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"Game Time" Prospect Sunday Apr. 5, 2015: Playoff Edition, Vol. 1

Happy Easter to all... may your chocolate bunnies be all ears. Here's a look at the major junior playoff races involving Blues' prospects, as well as a look ahead to the Frozen Four taking place in Boston later this week. Updates on the Chicago Wolves, Alaska Aces, and European prospect playoffs coming later this week. For now, time for Easter dinner with the fam...

The Chicago Wolves might be missing Ty Rattie in their playoff race... Photo by
The Chicago Wolves might be missing Ty Rattie in their playoff race... Photo by
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

OHL header

In the Ontario League, the Blues will have two prospects playing in the second round. Robbie Fabbri and the Guelph Storm advanced to round two of the OHL Western Conference playoffs by defeating the Owen Sound Attack four games to one, and now wait for the result of the London Knights-Kitchener Rangers series in order to determine who their second-round opponent will be.

London, with prospect C.J. Yakimowicz, currently leads the series three games to two, and can wrap up the series with a win at Kitchener tonight (7:00 PM EDT). If London wins the series, they will face the Erie Otters and likely first-overall pick Connor McDavid in the second round, while Guelph will square off against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

If, however, Kitchener and defense prospect Dmitrii Sergeev should come back to win the series vs. London, they will meet the Greyhounds while Guelph and Erie will face off in Round Two.

PLAYER CLUB/LEAGUE GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW PT/G
FABBRI, Robbie Guelph (OHL) 30 25 26 51 + 9 40 8 2 4 1.70
... Playoffs Guelph (OHL) 5 1 3 4 - 1 13 0 0 1 0.80
... Canada (U20 WJC) 5 2 4 6 + 7 0 0 0 1 1.20
SERGEEV, Dmitrii Kitchener (OHL) 54 5 23 28 + 8 44 2 0 1 0.52
... Playoffs Kitchener (OHL) 5 0 2 2 - 6 8 0 0 0 0.40
YAKIMOWICZ, C.J. London (OHL) 63 13 20 33 + 3 95 1 1 1 0.52
...Playoffs London (OHL) 5 0 1 1 - 4 16 0 0 0 0.20

QMJHL header

Out on the coast of Atlantic Canada, blue-chip prospect Ivan Barbashev and the Moncton Wildcats have disposed of les Sagueneens de Chicoutimi in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs, and now await their second-round opponent.

Moncton entered the playoffs as the number two seed in the QMJHL, and will face whichever first-round survivor was seeded second lowest. Currently, the number 12 seed (Halifax) and the number 14 seed (Gatineau) each hold a three games to two advantage in their opening-round series (vs. Shawinigan and Blainville-Boisbriand, respectively), and both lower seeds can advance with wins today.

Meanwhile, the Blues' other QMJHL prospect, winger Samuel Blais, is off for the summer after he and his Tigres de Victoriaville club lost their first-round series to top-seeded Rimouski.

PLAYER CLUB/LEAGUE GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW PT/G
BARBASHEV, Ivan Moncton (QMJHL) 57 45 50 95 +16 59 15 0 4 1.67
... Playoffs Moncton (QMJHL) 5 3 1 4 - 1 10 3 0 0 0.80
... Russia (U20 WJC) 5 2 3 5 0 2 2 0 0 1.00
BLAIS, Samuel Victoriaville (QMJHL) 61 34 48 82 - 4 50 13 0 4 1.34
... Playoffs Victoriaville (QMJHL) 4 2 3 5 0 4 2 0 0 1.25

WHL header

Out in the wild, wild West, one prospect has made it to the second round, one is done (maybe) for the year, and one has helped his team force a Game Seven.

The powerhouse Medicine Hat Tigers, with prospect Tommy Vannelli helping lead the way on the blueline, have advanced to the second round of the WHL Eastern Conference playoffs after dispatching the Red Deer Rebels in five games.

Center prospect and native St. Louisan Zach Pochiro began the season with Alaska in the ECHL, but was reassigned to Prince George of the 'Dub as an overager around Thanksgiving. Pochiro's presence helped the Cougars earn a playoff spot, but their season ended last night with a 5-4 OT loss to the Victoria Royals. Pochiro is, however, still under contract to the Blues, and may be sent back to Alaska to aid the Aces in their pursuit of a playoff berth.

(Just as a side note... One of Victoria's players, Brandon Fushimi, is the son of a guy that your GTPD went to high school with, at Highland High School in Thornton, CO)

Finally, 2014 draftee Jaedon Descheneau and the Kootenay (Cranbrook, BC) Ice stayed alive in their WHL playoff series with the Calgary Hitmen by posting a 4-2 victory to force a Game Seven on Monday in Calgary. The winner of this series will move on to Face Medicine Hat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

PLAYER CLUB/LEAGUE GP GL AS PT +- PM PP SH GW PT/G
DESCHENEAU, Jaedon Kootenay (WHL) 70 34 37 81 + 9 58 7 0 3 1.16
... Playoffs Kootenay (WHL) 6 4 5 9 + 2 4 0 1 1 1.50
POCHIRO, Zach Alaska (ECHL) 8 0 2 2 - 5 13 0 0 0 0.25
... Prince George (WHL) 41 19 23 42 0 69 7 1 4 1.02
... Playoffs Prince George (WHL) 5 4 2 6 + 1 6 1 0 0 1.20
VANNELLI, Tommy Medicine Hat (WHL) 44 12 23 35 +19 52 3 0 2 0.79
... Playoffs Medicine Hat (WHL) 5 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.40

...

In other prospect post-season news, the 2015 NCAA Hockey Championship will be decided this week in Boston, and Blues' prospects are right in the thick of it.

The early game on Thursday (5:00 PM EDT) features Nebraska-Omaha taking on Providence College and 2014 draftee Jake Walman, who played in big part in putting the Friars in the Frozen Four with a three-assist performance in the regional final vs. Denver University last weekend.

Thursday's late game (8:30 PM EDT) features hometown favorites Boston University taking on the top remaining seed, North Dakota, featuring Blues' prospects Austin Poganski and 2012 first-round pick Jordan Schmaltz. Thursday's winners will meet on Saturday for the national championship.