By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
VEILLEUX FIT TO FIGHT FOR WILDCATS
(LINK to article, "High hopes for Yannick Veilleux with the Wildcats," at the QMJHL website)
Yannick Veilleux began the 2011-12 season by being selected 102nd overall in the NHL Entry Draft by the Blues. He ended it skating the Memorial Cup on home ice for the QMJHL's Shawinigan Cataractes, and was traded in the off-season to the Moncton (NB) Wildcats.
Some players might have sulked after being traded away from a team that had just won Canada's junior hockey championship, but not Veilleux. The St-Hipolytte, PQ native instead buckled down and trained, and trained, and then trained some more in order to make himself as valuable as possible to his new team.
The Moncton Wildcats are counting on Yannick Veilleux to be an impact veteran and he showed even before the season started that he's ready for the challenge.
The 19-year-old left winger was the overall winner in the club's physical fitness testing that was done in training camp. He finished first in pushups and situps and ranked high in tests for flexibility, vertical jump, body fat percentage, 20-metre sprints and cardiovascular.
"The general testing in camp gives you an idea where everybody is at in terms of physical fitness and if the players did their homework in the off-season," said Moncton athletic therapist Graham Black. "It shows you something about their commitment level."
Veilleux' commitment to physical fitness has impressed Wildcats' coach Danny Flynn.
"He's a talented player with good size," said Moncton head coach Danny Flynn. "He's a power forward with good skills. He's the rare blend of skill, smarts and grit. You can see why he was the second overall pick in our league. You can see why he's an NHL draft pick.
"For him, this is a statement season in terms of getting ready for pro hockey and hopefully signing a pro contract. He practises real hard and he comes to play every night. It's a credit to him that he came to camp in such great shape because he had a short off-season. He took care of himself throughout the long season and trained hard this summer."
RIVS WIN BIG, LOSE BIGGER AS HOME STAND CONTINUES
After getting their first win of the 2012-13 AHL season in their home opener on Oct. 19, the Peoria Rivermen entered the second weekend of a six-game homestand with real confidence.
The second game of the homestand on Friday, Oct. 26, saw the arch-rival Chicago Wolves invade Carver Arena. Rivs' goalie Jake Allen and Chicago netminder Matt Climie put on a clinic through the first two periods, combining for 40 saves on 41 shots with only Chicago's Jordan Schroeder able to score at 2:57 of the second period.
Early in the third period, Anthony Peluso tallied his third goal of the season to get the Rivermen on the scoreboard, and that goal opened the floodgates for Peoria, who followed with goals by Evgeny Grachev, Derek Nesbitt and Jaden Schwartz to nail down a 4-1 win.
(LINK to story at Peoria Journal Star website)
On Saturday, Oct. 27, the Charlotte Checkers came to town with an all-time record of six wins in eight games vs. the Rivermen, including three straight going back to last season. The Checkers, led by NHL veteran netminder Dan Ellis, wasted little time re-establishing their dominance over the Rivermen. Drayson Bowman beat Peoria's Mike McKenna for his AHL-leading sixth goal of the young season at 9:53 of the first period, and center Jeremy Welsh scored his first two goals of the season to lead the Checkers to a 4-0 whitewashing of the Rivermen.
(LINK to story at Peoria Journal Star website)
The Rivermen have a chance to earn revenge on the Checkers with a game at 5:05 PM Central today.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW, PEORIA EDITION:
Peoria 4 vs Chicago 1, Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. LINK to AHL game sheet.
Peoria 0 vs Charlotte 4, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. LINK to AHL game sheet.
THE WEEK AHEAD, PEORIA EDITION:
Sunday, October 28, 2012 ... Game Time 5:05 PM CDT at Carver Arena, Peoria, IL. NHL Affiliate: Carolina Hurricanes.
Thursday, November 1, 2012 ... Game Time 7:05 PM CDT at Carver Arena, Peoria, IL. NHL Affiliate: Colorado Avalanche.
Saturday, November 3, 2012 ... Game Time 7:35 PM CDT at Carver Arena, Peoria, IL. NHL Affiliate: Nashville Predators.
ICEMEN STILL LOOKING FOR FIRST ECHL WIN
Six games into their initial ECHL season, the Evansville IceMen are still looking for their first win, and have only one point (a 4-3 OT loss to Fort Wayne) to show for their efforts to date.
Blues' prospect Paul Karpowich earned that point, and the Blues' other prospects in Evansville have also chipped in. Center prospect Brett Sonne leads the IcveMen in scoring with six point (3 G, 3A) in six games, but was held scoreless in three games this week, and RW Tyler Shattock posted three goals and five points before being recalled to Peoria earlier this week.
Shattock's replacement in Evansville, center Anthony Nigro, is scoreless in two games as he rehabilitates a training-camp injury, and rookie RW Cody Beach is providing toughness (19 PM in six games) but no scoring yet.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW, EVANSVILLE EDITION:
Evansville 0 vs Gwinnett 3, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012. LINK to ECHL game sheet.
Evansville 2 vs Kalamazoo 3, Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. LINK to ECHL game sheet.
Evansville 1 at Kalamazoo 4, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. LINK to ECHL game sheet.
THE WEEK AHEAD, EVANSVILLE EDITION:
Sunday, October 28, 2012 ... Game Time 5:05 PM CDT at Ford Center, Evansville, IN. NHL Affiliate: Phoenix Coyotes.
Friday, November 2, 2012 ... Game Time 7:15 PM CDT at Ford Center, Evansville, IN. NHL Affiliates: Montreal / Pittsburgh.
Saturday, November 3, 2012 ... Game Time 7:05 PM EDT at Huntington Center, Toledo, OH. NHL Affiliates: Chicago / Detroit.
THREE STAR SELECTIONS FOR THE WEEK ENDING 10-27-12
Moncton (QMJHL) teammates Dmitri Jaskin and Yannick Veilleux helped power the Wildcats to four consecutive wins over the last seven days, including three in three days from Thursday through Saturday, on the road in Gatineau, Blainville-Boisbriand, and Sherbrooke.
In the Ontario League, emerging star goaltender Jordan Binnington allowed just three goals in 125 minutes this week to take over the top rung on the OHL goaltending ladder. Binnington's performance dropped his GAA to 1.96 and raised his save percentage to 93.9%.
|*** FIRST Star ***||** SECOND Star **||* THIRD Star *|
|Yannick VEILLEUX||Dmitrij JASKIN||Jordan BINNINGTON|
|Moncton (QMJHL)||Moncton (QMJHL)||Owen Sound (OHL)|
|** 4 games played this week||** 4 games played this week||** 2 games played this week|
|** 2 G, 5 A, plus-4||** 3 G, 3 A, even||** 125 mins, 3 GA, 1-0-1|
|** 4 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW||** 4 PM, 2 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW||** 1.44 GAA, 95.7 save %|