Image courtesy of /r/Canucks
Dimitri has said it a few times — when it comes to professional sports, a fanbase’s interest in their team’s prospect pool has an inverse correlation with how successful their parent club has been performing. I like to call it the “Filipovic Rule“.
Well, given how “successful” the Canucks have been this season, we know how burning your desires to learn all about their prospects are. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Continue past the jump to read up on all of 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.
Fridays, 2-1 SO Win vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton-Penguins
The Utica Comets started their week with a game at home against the W-B/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate). While the Penguins were first to get on the board it was DeFazio, in the dying seconds, who managed to tie the game up and send it to OT. The game eventually went to the shootout where Eriksson stopped all 5 shooters and Cal O’Reilly scored the lone goal to win it.
The Penguins dominated most of the game with the final shots being in their favour 33-22. The Comets were missing much of their top talent with Jensen and Archibald up with the big club, and Grenier and Tommernes still injured. Ferriero was also injured in this game (and wound up not return to action this weekend).
Eriksson earned another quality start making 32 of 33 saves good for a .970 on the night. The PP went 0 for 2 and the PK went 1 for 1.
Saturdays, 6-5 SO Win vs Binghamton Senators
Without even 24 hours off the Comets traveled to Binghamton to play the Senators on Saturday night. The game started off in a very Canucks-esque fashion with the Comets finding themselves down 0-4 halfway through the game.. until they flipped the script, all of a sudden the goals started rolling in.
The Comets managed to tie it up 5-5 and send the game to OT, eventually winning it in the SO where DeFazio scored the winner. There have proven to be a lot of similarities between the Canucks and Comets this season, but this outburst, was not one of ’em.
Goals in the game came from Biega, Kaunisto, Pelletier, Friesen and DeFazio while assists came from Pelletier, Friesen, Lain (x2), Negrin, Biega, O’Reilly (x2), and Huskins. Despite trailing all game the Comets couldn’t turn on the score effects as they lost their shot count 30-44.
Biega lead the team with 4 shots while ex-Comet Patrick Mullen had a single shot against his former club. Eriksson was pulled after allowing 4 goals on 16 shots and Cannata came in relief to make 27 of 28 shots (DON’T. PLAY. YOUR. GOALTENDERS. IN. BACK. TO. BACKS.).
The PP went 1 for 3 while the PK went 8 for 9. I will quickly point out that Friesen has been much more noticeable these last few games. I wouldn’t quite yet say he’s figuring it out but rather with the loss of other forwards he is being given more TOI.
Players stats who have played at least one game with the Comets, (X) indicates not currently on the active roster, so far are:
|17||Nicklas Jensen (X)||C||20||51||15||5||20||0.39||141||2.76||-4||24||10.6|
|25||Darren Archibald (X)||L||23||44||10||11||21||0.48||98||2.23||-1||65||10.2|
|6||Kyle Bushee (X)||D||28||2||0||0||0||0.00||0||0.00||-1||0||0|
Goalies so far:
- Kyle Bushee signed to a PTO
- David Pacan Recalled from Kalamazoo
- Kyle Bushee released from his PTO
- The Utica Comets are currently sitting in 11th place in the West and 19th in the league. They are also now a .500 team; a huge improvement since the beginning of the year which now has them only 7 points out of a playoff position. With 15 games left and potentially some good luck (regression?) the Comets might actually be able to make it. This has been a huge testament to the play of Eriksson.
- Interesting to note: the Comets might finish higher in their standings than the Canucks in the NHL. Something you would have thought was impossible back in November/December.
- The Comets have been outscored 143 to 171 (-28) and out shot 1680 to 1753 (-73) for a rough possession estimate of 48.94%. That places them around middle of the pack in the league.
- As a team they are rocking a 8.1% Sh% and a 90.6% Sv%. Eriksson is up to .913 (which dropped after his outing in Binghamton) on the year but I doubt the Comets will regress fully to 100% as they don’t have the firepower to bring up their Sh%.
- Their special teams saw some improvement this week as the PP went 2 for 9 bringing them to 16.52% on the year, good for 17th (a 1 place rise). The PK continues to be strong going 12 for 13 in the last week, good for 79.50% and 24th place.
- This week the Comets head to Abbotsford to play back-to-back games against the Heat on Friday and Saturday night so make sure you head to the Valley to support the Canucks farm team. Grenier and Tommernes came on this trip but Ferriero did not.
- Nicklas Jensen was finally called up to Vancouver after being told he wasn’t ready. Dimitri wrote more about this and so far in three games he has been given a chance on the top line, has some positive corsi numbers, and has already earned his first point. Now all he needs is that first goal.
- Darren Archibald has scored his first NHL goal on the weekend in the 2-1 win over Calgary.
- Friday night was St. Patrick’s night for the Utica Comets and after the game they auctioned off their green jerseys. This is the second time they’ve done this and it is interesting to see how the locals in Utica value different players. You can see the whole price list here (courtesy of @CometsArmy). The highest went to Eriksson for $4,200.
Some extra reading for you:
- The Prospector [Pass it to Bulis]
- Comets Rewind [Canucks.com]
- Jensen is in [Canucks.com]
- Buy your Utica Comets LongSleeve [@CometsArmy]
|Jordan Subban||D||March 15, 1995||18||Belleville||64||11||30||41||0.64||-11||57|
|Miles Liberati||D||1995-06-21||18||North Bay||41||8||1||9||0.22||-7||19|
- Jordan Subban played in four games this week earning a 2 assists, finding a +2 and 2 PIM.
- Dane Fox played in 4 games scoring 4 goals and 1 assist, going +5 and earning 9 PIM. He is now over 100 points on the season, the second person to do so since 2008 in the OHL.
- Over at Pass it to Bulis they did some deeper analysis of Fox. Word of caution: some people see his 100 points and think he’s a first liner. If you give it some thought and examine it a bit more closely, though, you see a 20 year old undrafted over-ager and think he’s probably more of a career AHLer than anything else. Realistically he’s somewhere between. He was projected as a second round pick but was passed over because of “attitude” and injury. He had respectable numbers throughout his OHL career and will probably end up in the bottom six playing ~50 games through the age of 26.
- Brendan Gaunce had another busy week playing 3 games scoring 1 goal and 3 assists and earning a +6.
- Evan McEneny continues to find success in Kingston playing 5 games, earning 2 goals, 4 assists, a +1 and 4 PIM.
- While Bo Horvat had a knee injury and had to miss a game he did play in 2 games this week scoring a single goal, going +2. While he was doing this, @Thats_Offside was writing about how much he hates Bo.
- Continuing the trend of eventful weeks, Cole Cassels played in 2 games, scoring 1 goal, 2 assists, earning a -3 and 5 PIM
- Even Miles Liberati was busy this week scoring 3 goals in 3 games and earning a +3.
- As the OHL regular season starts to wind down it looks like all but Subban and Belleville will be in the playoffs. The last regular season game is on Monday with the playoffs starting shortly after that. We will have the final brackets shortly established.
|Hunter Shinkaruk (IR)||L||1994-10-13||19||Medicine Hat||18||5||11||16||0.89||-2||29|
- Hunter Shinkaruk is still injured but is now skating again. It’s the first step in a long road.
- Cederholm has had one of his busiest weeks in a while; he played in 4 games, scoring 2 goals, going +5 and earning 7 PIM. Portland will be in the WHL post-season.
- The WHL regular season ends on Sunday night and I believe Thats_Offside will have some coverage/preview of the playoffs for that with some fancy WHL statistics. The playoffs will start shortly after that.
|Ben Hutton||D||1993-04-20||20||Hockey East / Maine||33||13||14||27||0.82||8||110||3.33||4|
|Joseph LaBate||F||1993-04-16||20||Big 10 / Wisconsin||30||11||8||19||0.63||-3||86||2.87||14|
|Mike Williamson||D||1993-09-05||20||Big 10 / Penn State||21||1||4||5||0.24||-2||35||1.67||23|
|Matthew Beattie||F||1992-12-14||21||ECAC / Yale||20||4||2||6||0.30||4||28||1.40||17|
|Patrick McNally||D||1991-12-04||22||ECAC / Harvard||18||1||7||8||0.44||-5||33||1.83||10|
|Jeff Costello||LW||1990-11-20||23||Hockey East / Notre Dame||36||12||8||20||0.56||8||109||3.03||69|
- The University of Maine beat Merrimack this weekend 2-0. They will now be facing Providence this upcoming weekend in a best-of-3 as they enter their Hockey East post-season. Hutton played in the one game earning 1 assist, a +1 and 4 SOG. Corey Pronman points out Hutton is second in NCAA Defencemen Scoring.
- The Wisconsin Badgers played Penn State twice this weekend winning 4-2 and 3-2 in OT. LaBate played in both games earning 6 PIM, 5 SOG and a +1. Wisconsin plays a pair of games @ Michigan State this weekend.
- In the same pair of games Williamson played in both earning 4 SOG, a -2 and 2 PIM. Penn State plays a pair of games vs Ohio State this weekend.
- Harvard played Yale in the ECAC Championship First Round losing 4-0 and 2-1. McNally played in both games registeriing 2 SOG.
- Beattie (Yale) did not play again this weekend. He has not played for the last few weeks suggesting he’s been injured. Yale will face Quinnipiac in the ECAC Quarterfinals this weekend.
- Costello and Notre Dame beat Boston University this weekend 3-2. In the Hockey East Championship they will be playing a best of 3 vs Boston College this weekend. Costello earned 1G, 3 SOG, and a +2.
- Blain played in 3 games earning 1 goal, 2 assists, a +3 and 2 SOG.
- Pacan played in 1 ECHL game this week, earning 1 assist, a +1, 1 SOG and 4 PIM. Because of Jensen’s call up he also got called up to the Utica Comets this week.
- Blomstrand is back and in 4 games he scored 2 goals, 1 assist, earning a +4 and 7 SOG.
- Wes Myron did not play again this weekend.
- Sacha Guimond played in three games with Ontario earning 3 SOG.
|Mathieu Corbeil||ECHL Gwinnett||1991-09-27||22||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 did not play again this week.
|Anton Rodin||W||1990-11-21||23||SHL Brynas||47||12||23||35||0.74||-11||38|
|Ronalds Kenins||LW||1991-02-28||23||Swiss ZSC||38||8||17||25||0.66||15||40|
- Anton Rodin played in 3 games scoring 2 goals, 2 assists and earning 2 PIM.
- Ronalds Kenins did not play in an games this week.
NHL Equivalency Numbers
I haven’t given you an updated version of these numbers for a few weeks, so let’s do it now. As a reminder, NHLe numbers are the estimation of the number of points each prospect would have scored if they were in the NHL this year: