Kevin Connauton, D
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
Drafted 2009 by Vancouver Canucks, 83rd Overall
David Pastrnak makes NHL debut, William Nylander injured, Nick Baptiste traded to play with potential future NHL linemate in Erie's Connor McDavid and much, much more.
Tuesday, November 25th
I sat in the Windsor Spitfires scouts’ room last week prepping my notes for the Sarnia Sting game and just happened to hear a couple of Anaheim Ducks’ scouts talking about an outstanding game #42 had play. “Yup, he’s ready to play in the NHL” said the one scout. After quick research, I came to realize they were speaking about Josh Manson, Anaheim’s 6th round selection from the 2011 draft. Manson is the son of former NHLer Dave Mason and began his season with the Norfolk Admirals (AHL), where he was expected to spend the season. However, on October 31st the Ducks quickly changed their plans and he’s been up with the big club ever since. The former Captain of Northwestern University, Josh isn’t quite as nasty as his father was but he is a 6-foot-3 physical defenseman who won’t be easy to win battles against. From a fantasy hockey standpoint, his value lies in the peripheral categories for now but with him earning over 20 minutes per night, he’s bound to add a few points here and there.
Sticking with the Ducks, William Karlsson and Emerson Etem have been reassigned to Norfolk. The duo just wasn’t finding their way onto the gamesheet as Etem posted two goals and four points in 21 games while Karlsson notched a pair of goals and three points in 16 games. It won’t be the last time we see either of these kids this season but Norfolk might provide an opportunity for them to regain their scoring touch.
Subway Super Series player updates, a look at Team Canada's potential World Junior squad and a look at a few of Rossy's underrated prospects who are heating up...
Wednesday, November 19th
It’s an active time of the year for prospect news as injuries on NHL clubs result in minor league call-ups giving prospects a time to shine. Preparation for the highly anticipated 2015 IIHF World U20 Junior Hockey Championships is in full force as countries are identifying potential roster players. Specifically, we are in the middle of the SUBWAY® Super Series which is a six game series between the Russian All-Star squad and three CHL teams carrying top players from the WHL, OHL and QMJHL.
Let’s start with the Super Series. In a tournament that is traditionally dominated by the CHL (47-14-5 record coming into 2014), Russia took a 3-0 series lead after sweeping the WHL and owning the first OHL game 4-0. The OHL responded well on Monday night cruising to a 5-1 victory in Kingston and the QMJHL held off the Russians Tuesday night to make game six worth watching. Russia leads the series but the CHL can tie it with a win Thursday in Rimouski. With only one game remaining, let’s take a quick look at some prospects, drafted and undrafted, that have impressed.
Ivan Provorov (Brandon Wheat Kings, 2015 NHL Draft) – The WHL leader in defenseman goals (8), Ivan Provorov had a great showing in both Subway Super Series (SSS) games out west recording an assist in both games. An exception skater, Brandon Wheat Kings import blueliner owns some exciting offensive instincts and projects to be an intelligent and poised puck-moving defenseman. Provorov projects as a Top 30 pick.
Pavel Kraskovsky (Russia, Winnipeg Jets) – With a two goal, three point effort in the Brandon game, Jets’ 2014 6th round selection, Pavel Kraskovsky, was very good. He was buzzing all night and did an excellent job using his rangy 6-foot-4 frame to outmuscle opponents and fight to get into scoring lanes.
Rushan Rafikov (Russia, Calgary Flames) – Not particularly known for his offensive skills, Rafikov has done well to find his way onto the scoresheet posting one goal and three assists. The Flames’ 2013 7th rounder has maintained his low-maintenance smart hockey throughout the exhibition series and remains a defender Russia has leaned on for big shutdown minutes. Calgary appears to have got good value on Rafikov.
Vyacheslav Leshchenko (Russia) – An undrafted 1995-born forward, Leshchenko was a player who stood out for me. He’s terrific on the attack flashing quick feet and elusive agility, making him extremely difficult to check. He had a beautiful assist during last night’s QMJHL setting up defenseman Dmitry Yudin.
Igor Shestyorkin (Russia, New York Rangers) – Stood on his head in three of Russia’s first four games turning away 91 of the 93 shots fired at him. For a while there, it didn’t appear that any CHL skater would figure out how to get pucks past the Russian netminder. Shestyorkin allowed four goals in Tuesday’s game but it still appears Shestyorkin will serve as one of Russia’s WJC goaltenders. He plays an exciting style of goaltending and one that uses desperation saves. Now, who doesn’t love that?
Alexander Dergachev (Russia) – Scouts are enamored with this massive power forward who can flat out dominate possession, especially when he’s engaged along the boards or in the cycle. Listed at 6-foot-4 and a smidge over 200-pounds, Dergachev certainly appears to play much bigger than those impressive physical attributes. He shows solid possession skills and uses his size well making him a sure-fire prospect to watch for the upcoming 2015 draft.
My second ramblings in two days! The first one is here on the Super Series game one, Dobber had one the day before and Brendan will be here tomorrow to talk about the Subway Super Series. * I started writing this before "the fight", so I sarcastically penned that Connor McDavid had a [...]
Super Series ramblings, games one Welcome to the latest edition of the ramblings, and my first in quite some time. I’ve been busy with my full-time job, video/stats coaching job, sports and everything else that we all have to deal with. My list has a new entry that I’ll reveal in tomorrow's; feel free [...]
Some prospect notes, thanks to my research for the recent Fantasy Prospects Rankings that went up... *** Derrick Pouliot is toying with the AHL. Eight games, returning from a serious shoulder injury mind you, he has eight points and is already just two shy of the team lead. When he finally does make the Penguins, [...]