Hey all. Taking a break from the interview scene this week. The good news is we've hardly tapped the well dry -- in fact, we're trying to cook up some new stuff to make this feature even better. We've got a few potential awesome candidates coming up, so make sure you keep reading. If you missed any, here's Nick Jensen, Willie Coetzee, Landon Ferraro, and Tomas Tatar.
The news goes on, however. Today's been an interesting day, following a few teams shuffling players before the Olympic trade deadline. We're getting down to the stretch run. For leagues outside of the NHL, that time is even closer. Every other league will be in the playoffs when the NHL's regular season concludes. Generally in this feature, we focus on the individual prospect, but everything's relative.
A player flourishing on a bad team is a little more impressive than a player being carried along by a ton of top scorers on a good team... so it's interesting to keep in mind. But sometimes, a team can be bad enough to where they're only scoring points because nobody else can, so just because a players stats are good on a bad team doesn't necessarily mean anything, if you see what I'm saying.
Among the more interesting notes:
- Grand Rapids has absolutely fallen apart, currently sitting in the conference cellar, 3rd worst in the league. They were in a playoff position until they got Michael Nylander, and then offense, defense, and goaltending simultaneously fell apart. They've shown life recently, but might be too little too late to make a playoff run. The good news is there's penalty for trying, because it's not like they're fighting for a draft pick.
- Toledo (ECHL) is last in their division, but they'd be second in the other division in the conference. They're well over .500, at 25-19-1-3.
- Looking at the junior ranks, Detroit has a couple prospects poised for potential Memorial Cup runs. If you don't know what that is, they take the champion out of the Western, Quebec, and Ontario leagues and pit them against a host team (determined years in advance) in a week long tournament.
- One prospect guaranteed to be there is Brent Raedeke, as the Brandon team he is now on will host the tournament.
- The top team in the OHL is Windsor, represented by Stephen Johnston. Johnston was a deadline acquisition for Windsor, and now that he's healthy, is earning rave reviews for the impact he's made.
- Detroit's top candidate from the QMJHL is Andrej Nestrasil, on a 3rd place Victoriaville team that were definite buyers at the deadline.
- In the college ranks, both Brendan Smith (Wisconsin) and Gustav Nyquist (Maine) should be locks for Hobey Baker nominations (best collegiate player), but their teams are also sitting nicely as solid best for invites to the NCAA tournament.
- However, it's Nick Oslund (St. Cloud State) who's team boasts the best collegiate record among Detroit prospects. St. Cloud is tied for 1st in the WCHA, the same conference Smith plays in.
- Attending St. Cloud next year is Nick Jensen, who knows all about winning: His Green Bay Gamblers are 1st in the USHL.
- Adam Almqvist has been forced into the SEL mainly due to injuries; his HV-71 club has had each of it's top four blueliners out for considerable lengths of time. It comes as a surprise that they still sit in 1st place.
Statistical report is after the jump. In the spirit of the postseason, the "notes" section contains the team's current position in the league standing
American Hockey League
|3||Logan Pyett||Grand Rapids||52||7
||1A, +1 in 3GP|
|4||Travis Ehrhardt||Grand Rapids||30||0||4||4||-9||28||+1 in 1GP
|5||Jakub Kindl||Grand Rapids||45||3||17||20||-10||34||1A, -2, 2PIM in 3GP|
|7||Sebastien Piche||Grand Rapids||9||0||0||0||-1||4||Playing in Toledo (ECHL)|
|8||Cory Emmerton||Grand Rapids||49||8||16||24
||+2||14||1G, 1A, +3 in 3GP
|9||Evan McGrath||Grand Rapids||48||8
||10||18||-13||23||2A in 3GP
|12||Dick Axelsson||Grand Rapids||17||2||3||5||+1||6||Playing in Farjestad (SEL)|
|13||Jan Mursak||Grand Rapids||51||18||10||28||+9||19||1A, -1 in 3GP
|17||Francis Pare||Grand Rapids||50||11||15||26
||2G, +1 in 3GP
|18||Mattias Ritola||Grand Rapids||45||11||10||21||-9||40||1G, 1A, -2, 4PIM in 3GP
|25||Jamie Tardif||Grand Rapids||50||10||8||18||-10||65||1A, -1, 7PIM in 3GP
|27||Tomas Tatar||Grand Rapids||36
||10||12||22||+8||6||1A in 3GP|
|28||Sergei Kolosov||Grand Rapids||45
||1||3||4||-6||17||2GP||Representing Belarus in Olympics|
|31||Daniel Larsson||Grand Rapids||33
||.901||2-0, GAA down, sv% up|
|35||Thomas McCollum||Grand Rapids||22||7||11
||0||3.50||.878||0-1, GAA down, sv% up
|36||Jordan Pearce||Grand Rapids||5||1||2||0||3.82||.875||Playing in Toledo (ECHL)
|20||Travis Ehrhardt||Toledo||3||1||1||2||+4||0||Playing in Grand Rapids|
|25||Sebastien Piche||Toledo||25||4||12||16||+4||30||2A, 2PIM in 3GP||8th of 12 in conference|
|30||Thomas McCollum||Toledo||4||2||1||0||4.48||.864||Playing in Grand Rapids|
|35||Jordan Pearce||Toledo||23||9||11||1||3.82||.885||0-2, GAA up, sv% up
||8th of 12 in conference|
||2G in 1GP
||4 of 10 in WCHA
|7||Max Nicastro||Boston U.||26||2||8||10||24||2PIM in 2GP||5 of 10 in HE|
|16||Nick Oslund||St. Cloud St.||30||4||4||8||20
||2GP||T-1 of 10 in WCHA|
||12 of 12 in ECAC|
||12 of 12 in ECAC|
|89||Gustav Nyquist||Maine||26||14||26||40||12||4A in 2GP
||T-2 of 10 in HE|
||8||-2, 2PIM in 1GP
||5th of 12 in league|
||5||6||11||-16||6||1G, -4, 2PIM in 4GP
||10th of 12 in league|
|18||Joakim Andersson||Frolunda||48||5||12||17||+8||40||1A, 6PIM in 4GP||7th of 12 in league|
|24||Jesper Samuelsson||Timra||23||0||1||1||+0||8||Playing in SWE-2
||DNP, DTD (knee)
||1st of 12 in league|
||-12||4||1G, 3A, -3, 2PIM in 5GP
||13th of 14 in league|
|16||Johan Ryno||AIK||39||6||9||15||+5||28||-4 in 2GP||3rd of 14 in league|
|--||Adam Almqvist||Troja/Ljungby||0||0||0||0||0||0||Playing with HV71 (SEL)|
Swedish J20 League
|4||Adam Almqvist||HV71||15||5||29||34||+14||14||Playing with HV71 (SEL)|
Kontinental Hockey League
|21||Gennady Stolyarov||HC MVD||0||0||0||0||0||0||5th of 24 in league|
|26||Jiri Hudler||Moscow Dynamo||48
||17||31||48||16||4th of 24 in league|
Ontario Hockey League
|10||Stephen Johnston||Windsor||6||2||3||5||+0||6||1A, 4PIM in 2GP||1st of 20 in league|
||Traded to Windsor
|18||Brian Lashoff||Kingston||44||6||13||19||-9||55||2PIM in 1GP
||4th of 10 in conference|
Western Hockey League
|9||Brent Raedeke||Edmonton||39||17||14||31||+4||60||Traded to Brandon|
||1A, +4, 6PIM in 3GP
||3rd of 12 in conference|
|13||Landon Ferraro||Red Deer||37
||23||35||-8||40||2A, -3, 2PIM in 3GP
||6th of 12 in conference|
|19||Willie Coetzee||Red Deer||56||25||47||72||+5||24||1A, -2, 2PIM in 3GP
||6th of 12 in conference|
||17||24||41||-2||134||-3, 4PIM in 3GP
||6th of 10 in conference|
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
|11||Andrej Nestrasil||Victoriaville||39||14||27||40||-2||32||1A, -1, 2PIM in 1GP
||3rd of 18 in league|
|14||Gleason Fournier||Rimouski||46||10||29||39||+5||68||+1, 2PIM in 3GP
||10th of 18 in league|
United States Hockey League
|6||Nick Jensen||Green Bay||33||1||14||15||+23||12||17 PIM in 2GP||1st of 14 in league|