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North American prospect report: Opening weekend goes well in Peterborough

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A 3 point per game pace is perfectly sustainable.

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Hello fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and their various prospects!

It’s a new season for the kids, and I’m here with your weekly summary of how they did. If you’re new here, what you’ll get is a quick run down of each prospect’s game that was played the week leading up to this post along with links to the box scores and highlight packages. I had a source to embed the videos, but I couldn’t turn off the auto-play feature.

This week is nice and short, since only the Canadian junior leagues are playing at the moment; the USHL and college teams begin their seasons in October.

Ontario Hockey League


#19 - Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (C) / #16 - Nicholas Robertson (C/LW)
0G, 7A, +2 / 3G, 2A, -1
Peterborough Petes

Sept. 20th @ London Knights
W 6-4 - 0G, 3A, +3 / 2G, 1A, +3
Sept. 21st @ Windsor Spitfires
L 6-9 (nice) - 0G, 4A, -1 / 1G, 1A, -4

There’s chemistry going on between Robertson and Der-Arguchintsev, before the games the Peterborough Examiner spoke with the Leafs prospects:

“Me and Robby just have great chemistry,” said Der-Arguchintsev. “Hopefully we can keep playing with each other and get even better, score more goals, be more confident, play harder, be better defensively. The team got better overall so I think it’s going to be a good year.”

Despite missing 14 games with a wrist injury early last season, Robertson, 18, led the Petes in scoring with 27 goals and 55 points. Toronto made Robertson their first pick in June’s NHL draft in the second round. His performance at the rookie tournament got him invited to Leafs main camp.

”It was definitely a change of pace,” said Robertson. “To get experience like that is definitely key coming into this year getting a lot of confidence. If you can play up to their standards you can definitely showcase yourself at higher level.”

While the Petes were .500 overall on the weekend, they put up big offensive numbers. Seven assists for little Semyon and five points for Robertson in only two games sets a high standard for the rest of the season. At this pace SDA is on pace for 268 points, which would be a nice improvement over last season.

For his efforts, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev was named OHL player of the week

#25 - Kalle Loponen (D) - 0G, 0A, -2
Sudbury Wolves

Sept. 19th @ Niagara IceDogs
L 6-3 - No Points
Sept. 20th @ Erie Otters
L 5-2 - 0G, 0A, -2
Sept. 22nd @ Mississauga Steelheads
W 3-1 - No Points

The Wolves didn’t start off their season as well as the Petes did, with a 1-2 record and a 12-8 goal differential. Loponen is new to the North American style and ice so he’ll have to grow into things. Ahead of the season opener, the Sudbury Star spoke with Loponen:

“There’s lots of games here, good ice time, hopefully, and hopefully a chance to play a good role on the team,” he said, listing his reasons for signing in Sudbury. “Plus, I get a chance to play in Canada, learn a new culture, live with my billets, learn the language and learn the game, as well. It’s a unique chance.”

He’s aware that Greater Sudbury has a sizeable number of residents with Finnish heritage, having been informed of that fact by goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, the reigning OHL goaltender of the year and MVP, who has since graduated to the professional ranks.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Loponen said. “Hopefully, they’re going to come and watch the games in the winter.”

Hardev watched Loponen play the Mississauga Steelheads on Sunday and his main takeaways from his performance were that he was capable of playing in the defensive zone and did well to help win puck battles and get the puck moving up the ice.

His main issues come with breakouts and his play when the puck is on his stick for more than a second. A lot of it may be an adjustment issue, so we’ll see how things progress over time. He doesn’t have a great shot from the point at the moment either, had trouble getting pucks through.

Currently he’s Sudbury’s sixth defenseman on his left side skating with an older player. He played a lot in the first period but like all OHL games, his icetime dropped off as the team started to roll their best 10 skaters.


Western Hockey League

#18 - Riley Stotts (C) - 0G, 1A, +1
Calgary Hitmen

Sept. 21st @ Swift Current Broncos
L 3-2 OT - 0G, 1A, +1

A short opening weekend for the Hitmen saw them lose their game in the final second of overtime. Our boy Stotts had one assist in the game, which sets him up on a nice pace :P

More importantly, the Hitmen debuted their 25th anniversary season jerseys and they are nothing but disappointments.

The cowards refuse to bring the pink back, and wasted this perfect opportunity to do so. To refresh our brains, when the Calgary Hitmen were first introduced to the WHL, Calgary wrestler Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart was an owner, and they used his nickname for the team’s name and his signature pink and black outfit for the team colours:

Then they were sold to the Flames, who changed the colours, and ruined everything.

#18 - Filip Kral (D) - 1G, 0A, +3
Spokane Chiefs

Sept, 20th @ Kamloops Blazers
W 4-3 - 0G, 0A, +1
Sept. 21st @ Kelowna Rockets
L 4-3 OT - 1G, 0A, +2

Spokane wasn’t always a winner last week, but at least they were consistent with identical 4-3 scores in their wins and losses.

#33 - Ian Scott (G)
Prince Albert Raiders

Ian Scott is at Toronto Marlies camp.


Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

#9 - Mikhail Abramov (C/RW) - 0G, 0A, -1
Victoriaville Tigres

Sept. 20th vs Quebec Remparts
L 5-4 SO - No Points
Sept. 21st vs Chicoutimi Sagueneens
L 5-4 SO - 0G, 0A, -1

After being drafted by the Maple Leafs, Abramov starts his post-draft year with two 5-4 shootout losses and no points. It’s just two games though, it’s not like other forwards are setting a better pace or anything....

I’m not the only one being too hard on him, the Tigres coach isn’t happy either. From La Nouvelle Union (and google translate):

During the first part of the season, despite a goal from Egor Serdyuk, Robitaille was particularly disappointed by the holding of his Russian duo. Serdyuk and Mikhail Abramov were quickly informed by their coach of the situation.

The next day, Serdyuk responded with a hat trick in addition to adding another shootout goal. ”It’s a poison in the other’s territory. It is an end fox who knows how to find openings. It’s extremely important for us. “So Serdyuk already has four goals in two games this season. Abramov has yet to blacken the score sheet this season. He received three minor penalties.

#33 Zachary Bouthillier (G) - 72sv, 78sh, .923sv%, 3.00GAA
Saint John Sea Dogs

Sept. 20th vs Halifax Mooseheads
W 4-3 - 40sv, 43sh, .930sv%
Sept. 21st vs Moncton Wildcats
W 4-3 - 32sv, 35sh, .914sv%

Bouthillier put up his best numbers since being drafted by the Leafs last weekend; perhaps the training camp snub was the motivation he needed. Aside from notes he played a good game, not much was written about Zach last week.


USHL

Michael Koster (D)
Tri-City Storm

Season begins October 4th.


NCAA

Ryan O’Connell (D)
Ohio State Buckeyes

Season begins October 11th.

Nicholas Abruzzese (C)
Harvard Crimson

Season begins October 19th.

#14 - JD Greenway (D)
Maine Black Bears

Season begins October 5th.


Alright folks, that’s it for me and this weeks report. If you’re in Ottawa this weekend, the Petes will be playing their only game this week there, so check them out if you can. The Wolves are at home, so go see that flying wolf before it’s gone.

Out west, the Hitmen are at home Friday and Sunday and play in Red Deer on Saturday. Spokane has one game at home against the Tri-City Americans.

In the Q, Victoriaville hosts the 2019 Memorial Cup champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, then hits the road to Shawinigan and Blainville-Boisbriand. Saint John is going out to Cape Breton to play the no longer screaming Eagles.