Sunday, May 27th
After the Shawinigan Cataractes demolished the Edmonton Oil Kings in the CHL Memorial Cup tie-breaker game, they cruised past the Saint John SeaDogs, who have been the best CHL team over the past few seasons.
The loss means that the Panthers Jonathan Huberdeau (5G 2A in 4 games), Wild’s Charlie Coyle (4A), Canadiens’ Nathan Beaulieu (4A) have likely played their final CHL game. Coyle and Huberdeau will compete for roster spots on their NHL clubs while the Habs’ defenseman will head to the AHL. The ‘Dogs will be losing a lot of firepower as overage defenseman Charles -Olivier Roussel (predators) will turn pro next season too. The former 2nd round pick in 2009, Roussel is another gem of an offensive defenseman that the Preds are developing. He led all Saint John blueliners in scoring during the Memorial Cup with 1G and 3A through 4 contests.
Wild prospect Zach Phillips capped off a strong campaign with 3 goals and 4 points during the Memorial Cup. After demolishing the QMJHL playoffs, Stanislav Galiev (Capitals) could only muster up 2 points in the Mem Cup.
The Cataractes surge has been led by Michael Chaput (Blue Jackets) and defenseman Brandin Gormley (Coyotes). The pair sit one-two in scoring with 11 and 9 points respectively through 5 games. Chaput, traded from Philly to Columbus earlier this year, has been all over the offensive zone capitalizing on most of his chances. It’s nice to see Gormley perform well after he missed most of the regular season with injury. Remember, he was the draft day faller in 2010 where the Coyotes finally snatched him up 13th overall and added another fantastic defensive prospect to their system.
Draft eligible Russian Anton Zlobin has been very good as well for Shawinigan notching 3 goals and 7 points. He finished the Q season as the teams leading scorer by a fair margin with 76 points. Look for Zlobin to get snatched up in the middle rounds of this year’s draft after going undrafted last year.
The CHL MasterCard Memorial Cup Championship game is scheduled for Sunday Knights as the deep London Knights face off against the Shawinigan Cataractes who will have great home town support. With no NHL playoff action until Wednesday night be sure to tune in on Rogers Sportsnet. The Cataractes were the only team to defeat the London Knights during round robin play and they did so quite easily. The Championship game sets up to be a good one. Puck drop is at 7pm EST.
The Toronto Marlies advanced to the AHL Calder Cup Finals after Matt Frattin and his teammates knocked off Magnus Paajarvi and his Oklahoma City Barons. Frattin has been absolutely fantastic for Toronto in the playoffs and I’m beginning to really like him. He may be the Leafs’ shrewdest pick in quite some time after taking him 4th round (99th) in 2007. Fattin has 10 snipes in the 13 playoff games be bas played and sits 2nd in playoff scoring.
Ben Scrivens has been nothing short of fantastic too posting a ridiculous 1.61 GAA and .944 save percentage leading the league. There’s nothing more that the Toronto Maple Leafs need than a reliable option in the net. Cross your fingers.
Jerry D’Amigo and Nick Deschamps (acquired from Anaheim earlier in the year) have really elevated their game as they sit with 13 and 12 points respectively. Neither is likely to develop into a regular top 6 but both players would make good depth role players who can fill in occasionally in a scoring role if need be.
The Marlies face off against the Norfolk Admirals for the Calder Cup. Scrivens vs. Tokarski/Janus tandem (who have been great as well). Keep an eye on Lighnings’ prospect Alex Killorn as he’s certainly trending in the right direction after signing a two-year two-way contract with Tampa in March.
TRADE: Bruins send underachieving former 8th overall pick Zach Hamill to Washington for high scoring AHLer Chris Bourque. Hamill has been downright awful since being drafted so a change if scenery could only help him.
Signed by the Couotes as an overage player, the undersized Brendan Shinnimin led the WHL in scoring and named the CHL’s Top Scorer AND Player of the Year. He becomes the first player to win both awards since Radulov in 05-06. Crosby also did it in 04-05. Impressive stuff.
Other CHL Awards…
Nail Yakupov took home the Jack Link’s Top Prospect Award that goes to the top draft-eligible player. Yakupov beat out Ryan Murray and Mikhail Grigorenko.
Senator’s prospect Mark Stone win the CHL Most Sportsmanlike Award
Bruins’ defenseman Dougie Hamilton was the CHL’s Top Defenseman
Knights’ undrafted netminder Michael Houser was honored as the CHL’s Top Goaltender
Mikhail Grigorenko is the latest CHL Top Rookie
Arguably the top defensive prospect, Justin Schultz of Anaheim has officially decommitted from college. The next step is him deciding whether he chooses to become an unrestricted free agent and test the market. He will be highly sought after.