It was another up and down week for the St. John's IceCaps. The Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate played three games, but only managed one win. The first of the three outings was a 4-1 loss to Providence. That game was followed by a two game set versus the Toronto Marlies. They won the first game 6-5 and were blanked in the second 4-0. Connor Hellebuyck started all three games and while it wasn't his best week it barely pushed him down league save percentage rankings. Helle still ranks 8th in the league with a .926 save percentage.
Eric O`Dell 3G, 1A
John Albert 1G, 1A
Brenden Kichton 1A
Ryan Olsen 1A
Julian Melchiori 1A
Austen Brassard 1A
Carl Klingberg 1G, 1A
It was a quiet week for the Winnipeg Jets CHL prospects with many of the kids away at their Nation's World Junior Prospects camp. The Winnipeg Jets QMJHLers combined for a lone man game this week. Nikolaj Ehlers was away with the Danes and Jan Kostalek left mid week to join the Czech national team. Jan did pick up an assist in his lone game. He will more than likely play first pair minutes for the Czech team. Ehlers will combine with Nic Petan's Portland teammate Oliver Bjorkstrand. The Danish team may not be considered a medal threat, but that duo will be among the tournament's most dynamic offensive pairings.
Jimmy Lodge isn't away at the World Juniors, but he was also held out of action this week. Apparently he has a bug of some sort. No word if it is the mumps. Lodge missed all three of his team's games. He is however expected to be ready for their next action.
In the WHL, the big guns were gone. Eric Comrie, Nic Petan and Josh Morrissey were all away with Team Canada. All three appear to be locks to make the final roster at this point and they are expected to play big roles. Morrissey has been skating on the top pairing and Comrie has played well in pre-tournament action - pitching a shutout in his game versus the CIS. Petan likely factors into the top six and first powerplay unit.
Among those that stayed behind Chase De Leo played three games and netted an point in each. Chase finished the week with a goal and two assists before leaving for team USA's World Junior camp. That leaves Axel Blomqvist and Nelson Nogier.
Blomqvist played twice and scored a goal in one of his two outings. Nogier netted an assist in one of his two games. He was then traded from Saskatoon (the worst team in the WHL) to Red Deer (firmly in the playoff mix). Nogier is expected to log big ice time and he should see a slight uptick in his counting numbers as Red Deer scores more goals. It will be interesting to watch him evolve into a new role.
Josh Morrissey was also traded. For more on that, see Allan's analyis of the move here.
It was quiet in the NCAA too. Few Jets prospects played and those that did didn't score much. Jamie Phillips had the only stats of note. He played a pair of games and split them going 1-1-0. Jamie stopped 71 of the 77 shots he faced for a .922 save percentage.
Tucker Poolman was back to playing multiple positions this week and one of his games was on TSN. AIH author Allan watched the game and had the following notes:
He's being used on the 3rd pair on the left side (he's a righty). Good net front play. It's obvious he's the "net" guy on that pair and he's very good at it. Ties up guys regardless where the puck is, stays out of the goalies way, and doesn't screen during shots. Had a couple chances to move the puck out on a PK and didn't get it done. Had a Buff type play where he walked into the D zone with the puck and nobody could strip it.
1) The IceCaps are struggling, but Eric O'Dell is doing what he can to lift them. Eric had himself a four point in the IceCaps lone win. The big game lifted O'Dell back to the top of the team's scoring. On the season, he has amassed 20 points in 27 games played. He also leads the team in goal scoring with 12 goal. Nobody else has more than 8. O'Dell is doing everything he can to be a top call up option if the Winnipeg Jets forward group suffers any injuries.
2) Nikolaj Ehlers did it again. Even though he wasn't playing in the CHL, Ehlers was ripping it up. His Danish team has been prepping for the World Juniors with games against the Junior A competition. This is a step down from CHL, but Ehlers showings are notable as he has recorded on five of his team's seven goals. Looks like the Danes may go as Ehlers goes.
3) Heading into this week, Chase De Leo was abandoned by his two most dynamic teammates. No Nic Petan, no Oliver Bjorkstrand, no problem. Chase just keeps trucking along. De Leo picked up a point (1G, 2A) in each of his three games played. This extended his point streak to 12 games. Chase has been held without a point just four times in 34 tries this year. That is pretty wacky.
Who's showing stands out the most to you? Who are you most looking forward to watch at the Juniors?