February 18 2016

by Paul Zwambag on February 18, 2016
Artemi Panarin - USA Today Sports Images

A couple of top prospects are tearing up the NHL, proving they belong in the NHL…

 

Artemi Panarin (CHI) recorded a hat-trick last night against Henrik Lundqvist, one of the best goaltenders in the league. Panarin leads the league in rookie scoring with 57 points (22g-35a). Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) is also all over the scoresheet, 13 game point streak (4g-12a-16p) puts him into the top five in rookie scoring in the NHL. Sam Reinhart (BUF) has turned his offense up, in the past seven games, he has five goals, one assist for six points putting him in the top 10 in rookie scoring. Jack Eichel (BUF) is currently second on that rookie scoring list with 39 points, in the past 13 games Eichel has four goals and eight assists for 12 points.

A couple of guys who had short stints in the NHL in the past week, but made the most of their chance; Laurent Brossoit (EDM) was only called up for a week and started one game for the Oilers. Brossoit took the loss in overtime, but had a .970 SV% and 0.92 GAA, he has been re-assigned to Bakersfield. Brendan Leipsic (TOR) was recalled on an emergency basis to the Maple Leafs. Leipsic played one game and registered his first NHL goal, which was also the game winner, but has since been re-assigned to the Marlies.

***

Tomas McCollum (DET) set a franchise record with the Grand Rapids Griffins playing his 211th game last week. McCollum has been with the Detroit organization since being drafted in 2008. McCollum was a first round pick (30th overall) but has not been able to land an NHL roster spot. McCollum’s bounced around from the AHL to the ECHL and three short NHL stints over the past eight years (AHL – 211gp, ECHL – 43gp, NHL – 3gp). With the emergence of Petr Mrazek, it isn’t very likely McCollum will ever get a regular roster spot in the NHL, but not many goalies stick with an organization as long as McCollum has. He is a very longshot to ever become a regular NHL goaltender, but that’s better than never.

There were seven games in total on Wednesday night in the AHL. Patrice Cormier (WPG) scored a hat trick to help the Manitoba Moose to a 5-2 victory over the Rockford IceHogs. Cormier is having a pretty good February, in seven games played he has scored three goals, five assists for eight points. Only being held of the scoresheet in two of those seven games.

Anthony Mantha (DET) had a four point night (1g-1a) in Grand Rapids 4-1 win against the Milwaukee Admirals. Mantha has 33 points (15g-18a) in 44 games played this year. He has the same amount as points as last year’s campaign, but that was in 62 games played. He will definitely have a career high in points this year.

Zachary Fucale (MTL) recorded a 3-2 shootout victory over the Syracuse Crunch. Fucale was also named CCM/AHL Player of the Week last week. In his last four games Fucale has stopped 134 of 140 shots, with four wins and a shutout in one of those games.

Alexandre Grenier (VAN) had a three point night (1g-2a) in Utica’s 5-2 victory over the Portland Pirates. Grenier extended his scoring streak to five games. (2g-6a-8p)

Texas Stars’ Brett Ritchie (DAL) had a four point night in a 6-3 win over the San Diego Gulls. Ritchie missed the first two months of the season undergoing wrist surgery at the beginning of September. Ritchie likely would have begun the year with the Dallas Stars, but with his wrist injury and how well the Stars are playing, they can give Ritchie more time to find his scoring touch. Ritchie seems to have it still, having 14 goals, seven assist for 21 points in 30 games played. Dallas hasn’t had to rely on any AHL call-ups, Curtis McKenzie (DAL) played a game in October, was injured and then was recalled for a second game on February 16th. If a top six winger gets injured for a significant amount of time, look for Ritchie to get his chance to cement an NHL spot for the rest of the year and next year.

***

A busy night in the CHL on Wednesday, let’s start with ‘The Dub’. Brandon Wheat Kings lay a beating to the Kootenay Ice, 11-1. Jayce Hawryluk (FLA) had a six point night (2g-4a), Hawryluk has had an unbelievable February, scoring seven goals, 17 assists in seven games (3.43pts/gp). Left winger Tyler Coulter (undrafted) got in on the scoring action having a five point night (3g-2a) of his own to extend his scoring streak to five games (5g-5a-10p).

Adam Brooks (2016 draft eligible) extended his scoring streak to eight games (4g-14a-18p) with a four point game (3g-1a). Brooks lead the Regina Pats to victory over the Prince Albert Raiders 4-2.

Radel Fazleev (PHI) had three assists for the Hitmen, who defeated the Lethbridge Hurricanes 6-2. Jake Bean (2016 draft eligible) got in on the scoring action with a goal and two assists of his own to extend his personal scoring streak to five games (4g-4a-8p).

 *

Let’s move over to ‘The Q’, the Moncton Wildcats’ right winger, Vaclav Karabacek (BUF) scored two goals to help defeat the Blainville-Boisbrand Armada 4-2. Cameron Askew (2016 draft eligible) scored a goal and added two assists, Askew has 60 points (29g-31a) in 54 games this season.

A battle between two of the top teams, Val d’Or and Rouyn-Noranda, brought out the best of Huskies captain, Francis Perron (OTT), who recorded two goals and two assists. Perron’s outing wasn’t enough though, the Huskies lost to Val d’Or 5-4. The four point night did help Perron’s individual statistics, putting him now second in scoring in the QMJHL with 86 points (37g-49a). The Foreurs on the other hand had five different goal scorers, which is no surprise since they have ten players with double digit goals and five of those players with 50+ points. Anthony Richard (NSH) leads the team with 81 points (35g-46a) in 53 games.

*

The OHL off ice news is overshadowing the on-ice action. Flint Firebirds have fired their coaching staff for the second time this season. OHL commissioner David Branch released a statement HERE regarding the suspension of the Flint Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen during the open investigation.

As for the players, let’s hope this doesn’t affect William Bitten’s draft eligible season, he currently has 51 points (23g-28a) in 52 games played. Bitten is projected to be drafted in the second round of this year’s draft. As well as, Nick Caamano (2016 draft eligible), who is projected a few rounds later. Caamano is having a decent year, 29 points (18g-11a) in 52 games for a team that is at the bottom of the OHL Standings.

***

Let’s end on a better note, you need to check out the Feature Story – Fantasy Ranking Draft Eligible Prospects. Peter Harling with the help of 15 expert writers and scouts created a consensus rankings of the 2016 Entry Draft eligible players. It’s a great list with an NHL comparable as well as a short quote from specific experts on each individual player.

 

***

 

Feel free to leave comments, questions or concerns below, have fun playing the game of Fantasy Hockey.

Paul Zwambag
@zwambag