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Game Time Prospect Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010

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By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Department


2010-12-03 Ian Cole (D) DEL Recalled from loan by St. Louis (NHL)

2010-12-02 Nikita Nikitin (D) ADD Loaned from St. Louis (NHL)

2010-12-01 Dave Scatchard (C) DEL Recalled from loan by St. Louis (NHL)

2010-12-01 Stefan Della Rovere (LW) DEL Recalled from loan by St. Louis (NHL)

2010-12-01 Chris Porter (LW) ADD Returned on loan from St. Louis (NHL)

2010-12-01 T.J. Hensick (C) ADD Returned on loan from St. Louis (NHL)


None to report this week.


Each of the Blues' first three selections in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft -- Jaden Schwartz (14th overall), Vladimir Tarasenko (16th overall), and Sebastian Wännström (44th overall) -- were named to World Junior Championship selection camp rosters in the last week.

At stake is the honor of representing their countries -- Canada, Russia and Sweden, respectively -- in the 2011 U20 WJC to be held in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York, between Christmas and New Years.

LINK to Canada selection camp article and roster details at hockeycanada(dot)ca.

LINK (translated poorly) to Russian selection camp article and roster details at fhr(dot)ru (Russian Hockey Federation website). HERE is the link in the original Cyrillic; "Нападающие" = "forwards," "Тарасенко Владимир" = "Tarasenko Vladimir.".

LINK (in Swedish) to Sweden selection camp article and roster details at swehockey(dot)se.

All three players responded to making their country's short list with outstandng performances this week. Wännström continued to skate a regular shift with Brynäs Gavle in the Swedish Elite League, and also posted a standout performance in one game against Mora IK with the Brynäs U-20 squad.

Meanwhille, call him Vladimir "Tear"-asenko, as he's been on fire in the last few games (HERE is a link to some video at "Hockey's Future," courtesy of a regular poster from Russia), and Schwartz contributed in a big way to a pair of blowouts over Michigan Tech by the Colorado College Tigers this weekend.

Per Darren Pang on the Dec. 4 broadcast of the Blues vs. Edmonton, Blues' GM Doug Armstrong reports that there's a good chance that Tarasenko will be named captain of the Russian squad for the WJC.


The Featured Prospect of the Week is an older player who has just this year hit the "Mendoza Line," attaining his 25th birthday. This player is, however, a major contributor in Peoria. Also, this week's "Fab Five" of players in the organization who are "Trending Up." Two of this week's standouts faced each other at last year's World Junior Championships, and the remaining three are poised to do so this year. Stay tuned...


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The Game Time Featured Prospect of the week for Dec. 5, 2010 is right wing Adam Cracknell. A big scorer in major junior, Cracknell has been sort of a late bloomer in the AHL, but the blooming has been worth the wait for Peoria.

Cracknell Prospect File

The "McKeens Hockey" prospect website had this to say about Cracknell in 2009:

(Sees) regular shifts on the powerplay .. has a hard wristshot, and shot power may be his strong suit offensively .. finishes his checks on the forecheck .. makes some big hits and will step up in the neutral zone for a big open-ice hit .. a bit upright skating the puck .. also a bit upright in his crossovers, taking short steps that do not generate much power or speed .. probably tops out as an AHL-caliber power forward.

Since signing with the St. Louis organization, and becoming a member of the Peoria Rivermen, Cracknell has been demonstrating his upside as an AHL-caliber power forward. In 2009-10, he set single-season career highs in every offensive category except games played, with 17-28-31 scoring totals, a plus-2 mark, 40 PM, four power-play goals, two shorthanded tallies, and two game-winners.

In the featured video of the week, Cracknell follows up a teammate's shot in a game at Houston earlier this year to score the game-winner in overtime:

A big scorer in major junior with the Kootenay (Cranbrook, BC) Ice of the Western League, Cracknell piled up 94 goals and 213 points in 283 WHL games. In his last year of junior (2005-06), Cracknell led the Kootenay scoring parade with 42 goals and 93 points.

The following year, Cracknell turned pro full-time with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL, and skated on their regular-season championship squad in 2006-07, and their Kelly Cup finalist team in 2007-08. His 29-30-59 scoring line in 61 games for Las Vegas was among the team's best, and he led the Wranglers in playoff scoring that year with nine goals and 22 points in 21 games, losing the Kelly Cup to the Cincinnati Cyclones in six games.

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Allen McRae Schwartz Tarasenko Wannstrom
Peoria (AHL) Peoria (AHL) Colorado College (WCHA) Sibir Novosibirsk (KHL) Brynäs J20 (SWE Jr)
** 2 games played this week ** 3 games played this week ** 2 games played this week ** 4 games played this week ** 1 game played this week
** 120 mins, 3 GA, 2-0-0 ** 3 G, 1 A, plus-2 ** 2 G, 5 A, plus-5 ** 2 G, 1 A, even ** 1 G, 1 A, plus-1
** 1.50 GAA, 95.6% sv pct ** 2 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW ** 0 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 1 GW ** 2 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW ** 0 PM, 0 PP, 0 SH, 0 GW