Compiled by Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department
Prospects on the move ... Tough sledding for Rivermen in AHL West ... Focus on Ian Cole.
Like their NHL counterparts, the three member leagues of the CHL (Ontario, Quebec and Western Leagues) impose a trade deadline. That deadline came and went last Sunday, and a number of Blues' prospects found new homes as a result.
Philip McRae (33rd overall in '08) came home from the World Junior Championship with a gold medal, only to find himself traded from the London Knights (owned and operated by ex-Blue Mark Hunter) to the Plymouth (MI) Whalers in the Ontario League. The Whalers also traded with Sault Ste. Marie to acquire winger James Livingston, drafted 70th overall by the Blues in 2008.
WJC silver medal winner Alex Pietrangelo (4th overall in '08) was dealt to the OHL-leading Barrie Colts by the bottom-dwelling Niagara Ice Dogs. The Blues returned Pietrangelo to juniors with only nine NHL games played this season, thus delaying free agency for the King City, ON native for another year.
Meanwhile, in the Quebec League, goaltender Jake Allen (34th overall in '08)was moved from Junior de Montreal to the Drummondville Voltigeurs hours before playing for Team Canada against Team USA in the championship game of the 210 U-20 World Juniors. Drummondville is one of the top clubs in the QMJHL, with a record of 30-12-0-2 in 44 games.
Out west, the Kamloops Blazers traded their leading scorer and captain Tyler Shattock (108th overall in '09) to the Calgary Hitmen in a huge deal that saw five players and two picks in the WHL Bantam Draft change hands. In addition to Shattock, the Hitmen acquired Atlanta 20098 draft pick Jimmy Bubnick and undrafted 6' 3, 205-pound defenseman Zak Stebner in exchange for 2010 draft-eligible F Chase Schaber and D Austin Madaisky (ranked 59th in North America by Central Scouting at midterm). The teams also exchanged late-round selections in the Bantam Draft.
The Peoria Rivermen are 3-2-1 in the New Year since Rick Wamsley moved behind the bench on Jan. 2, and 5-4-1 in their last ten games. The Baby Blues have won three of their last five games, and are two-for-two this weekend with wins over Grand Rapids (DET) and Rockford (CHI) and a showdown with rival Chicago (ATL) later today.
They have allowed only 16 goals in six games with the ex-NHL goalie behind the bench, a 2.59 teams goals-against average, and have 12 goals in their three wins under Wamsley. Despite the recent success, however, the Rivermen are still engaged in a mighty struggle just to keep pace in the ultra-competitive AHL West Division
The Rivermen (22-15-1-3) currently sit in a tie for fourth place in the AHL West with Chicago, both with 48 points in 41 games. The Wolves, however, hold the last playoff spot by virtue of one more win (23-16-0-2). The Rockford IceHogs with 51 points (22-18-2-3) hold the third spot in the division, while the Texas Stars (DAL) with 52 points (23-13-2-4) are second to division-leading Milwaukee (NAS) with 54 points on the strength of a 24-13-1-5 record.
Peoria has games in hand on all of the teams ahead of them, except for Chicago. The Rivermen have played five fewer games than Rockford, one less than Texas (2-0-0-0 in their last two, but 3-5-0-2 in their last ten), and two less than the Admirals.
Each of Peoria's next 13 games, from now until Feb. 19, are against division opponents, with seven of the 13 games to be played in the friendly confines of Carver Arena, where the Rivermen are a solid 13-7-1-0 this season. In this stretch of division-only games, they'll meet Chicago four times (2 H, 2 A), Texas three times (1 H, 2 A), Houston and Rockford each twice (1 H, 1 A), and the San Antonio Rampage twice at Carver.
Finally, Notre Dame defenseman Ian Cole is one of the Blues' top prospects. The 2007 first-round selection (18th overall) further cemented that status with three points in three games (1 G, 2 A) last week, which would usually put a player in the "Tending Up" category for the week.
A minus-5 in those three games, however, keeps the 6' 1, 211-pound Ann Arbor native off of the list of top performers this week. The Irish went 1-1-1 this past week, allowing just ten goals in the three games, and only one on the power play... meaning that Cole, half of Notre Dame's top defense pairing, was on the ice for five of nine even-strength goals surrendered by his team this week.
Cole's best performance of the week was, ironically, in the game that his team lost. In Notre Dame's 4-2 loss to Ferris State on Jan 10, Cole scored a power play goal at 14:55 of the first -- on his only SOG of the game -- to give the Irish a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. Cole was later on the ice for Ferris' game-winner at 14 seconds of the third period, giving him a minus-1 for the game.
The road doesn't get any easier for Cole and the Irish (10-10-6) this week, as they will journey north to Sault Ste. Marie, MI for a weekend set against 14-8-4 Lake Superior State.
Your Game Time weekly prospect statistics update for goaltenders, and "Trending Up," after the jump...
|ST. LOUIS BLUES 2009-10 PROSPECT STATS as of 16 January 2010|
|Lines with GREY backgrounds denote players above "prospect age" of 25 years.|
|Lines with BLUE backgrounds indicate statistics for players in the NHL at any point in the 2009-10 season.|
|Acq'd||GOALTENDERS||Ps/Ct||Ht||Wt||Birthdate||Birthplace||2009-10 Club(s)||League||GP||Mins||GA||SO||GAA||W||L||OL||Shts||Sv %|
|2 (34) '08||ALLEN, Jake||G/L||6-02||175||08-07-90||Fredericton, NB||Montreal||QMJHL||23||1241||55||1||2.66||11||11||0||624||0.912|
|4 (106) '06||BERRA, Reto||G/L||6-04||189||01-03-87||Bulach, SUI||EHC Biel||NL-A||8||...||...||..||3.30||..||..||..||...||...|
|3 (85) '05||BISHOP, Ben||G/L||6-05||205||11-21-86||Denver, CO||Peoria||AHL||22||1342||58||0||2.59||13||7||2||632||0.908|
|7 (185) '08||KARPOWICH, Paul||G/L||6-03||185||10-25-88||Thunder Bay, ON||Clarkson||ECAC||16||943||53||0||3.37||4||9||3||495||0.893|
|Trade '07||TOIVONEN, Hannu||G/L||6-02||200||05-18-84||Kalvola, FIN||Peoria||AHL||19||1151||53||0||2.76||9||9||1||582||0.909|
"Game Time" takes a look at five of the Blues' prospects who have performed above and beyond the others over the last seven days.
|Jake ALLEN||Ben BISHOP||T.J. FAST||Jori LEHTERA||Pascal PELLETIER|
|** 3 games played this week||** 1 game played this week||** 2 games played this week||** 1 game played this week||** 3 games played this week|
|** 185 mins, 7 GA, 3-0-0||** 60 mins, 2 GA, 1-0-0||** 0 G, 3 A, plus-2||** 2 G, 0 A, plus-3||** 2 G, 3 A, plus-1|
|** 2.27 GAA, 91.3% sv pct||** 2.00 GAA, 93.1% sv pct||** 2 PIM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW||** 0 PIM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW||** 0 PIM, 2 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW|