Top Talent on Show at CHL Prospects Game

Team Cherry practices Monday night.

Team Cherry practices Monday night.

While Seth Jones is ready to lock horns with Nathan MacKinnon, the two continue to duel for the number one spot overall, Jonathan Drouin has been increasingly talked about for the top spot and Wednesday’s CHL Top Prospects game will give fans a chance to see the top three in action.

With the puck ready to drop in Halifax, we take a look at the top five players – who aren’t Halifax Mooseheads – to keep your eye on at the Metro Centre.

Sean Monahan

Sean Monahan

5. Sean Monahan, C (Ottawa 67’s, OHL) Team Orr – Slated to go in the top 5 in the upcoming draft, despite a 10-game suspension in November for a hit, he has continued to build on early season hype even with his team sitting at the cellar of the OHL.

4. Jason Dickinson, LW (Guelph Storm, OHL) Team Cherry – A Top 20 prospect, Dickinson has already matched his stats from last year and the talented forward is looking to continue to impress. He has he creativity to compete at the next level and isn’t afraid to mix it up in the corners.

Darnell Nurse

3. Darnell Nurse, D (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, OHL) Team Cherry – In a year with Seth Jones, Nurse would be the top defenceman drafted, the 6-foot-5 Hamilton, Ont. native uses his size to his advantage, playing a physical game but has already racked up 27 points this season.

2. Valentin Zykov, RW (Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL) Team Cherry – The young Russian forward continues to build on a strong start, being named the Q Star of the week this past week after 10 points in three games. He’s already picked up 17 points in January, helping his team to second in the QMJHL.


Seth Jones

1. Seth Jones, D (Portland Winterhawks, WHL) Team Orr – Currently the consensus top pick in the upcoming NHL draft, he’s got the whole package:  Big, Talented and strong both ways. Now that he’s also a World Junior winner, the Portland Winterhawks are hoping he can help lead them to a Memorial Cup before he jets off to the NHL.

Throw in the trio of Nathan Mackinnon, Jonathan Drouin and top draft goalie prospect Zachary Fucale and fans in Halifax are getting ready for some exciting hockey.

MacKinnon and Jones are Captains of their respective teams, while Drouin, Nurse, Monahan and Hunter Shinkaruk have been named Alternates.

– – –

Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and Host of the The Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets about sports far too much.

Moose Talk Monday

Fucale has carried a heavy workload so far in Halifax.

(Photo Credit: Richard LaFortune)

MooseTalk Monday

Weekend Recap

A busy weekend saw the young Herd playing three games in three nights, Drummondville Friday, Quebec Saturday and Rimouski on Sunday.

After digging deep to beat Drummondville Friday, the Moose were rolled over Saturday against the Remparts, losing 6-1 in a game that saw the Quebec team dominate from start to finish.

Sunday the Mooseheads responded with a big effort, scrapping together a 2-1 win over the Rimouski, a game that saw Andrew Ryan score his first goal of the season after breaking his ankle in training camp.

The Mooseheads had five different scorers over the weekend, with Ryan making an instant impact in his return to the lineup. The second-year forward, a former 19th overall pick in the QMJHL draft, was a -1 over the weekend.

Nathan MacKinnon failed to hit the back of the net all weekend, but chipped in three assists and now trails Mikhail Grigorenko by six points in the Rookie scoring race and sits 13th overall in the Q.

Zachary Fucale started all three games, but was pulled for the final 12-minutes against the Remparts. Fucale stopped 84 shots over the weekend, picking up his 10th win over the season over Rimouski on Sunday.

– – –

Injury Update

Martin Frk [F] – Concussion

Trey Lewis [D] – Concussion*

Steve Gillard [D]  – Concussion*

Darcy Ashley [F]  – Concussion*

Anthony Terenzio [G] – Concussion

*Concussion like symptoms

– – –

Team Leaders

Goals – MacKinnon (12)

Assists – MacKinnon (23)

+/- – Desmond (+9)

PIM – Hannay (47)

Shots – MacKinnon (84)

Faceoffs – Andrews (59%)

– – –

The Halifax Mooseheads sit 6th in the QMJHL and hold a 15-7-1-1 record, but have played the least amount of games of all QMJHL teams with just 24. Their next game is Thursday night, when they host provincial rival Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca  and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU  every Monday Morning at 10am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , where he live tweets his thoughts during each Mooseheads game.

Lotto Balls, Draft Picks, oh my!

With the Lottery this evening on TSN, the debate for who will be the number one picked player in this years NHL draft is in full flight.

Whether it is their high level or skill or similar first names, there is very little between Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall.

Hall – 40 Goals, 66 assists, 106 points in 57 games played, with a +46 rating

Seguin– 48 Goals, 57 Assists, 106 points in 63 games played, with a +17 rating

Seguin posted solid numbers and a great season while playing for a team that was barren of much offense that wasnt from his own stick. Where as, Hall was surrounded by a strong team which resulted in a ridiculously high plus/minus of +46.

With that sorted, here is how I think the Lottery will finish, yes I know its random, and who each team will pick up:

1.  Edmonton Oilers (48.2%), Taylor Hall – Unfortunately for them they were full of small, skilled forwards this year and still finished last. I feel they’d benefit by trading this pick and move down to pick up a defenseman.

2.  Florida Panthers (14.2%), Tyler Seguin – They will be excited to move up and they need a new franchise player to build around after losing both Lou and JayBow in recent years.

3. Boston via Toronto (18.8%) – Erik Gudbranson – Boston has a habit of liking big defencemen, and this 6-3, 201lbs blueliner will have them licking their lips.

4.  Columbus (10.7%) – Cam Fowler – Too bad Hitchcock is gone, because this defenceman is something he’d of given his left leg for earlier in the season. Fowler is a defensive stud and will help shore up a weak blue line.

5. New York Islanders (8.1%) – Brandon Gormley– With Tavares and Moulson showing they have the offensive touch, the Islanders will pick up a defencemen, and Gormley will be a great defenceman for years to come. He’s been an absolute stud for Moncton this year and one of their best players on a start studded team.

Feel free to let me know if you agree or disagree!