6||0||0||0||0.00||5||0.83||0||0||0|
|16||Kelsey Wilson (X)||L||27||9||0||0||0||0.00||2||0.22||-3||9||0|
Goalies so far:
- Corbeil recalled from the CHL and reassigned to the ECHL
Currently the Comets are in 15th place with 10 points (3-11-1-1). They have been out-scored 36 to 52 (-16), and have been outshot 478 to 493 (-15). A possession close estimates puts the Comets just shy of 50% which puts them good for 15th in the league. With an on ice shooting percentage of 7.6% and a save percentage of 89.3%, a simple version of PDO puts them at 96.9% which is starting to regress to the norm. The goaltenders have not been helping earlier in the year but they are starting to find their grove as Eriksson now has a Sv% over 0.900 and went over 113 minutes without being scored on. The Comets PP is currently at 16.92% (16th place) and their PK is 78.87% (25th place). Both special teams have improved over the last week with the PK having killed 14 of 15 attempts in the last week.
It is interesting to follow Corbeil this season. He was sent down to the CHL out of training camp which was surprising. I would have thought that Cannata would have been sent down to give him more development time. In the CHL Corbeil played only a few games and wracking up terrible numbers in a small sample size. He was relegated to backup, then third string and then he was on the IR. Now he has been taken off IR, recalled to the AHL and then reassigned to the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers. So far he has played one game with them and has been the backup. I really hope to see Cannata sent somewhere else so he can develop, it is clear that Eriksson is the number one in Utica.
@News1130Sports had a few interesting quotes from management down in Utica. The GM Pat Conacher says that Lain, Grenier and Archibald are all playing well. This is quite evident in the stats and watching the games. He then goes to say that Ferriero has been their best player. I'd have to disagree with this and so would @fearthemoose44, local Utica broadcaster. He has been terrible defensively, he leads the team in being on the ice for most goals against and has the teams lowest Goals For % at even strength and on special teams. Conacher says Jensen needs to be more consistent and go to the net more. It looks like his issue has been bad puck luck. He was at the top of the team in SOG/G at 3.13, it seems to be more of a case of the puck not going in the net. Conacher also says that Corrado is being paired up with Huskins and that Corrado is still making young guy mistakes by trying to do too much.
There was also some backlash on David Booth's comments last week saying that he would rather be in Utica than back in Vancouver. In Utica he was getting large minutes but in Vancouver he's already been in the press box since returning.
The Comets have three games in the upcoming week all on the road. The Comets will be playing in Abbotsford twice this weekend, Friday and Saturday at 10 pm. So for all the local BC residence, make sure you head out to the game. It will be the first time in a while that Abbotsford will have actually filled up their arena. The Comets then return to New York to play Rochester on Tuesday for the 81st time of the season.
Subban continues his point streak this week with a nice goal vs Kitchener. There's a reason why he's ranked in most people's top ten for the Canucks and is a player to watch. Hopefully he can translate his skill to a higher level.
Gaunce and Horvat both played in the OHL Subway series this week. Despite being a -3 in his first game, Horvat played really well according to Corey Pronman. In the second game he managed to get the first goal for Team OHL. Gaunce was held off the scoreboard in both games.
Late last night Gaunce was traded from Belleville to the Erie Otters for Stepher Harper, two second round picks and two third round picks. Gaunce is going to a contending team and will play along side Conner McDavid as they go for a run at the Memorial Cup. Further analysis of this trade is available by Cam Charron and Yahoo's Buzzing the net.
Cassels had a lower body injury and did not play in either Oshawa game this week. Hopefully he is okay and will be back this week.
In the OHL east, Oshawa is first with 39 points, Kingston is 4th with 27 points, and North Bay is 6th with 25 points. In the West, Erie is in first with 41 points and London is 4th with 36 points.
The third episode of London's Quest for the Cup will debut on December 15th.
The stats of the players in the last week are as follows:
And so far this year the stats of these players are:
Shinkaruk will be playing in the Subway Series for Team WHL this week. The first game is tonight at 7 o'clock MST and then again tomorrow at the same .
Medicine Hat is ranked first in the East with 37 points while Portland is 3rd in the West with 39 points.
And so far this season the players stats in the WHL are:
Ben Hutton continues to look really good. He's only a Sophmore too, hopefully this development continues as he has the potential to do well at a higher level. He's even outperforming LaBate, a Junior Forward, over a small sample size. He is continuing to be a great pick to watch. Hutton had one goal this week and played two games. Maine will be playing at Vermont twice this week. Wisconsin played no games this week but have two upcoming.
Ryan Lambert points out a good rule of thumb for evaluating NCAA prospects, those who are averaging 2 SOG/G are above average while those at 3 SOG/G are considered excellent. Keep that in mind when evaluating the NCAA prospects.
McNally had a monster night last night. On his third game of the year he got a goal (empty netter), two assists and 4 SOG/G. Harvard plays against once this week at Dartmouth on the 30th.
Penn State had no games last week and will play two this upcoming week. Yale had their undefeated streak broken at 7 games. They played 2 games this last week, and will play 1 this upcoming week. The last Yale game against Colgate I couldn't find a box score that had shots tracked so the shown SOG/G are lower than they actually are.
Statistics of NCAA players:
|Mike Williamson||D||Penn State||5||1||1||2||0.40||1||6||1.20||9|
Steven Anthony was activated off of IR and playing for St Charles! He's already played three games. In the first he came out of the gate strong with 6 SOG; so far has 3 points in three games.
Blomstrand is also on a 2 game goal streak!
The KWings play three times this week, tonight, Friday and Saturday. Gwinnett plays Tomorrow, Friday and Sunday. Wheeling plays four times, tonight, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so with back to back games we should hopefully see Corbeil play again. Wheeling, Kalamazoo and Gwinnett are 7th, 10th and 12th in the east respectively.
Statistics of players in the ECHL so far are:
|Anthony||F||CHL St Charles||3||1||2||3||1.00||-2||9||3.00||3|
Corbeil so far:
|Mathieu Corbeil||ECHL Wheeling||G||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Mathieu Corbeil||CHL St. Charles||G||6||236||21||5.35||0||2||1||103||0.831|
Rodin has had a lot of success this year returning back to the SHL. With only 25 games he is almost producing 23 PPG. It is too bad he was not resigned this summer as he was never able to translate his skill to the AHL level in Chicago. The Canucks still own his rights and he is considered a prospects, so maybe they will give him another chance this summer and resign him.
|Anton Rodin||W||SHL Brynas||22||22||5||14||19||0.86||-1||18|
|Ronald Kenins||LW||Swiss ZSC||22||22||5||10||15||0.68||9||12|
Some extra reading for you.
It's been an extremely busy week for Canucks in the OHL, with plenty of activity everywhere else. Utica is off to Abbotsford this weekend, so if you can watch, make sure you head out there. Make sure to follow me at @nuckprospects for all the latest in Canuck Prospect news. Until next week!