As Flames training camp roars on this week, thoughts drift to the players that aren’t here. Those are, generally, the players that are too young to be here – the prospects.
Here’s what they’ve been up to as of late.
AHL & ECHL
Sven Baertschi and T.J. Brodie disappeared from the Abbotsford Heat line-up this week, possibly forever. On one hand, other teams are losing bodies – the Oklahoma City Barons are likely losing everyone of value from their roster – but it still stings. The Heat dropped both of their games this weekend in a two-game series with the Chicago Wolves, AHL affiliate of the dastardly Vancouver Canucks.
The Heat lost 3-1 on Friday off a trio of goals on Leland Irving in the span of just over eight minutes. On Saturday, the Heat couldn’t get on the board at all, missing eight regulars who had been called up to Calgary for training camp. Wolves goaltender Matt Climie was excellent, and was the big difference on Saturday.
The Heat (17-12-3-4) continue to drop down the AHL’s Western Conference standings and sit eighth.
In the ECHL, the Utah Grizzlies – now without Mitch Wahl, who was recalled to Abbotsford – lost both of their games against Las Vegas by a combined 10-3 score.
Edmonton’s Laurent Brossoit started twice as the Oil Kings won all three of their weekend games. Brossoit allowed a single goal on the weekend and won both of his starts. Since getting cut from the World Junior team in mid-December, Brossoit is 7-1-0 with 2 shutouts, 1.00 goals against average and a .966 save percentage. He’s been every bit as good recently as he was bad last summer.
Over in Portland, Tyler Wotherspoon continues to be a great plus/minus player. H was +3 in a pair of weekend games and is +42 on the year, just behind teammate Nic Petan (despite having missed nearly a dozen games).
Red Deer captain Turner Elson remains as his team’s leading scorer. He had a goal and two assists in two weekend contests. Despite being an overager, though, his points production is basically the same as last year’s.
Coda Gordon continues his strong play of late with the Swift Current Broncos, with three assists over two weekend games. He’s scoring at just under a point-per-game pace this season, with 44 points in 46 games.
Vancouver’s Brett Kulak only played once and only had one point. But it was a big one, the overtime game-winning goal.
Saskatoon’s Michael Ferland, Quebec’s Ryan Culkin and Windsor’s Patrick Sieloff all played twice and all had no points.
As expected, Johnny Gaudreau returned to college and was good. He had three points in a Boston College win over New Hampshire on Friday night (including his conference-leading sixth game-winning goal of the year) but was held off the score-sheet in a tight 2-1 loss the following evening. Bill Arnold had a goal and an assist of his own on Friday night.
Mark Jankowski returned to the Providence College line-up and had an assist. Jon Gillies brought his World Junior gold medal back to his crease and continued his strong rookie season – with a pair of wins and his second shutout of the year. He made 68 saves over two games.
John Ramage of the Wisconsin Badgers has an offensive explosion this weekend. In a pair of games against Minnesota State, Ramage had three points – two of them goals in overtime.
Michigan State’s Matthew Deblouw had two points in a pair of games with Notre Dame. Nick Larson, of Notre Dame, was held pointless.
The KHL was off this weekend for the All-Star game, so Karri Ramo had a bit of a rest.
HIFK Helinski won their single weekend game, with Markus Granlund getting an assist and Joni Ortio holding the opposition to a single goal.