Image courtesy of UticaComets.com
The Canucks got back into action last night following their extended break for the Olympics, but let’s not forget about the prospects we’ve been discussing and covering at length on this platform over the course of that time.
The return of the NHL presents the Utica Comets with an interesting scenario; if the Canucks continue to struggle with injuries, they could see some of their key players be taken away from them as they scratch and claw towards a playoff spot. We’ve seen Kellan Lain get called up so far, and others could potentially be on the way in the not-so-distant future. But as has been the case all year, this just means that someone else will have given an opportunity to step up and fill the void left behind.
Continue past the jump to read the latest in Comets Militia updates, the OHL, and the NCAA (along with some other notes coming from the WHL, ECHL, and Europe). As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter @nuckprospects for the latest in prospect news. You’re more than welcome to send me any feedback on anything prospect related you wish for me to cover in the future.
We covered the three back-to-back-to-back games from this past weekend, individually. First the Comets beat Syracuse 2-1 in OT. Then the Comets beat the BSens 3-2, but ultimately wound up falling short in their quest for a clean sweep when fatigued kicked in during their 2-1 loss to the Albany Devils. Since then, they’ve only played the one game this week..
Wednesday: Comets Fall 3-0 To San Antonio Rampage
On Wednesday night the Comets played the San Antonio Rampage (Florida’s AHL affiliate), a team they needed to beat if they wanted to close the gap in the standings. Unfortunately the Comets couldn’t accomplish such a feat, as they were shutout by Jacob Markstrom, while Joey Crabb scored a natural hat trick.
The final scored was 3-0 for San Antonio with shots on goal in their favour 30-22. Eriksson started in net making 27 of 30 saves. The penalty kill went 2 for 4 (which has done fairly well recently) and the power play went 0 for 6. There isn’t much to note from that outing aside from that.
Players stats who have played at least one game with the Comets, (X) indicates not currently on the active roster, so far are:
|19||Kellan Lain (X)||C||24||42||7||5||12||0.29||43||1.02||0||96||16.3|
Goalies so far:
- Lain called back up to Vancouver.
- Ray Kaunisto resigned to a PTO with Utica to be given a second look.
- Currently the Comets are back to 15th place in the conference (in a four-way tie) with 51 points (22-25-3-4). They have earned points in 13 of their last 17 games (winning 11 of those) which is a testament to how much they’ve improved since starting the season with 10 losses.
- The Comets have been outscored 135 to 168 (-33), and have been outshot 1570 to 1623 (-53). They’re controlling 49.17% (acknowledging score effects) of the shots with an on-ice shooting percentage of 8.0% and a save percentage of 90.5%. A simple version of PDO puts them at 98.5% which has slightly regressed with the improvement from the goaltending.
- Their special teams continue to be mediocre with their PP going 2 for 15 in four games since the last Prospect Report, bringing the team to 22nd place with a 16.04% conversion rate. Their PK is just as bad having gone 14 for 17 this week to earn a PK rate of 77.78% which is good for a lousy 29th in the league.
- While some Comets have returned from injury both Grenier and Tommernes are still sitting out. Those are clearly two big losses, particularly Grenier, who has been one of the team’s best players all year long.
- Gillis was on Team1040 this week talking about Jensen. He said that Jensen looks really good and might be called up sometime this season. The most noticeable thing in watching him lately has been his pace, which has picked up in a big way.
Some extra reading for you:
- Lain’s Path to the NHL [TheAHL]
- Meet John Negrin [UticaComets]
- Comets Craze Episode 1 [CNY]
- Comets Rewind [Canucks.com]
- Canucks focus on Grenier [Canucks.com]
- Talking Trash about Jensen [HockeysFuture]
|Miles Liberati||D||North Bay||36||4||0||4||0.11||-9||19|
- Bo Horvat managed 2 assists in his 3 games this week. Scout Corey Pronman has said this week on Twitter that he foresees Horvat’s ceiling to be “Ryan Kesler”. Comparisons are always a little dicey so take them with a grain of salt, but wouldn’t that be nice?
- Fox was involved in 3 games this week notching only a single assist to go along with a -2 and 2 PIM. A quieter week for him.
- Gaunce had a similar week playing in 4 games earning 1 assist and a -3.
- Subban has played in 4 games this week earning himself 2 assists, a -4 and 4 PIM.
- Cassels was busy; playing in three games he scored 3 goals, 2 assists, earning a +2 and 2 PIM. He was by far the best Canucks OHL prospect.
- McEneny played in three games earning 1 assist, a -1 and 4 PIM.
- Liberati continues to be quiet with a -1 and 2 PIM in 3 games.
|Hunter Shinkaruk (IR)||L||Medicine Hat||18||5||11||16||0.89||-2||29|
- Cederholm played 3 times this past week, but didn’t really do anything of note.
- An update from Shinkaruk himself: His hip seems to be recovering well, he’s been training and looks like he is on the road to recovery.
|Mike Williamson||D||Penn State||18||1||4||5||0.28||0||29||1.61||21|
- The University of Maine played @ Northeastern this last week, finishing with a 4-4 tie and losing 4-3. They will play their last two games of the season vs Providence this upcoming weekend. Hutton had 2G, 1A, 10 SOG and a -1 in the two games. He has a 13.54% Sh% which is a bit high but still isn’t something that should damper his production. Maine is currently 4th in the Hockey East with 21 points. A few more things to note on Hutton:
- As pointed out by Tyson Giuriato): Hutton is 6′ 3″ and weighs 200 lbs. People forget this.
- Hutton has now tied his school’s record for goals in a season by a defensemen. This was also done by ex-Canuck defencemen Eric Weinrich who played at Maine and scored 12 goals in his Sophmore season.
- The University of Wisconsin played vs Michigan State this last weekend winning 5-2 and 2-0. They do not have games in the upcoming week, with only four more games scheduled before the Big Ten Tournament. They are currently ranked 2nd in the Big Ten with 31 points, 1 point behind Minnesota. LaBate played in both games scoring 1G, earning 3 SOG and a -1.
- Penn State played two games @ Michigan winning 5-4 in OT and then losing 5-2. They will play two games this weekend @ Minnesota. Williamson had a good showing this weekend earning 1A and a +4. Penn State is last in the Big 10 Conference, unfortunately.
- Harvard lost both games this weekend at home, a 5-2 loss to Yale and a 2-0 loss to Brown. The Crimson play their last two games of the season this weekend at Colgate and Cornell. McNally was not playing in either game. Harvard is in 11th (and second last place) within the conference.
- Yale played Harvard and won 5-2 and then tied @ Darmouth 3-3. Yale’s last two games of the season will be this weekend at home vs Union and Rensselaer. The Bulldogs are currently in 5th place in the ECAC. Beattie has 1G in 2 games this weekend along with a +2 and 2 SOG.
|Anthony||F||CHL St Charles||31||4||10||14||0.45||-12||53||1.71||10|
- Jeremie Blain has returned from his long injury and in one game earned a -1 and 3 SOG.
- David Pacan has played 1 game this weak earning a single assist and two shots on goal.
- Steven Anthony played in three games for St Charles this week earning a -2 and 3 SOG.
- Ludwig Blomstrand is still injured.
- Wes Myron did not play a game this week.
- Sacha Guimond played three games scoring 1 assist, earning a -2 and notching 5 SOG.
|Mathieu Corbeil||ECHL Gwinnett||G||6||312||18||3.46||2||3||0||133||0.881|
|CHL St. Charles||G||6||236||21||5.35||0||2||1||103||0.831|
- Corbeil played in two games this week, once starting and making 24 on 28 saves. In the second game he came in relief. His stats this week improved his Sv% by 0.001 to 0.881.
|Anton Rodin||W||SHL Brynas||22||41||10||20||30||0.73||-10||34|
|Ronalds Kenins||LW||Swiss ZSC||22||36||7||17||24||0.67||14||26|
- No games were played by Rodin this week.
- Ronalds Kenins is now finished with his Olympic stint, which gave Canucks fans a chance to watch him in action. He played in a total of 5 games, had 2 PIM and a final +/- of 1. He has averaged 13:19 of ice time a gain which increased towards the end of the tournament. He had a total of 5 SOG. He was on both power play and penalty kill and allowed only one goal against at evens (2 more on the PK) while he was on the ice. Not bad for a team that had 13 goals scored against them.