Image courtesy of Utica Comets on Facebook
Welcome to this week’s Comets Militia Prospect Report. The Utica Comets, trying to fit in with their parent club, finally succumbed in their late bid for a playoff spot. But despite the fact that they’ve been eliminated and their season will end prematurely, they still have a couple of games left on the schedule. And beyond that, we’ve still got the OHL playoffs, WHL playoffs, and even the ECHL playoffs (go Kalamazoo!) to discuss.
Meanwhile, the Draft Lottery results are in and the Canucks will be picking 6th this summer. That’ll provide us with a lot to discuss, with picks of that quality being such a rarity for this organization. It’ll be a boon for prospect analytics, as well. What Dimitri conveniently forgot to mention is that I’ll be around here all summer as well, working my way towards earning that 2-way blogger ATO.
So keep tuned and 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.
Thursday’s OT Winner @ Lake Erie
With every game being a must-win at this point, the Comets went at it vs Lake Erie (AHL affiliate of Colorado) to start the week. As we’ve become accustomed to this season, Lake Erie scored first but Utica was able to push back. The game went into OT with the score 2-2 and only 24 seconds into OT, Pelletier was able to score a power play goal to give the Comets the win!
The Comets goals were scored by DeFazio, Welsh and Pelletier while assists were credited to O’Reilly (x2), Kennedy, Lain, Friesen and Tommernes. The Comets outshot the Monsters 32-21 with DeFazio leading the team with 6 SOG.
Eriksson was in net making 19 of 21 saves with the PP going 1 for 3 and the PK going 4 for 5. Pelletier earned the first star and Welsh earned the second star.
Friday’s SO Winner @ Lake Erie
In a back-to-back situation, the Comets went up against the same Lake Erie squad yet again. They gave up a goal 6 minutes into the game, and the game stagnated after that. There were no other goals scored until about 12 minutes left in the 3rd period, when Lake Erie went up 2-0. But just 4 minutes later Welsh managed to get the Comets on the board, and cut the lead in half. Then with 1:58 remaining O’Reilly scored a massive goal to send the game to OT.
The Comets wound up winning 3-2 in the shootout with Top-Six Friesen and Brandon DeFazio scoring. Cannata played in this game (rather than Eriksson for once) and he made 28 of 30 saves. Tommernes was also hurt this weekend and did not come back.
The Comets outshot Lake Erie 37-30 with Friesen leading the way with 6 SOG. The PP went 0 for 4 and the PK went 5 for 6.
Sunday’s Loss @ Adirondack
With a day off the Comets traveled East to Adirondack (AHL Affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers) for another must-win game. This time they started differently and scored first, taking the lead through the entire opening frame. That has been quite the rarity this season. Unfortunately, that also meant that the game ended differently.. as they couldn’t find a way to score again, ultimately blowing that 1-goal lead and losing 2-1 in regulation.
Shots were in favour of Adirondack 33-25. Friesen and DeFazio lead the team with 5 SOG each. The lone goal was scored by Pelletier and assisted by DeFazio and O’Reilly. Eriksson made 31 of 33 saves with the PP going 2 for 3 and the PK going 4 for 4.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This report was written before Wednesday’s loss to Rochester, in which the Comets fell by a 4-1 score, mathematically eliminating them from the hunt. It was a noble last ditch effort, but ultimately the hole they dug themselves with their early season struggles was too much to overcome (going 0-8-1-1 in your 1st 10 games will do that to you). Regardless, there are lots of positives to build off of moving forward.. We’ll have a lot more wrapping the entire season up from a deeper analytical perspective next week!
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|
|26||Frank Corrado (X)||D||20||56||6||11||17||0.30||88||1.57||-6||42||6.8|
Goalies so far:
- Nicklas Jensen returned on loan from Vancouver
- Frank Corrado returned on loan from Vancouver
- Andrew Calof released from ATO.
Thoughts de Semaine:
- The Comets have now been outscored on the year 174 to 204 (-30) and have been outshot 2010 to 2090 (-80) for a rough possession estimate of 49.02%.
- Their PK went 13 for 15 this week keeping them at 25th with a 79.93% efficiency, while their PP went 2 for 10 to bring them up to 16th at 17.30% efficiency.
- Eriksson and Cannata saw their Sv% recover a bit this week after some bad back-to-back games. Eriksson is now up to .911 and Cannata is at .905. Combined with a team shot% of 0.082 the Comets have a 98.9 PDO.
- The Comets chances of the post season are all but done. Currently they are siting at a 0.4% chance of success. If they go 3-0-0 they only have a 4.7% chance of making the playoffs. As Dimitri said on Monday, it’s quite impressive the Comets are still fighting for a playoff spot given they went pointless in their first 10 games.
- It was announced on Tuesday that the Abbotsford Heat and the City of Abbotsford would terminate their contract and it sounds like Abbotsford will be moving to Glen’s Fall next year as the Adirondack Phantoms move.
- Abbotsford has been subsidizing the Heat for the last five years and so far has cost the city $7.2 Million. This buyout costs the city another $5.5 Million. The Heat have had terrible attendance with the arena only filling up when the Comets come to town.
- Last summer when Vancouver was trying to find a home for the Comets they were negotiating with Calgary to see if they could move into Abbotsford. This would allow the Canucks to make call ups really easily. However, talking with Jason Botchford, the Canucks no longer have an interest with this and are quite happy in Utica.
- Utica gives the Comets a lot more time to practice and develop as the Heat are on the road 85 nights a year, while the Comets travel half as much. It’s much easier to jump on the bus for a 1-2 hour drive than to fly across the continent. Plus Vancouver/Utica currently have a six year agreement with a 4 year early buy out heavily in favour of Utica.
- They have two games left: Toronto on Friday and then the finale on Saturday vs the Baby Penguins from W-B/Scranton.
- Nicklas Jensen spent 17 games with the Canucks this year for an average TOI of 15.5. He has a 58.1% Corsi For and a +4.9% Corsi Rel, with a 63.2% O/Dst%.
- Frank Corrado played 15 games with an average TOI of 12.4 min/game. He has a 48.8% Corsi For with a -0.1% Corsi Rel with a 52.3% O/Dst%.
- Zalewski, with a total of 2 games played in the NHL, has an average of 12.1 min/games, a 55.9% Corsi with a -3.2% Corsi Rel. He has been buried in the defensive zone with a 33.3% O/Dst%. He also earned his first NHL assist in the season finale!
- Andrew Calof has been released from his ATO without even having played a game. I am guessing that is due to contract issues. This makes me sad as they kept him over Aviani, the 20 yo OAer from Spokane. Calof is smaller but has more promising numbers. I am betting we will see Calof at the prospect camp in September.
- Check out the usage chart of all Comets/Prospects who played at least 1 game in Vancouver this season (keep the small sample sizes in mind). Sauve was a tire fire in such a limited role.
- Sportsnet’s Cosentino has already calculated the first mock draft (that I’ve seen) and so far he has the Canucks taking Nylander with the 6th overall pick. (1, 2 and 3 were Ekblad, Reinhart and Bennett).
- TSN’s Mock Lottery has the Canucks taking Virtanen (which I’d hope they don’t.)
- Others are guessing: Yahoo, Perlini; LastWordOnSports, Ritchie; ISS, Draisaitl; Bob MacKenzie, Ritchie; Button, Virtanen; and NHL Central Scouting, Virtanen;
- While Jenny Scrivens blogs occasionally for The Royal Half, The Utica Comets have Alex Biega’s wife to guest write articles for them!
- And Then There Were Five (in the CHL playoffs) [Canucks.com]
- Pass It To Bulis Covers the Abbotsford Heat leaving too.
- AHL Power Rankings [Chips from Centre Ice]
|Miles Liberati||D||1995-06-21||18||North Bay||10||0||1||1||0.10||0||6|
|Jordan Subban||D||March 15, 1995||19||Belleville||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
- In the OHL London was eliminated by the Guelph Storm in 5 games. London will be back in May, as they are hosting the Memorial Cup, and have a long lay off. Horvat is ineligible to play in the AHL at this time.
- Bo Horvat played 2 games scoring 0 points, earning a -3 and 2 PIM.
- Erie swept the Soo in 4 games and in their first game against the Guelph Storm and wont be playing till tomorrow night.
- Dane Fox won the coveted Overager of the Year award!
- In the East Oshawa Swept Peterborough in 4 games while North Bay beat Barrie in 6 games. Those two teams will meet in the final. Buzzing the Net covered this series.
- Cole Cassels played in 1 game scoring 1 goal and earning a +1.
- Miles Liberati earned 6 PIM and 0 points in 3 games this week.
|Hunter Shinkaruk (IR)||L||1994-10-13||19||Medicine Hat||x||x||x||x||x||x||x|
- Tonight Shinkaruk’s Medicine Hat Tigers will face Kootenay in game 7 of the second round with the winner going to face the Oil Kings in the WHL East Final.
- In the West Portland has been matched up against Kelowna and will play them later this week. Having a deep playoff run allows Vancouver to see Cederholm’s talents in action.
- Cederholm has now earned a second point with an assist this week in 2 games as well as going +2.
- All Canucks prospects in the NCAA have completed their year.
- In the NCAA Frozen Four Union beat Minnesota 7-4 to win the Championship.
- Ben Hutton continues to win awards as he was named NCAA Second Team All-American
- Kalamazoo has made the playoffs in the ECHL finishing 2nd in the ECHL East. The Canucks have some of the best ECHL Level Prospects!!! #MoralVictories for everyone!
- The Kalamazoo regular season ended on Saturday and the playoffs start this weekend against Greenville.
- Blomstrand played 3 more games scoring 1 goal, earning a -1 with 7 SOG and 2 PIM.
- Pacan ended the week quietly scoring 1 goal and 1 assist in 3 games with 2 SOG as well as 6 PIM.
- Wes Myron returned from his second big injury of the year and noticed 1 SOG in 2 games.
- No games for Jeremie Blain this week.
- Sacha Guimond scored 1 assist in 2 games with a -2 and 1 SOG. We will see if he gets resigned by the Comets next year.
- No action this week for Corbeil. Now six weeks in a row.
|Anton Rodin||W||1990-11-21||23||SHL Brynas||5||2||1||3||0.60||-3||6|
|Ronalds Kenins||LW||1991-02-28||23||Swiss ZSC||12||3||0||3||0.25||1||4|
- The Crawford coached ZSC Lions have made the final in the Swiss National League and are currently leading those dirty Kloten Flyers 1-0 in the series.
- Ronald Kenins has played in 15 games so far with no production this week.
- Anton Rodins and Brynas finished a few weeks ago.