I occasionally think of this column as some kind of quality control report. Sometimes, the best news is no news. As I’ve seen over the past few weeks, folks have been scoring consistently, so there’s nothing really important to report. The stats speak for themselves. I just point out worrisome/promising trends.
I am sorry to say that I have to report something this week. Of course, this is week-to-week so there’s no need for panic yet, but there were some prospects who didn’t have great weeks. We’re going to talk about them.
- Dillon Dube has slowed down a lot, with his NHLe halving from last week to this week. Of course, the sample size increased from one game to four games, so that has an impact (he’s still really good).
- The Stockton Heat offence – which has been so dominant in the AHL – took a big hit this week, only scoring three goals over the past two games. Of course, the big team recalling some impact players has an effect on this, but that in itself is concerning. Mark Jankowski went pointless last week, as did Andrew Mangiapane. Morgan Klimchuk only scored one goal over the past week.
- Before we all panic in the comment section, a slowdown was inevitable. Those three aforementioned players have seen their shooting percentages drop, and they will continue to drop until they are around that average 10-12%. Mangiapane and Klimchuk still have some pain to go through.
- That being said, the positive sign is that Mangiapane and Jankowski are still generating tons of shots for the team. Janko had seven this past week.
- On the flip side, we might see the bad luck of Emile Poirier reverse. He is currently neck-and-neck with the other two in terms of shot generation, being one of the three Flames prospects on the team with 30 shots on goal. His shooting percentage is 6.67%, and he could be due for a points explosion if things went his way.
- Mitchell Mattson took my good advice last week and scored two goals against the USA dev team.
- Still early in his career, but Eetu Tuulola hasn’t looked as great an offensive promise in the past few weeks. Perhaps he’s still adjusting, perhaps his injury is nagging him. However, he appears to only be a middle six option for an Everett team that has remained dominant all season, so there is a potential explanation for his results.
- Weekly update as to whether or not Matt Phillips has scored anything that is not a primary point: he has not scored anything that is not a primary point. That’s 22 points, 22 primary points. Real good.
- There’s not much to talk about for defenders, so let’s debate amongst ourselves: who comes up first (or is NHL ready first), Kylington or Andersson? Andersson is currently the points leader among defenders in Stockton, while Kylington is just one point behind. The difference though is that Andersson is generally the secondary piece to the offence, as only 1/8 of his points are primary. Kylington is considered the better play driver, but a bit of a defensive hazard. So, who do we see first?
- Adam Fox and Harvard faced a tough Boston College team and came ahead 5-2, with Fox collecting two assists. He is a really exciting prospect.
- As Taylor discussed, Stockton is not going to rush Jon Gillies back from his finger injury, especially when David Rittich is playing so well. The Czech import only allowed one goal over the weekend. I don’t foresee the Flames re-signing him considering the goaltender depth, but he’s putting up a solid case.
- Tyler Parsons has also slowly been rounding back into form post-injury. For your consideration:
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) November 21, 2016
- Mason McDonald has been, far and away, the obvious #2 goalie in Adirondack. His early season woes have looked more and more like an actual problem with the goalie himself. With Nick Schneider and Parsons coming closer to professional hockey (both will be eligible to start in the AHL next year) combined with the fact that Jon Gillies is likely to move on up, McDonald only has a short window to prove he still belongs.
- Schneider still leads the WHL in wins.