Welcome back! It’s been three weeks since I last wrote one of these, and all the prospects are back from their winter breaks. Well, almost all of them.
Ryan O’Connell was injured in the World Junior A Challenge on December 12th. Vees head coach and general manager Fred Harbinson confirmed that O’Connell broke his arm at the tournament and isn’t likely to suit up for Penticton again this year. O’Connell is committed to Boston University next season, his OHL rights are held by the Mississauga Steelheads, in case they make an offer that moves him. TO A BIGGER HOUSE!
Joseph Woll hasn’t returned to Boston College yet, but he did spend his time off from school helping Team USA win a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships, which you know about already.
Eemeli Räsänen has some new team mates. The Kingston Frontenacs went all in on winning a Memorial Cup, trading away a dozen draft picks and a player to being over Gabe Vilardi and Sean Day from the Windsor Spitfires, and Max Jones and Cliff Pu from the London Knights.
JD Greenway is back on the ice, in a game even! After taking the first half of the season off to deal with some personal issues, Greenway played in his first two games for the Wisconsin Badgers.
Finally, Dakota Joshua, my #25 in my top 25, is in the lead for North American prospect scoring for the Leafs, scoring at a .74PPG pace with 14 points in 19 games.
Ontario Hockey League
#77 - Eemeli Räsänen (D) - 0G, 1A, -3
Kingston Frontenacs - 20-13-3-3
Dec. 28th: vs Ottawa 67’s
W 2-0 - Räsänen was with Finland at the World Juniors
Dec. 30th: @ Hamilton Bulldogs
L 7-4 - 0G, 0A, -3
Dec. 31st: @ Erie Otter
L 3-2 - No Points
Jan. 5th: vs Windsor Spitfires
L 4-3 - No Points
Jan. 6th: @ Barrie Colts
W 6-4 - 0G, 0A, -1
Jan. 7th: @ Niagara IceDogs
W 8-3 - 0G, 1A, +1
Räsänen returned after being a late cut by Finland and the Frontenacs went on a little losing streak around new years, but over this weekend they won two games 14-7 when the new players arrived. I tried to speak to Räsänen after the Sunday game, but he slipped away again, since he’s my Polkaroo.
#55 - Keaton Middleton (D) - 1G, 0A, +2
Saginaw Spirit - 21-14-3-0
Dec. 28th: vs Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
L 4-1 - 0G, 0A, -1
Dec. 30th: vs Flint Firebirds
W 6-2 - 0G, 0A, +2
Dec. 31st: @ Windsor Spitfires
W 4-2 - 1G, 0A, +1
Jan. 3rd: @ Sarnia Sting
W 4-2 - 0G, 0A, +2
Jan. 5th: vs Erie Otters
W 4-3 OT - No Points
Jan. 6th: vs Sarnia Sting
L 5-2 - 0G, 0A, -2
Middleton and the Spirit had some really well earned wins after Christmas, including a win over the Sarnia Sting , one of the top teams in the standings.
#15 - Fedor Gordeev (D) / #52 - Nicolas Mattinen (D)
0G, 1A, -1 / 0G, 2A, -12
Flint Firebirds - 12-23-3-0
Dec. 28th: vs London Knights
W 3-2 SO - No Points / 0G, 0A, -1
Dec. 29th: @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
L 6-5 - 0G, 1A / 0G, 1A, -4
Dec. 30th: @ Saginaw Spirit
L 6-2 - No Points / 0G, 1A, -3
Jan. 5th: @ Sarnia Sting
L 7-1 - 0G, 0A, -2 / 0G, 0A, -3
Jan. 6th: vs Erie Otters
W 4-3 SO - 0G, 0A, +1 / 0G, 0A, -1
Flint’s two weeks after Christmas were bookended with shootout wins, and filled with a creamy middle of giant losses. Mattinen is an overager, and in theory could be available at the deadline but not many teams that are sitting in a playoff spot have room for another overage player.
#19 - Ryan McGregor (F) - 3G, 1A, +2
Sarnia Sting - 27-12-2-0
Dec. 28th: vs Windsor Spitfires
L 5-0 - No Points
Dec. 31st: vs London Knights
L 4-2 - 0G, 0A, -2
Jan. 1st: @ London Knights
L 4-1 - 0G, 0A, -1
Jan. 3rd: vs Saginaw Spirit
L 4-2 - No Points
Jan. 5th: vs Flint Firebirds
W 7-1 - 1G, 1A, +3
Jan. 6th: @ Saginaw Spirit
W 5-2 - 2G, 0A, +2
After a five game losing streak after the break, the Sting got back into their game with two dominant wins, totaling 12-3 for the weekend. McGegor has one of his biggest games of the season scoring two goals against the Spirit.
Western Hockey League
#33 - Ian Scott (G) - 142sh, 127sv, .894sv%
Prince Albert Raiders - 0-2-0
Dec. 27th: @ Saskatoon Blades
L 4-2 - 42sh, 38sv, .905sv%
Dec. 28th: vs Saskatoon Blades
L 6-4 - 38sh, 33sv, .868sv%
Dec. 30th: vs Regina Pats
L 2-1 - Did Not Play
Jan. 1st: @ Regina Pats
L 5-4 OT - Did Not Play
Jan. 5th: vs Kootenay Ice
W 7-3 - 24sh, 21sv, .875sv%
Jan. 6th: vs Red Deer Rebels
W 2-1 OT - Did Not Play
Jan. 7th: @ Regina Pats
L 4-1 - 38sh, 35sv, .921sv%
Ian Scott has this weird thing where has save percentage is usually better in games the Raiders lose, than the games they win. In his four starts the past 2 weeks he went 1-3, and his only win sv% was .875, and only one loss was lower than that.
#24 - Ryan O'Connell (D)
Penticton Vees, BCHL
Injured for the season.
#13 - Nolan Vesey (F) - 3G, 3A, +3
Maine Black Bears
Overall: 11-7-1 / Conference: 5-4-1
Dec. 29th: @ RPI
W 3-2 - 2G, 1A, +2
WATCH: Nolan Vesey picks off a pass in the neutral zone and finishes off a 2-on-1 with Patrick Shea. pic.twitter.com/Aym8MTKuL7— Black Bear Hockey (@MaineIceHockey) December 29, 2017
WATCH: Nolan Vesey makes it 2-0 Maine with his second of the game after surging through the neutral zone and going top shelf. pic.twitter.com/QjHcAjHrjJ— Black Bear Hockey (@MaineIceHockey) December 29, 2017
Dec. 30th: @ RPI
W 5-2 - 0G, 1A
Jan. 6th: @ Boston University
W 3-0 - 1G, 1A, +1
WATCH: Nolan Vesey puts Maine up 1-0 with a power-play tally, finishing off passes from Brendan Robbins and Tim Doherty for his 8th goal of the year.#BlackBearNation #HockeyEast pic.twitter.com/kssHxkmTHe— Black Bear Hockey (@MaineIceHockey) January 7, 2018
Nolan Vesey where have you come from? Six points in three games as the Black Bears go on a three game winning streak after the Christmas break. This is one of the best performances I’ve seen in four years watching him.
#14 - JD Greenway (D) - 0G, 0A, +1
Overall: 10-10-3 / Conference: 4-6-2
Jan. 5th: @ Penn State
L 5-1 - 0G, 0A, +1
Jan. 6th: @ Penn State
T 3-3 - No Points
He wasn’t an offensive star but it was nice to see Greenway back and playing with the Badgers.
#31 - Joseph Woll (G)
Boston College Eagles
Overall: 10-8-3 / Conference: 10-3-0
Joseph Woll was off winning Bronze with Team USA.
#8 - Dakota Joshua (F) - 2G, 1A, +2
Ohio State Buckeyes
Overall: 14-4-4 / Conference: 7-4-1
Dec. 29th: vs Niagara
W 3-2 - Did Not Play
Dec. 30th: vs Niagara
W 4-1 - Did Not Play
Jan. 5th: @ Michigan State
W 4-1 - 0G, 1A
Jan. 6th: @ Michigan State
W 5-3 - 2G, 0A, +2
After an extended break, Dakota hit the ice and popped three points in two games, including a two goal performance to close out the trip to Michigan.
Prospects points tracker
|Dakota Joshua (F)||Big 10||24||30||0.80||22.96|
|Nolan Vesey (F)||Hockey East||25||37||0.68||20.50|
|Ryan McGregor (F)||OHL||29||47||0.62||16.19|
|Ryan O’Connell (D)||BCHL||12||23||0.52||9.84|
|Eemeli Räsänen (D)||OHL||30||59||0.51||13.34|
|Nicolas Mattinen (D)||OHL||29||62||0.47||12.27|
|Keaton Middleton (D)||OHL||23||61||0.38||9.89|
|Fedor Gordeev (D)||OHL||23||64||0.36||9.43|
|JD Greenway (F)||Big 10||3||12||0.25||7.18|