Game Time Prospect Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012

Prospect Sunday header

By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department


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PROSPECT PROMOTIONS / DEMOTIONS:

None to report this week.

PROSPECT TRADES:

None to report this week.

PLAYERS ON SICK CALL:

02-24-12 -- D Jani Hakanpää (Blues Espoo/SM-Liiga) out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. (LINK, in Finnish).

01-09-12 -- F Jay Barriball and D Jake Gannon (Peoria/AHL) remain on IR with concussions. (LINK).

01-08-12 -- C Jori Lehtera (Sibir Novosibirsk/KHL) out for the season with a broken leg. (LINK).

PLAYERS RETURNED TO DUTY:

None to report this week.

PLAYERS ON SUSPENSION:

None to report this week.


PROSPECT NEWS AND NOTES:

ITEM: MAJOR JUNIOR PLAYOFF UPDATE.

The Blues will have prospects playing in the championship series of all thee major junior leagues.

Starting out East in the QMJHL, the Saint John Sea Dogs have become one of major junior hockey’s most dominant clubs over the course of the last decade, and are the defending QMJHL and Memorial Cup champions. The Dogs eliminated Chicoutimi last night with a 3-2 OT victory, and will face the winner of the Halifax-Rimouski series (which could end this afternoon with a win by Rimouski) in the QMJHL final.

The two Blues’ prospects skating for Saint John -- winger Stephen Macaulay and center Ryan Tesink -- have been providing timely supplemental scoring in support of Saint John’s bigger names, and both are just shy of being point-per-game players at this point of the postseason.

In the Ontario League, the Niagara Ice Dogs, based in St. Catharines, Ontario, finished off the Ottawa 67’s on Friday night and became the 2012 Bobby Orr Trophy winners (OHL Eastern Conference champs) with a 3-2 win before over 3100 fans at the Gatorade Garden City Complex in St. Catharines.

Prospect defenseman Brock Beukeboom has two goals thus far in the playoffs, and both have been scored in the deciding games of his team’s playoff series to date, though they were not the series-deciding goals. Beukeboom’s first-ever OHL playoff goal was scored on April Fool’s day, an empty-netter with less than two minutes on the clock in Niagara’s 4-1 win over Oshawa in the first round. In the second round, where the Ice Dogs swept the Brampton Battalion in four straight, Beukeboom tallied the first goal of the game in the series-clinching 3-1 win on Apr. 12.

Finally, out in the wild, wild West, the Portland Winter Hawks and breakout scorer Ty Rattie are in the Western League final series, where they will face the Edmonton Oil Kings. The final series pits the current Oil Kings franchise against the original Oil Kings franchise, as the Winter Hawks were formerly the Edmonton Oil Kings before moving to the Rose City in 1976 to become the first-ever US-based major junior club.

Edmonton reached the finals by eliminating the Moose Jaw Warriors, with Blues' prospects Cody Beach and Joel Edmundson, in five games.


FEATURES THIS WEEK:

River Readings headerRIVER READINGS

In a sneak peek at the next print edition of "Tomorrow's Blues," we present a look back at 2011-12, and a look ahead to 2012-13 for the Peoria Rivermen. Details at 1:00 PM Central Time today.

On The Radar headerON THE RADAR

This week's feature takes a closer look at 2010 first-rounder Jaden Schwartz, who may get his chance to shine on the big playoff stage this week. Details at 2:00 PM Central Time today.

Trending Up headerTRENDING UP

And then there were five... This week's "Trending Up" will feature the five Blues' prospects who are still active in playoff competition. Details at 3:00 PM Central Time today.

Weekly Stats headerWEEKLY PROSPECT STATISTICS REVIEW

In the last nine NHL Entry Drafts, about 40% of all players chosen by the Blues have been Europeans. This week, the statistical breakdown of all the Euro prospects in the Blues' system. Details at 4:00 PM Central Time today.

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