As the lockout rages on, rather than focusing on the definition of HRR, the owner/player split, and board meetings that accomplish nothing, we will instead turn our attention to the game of hockey itself by featuring weekly updates on the Winnipeg Jets' CHL prospects: Mark Scheifele, Adam Lowry, Scott Kosmachuk, Lukas Sutter, Ryan Olsen, Austen Brassard, and Zach Yuen.
To change things up, we'll break it down by player as opposed to dates played. We will start with the 2011 draft class and follow up with the 2012 draft class.
Mark Scheifele: 3GP, 0G 2A, +3, 0pim
The Barrie Colts are a very deep team that's on a roll, as evidenced by their current first place seeding in the entire OHL. The top six forwards are incredibly dominant, led by Scheifele (13 PTS) and Anthony Camara (12 PTS) on the first line. Scheifele has shown progression in his skating, possession and has worked diligently to improve his poise in the defensive end. He has adopted a physical edge -- his one glaring weakness from last season -- without racking up penalty minutes . His production slowed down this week, as he fell to 13th in OHL scoring, but he played well when matched up against Boone Jenner, arguably the OHL's best player. Scheifele finished a +1 with an assist against Oshawa, while Jenner was shut down, going pointless and a -1 rating.
Adam Lowry: 3GP, 2G 3A, +1, 0pim
Just when you thought he was slowing down after being held off the score sheet on the 9th, Lowry bounced back marking five points in two games, pushing him into the top ten of WHL scoring. I've only seen him in limited action, but Lowry can dominate games and can hit like the best of them. Size, character, scoring touch and leadership, the Swift Current captain has a solid mix to become a valuable prospect.
Zachary Yuen: 2GP, 0G 1A, +2, 4pim
There are two things I've noticed while watching Yuen: he possesses an underrated shot and can turn on a dime. Tri-City's power play seems to revolve around setting up Yuen for one-timers, which was news to me since most scouts project Yuen as a defensive player. His skating ability also exceeded my expectations. Furthermore, he is a defenseman who is playing on the off-handed side of the ice. This versatility could become an nice asset.
Austen Brassard: 4GP, 2G 0A, +0, 0pim
Brassard's drop in PTS/GP from last year may scare some fans, but his goal scoring rate is actually higher than last year. You may notice he's yet to be notch an assist, but should Evander Kane offer any evidence, if Brassard focuses on scoring goals, the assists will soon come. Who knows, maybe Kyle Wellwood should rejoin the Belleville Bulls through the lockout.
Lukas Sutter: 4GP, 0G 0A, -5, 19pim
Sutter hasn't looked good this year, mostly due to his play and that of those surrounding him. The Saskatoon Blades are an absolute train wreck, though not as horrid as the Vancouver Giants. Sutter's production thus far has been way under what would normally be expected from a second round draft pick. While the current data doesn't look too promising, Sutter should be able to boost his scoring totals as the season progresses.
Scott Kosmachuk: 2GP, 2G 3A, +0, 0pim
It should be mentioned that Scott Kosmachuk is now my favourite Jets' prospect. After riding the pine for a few games thanks to a slow start, his beast-mode is now engaged. Currently 11th in OHL scoring and has played well with Zach Mitchell, whom you may from the Jets' prospect camp this summer. As previously noted by fans and scouts, Kosmachuk seems to have an innate ability to score dirty goals. In fact, last season he was the only non-Yakupovian 18-year-old to score 30+ goals in the entire CHL. Keep an eye on this kid.
Ryan Olsen: 3GP, 2G 1A, +2, 5pim
Unfortunately, I haven't really watched him play, which sucks when you factor in the lack of available scouting information on him. I do recall he was a faller who was originally expected to go in the early 60's, so he may end up quite the steal at 160. Olsen had a good week going for him until his last game where he collected a major penalty, game misconduct and three game suspension for checking to the head. Looks like we won't see him in next weeks update.
After our three weeks of play, here is the statistical breakdown for each prospect:
|Guelph Storm, OHL||9||7||6||13||+1||12||0.78||0.67||1.44||3||4|
|Adam Lowry||Swift Current Broncos, WHL||10||7||7||14||+4||10||0.70||0.70||1.40||3||5|
|Mark Scheifele||Barrie Colts, OHL||10||4||9||13||+5||9||0.40||0.90||1.30||2||3|
|Ryan Olsen||Kelowna Rockets, WHL||9||5||3||8||+4||21||0.56||0.33||0.89||3||2|
|Austen Brassard||Belleville Bulls, OHL||9||4||0||4||-4||7||0.44||0.00||0.44||2||0|
|Zachary Yuen||Tri-City Americans||10||1||3||4||+0||12||0.10||0.30||0.40||0||3|
|Lukas Sutter||Saskatoon Blades, WHL||11||1||1||2||-8||30||0.09||0.09||0.18||0||0|
Questions to Ponder
- Will Sutter be able to recover offensively? If he does, will it be enough to surpass last years scoring results?
- Can Kosmachuk and Lowry stay ahead of Scheifele for points per a game?
- Will Olsen develop into what fans thought Sutter would be?
What are your thoughts on the early stages of the CHL season? Let us know in the comments section below!