A few playoff series have wrapped up in the CHL, and some of our prospects have turned in impressive performances. With about half of the first round out of the way, let's take a look at how our boys are doing.
Nazem Kadri, C, London Knights - 1st round, 7th overall in 2009
Kadri is off to a very productive start in the playoffs for London. He's tied for 4th in OHL playoff scoring, with 8 points in 3 games, and the Knights are up two games to one on Guelph. While he's been a factor for London, scoring the OT winner in the series opener, it hasn't been all rainbows and lollipops. Kadri took a checking to the head penalty in the late stages of game three, with the score tied. That allowed the Storm to break the deadlock late and win the game, and Kadri received a game misconduct for abuse of the official after the final buzzer. AM640 Sports Director Greg Brady tweeted that Kadri will automatically be slapped with a minimum one-game suspension, which makes sense, though I haven't been able to confirm that.
Kenny Ryan, RW, Windsor Spitfires - 2nd round, 50th overall in 2009
Ryan continues to play second fiddle to the more talented Spits, managing just one goal through 3 games. Windsor, as expected, is coasting through the first round. They lead Erie 3-0, outscoring them 16-9 along the way. They can wrap up the series on Thursday.
Jamie Devane, LW, Plymouth Whalers - 3rd round, 68th overall in 2009
The scrapper has dressed for all four Whalers games, going pointless with 7 PIM, including a scrap against Brian Shaw in game 2. No word from the Shaw family on Brian's arrangements as of yet. Plymouth leads the series 3-1 over Sault Ste. Marie.
Dale Mitchell, RW, Windsor Spitfires - 3rd round, 74th overall in 2007
Mitchell's 5 points in 3 games put him in a tie for 2nd on the Spitfires in playoff scoring. He also scored the game winner in the second match against the Otters. His early numbers put him on a slightly higher pace than last playoffs, where he scored 29 points in 20 games en route to a Memorial Cup victory.
Barron Smith, D, Peterborough Petes - 7th round, 188th overall in 2009
I overlooked Smith in the first installment, but at the same time managed to miss nothing at all. Smith has 6 assists in a total of 70 games over the last two seasons between London and the Petes. He had 62 PIMs this year, including four fighting majors. The 6'5 blueliner has suited up for two of Peterborough's three losses at the hands of Mississauga in the first round, racking up one minor penalty and a minus-1 rating. He could challenge Garnet Exelby for a spot in the press box immediately.
Now on to the QMJHL...
Philippe Paradis, LW, Shawinigan Cataractes - 1st round, 27th overall in 2009 (CAR)
Paradis has picked up three points, including both goals in Shawinigan's game two victory. He's also used his "big body presence" to tie for second among Q-League forwards in hits, with 13. At that rate, Pierre McGuire will be talking about how this guy looks with his shirt off in no time. Shawinigan and Victoriaville are knotted up at two games a-piece in their series.
Mikhail Stefanovich, RW, Quebec Remparts - 4th round, 98th overall in 2008
Stefanovich has had a solid playoff thus far on the scoresheet, with one goal and five assists for Quebec. As far as how he looks while doing it, I wish I knew. This is a kid I'd love to get a closer look at, because I'm far from convinced that he'll ever pan out. Quebec leads the series 3-1 over Acadie-Bathurst.
Joel Champagne, C, Victoriaville Tigres - 5th round, 129th overall in 2008
Champagne has a solid point per game going for him so far, opposite Paradis in that series. One of his goals is a game winner, and he continues to thrive in the faceoff circle, pulling out nearly 57% of his draws. He's also second in the number of faceoffs taken, with 118. This series is one of only two that are tied through four games.
Chris DiDomenico, LW, Drummondville Voltigeurs - 6th round, 164th overall in 2007
Saving the best for last. DiDomenico is having another great playoff run, as his team is the first to advance out of the first round in the QMJHL. It's hard to believe that a guy who picked up 35 points in 15 playoff games last season could be producing at a better clip this year, after missing more than 9 months with a brutal injury, but that's the case here. His 10 points in 4 games not only gives him the lead in the Q scoring race, but a share of it in the entire CHL as well. DiDomenico's story just keeps getting better and better, and we may all be able to see it unfold in Brandon at the Memorial Cup.
By next week, the first round should be wrapped up, or close to it. All signs point to no more than two of our prospects being eliminated once all is said and done, but until then, follow me on Twitter for updates.