Welcome to week one of the 2017-18 prospect update! Hockey is now underway for almost all Jets prospects, so let’s take a look at how the season has started.
Skyler McKenzie, aptly nicknamed “Sniper” out in Portland, begins the year on a scoring tear. The 19-year-old is centering a line with 2017 first-rounder Cody Glass on his wing, and the pair have been toying with other teams. McKenzie is averaging just over four shots on goal per game and has scored five goals over the last three games.
Jordy Stallard was sent back to the Prince Albert Raiders for his overage season, and is making the most of it. Named an alternate captain in his fourth WHL season, Stallard has amassed three goals and eight assists. The bulk of his production came in a 6-1 win over Medicine Hat on Saturday night with a goal and five assists.
Logan Stanley has opened the season on a six-game point streak, totaling three goals and five assists. Stanley also leads the Kitchener Rangers in scoring. The 2016 first rounder looks to be well on his way to improving upon a career-high of 17 points.
Leon Gawanke is yet to light the lamp, but is contributing with five assists in eight games for the Screaming Eagles. The first German-born player drafted by the Jets will look to help his team to another playoff berth this season.
Luke Green was injured during the Young Stars tournament, reportedly dislocating his shoulder and requiring surgery. Green is expected back well after the Christmas break, either January or February. Shortly after the injury was announced, Green signed his 3-year ELC.
#NHLJets agree to terms with Luke Green on a three-year entry-level contract.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) September 25, 2017
Santeri Virtanen played just a single pre-season game before coming down with an illness, but did make it back into the lineup for opening night. Virtanen recorded his first USHL point, assisting on a game-tying goal.
Mikhail Berdin played twice this past week, winning the season opener but dropping the home opener. Berdin’s stats are much improved from his first two USHL games last season, and is sporting a fantastic 2.50 GAA and 0.937 SV%. Sioux Falls will be back in action this weekend.
Dylan Samberg made some noise this past weekend, collecting 19 penalty minutes. Samberg was ejected late in the 3rd in Saturday’s game for a hit to the head, as you can see below (Thank you to HFBoards user Woodhouse).
Johnny Kovacevic was one of two NCAA prospects to record a point this week, assisting on the opening goal of the game on Saturday. Following a penalty kill, Kovacevic came off the bench and steamrolled a Colgate player before leading a rush up the ice.
Croix Evingson was unable to play last weekend due to injury, but should be able to play his first college games at home this weekend against Omaha.
Matt Ustaski has appeared in two of Wisconsin’s three games this season. Ustaski was taking a decent amount of faceoffs for Wisconsin last season, but has only taken three so far.
CJ Suess (formerly Franklin) and Minnesota State played just one game last weekend, shut out 4-0 by St Cloud. The captain went 12-for-19 (63%) in the faceoff circle.
Jack Glover played in both games this past weekend. Glover seems to have a regular spot in the lineup this year following a 2016-17 season full of healthy scratches. He was in the starting lineup on Saturday as well.
— Minnesota M Hockey (@GopherHockey) October 7, 2017
Erik Foley scored a bullet of a goal on Saturday to put Providence up 2-0. They would end up winning 3-2 and are now 2-0 on the season.
Kristian Vesalainen is currently second in scoring among U19 players in the Finnish Liiga. Vesalainen recorded three assists through September and scored his first goal of the season last Friday.
Pavel Kraskovsky has not been able to follow up on his career-high 18 point season as of yet. The 23-year-old Russian has been held to just a single assist over 19 games with Lokomotiv. Kraskovsky has fired 30 shots on net and wins just 43.4% of faceoffs. His average icetime and linemates are very similar to the 2016-17 season, but the production has slowed to a halt.
Jacob Cederholm was briefly loaned to Allsvenskan team Västerviks IK to begin the season, but returned to HV71 after two games. Cederholm is seeing limited playing time with HV71, averaging about 8 minutes outside of a 17 minute game on October 5th.
Arvid Holm has been struggling to start the year in the under-20 SuperElit league, winning just two of eight games played for a GAA nearing 3 and a SV% under .900. Karlskrona play five games next week and Holm will look to bounce back.
The Manitoba Moose opened their season in Grand Rapids this past weekend, and it was a tale of two teams. Game one on Friday had the Moose down 3-0 after the 1st period, ending in a 5-2 loss. Eric Comrie stopped just 17 of 22 in the loss.
Saturday night saw a much greater performance from Jets prospects. Kyle Connor, Jack Roslovic, and Brendan Lemieux each had a three-point game and Sami Niku tallied his first AHL points with two assists. Michael Spacek assisted on Lemieux’s goal for his first point of the season. The Moose trampled the Griffins in a 7-2 win.
The Moose play Friday and Sunday at home against Cleveland.
The ECHL season gets underway this weekend. Jimmy Lodge and Jamie Phillips have been assigned to the new ECHL affiliate, the Jacksonville Icemen.