Prospect Ramblings: QMJHL blanks Russia, Werenski stays hot, and Aho’s new linemates

Kevin LeBlanc


QMJHL Takes Game Five of Canada-Russia Series

Quite a night for the Carolina Hurricanes prospects playing in the fifth game of the CHL's Canada-Russia series with Team QMJHL winning 4-0. Val-d'Or forward Julien Gauthier was named player of the game, scoring two goals and adding an assist. Fellow Canes prospect Nicolas Roy (Chicoutimi) and Thomas Chabot (Saint John) added the other goals. Who was in net for the shutout? Thats right, another Canes prospect Callum Booth (Quebec) who had a pretty routine appearance with 16 saves in the win. 

Quick note on Gauthier, who was pigeonholed a bit last season at draft time as only a goalscorer, The hulking winger has 17 points in 15 games in the QMJHL this season, 11 of which are assists. Of those 11 assists, eight are of the primary variety. He finished the season with 16 assists last season, a number he may surpass in just primary assists this year. But enough about helpers. This is what Gauthier does best….



Last Nights NHL Action

Zach Werenski continues his spectacular rookie campaign scoring the game-tying goal in the Blue Jackets 2-1 overtime win against Washington. He now has 13 points in 14 games, leading all rookie defensemen and is one point off the league lead. For my money, his performance has been the most impressive of this young season from a rookie perspective. 

Here's his goal that got Columbus level. Perfect shot, head up the whole way. 



Sebastian Aho seems to have found a niche in Carolina alongside Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen. The trio set the tone of last nights 1-0 victory with insane 2:13 shift spent entirely in the Sharks zone. With Staal's cycle ability and Aho and Teravainen's propensity to consistently find eachother in open space, this line could do some damage. Since they were put together two games ago, the trio has produced 10 scoring points and an insane 21 shots. 

Side note from the game, Aaron Dell looked solid. He was the games third star and the reason the game wasn't 3 or 4-0, making 32 saves in a night off for Sharks starter Marvin Jones.


Speaking of shutouts, Connor Hellebuyck posted a 27 save blanking of the Chicago Blackhawks helping Winnipeg to a 4-0 victory. He has taken the reigns as the Jets number one with seven wins in 11 starts, and is currently sporting a 2.45 goals against average and a .916% save percentage.

Three prospects scored for the Jets last night, who have been getting huge contributions from their youth. Goal number 12 from Patrik Laine, and first's of the season for Nic Petan and Josh Morrissey


Two points in his last three games for Mikko Rantanen, who is being given every opportunity to thrive in Colorado since his call-up at the end of October. He is playing an average of 18 minutes a night, with nearly three and a half of those coming with the man advantage. 


Last Nights First's

Congratulations to Detroit defenseman Ryan Sproul for scoring his first NHL goal last night, his fourth point in six games on the season. Most importantly, it was a two point performance for a player who hadn't been in the lineup since October 29th. 

Boo Nieves made his NHL debut in the Rangers 7-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, filling in for Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich who were both sidelined by injuries. No points for Nieves in his first NHL contest, but he did play just under 12 minutes.


Tonight's Games

Pittsburgh at Washington – 7:30 PM ET

Arizona at Calgary – 10:00 PM ET


Enjoy the hockey!


Give Kevin a follow @kleblanchockey for NHL prospect talk and happenings. 


Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Andrei Buyalsky 4.5 3.5
Ivan Ivan 4.5 7.0
Matthew Stienburg 3.5 6.0
Oskar Olausson 7.5 8.5
Sampo Ranta 6.0 6.5
Tristan Luneau 7.5 8.0
Zachary Nehring 4.5 5.0
Jacob Julien 5.5 5.0
Antti Tuomisto 4.5 6.0
Aku Räty 5.8 5.0